Saturday, July 2, 2011

Malacca, a city under dutch, portuguese and british influences

We had kept this destination for a last minute WE trip and after months of WE well organised in advanced, we are finally short of organised trips so we decide to use the back up plan!

Malacca is on the east coast of Malaysia. A couple of hundreds km south of KL. According to me it should take 3h by bus from Singapore, according to R it's 4h30 and in reality it's closer to 7!!!! And I fully blame the Malaysian immigration for that: we waited for more than 3h at the border to have the pleasure or should I say the privilege, to enter Malaysia! They have a new finger print system which is rather quick but they haven't thought of the IT  power required to run it!
Anyway after finishing a full book, coming close to dying of starvation, we finally make it to Malacca!!! Actually to the giant warehouse they use as a bus station
When we finally get to the city centre, we start exploring Chinatown which looks surprisingly like our Singaporean Chinatown: it has a buddhist temple, but also a mosque (which looks like a pagoda) and an Hindu temple! A culture melting pot!

The Buddhist temple is the oldest one in south east Asia, it's small but quite beautiful indeed.
For the cultural side of the WE we go to the local peranakan museum (mix of Malaysian and Chinese culture), it's a privately run museum where everything reminds you of how much the Asian culture is based on being rich and showing it when us, Europeans feel so uncomfortable about it.
We then move on to the old quarter where the Dutch influence can be felt with red painted buildings all around.
Then I'm not really sure which ex-colonial empire we can blame these brightly decorated trickshaw on...
And at the top of the hill appears the Portuguese influence: an old church with carved stones showing ships and pirates!

This city is very lively at the difference of most of the other ones we have been to in SE Asia, the streets are crowded at night, the restaurants are full, ok may be the school holidays do help a bit!
It feels like quite a nice place to live and the closeness to the sea can't be a bad thing either!

No comments:

Post a Comment