January 29, 2009 Leave a comment
It is not exactly “back-packing”. It is more like “back-cracking”. Town-hopping with big luggage bags wasn’t as fun as we imagined. Luckily, Uncle Lei offered to give us a ride to Malacca. We can move from door to door – less the hassle of moving our luggage up and down the bus.
The journey to Malacca was unexpectedly short. There is a new road connecting these 2 towns. And it is certainly faster than taking the usual expressway. Our journey took only about 40 minutes (from Muar) and we alighted at the famous Hotel Puri (the best 3-star boutique hotel).
Unlike Muar, Malacca is a historically-rich town. In my opinion, she is the “Matriarch of Malaysia”. Having survived many past colonists (the Dutch and later the English), Malacca was an important part of Southeast Asia history. Today, she is truly one rich authentic beauty.
For those who haven’t visit Malacca for the past 3 years, it is time for you to come back to revisit this place again. Malacca is expanding rapidly and undergoing a big facelift. The local authority has cleaned up the “smelly and dirty” swampy river. Now, it has been restored with beautiful riverside walks – where you can sit in cafes by the bank, enjoying the water view.
We didn’t forget to complete our last “secret mission” in Malacca. Felicia, Elkan and I gave my mother-in-law the “last CNY surprise” at the shophouse. And it was a big, successful, overwhelming surprise for her (and Stella!). Later that night, Leon joined us and we had our “Malacca Reunion CNY Dinner” (coincidentally with over 50% same food we had in Muar that very same day!)
After dinner, Cousin Ben brought us to Jonker Walk (aka “Antique Street”) where we strolled down the “red-lantern” street. Ben joked that this is also known as the “red-lights district” of Malacca – except there is 101% no hooker or brothels there. Along Jonker Walk, you can find many local gems – food, antiques and handicrafts (Chinese, Malay or Peranakan, Baba-Nyonya). There was also a street near Jonker Walk where you find 3 old temples sitting side by side (Chinese, Muslim and Hindu).
Malacca is indeed an eye-treat for many enthusiastic photographers. You can find many shutter-bugs walking around. It is also a food-haven for people like me! (Chendol, Chicken Rice Balls, Nasi Lemak, Nyonya Laksa, Belacan paste, Portuguese egg tarts Roti Prata etc) .. there is just so much for me to eat! The next morning, we roamed the “red house area” and explored the newly (almost completed) “replica fort”. The sun was great and the sky was so blue! And yes, we did had our stomach filled with those great local delicacies.
At 1pm, I decided to rush back to the hotel to snap “the famous bird nests” at Hotel Puri. Ben told us about this strange nature’s phenomenon. Normally found in high mountains or vacant buildings, the Swiftlets (the birds) actually nested the edible 燕窝 in one of the halls of Hotel Puri – in close proximity with humans! Check out the pixs!
Our CNY journey is finally coming to an end. We have met so many loved ones throughout the past 7 days. Tiring but worth every cent and effort spent. It is amazing how we managed to make the connections and meetings in such a short span of time.
Last stop: Kuala Lumpur and flying back to Hong Kong.