Wednesday 23 February 2011

Malaysia: River life in Malacca

River Cruisers - MalaccaAn early breakfast took the hotel staff by surprise as I sat alone nibbling their fare before heading out to the path along the river following the same route a yesterday’s River Cruise. Ladies pottered in the gardens of the red corrugated-roofed houses along Kampung Morten while cats washed themselves to avoid chasing the similarly-sized rats that scampered under hedges. There certainly are some big ones in Malacca.

At the end of the navigable stretch of river, I crossed the bridge where the river cruise boats had been sleeping for the night next to the mono-rail station. This somewhat incongruous method of transport snakes it way along the river above the board walk where enormous monitor lizards plop into the river at the slightest sound. The contrast between some of the houses on theTrishaw - Dutch Sqaure, Malacca trendy side of the river and the hovels on the other was shocking. At one point a lady sat peeling vegetables on the step of a rusty shack while a few metres further along a handful of tourists sipped expensive coffee on trendy aluminium chairs.

There was a last chance to photograph some of the garish triLion - Cheng Hung Teng Temple, Malaccashaws which hang around the Dutch Square known as 'The Stadthuys'. These contraptions are fitted with boogie boxes, rotating flower displays and in one case, the model of a scorpion on the roof – all very tasteful.

Regrouping back at the hotel, we searched for lost keys and spectacles before loading the boot and pointing the car towards Singapore on Malaysia’s empty roads.

Expectations of Malacca had been exceeded. Mrs M’s Tours is back in business.

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