Tuesday 22 February 2011

Malaysia: Malacca in a day

Basking monitor lizard - Malacca River
The day commenced with a sun-drenched River Cruise on the Malacca River through the historical Dutch, Chinese, Portuguese and Malay districts which have contributed to Malacca’s World Heritage status. The driver stopped the boat on several occasions to allow passengers to photograph monitor lizards which increased in size throughout the journey, culminating with a superb specimen Hokkien Huay Kuan - Malaccataking a nap on branch under a shady tree.

Back on shore, we strolled past the replica Flor De Lama merchant ship to the Menara Taming Sari (Melacca Tower). We sat in air conditioned coolness during the ascent of the Swiss-engineered 100m tower while a young lady babbled incoherently about the things we were probably witnessing below.

Now nice anMasjid Kampung Kling - Malaccad cool, the family enjoyed a Peranakan lunch while I shuffled around the streets and temples of Chinatown, seeking refuge from the afternoon heat in the Cheng Hung Teng Temple in Jalan Tukas Emas followed by a bowl of noodle soup on a street corner. Post lunch, I strolled through the Masjid Kampung Kling (sponsored by American Express) which exhibits a confusing mix of Sumatran, English, Portuguese, Chinese, Hindu and Moorish architectures which killed sufficient time to miss the rest of the family's afternoon’s tat and shoe shopping.

The evening was spent in the company of the local Chinese community in the quite superb Hakka Zhan restaurant in Taman Kota Laksamana where communal eating and mess-making are part of the dining experience.

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