Malacca (Melaka)

Following our return from Cambodia, we arrived for a 4-night stop in Malacca by bus from Kuala Lumpur airport. Our hostel was located on the edge of the bustling Jonker street area of town, famous for its night market and restaurants. As our taxi dropped us off at our hostel, we were greeted by the unexpected sight and sound of several trishaws which have to be seen to be believed. They are are an even more bizarre sight when lit up with strings of colored LEDs at night, blasting out loud music (like a mini carnival float)!

There is plenty of street art here and, following a rich history as a trading port, several Dutch buildings including Christ Church (below). The church originally had a white exterior, but the Dutch era buildings are now painted in a distinct red colour.

Starting with the Dutch buildings just outside Jonker street, and a visit to the Melaka Art Gallery, we wandered around the town following the heritage trail, parts of which ran along the very well kept riverside. With beautiful weather, colourful buildings and occasional places to eat, this was a particularly pleasant area of town. We also spotted several monitor lizards sunning themselves here.

Views along the riverside..

During our morning meanderings, we stumbled across an excellent Indian café/restarant where we stopped for drinks and for the kids to do some sketching. We later returned there for lunch as we couldn’t find anywhere else to match what we had seen coming out of the kitchens and off the BBQ – including cockle kebabs which I had to try (I thoroughly recommend the chicken kebabs which everyone else had)!

Malacca has a Maritime Museum which is housed within a replica of the Portugese vessel Flor de la Mar. It is surprisingly spacious inside and full of interesting exhibits and detailed explanations of the history of the city. Well worth a visit!

For something different and child-oriented, we went to the Thousand Tales of Melaka – a challenge involving several escape rooms and culminating in a 7D interactive ride where we competed against each other, shooting at things in 3D. It was all quite fun and a welcome break from the scorching heat outside.

To be honest, we didn’t think much of the Jonker Street night markets – we’d been to bigger and better. However, the area in general had a very pleasant vibe with its quaint narrow streets, cafés, chinese temples and street art.

We left Malacca by bus for Johor, getting off at Skudai for our next stop in Pekan Nanas. This time we were volunteering in return for accommodation and meals (using the workaway website).

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