Marvellous Malacca

We were one stop away from leaving Malaysia and crossing the infamous Singapore Strait to Indonesia so we decided to hire a car while we were in Port Dickson to enable us to complete our provisioning for the next few months. 

Driving along the coast heading for Tescos!

We needed to buy many items we take for granted “back home” – muesli, tonic water, cheese, rice crackers and other savoury biscuits, various tinned food, soft toilet roll, nuts, pasta and of course, some wine to top up our supplies. These were among the items we found difficult to find last time we were in Indonesia so we were anxious to buy enough to see us through. 

The other main reason for hiring the car was to go to Malacca for the day as we had heard great reports from everyone who had been there. 

The famous Jonkers Walk
Beautifully restored shop house
Inside a sumptuous shop house – selling antiques and curios
The antique shop again
 

We went with the crew from Yantara who had spent a few days in Malacca previously and who were marvellous tour guides. 

Another shop house
Malacca is famous for its shoes – especially these beaded ones.
A Chinese tea shop
Inside a community centre

In the early 15th Century Malacca (or Melaka as it is known) was a thriving port. Located halfway between China and India and within easy reach of the Indonesian spice islands, it became a hub for traders. 
Chinese settlers married local Malay girls and the renowned Baba (Chinese male) Nonya (Malay female) community evolved (along with its famous cuisine).

The lobby of the Baba Nonya museum – no photos allowed past this point!

One of the highlights of our visit was a tour a traditional Baba-Nonya townhouse where an excellent guide told us stories of the householders through the generations and talked about the many wonderful artifacts in the museum, including Chinese Ming vases, Murano glass from Venice, floor tiles from Stoke in England and all kinds of art and other treasures from around the world. 

Many of the shop houses had beautiful friezes
Found this dragon in a park off Jonkers Street
Needed a cool down – wished the watering can had water in it!
We loved walking down Jonkers Street and the other historic narrow lane ways marveling at the shop houses, many restored to their former glory, with colorful and intricate plaster friezes and other decorations. We poked around some of the gift shops, an antique shop, walked in some gardens and saw an ancient Chinese Buddhist temple. 

A beautiful tile
Loved the “portholes” in the shop houses
More gorgeous tiles
Temple entrance

After a good lunch at Bistro Year 1673 we hit the History and Ethnography Museum which is housed in the salmon pink Stadhuys, Malacca’s most unmistakable landmark and the former town hall.

Our lunch venue

This grand edifice was built shortly after the Dutch captured Malacca from the Portuguese (who had taken the city by force in 1511) in 1641. 

The old Dutch town hall which now houses a museum
Tricycle rickshaws from the museum, each in decorated individually and each with competing (very loud) music.
By the time we had been round the museum it was early evening and time to drive back to Port Dickson. On the way back to the boat we stopped at a wonderful Chinese seafood restaurant that we had discovered the previous night. 

When a restaurant is so crowded with locals you know it’s going to be good!

A delicious end to a really great day. 

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Salty tales from Bali Hai

In 2015, after a break from cruising of almost 30 years, my husband and I sailed off into the sunset - this time to the wonderful Islands of Indonesia and beyond. Three years passed and we swapped sails for wheels driving through Scandinavia and Europe in a motor home. Now we are on the brink of another adventure - buying a Lagoon 420 Catamaran in Athens. This is our story.

One thought on “Marvellous Malacca”

  1. I’ve always wanted to go to Malacca! It looks wonderful – what fabulous historic buildings and what an interesting cultural mix. Glad you enjoyed it so much. xx

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