~ Melaka part 2 ~

17 July 2005

yay! i finished selecting and uploading photos from yesterday’s trip to Malacca (or Melaka, as the locals call it). there are 94 photos uploaded on this site’s photo album. or you can also click on the photo collage above.

i’ve been wanting to go to Malacca for weeks. the reasons for that is pretty simple: ari and i need a vacation and Malacca is only a few hours away by car. it would be a cheap vacation; no need to pay for air travel.

just like any other easy vacation, it got forgotten very quickly… until friday morning, i woke up with huge urge to go out off Singapore. By afternoon, ari and i got two tour tickets to Malacca for Saturday….

yep, it was a tour, specialized for tourists visiting Singapore. we were picked up from a nearby hotel and took a bus with 30-something other tourists. there were two Indian families, one of them with 2 kids, one Australian family with kids, one European family, that i don’t know what country they’re from, two old British couple, one lady from Mexico and three American guys accompanied by one Malaysian lady. none of them are Singaporean. and despite the myth of “kids are loud and annoying in tours”, it turns out that the most obnoxious people in the tour was the three American guys… they were loud and didn’t stop whining about how long the trip takes and what a waste of time the tour was… gosh, i wish someone would throw them out of the bus!

the trip was really long, though. we left at 8AM, and didn’t make it back to Singapore until 10:30PM. and the time we spent on the actual Malacca itself is only two hours! so, the rest of eight and a half hours were spent on the bus… going through the Singapore and Malaysian checkpoint itself took about one hour each way… anyways, i think taking that many pictures in two hours is a pretty good accomplishment. each of us had one camera, and we didn’t stop running around and clicking.

with the combination of obnoxious people on the bus, the crazy long drive and the short time we have in the city, we’ve learned our lesson: we will never take tours, ever again.

now, about Malacca itself. the city is very small, although it looks like they’re expanding. there are large housing areas being built along the way to the center city. i think people start to move there.

the center city itself is tiny, along with tiny narrow shophouses. they preserve the old look of the city… Malacca is the oldest city in Malaysia, dated back to around 600 years ago. it went through many hands during the colonial period: Portuguese, Dutch, British and Japan. so, the little city has many historical areas to visit.

yes, the city is small, but two hours is ridiculously short time. there were so many little coffee houses, galleries and museums to hang out. we didn’t bother to shop because the time was so short.

if you’re planning to visit Malacca, i suggest you stay at least one night there. but, my guess is, any more than 5 days will get you bored, since the city is tiny.

ari and i are planning to go back there and spend a day or two more. maybe we rent a car and do a little road trip along the west coast of Malaysia.