Today Mitch and I went on a really lovely trip to Malacca, or Melaka as it’s often spelled here. We went with one of my colleagues (from Australia) who had made friends with another expat (from the US) and his wife (from the Philippines) who have a daughter (born in Thailand). The couple has been living in Malaysia for four years and invited us out for the day. We’re getting quite sick of the neighborhood in which we currently live because we really need a car but don’t have one, so we were thrilled at the opportunity to go somewhere else for a few hours. One of the couple’s friends, who is Chinese Malay and a Seremban local, drove and acted as our tour guide along the hour and a half car ride. As today is Saturday, there was very little traffic.
Once we arrived in Malacca, we met up with another expat who is from South Africa and used to work in Seremban. She lives in Malacca now and showed us around. The day really was just a taste of Malacca; we went to see part of the old city center and the busy shopping area that is very popular with tourists. We also walked along the river, which was my favorite part, and climbed a hill to see all around the city and out to the Strait of Malacca. Mitch and I like history museums and exploring old, non-touristy areas, so we’ll definitely have to come back. We’ve been told that the night markets in Malacca are excellent and that the best way to experience them is to stay overnight or just plan to leave really late because the roads in the old city are closed after about 6pm.
We also ate some really great food today. Our first stop upon arrival was an early lunch at a beautiful Western restaurant called Baboon House. As Malacca is very hot and relatively dry, the restaurant is built partially without a rooftop. It’s covered in plants and includes a fish pond and a turtle pond! (Take a look at the second and third photos below.) The best part about Baboon House, though, was that I had a real salad and Mitch had a real hamburger. Later in the afternoon we sampled artisan chocolate and nyonya food, both of which were excellent. Nyonya cuisine combines Chinese and Malay dishes and flavors and is an excellent example of my favorite Global History 9 concept – cultural diffusion.
Hope you enjoy the photo gallery of the day!