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Mark's World Tour 2007-08

Day 77: A day in Melaka

MALAYSIA | Monday, 21 January 2008 | Views [784]

It's Christ Church in Melaka, can't you see?

It's Christ Church in Melaka, can't you see?

Monday 21st January

The night had been warm and humid, and the fan stayed on for most of it. I had been used to air-con in my room when I stayed with Mark & Jess in Singapore, and the lack of it would be something I might have to get used to in the long run. I was up and about early enough to get some laundry done and then headed in to town to check it was happening on the Melaka scene.

Melaka is quite a big town, and used to be a key trading port in times past, governed variously by the Portuguese, the Dutch and the Brits, all with the care and attention that colonies have come to know and love from such wonderful landlords as these stellar nations (it's a pity for them that their football teams aren't as brutal on their opponents on the pitch these days).

The town centre is small enough to see most of the major sights on foot, including Chinatown and the area around the town hall, which itself retains the name given to it by the Dutch settlers who built it in the 17th century: Stadhuys. I came across a few Dutch people who were in town to see for themselves the remnants of their nations presence in the town.

It's an interesting, picturesque place which is maintained well by the people who live there. Indeed, the people I met in Melaka seemed very friendly and keen to pass on useful information, and I took a shine to them straightaway. They say that people make a place, and I liked Melaka, despite the fact that there wasn't that much to do. The area outside of this 'old town' may have lacked any real character, but it was clean and the shopping malls and supermarkets (a big new Carrefour beside the hostel, and a Tescos beside the bus depot) meant that people are catered for well here.

The hostel was the perfect place to relax and meet fellow travellers, a great advantage of which is the opportunity to discuss tales of places that have been visited and trips to be planned. These chats can have a significant influence on your plans. It's always interesting to speak to other people about where they have been and what they are going to, what they have enjoyed and the things they have disliked. It is a very useful source of information, allowing you to make better informed decisions on the future of your trip. Also, it's just good to simply have a chat and a laugh about random stuff, and I try to make the most of it when other people are open to it as well.

Lene and Anna had booked onto an 'ecotour' bike ride of an area outside of Melaka and, feeling that I had seen most of what the town itself had to offer during the day, I decided that this would be a good way to spend the extra day that I had chosen to spend before making my way further north to Kuala Lumpur.

Tags: Sightseeing


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