Melaka, Malacca, Malaysia

Melaka, a city I last visited in October 2017, is a UNESCO world heritage site thanks to its history and the buildings that persist. It used to ‘be’ Malaysia, in the sense that it was a kingdom that spread over much of the area of the country, and had huge influence. The kingdom converted to Islam, which remains the national religion, despite colonial influence from Portugal, the Netherlands and Britain.

Apart from that significance, it’s a city of good food, beautiful views over the canal, especially at night, the call to prayer sounding out and the smells of food, joss sticks and lavender as you walk through. I didn’t have long enough there in October, so headed back for six days between Singapore and KL.

The place is a little disjointed. Walking the river is a delight – albeit very hot during the day – while there are several big malls, and walking from one to the other is a pain. There aren’t many pavements, you’ll cross largish roads and be strolling along the side of some of them. You might spot the odd big lizard galloping (away from you) in the drains. Either there isn’t a will or there isn’t the money to setup pedestrian infrastructure. It is very hot, mind, so after a walk the malls are an air-conditioned joy. Each has a cinema at the top – when I was there, your choices were a couple of Chinese films, or Avengers: Infinity War.

Bus in Singapore, skyscrapers behind
Waiting for the bus in Singapore. This is not my bus.
Walkway from the bus station, Melaka
Walkway from the bus station, Melaka.
Sign: Don't mess with Melaka
Don’t mess with Melaka sign. Faintly menacing, but I think it means ‘leave our loveliness alone’.
Construction in Melaka
Construction in Melaka, view from Ringo’s foyer.
Bottle of beer by the river
Beer by the river.
Riverside living, Melaka
Riverside living, Melaka.
Bright Hello Kitty decorated cycle rickshaw.
Bright Hello Kitty decorated cycle rickshaw. These sorts of things are all over the tourist area, and make a right racket.
New mall, by the bay, Melaka.
New mall, by the bay, Melaka. Mostly empty for now.
The Dutch Graveyard.
The Dutch Graveyard.
Tourists milling in the square
Tourists milling in the square.
Proclamation of Independence memorial.
Proclamation of Independence memorial.
IMG_20180501_164617716
Cycle rickshaw making a racket.
Cycle rickshaws gather outside the Stadthuys.
Cycle rickshaws gather outside the Stadthuys.
Narrow street, Melaka
A narrow street.
Canal view from a bridge
Canal view from a bridge.
Canal view from a bridge
Canal view from a bridge.
There is art all around the river.
There is art all around the river.
Wall art (man working at bench, painted onto wall)
Wall art.
Wall art, Melaka (girl leaning out of window, painted onto wall)
Wall art, Melaka.
Tables outside restaurant on the water front
Waterfront eating.
Upstairs at Ringo's foyer, people drinking and talking
Night time at Ringo’s foyer.

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