Somewhere between Kuala Lumpur and Malacca.
Taking opportunity of the long stretch of holidays for Deepavali and Hari Raya, William, Cynthia, Wuan and I headed to Malacca for some sightseeing last Monday. The story of how the Malacca sultanate came to be and the romanticism of a Chinese princess who came as a bride-emissary made this place a must-visit in the long list of things that I want to do before I die.
When we reached the historical city, we were caught in a jam for nearly an hour heading towards the old town square where Christ Church stood. It looked like people from Kuala Lumpur and Selangor were all there for the same reason as us. Many cars bore Penang and Singapore plates too.
Narrow corridor leading to the old town square.
Festive seasons are not good times to be visiting tourist spots. We had to circle the area for a while before we found a parking spot. It was hot and hazy and very uncomfortable. The 200 meters to the town square was not very accessible to wheelchairs. We had to traverse the narrow corridors of shops and brave the snaking traffic all the way there.
Christ Church Melaka.
Photo by Wuan.
The square was crowded. There were busloads of tourists from Thailand. So, I finally got to see the distinctly red Christ Church up close. I had expected to be awed but what caught my eyes most was not the church structure but the gaily decorated trishaws. They lent a carnival-like atmosphere to the town square. That also reminded me that the last time that I rode in a trishaw was thirty years ago in Penang.
Posing for a shot beside the colourful Malacca trishaw at the town square.
Photo by Cynthia.
William and Cynthia hopped into a trishaw and went sightseeing around the surrounding areas. Wuan and I went traipsing around the souvenir stalls in market next to the church. Halfway through, William called to ask us to wait for him at where he got onto the trishaw. He came back with another trishaw in tow and together with one of the riders, he lifted me onto the trishaw.
At A’ Famosa with Wuan.
We stopped at the A’Famosa and several other museums along the way. Malacca seemed to be filled with all sorts of museums. It has become too touristy to my liking. I had gone there expecting to see quaint little buildings and structures from many centuries ago but was greeted with a very modern setup. Perhaps we were looking at all the wrong places.
Malacca chicken rice balls.
Photo by Wuan.
William wanted to take us to savour the famous Malacca chicken rice balls but the shop near the church had already closed for the day when we passed by. We had it at a restaurant instead. Sad to say, the chicken was tasteless and over tendered. It was an absolute waste of my protein quota. The rice ball was a disappointment as well. It had a coarse texture. I would have preferred the ketupats or nasi himpit for satay. It was a wonder why people were queuing up for a table there. Incidentally, I had chicken rice at Nam Heong in Mid Valley Megamall just the day before. It was nicely tendered and tasted great.
Despite the disappointing food and the touristy atmosphere, I am glad we made that trip. The change from the routine did a world of good to recharge my tired mind. Now, I can say that I have been to Malacca and seen the A’Famosa, Christ Church and eaten the “famous” chicken rice balls. I am already looking forward to another road trip soon. William?