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Entries about melaka

Last day in Melaka

sunny 32 °C
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After our 'eat pray love' bycicle experience yesterday and another ridiculously early muslim prayer wake up call we decided to have a relaxing lazy day today so we have not really done much. We got up late and went for a Roti and a coffee. Crossing over the street for breakfast/brunch there was hundreds of pigeons on the path so we had a bit of a stand off with them until we decided to walk around them. The locals were laughing but there were loads and anyone who knows Chelsea knows her feelings on giant groups of birds. It feels exceptionally hot today and rather than being cloudy and humid it has been really sunny.

We then tried to go to the Chinese tea house but it was closed. We really want to try one so we are going to have a look around Penang and see if there is one there in china town. As that was our only plan of the day we went for a walk around Little India. We really like Little India in Melaka. It is very vibrant with shops selling saris, spices, jewellery and Indian food. Everywhere is decorated with fresh flowers threaded onto strings and indian music blasts loudly from open shops. The shops are open fronted and packed full, often spilling out and taking over the footpaths. The clothes and saris that are on show are beautiful, all brightly coloured and embellished.

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After a walk in the sun around Little India we sat by the river for an hour under an umbrella and watched the tourist boats go up and down with a sprite. It was really nice and peaceful away from the traffic and people.

We decided then to go back to the guest house and do our washing in preparation for Kuala Lumpur as we will more than likely be in a dorm room again. We didn't have to hand wash our clothes in a sink with a giant hole this time though. We splashed out and used the washer and dryer for 10 ringitt (£2). Only one of Liams tshirts shrank haha... Its a little bit too tight to wear now. We also confirmed our new year accomodation today. We will be staying at the rainbow guest house on Langkawi for a week which we are really looking forward to.

Tonght we went out to eat a restaurant called Capitol Satay, which we have been trying to visit for the last 3 nights. There is usually a huge queue outside of people waiting to get in but we managed to get there just after it opened and got a table straight away. It is a strange restaurant as you sit at a table with a boiling pot of spicy satay sauce that is heated up via a gas bottle under the table. You then use this boiling sauce to cook your own food that you select from a large fridge. There is a large selection of food, all skewered, most of which we did not recognise as there were no signs. You are provided with a tray to go and select what you want to eat, we chose first the things we recognised, chicken, wontons, prawns and chillis. After that we guesed at a few things that looked nice, the only problem being as we did not know what it was until you bit into it we did not know how long to cook it for. Heres hoping we dont end up with food posioning as we will only have ourselves to blame. At the end they simply count how many skewers you have left and charge you . It is 90 cent (less than 20p) a skewer.

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Just as we left Capitol there was a huge thunderstorm and we got soaked. We called into our coffee house for a final goodbye Melaka drink and had a milkshake each. The coffee shop is called 13 states of coffee and does all sorts of speciality coffees from the different states of Malaysia. As it was raining it was really busy so were forced to sit inside but the inside of the shop is really lovely. It has an indoor courtyard which is very chilled out and the walls are filled with interesting decorations and art (apart from the big close up of posh and becks they randomly had up).

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We have both enjoyed Melaka so much. It is quite touristy but we like how shabby and small it is, full of crumbling architecture and antique shops. The night market at the weekend was a real treat and the food here has been amazing. In the morning we will be getting the bus to Kuala Lumpur and staying for 4 nights. Not sure if we will enjoy going back to a major city after such a relaxing stay in Melaka but we are excited to see what it is like.

Posted by Chelsandliam 16:00 Archived in Malaysia Tagged malaysia melaka Comments (7)

Cycling the streets of Melaka

HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRANDAD!

sunny 31 °C
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Today is Chelsea's Grandads 80th birthday so we have been thinking about him and wondering what he is upto. Hope you had a great day and love you loads.

Last night we managed to book our accomodation for Chirstmas. We are going to be spending 6 nights in Georgetown on the island on Penang in Malayia. Very much looking forward to that but we have a couple of stops on the way first. Now we are just tyring to find somewhere nice to spend New Years.

This morning we got a unplanned wake up call in the form of a extremely loud Muslim prayer call at 5.30am, which lasted for about fifteen minutes. After we finally got to back to sleep and woke up at a resonable hour we went to the Indian restaurant we visited last night for breakfast and had Roti. Roti is flakey bread about the size of Chapati that is served with different curry sauces to dip in. We washed it down with a cup of coffee and tea and the whole thing cost under a pound.

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After breakfast we rented some bikes from another guesthouse near the one where we are staying called Saying for 3 Ringitt an hour (60p). They were old with baskets on the front and old fashioned bells but it was fantstic. The brakes wee almost non existant and squeked so loudly we were emabarresed to use them. We decided to venture further a field with the bikes so peddeled down to the sea but were disappointed that there is not much of a front at Melaka. From there we went deeper into Chinatown and rode through some quiet housing estates and stumbled upon an Indian restaurant that we returned to tongiht. Before we took the bikes back we rode up river past where we walked yesterday. We only had the bikes for a oouple of hours but it was probably the best thing we have done since we have arrived. We both thoroughly ejoyed cycling around the streets and would recomend it to anyone visiting Melaka.

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After we took the bikes back we wanted to visit a Chinese tea house we had seen yesterday but unfortunately it was closed. We hope it is open tomorrow as it is our last day in Melaka. As it was closed we went on a walk through the streets we had not yet seen in Chinatown. Chelsea loves the buildings, with the shutters and the decorations, and we went in a couple of antique shops that are scattered about, they sell everything from Chinese furniture and ceramics to old tuk-tuks and paintings. For a midday snack we stumbled upon a man selling Pohpiah from a cart, and sat in the shade by the river to eat it. Pohpiah is similar to a spring roll just larger and it was wrapped in a pancake. We watched the man make them but we could not figure out what most of the ingredients were.

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We came back to our guesthose early as we wanted to go out early to go to a popular restarunt in Little India that specialises in satay called Capitol. The restaurnant has a queue outside everynight so we wanted to get there for just after it opened at 5pm. Unfortunately it was closed. That is another thing we hope will be open tomorrow for our last day. On the brightside we decided to go to the Indian we had seen earlier whilst out on the bikes. Chelsa had read it had the best tandoori in Malaysia and ordered that, she was not disppointed. Liam orderd a Bombay chicken curry which was also great. We shared a couple of naans and had a couple of cans of sprite each. The meal came to 28 rinngit, which is just over a fiver, we cannot get sused to how cheap things are.

From there we had a steady stroll back and called in at the coffee house we vistied last night. We sat for an hour drinking chocolate milkshakes outside on the front talking until we ould not stand getting biten anymore and took refuge back at the guesthouse.

Posted by Chelsandliam 16:00 Archived in Malaysia Tagged malaysia melaka Comments (6)

Melaka sightseeing

semi-overcast 31 °C
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Today we got up late and decided to go for the famous chicken and rice balls. Every day there has been a long queue outside the resteraunt so we went early as once they run out they close.

You get a plate of steamed chicken in the middle to share, a pot of hot chilli sauce and you each get a place of rice balls. The man just told us the price and decided for us as all the signs were in chineese but it was delicious. The chicken was juicy and the rice balls were surprisingly really nice especially dipped in the chilli sauce. We were glad we practiced our chop stick skills before setting off on our travels as getting chicken off the bone with only chop sticks for us novices was a challenge. No doubt we gave the locals a few laughs though especially when Chelsea embarrassingly realised her chopsticks were upside down. Whilst we were waiting for our meal a really cute young Malaysian child came over and spoke to us but we had no idea what she was asking. After a few minutes of 'pardon' and some laughing from the locals we realised she was asking us if we wanted a lime juice with our meal. We both said yes please and it was really refreshing. The limes here are really tiny (about the size of a large grape) and sweet.

After our chicken ball brunch we went to the post office and decided to walk down the river to Kampung Morton, a protected area of Meleka with traditional Malay houses. It was quite a walk in the midday sun down the river but was interesting if not a little bit touristy. The wooden houses are on stilts with narrow balconies and steps leading up. There were lots of home stay signs for people wanting to stay somewhere a little bit different other than in town.

After a long walk back it was time for the obligatory midday iced juice stop as we were extremely hot. Today Chelsea had mango and sour plum and Liam had apple and sour plum. We then decided to have a look at the temple, Tokong Chen Hoon. It is really beautifully carved and quite large. Inside there are several temples which house hundreds of plaques with people's name and photos on. People can go there and say a prayer for there loved ones and light an insense stick.

We then decided to walk to St Paul's church. On the way we walked down the river past the big water wheel and the giant Portuguese ship museum. It is still really busy so we think it might be school holidays as there are lots of children not at school and families on holiday. St Paul's is up a big hill with lots of steps but the views from the top over Melaka are good. The church itself was a little surreal. The tower has been renovated but the main part is partly a ruin and the grave stones are inside the building propped up against the walls. Inside there were stalls and a man playing a guitar singing a barely recognisable version of Impossible Dream- "To dream the impossible dream, To fight the unbeatable foe" which was a bit weird and made us laugh.

We then went back and showered and tried unsuccessfully to book somewhere to stay for Christmas. For dinner we decided to go to Little India and had tandoori chicken and naan bread which was really good. They cook it there and then in front of you and the naan bread especially was delicious. We have decided to go back for breakfast as they do breakfast roti for 1 ringitt (20p). We went for a stroll round the streets after dinner and went into a coffee house for an hour for a lazy drink as it poured with rain. It did all sorts of speciality coffees and we sat for ages deciding what to do over Christmas and new year. We will keep you posted as we still don't know.

Posted by Chelsandliam 16:00 Archived in Malaysia Tagged malaysia melaka Comments (6)

Melaka... Wandering the streets

all seasons in one day 31 °C
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Today we checked out of Voyage guesthouse (where Chelsea had the worst night sleep so far as she was paranoid there may be bed bugs) and into our lovely new home stay Monkey guesthouse which we are staying in until Wednesday for £3 each a night. The rooms are really clean, there are hot showers with shower gel and shampoo, hair dryers, wifi and clothes washing facilities. It is ran by a young Malaysian called Andy on his own who makes you feel extremely welcome.

We decided to take it easy today and wander the streets. We walked around Chinatown and had some breakfast before going in search or a post office as Liam has brought the room key from Singapore with him. We couldn't find it anywhere so Chelsea enquired in a shop and as its Sunday it is closed so that will have to be a job for tomorrow.

We then had a look around Dutch Square. The buildings here are more formal and are painted red. We walked along the river in the afternoon and spotted a huge monitor lizard in the water which climbed out of the river and onto the footpath. Liam was alarmed.... He is scared of everything appearently over here, every buzz or flap of a wing he jumps out of his skin.

There was a big downpour in the afternoon so we sat on the steps of the historical museum until it eased up.

Down the riverside all the houses have been painted with murals and apart from the faint wiff of sewage every so often it is really nice.

That's about all we did today, we then came back for a shower and changed to go out for dinner. It was pouring it down when we went out for tea so we went out in our rain macs. Chelsea kept getting funny looks in her bright floral rain mac. We were planning to go to Capitol a famous satay place but the queue was huge so we decided to go there earlier another night. We ended up at an eating house that had only locals and us in so we were stared at throughout our whole meal by curious locals. The place served only one type of dish with different variations. It was a rich savoury broth with slices of pork loin, pork belly and tofu. On the side you got a bowl of rice and extra chillies. With drinks it cost around £1.70 each.

We then had a walk down Jonker Street around the night market again. We bought a Taiwan barbecued sausage each and this long spiral of potato that was deep fried and flavoured on a long stick. It was like a long spiral crisp.

An early night tonigh so we can plan for the next few days and catch up on some sleep.

Posted by Chelsandliam 16:00 Archived in Malaysia Tagged malaysia melaka Comments (6)

Greetings from Melaka

overcast 30 °C
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Today we crossed the border from Singapore to Malaysia. But like every other day since we have been here it has not been without is complications. We woke up early intending to leave early so we had plenty of time to reach Melaka and find accommodation, the problem was when we woke up Chelsea had her first episode of 'toilet issues'. She did not feel like she could handle a full day of bus journeys and immigration queues so it looked like we were going to have to spend another night in Sinapore. That was until the afore mentioned snoring man made our decision for us, luckily Chelsea started to fell better.

It is a simple enough journey to make, there is a bus station near where we were staying, you pay for the bus which takes you to immigration to leave Sinapore, you then get on the same bus, no need to pay again, and it takes you to immigration to get into Malaysia. The problem is that there is more than one bus doing the journey and there are no signs at the bus stations, people were just in several long queues and we had to pick one and hope for the best. The journey time took around an hour but with the queues it was more than double that. We made friends with an American couple who were in the same boat as us so together we managed to bumble our way through it and made it to Malaysia.

After we finally got into Malaysia we again found ourselves in a sign-less bus station. Chelsea asked a Asian girl where the bus was that we needed and had already paid for so it could take us the rest of the way. After it did not turn up this very kind Asian girl insited we "come with her", held chelsea's hand and took us to another bus and paid us on as we did not have any malaysian money with us. She was so sweet.

We then arrived at Larkin a large bus terminal where you can catch buses to the rest of Malaysia from. It was ridiculous. Not only was it sweltering, there were people everywhere and we were constantly been asked where we wanted to go so they could sell us the bus ticket. We managed to book on the next bus to Melaka. Just our luck as well we managed to book on the only bus without air con to Melaka. This was a two and a half hour journey, luckily it was so hot we fell asleep unfortunatly we missed everything out of the window but every time we woke up it was a motorway and thick jungle.

When we finally arrived in Melaka we had to catch yet another bus into the centre. Bus fares are so cheap here that unbelievably the whole journey only cost us around 9 pound each. In Melaka we mangaged to find accommodation at the first place we called to. We picked it out of guide books and have managed to get a double room for one night for 8 pound. You think that is cheap, you should see the place, it's not great.

Thankfully we have found a very nice guesthouse just around the corner from where we are now and have booked a double room until Wednesday for 24 pound, bargain.

After we put our things in our room, washed our clothes in the sink (the sink had a hole in so it took a while) and had a shower we went for a walk around the streets of Melaka. It is really beautiful. The streets are narrow and the buildings are old and shabby. The streets are lined with lanterns and as it is Saturday night they are full of stalls and vendors selling everything you could imagine and packed with people. The atmosphere is so relaxed compared to Singapore.

We walked around the stalls and decided to have some food. We went to an outside street filled with food vendors. I had fried crab and dips and Liam had a sort of oyster omelet. Liam also had a barbecued Taiwan sausage on the way back because they smelled delicious.... And they were really good.

We are spending until at least Wednesday here so we are going to relax and enjoy Melaka.

Posted by Chelsandliam 16:00 Archived in Malaysia Tagged malaysia melaka Comments (5)

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