This weekend we decided to make a quick getaway. Once an inexpensive and well-reviewed guest house for only 50RM ($18 CAD) was found, we were off. A 2-hour journey in the Swif brought us to the historical city of Malacca. The port here used to be one of the largest in Asia and as a result was well positioned to enter mainland Asia. Traders from Portugal originally went to Goa, India, thinking that’s where the riches were, but they soon realized that the gold and other profitable resources could be more easily accessed from Malaysia. So, the Portugese came and took over the area, followed by the Dutch and the British. During WW2, there was also a brief ( 3-year) occupation by the Japanese, which is remembered as a terrible time in Malaysian history for the general mistreatment of the people.
Many buildings of Dutch and British design still stand today. Throw in the deep history of the Malay sultanates, the Chinese and Indian immigrants who have been here for hundreds of years, and you have a cultural melting pot. One that prides itself on its own unique customs, traditions, food and even an exclusive race called the “Baba and Nyonyas” (Malay/Chinese). The pictures below show how all of this has played out today.
Food is a highlight of the market. This chicken curry laksa was delicious!
The Dutch influence is present throughout.
This is what remains of an old Portugese church from the 1500s.
The Baba and Nyonya museum gave us a fascinating look into what our tour guide called “the new hybrid people” of this region.
Nice old Chinese temples in Malacca.
This is Malaysia’s biggest pineapple tart circa 2005.
The bike rickshaw drivers await their next fares in their tricked out rides.
These must be the “bad boy” cycle rickshaw drivers.
The fellas light up their rigs once the sun sets.
This could be a tourism postcard for Jonker’s street. The famous street holds a lively night market every Friday and Saturday night.
Meats of all kinds are available on Jonker Street.
These boys are carving up coconuts.
Loads of dumplings.
These are small bird eggs on a steak with a side of mayo and hotdog.
Is that a sculpture of the Asian Arnold?
Now that’s a big dude…and his cow.
The man making dumplings doesn’t like cameras.
These guys are packing some fish-like fruit rollups in banana leaves. It’s called otak otak. Tasty.
Deep fried crabs anyone?
I’ll definitely try it. They were really good, especially dipped in chili sauce. You eat the whole thing, shell and all; it just makes it extra crispy.
They also take their durian seriously. This shop had durian flavoured everything.
Shaun enjoys the durian ice cream with his creepy snake tongue.
Here are the homes in old city.
This replica of an old Dutch ship was very interesting to see.
This is all that is left of the old fort. It’s hard to believe this would have protected them from the enemy.
A nice old tree close to a Dutch cemetery.
A view from the top of the old fort.
The old city hall is packed with people, cartoon themed cycle rickshaws and souvenir shops now.
This church was established by the Dutch in the 1700s.
The port was the biggest in SouthEast Asia until water levels over time dropped so much that ships could no longer dock here.