Sunday, March 24, 2013

Melaka/Malacca: A Family Affair

Twenty-four hours after my first trip to the historic Malaysian state of Melaka/Malacca, I went back for more. This time, I was in the fine company of my host and his family, visiting the beautiful country home of his father-in-law for the weekend. After a relaxing Friday night and a Saturday morning full of food, we set off to the city of Melaka,to see the sights once again.

Like any good remix, this second trip took the best parts of the original and stirred them up with some new and surprising twists and turns. This time, in addition to climbing the hill to St. Paul's Church, looking down the barrels of the cannons at A Formosa, and enjoying the city lights at night, we hiked down the souvenir-packed streets of Jonker Walk,and ate dessert in the most crowded Chinese restaurant imaginable.

Oh, and we did it all with a three-year-old companion, too. That will keep any event interesting.

Archtectural detail in classic Melakan style.
As we looked at this old home in the city, my hosts told me a true story. The matriach of their family owned a beautifully crafted traditional Malay home. But in her old age, the government confiscated her land to build an expressway ramp. She was forced out and her gorgeous old home was razed. It's very sad that her home is gone, but I'm glad we saw this house, with so many similar details, so that I can imagine what her place must have been like.
Posing near historic stuff. 
Cannons always make a photo better. So do bored little girls.
I found this giant red heart-shaped leaf and shared with my little friend when she was having an unhappy moment in her stroller.
The lovely Xeera and I hiked up the hill to visit the old church and take several billion photos. 
I have a penchant for old brick walls. And I love the geometry of this ancient place - triangles, circles and squares. The clean shapes lend a modern feel  and I love that juxtaposition.
My feet, Xeera's feet, on the ancient stones.
Love those thick walls. They keep out the invaders' cannonballs like nobody's business.
A door within a doorway.
A look out the window to the city beyond. I tried to imagine how this view might have looked back in the day when the jungle crept right up the hillside, but honestly, it was more than my mind's eye could create.
Jonker Walk is a street in Melaka that is often turned into a rowdy marketplace. Selling all manner of trinkets, clothing, souvenirs and food, one could wander here for hours, as long as they weren't inadvertently trampled. 
We ducked into a Chinese restaurant for a bite to eat. This is cendol, a sweet icy treat. Mine is the one on the right, without the durian topping. 
A serious fan of cendol.
Happy to be eating.
The view from my seat. 
When we ventured back out to the street after our meal, the sun had set and Jonker Walk was alive with night lights. 
I wonder if someone lives up here. Maybe this is their bedroom window, and they look down on Jonker Walk every night before they fall asleep. 
More windows, more potential bedrooms, more possibly sleepless residents. 
Almost back to the car, we had one last sight to see. Goodnight, Melaka/Malacca!

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To find all the stories of my amazing adventures in southeast Asia, go here:


  1. wow reading & nice pictures too ;o)


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