Cooling our heels in Malacca (Melaka) and a fleeting visit to the powerhouse of Asia, Singapore.

(In the time it has taken  me to write this WordPress has had a bit of a facelift, so the images are displayed in two different formats, the new one starts in Singapore).

After Medan we flew back to Kuala Lumpur, hopped on a bus and made our way to Malacca (Melaka). We were both looking forward to delicious food, exciting ramblings about the old UNSECO old town and just generally recovering from the lack of sleep and stress of Sumatra.

So we arrived, found our place to stay, Casablanca Guesthouse and negotiated a week rate (this is a thing you can do which we hadn’t realised up till now). had a bit of a wander around and found a hawkers stall. Unfortunately this first meal of Wan Tan Mee from the Jonkers Street stall was not up to Penang standard. Greasy.

Our first meal in Melaka. The highlight was the Skol Beer for Gav and the Apple and Hawthorn drink for me.
Our first meal in Melaka. The highlight was the Skol Beer for Gav and the Apple and Hawthorn drink for me.
Famosa Chicken and Rice Ball. A local specialty. We didn't try it as apparently its mostly bones. Small bones.
Famosa Chicken and Rice Ball. A local specialty. We didn’t try it as apparently its mostly bones. Small bones.

 

Crappy photo I know. These guys drive all over Melaka central, Lit up like Christmas Trees, covered in Miss Kitty, Frozen or Doraemon, throwing out cheesy dance music with occasional heart stopping thumping base.
Crappy photo I know. These guys drive all over Melaka central, Lit up like Christmas Trees, covered in Miss Kitty, Frozen or Doraemon, throwing out cheesy dance music with occasional heart stopping thumping bass. If they manage to sneak up behind you before starting up it strikes the same terror as a man with bagpipes.

The following morning (well early afternoon, we were quite tired) we awoke to find out some “lovely” individual had robbed my completely battered 8 month old Teva sandals. How could this happen you ask? Well all over Asia it is customary to remove your shoes when you enter someones home, we have done this in the many guesthouses and homestays in every country we have visited and there has never been an issue….until now. So not the best start to the day. We eventually found a Teva stockist and got them replaced at a massively discounted rate of £21. There was some weird 50% off sale on. My new ones are nice but I am still miffed about the other ones, plus I have to break in a new pair of shoes again- the agony of blisters.

We expected Malacca to be quite like Penang, alas it is nothing like it. It is touristy, incredibly touristy. Unfortunately this means, for the most part, food and drink is expensive and the quality is poor. However we did find some good places and the Weekend Jonkers Street Market was quite good for food (but other than that it was mostly tat (i.e. Made in China cheap souvenirs, electronics and cheap toys) being sold).

We found a place called LBC25 just off Little India, run by the most adorable chinese lady, she recommended we try this dish- Clay pot celub mee. A sort of noodle satay with tofu, prawns (Gav ate them), and crisped tofu skin......
We found a place called LBC25 just off Little India, run by the most adorable chinese lady, she recommended we try this dish- Clay pot celub mee. A sort of noodle satay with tofu, prawns (Gav ate them), and crisped tofu skin……
....and Satay Celub Rempah Rojas. This was delicious! Cucumber, apple, pineapple, crisped tofu skin, deep fried tofu, sesame seeds, crushed peanuts in the nicest sticky savory sauce. It was all sorts of deliciousness (and basically fruit salad for breakfast :)) .
….and Satay Celub Rempah Rojas. This was delicious! Cucumber, apple, pineapple, crisped tofu skin, deep fried tofu, sesame seeds, crushed peanuts in the nicest sticky savory sauce. It was all sorts of deliciousness (and basically fruit salad for breakfast :)) .
We also had quite a few of these- Sour plum juice. It was like a slightly salty flavoured purple fruit pastile
We also had quite a few of these- Sour plum juice. It was like a slightly salty flavoured purple fruit pastile
Some Tandoori Chicken and mint dip- this was at Selvam. An Indian Banana Leaf restaurant. We ate there a lot, it was cheap and very tasty.
Some Tandoori Chicken and mint dip- this was at Selvam. An Indian Banana Leaf restaurant. We ate there a lot, it was cheap and very tasty.
The main thing here was a rice set with three dips and popadoms. We did also get some nans and roti on the side (the roti were the best value as came with multiple sauces).
The main thing here was a rice set with three dips and popadoms. We did also get some nans and roti on the side (the roti were the best value as came with multiple sauces).
Of course, we were very close to Little India so we grabbed some more sweets.
Of course, we were very close to Little India so we grabbed some more sweets.
There was a little Chinese bakery opposite where we got a egg tart and this little pink bun called a "Wedding Cake".
There was a little Chinese bakery opposite where we got a egg tart and this little pink bun called a “Wedding Cake”.
..it was very nice, Hard to describe the taste. The pastry was really light and the goo inside wasn't chocolatey but I couldn't put my finger on the flavour.
..it was very nice, Hard to describe the taste. The pastry was really light and the goo inside wasn’t chocolatey but I couldn’t put my finger on the flavour.
This was a complete tourist trap, a curry chicken bread. a big hollowed out white bread with a ball of chicken curry in the middle (as you can see). It was horrendous, the chicken in it must have done something terrible to the cook as it was filled with splintered bone. Now we are used to the way the prepare chicken here, the carcass cut with a clever so all chicken has bones but this was splinters. It was horrible to eat.
This was a complete tourist trap, a curry chicken bread. a big hollowed out white bread with a ball of chicken curry in the middle (as you can see). It was horrendous, the chicken in it must have done something terrible to the cook as it was filled with splintered bone. Now we are used to the way the prepare chicken here, the carcass cut with a clever so all chicken has bones but this was splinters. It was horrible to eat.
Cake cat the night market
Cake cat the night market
Steamed buns.. they contained mushroom soup
Steamed buns.. they contained mushroom soup
Nom nom!
Nom nom!
One of the local specialities Nyonya Chang. A pork paste flavoured with wintermelon and coriander encapsulated with rice and cooked in a banana leaf. The blue colour comes from the use of butterfly pea. It was quite nice, a bit different. Nyonya is the big cuisine style here.
One of the local specialities Nyonya Chang. A pork paste flavoured with wintermelon and coriander encapsulated with rice and cooked in a banana leaf. The blue colour comes from the use of butterfly pea. It was quite nice, a bit different. Nyonya is the big cuisine style here.

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Ah jackfruit, I think it is out of season now as it is very hard to get. Or they just don't like it in Malaysia.
Ah jackfruit, I think it is out of season now as it is very hard to get. Or they just don’t like it in Malaysia.
Mini octopus
Mini octopus
Blue mussels
Blue mussels
We had quite a few of these during our travels, home made chinese teas. Gav likes the chrysanthemum tea and I prefer the Longan tea.
We had quite a few of these during our travels, home made chinese teas. Gav likes the chrysanthemum tea and I prefer the Longan tea.
Mini cakes...
Mini cakes…
..well we had to try, a bit pricy but very nice.
..well we had to try, a bit pricy but very nice.
Local spring roll. Special local long style.
Local spring roll. Special local long style.
Another speciality is Otak Otak...
Another speciality is Otak Otak…
...basically fish paste mixed with spices and cooked (grilled) in a banana leaf. Gav liked it, it was a tad fishy for me.
…basically fish paste mixed with spices and cooked (grilled) in a banana leaf. Gav liked it, it was a tad fishy for me.
Radish
Radish
Another thing here is a peeled coconut, Peeled by razor (an impressive feat in itself). Nice idea but they were Thai coconuts so had the awful aftertaste.
Another thing here is a peeled coconut, Peeled by razor (an impressive feat in itself). Nice idea but they were Thai coconuts so had the awful aftertaste.

The old part of Malacca is quite nice to wander around also but again full of trinket stalls, luckily there was the odd artist there too.

Chilling by the river :)
Chilling by the river 🙂

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There was a fair amount of street art here. It was nowhere near as good as Penang but still gave the riverside an almost European feel.
There was a fair amount of street art here. It was nowhere near as good as Penang but still gave the riverside an almost European feel.

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Even spotted a Kingfisher
Even spotted a Kingfisher

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The old water wheel and the blot on the view of the viewing tower.
The old water wheel and the blot on the view of the viewing tower.
The Dutch Square is unique though.
The Dutch Square is unique though.
There are some "old" trains
There are some “old” trains
Porta de Santiago
Porta de Santiago

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St. Pauls Church on the hill
St. Pauls Church on the hill

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Not too sure what this place was bit the Kung Fu guy was cool.
Not too sure what this place was bit the Kung Fu guy was cool.
There were a ton of Porsches in town too. Some race or tour of Asia on.
There were a ton of Porsches in town too. Some race or tour of Asia on.
Saw a monitor Lizard having a bit of a swim up the river.
Saw a monitor Lizard having a bit of a swim up the river.

Over all we used Malacca as a base to recharge and make a rough plan for our travels up to the end of the year… we toyed with going to the Philippines but in the end decided we wouldn’t have enough time to do the country justice so decided to concentrate on Malaysian Borneo and Indonesia round 2- see the Komodo dragons in Flores, chill out in Lombok and maybe find somewhere relaxed in Bali before our flight to Sydney..

Then it was off to Singapore. We had a very flying visit here and were staying with some friends, Romain and Aishling, due to some clashes of commitments we didn’t get to do everything we would have wanted to do here but still saw some nice things. Unfortunately an overpriced cocktail in Raffle’s Hotel did not happen-maybe next visit.

I also wasn’t feeling 100% here, picked up an infection along the way and had to go to the doctor, it was not cheap and I was put on antibiotics and as I asked about my ears, I was also put on antihistamines (no hope of decent decongestants here) which turned me into a bit of a bitch after a few days (according to Gav), he was very happy once I finished the course and was back to normal. From my end they just made me exhausted. I’ll be avoiding those particular ones in future.

It was also unfortunately the time when the attacks happened in Paris where some of Romain’s family live (they were thankfully ok) so we went off and did our own thing a bit to give them some space.

There was also a trip to the zoo:

So that was our fleeting visit to Singapore- next stop.. Kuching, Sarawak in Malaysian Borneo!

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