Beauté De Melaka – September 2011

This Historic State is one of UNESCO’s World Heritage since 2008 and it is worth the title. The town is like the womb of Malaysia. It is rich with history. It was home to the Malay Sultanates till 1511 when the Portuguese took over and ruled till 1826 when the British took over power and in between this time the Dutch had managed to rule the city. There are a minority of people who still speak Portuguese.

The first thing that captures your sight when you alight the bus from Kuala Lumpur is the Town square and the Christ Church. This church is the oldest operational church in Malaysia. It was built in 1753 during the Dutch rule. They used St Paul’s Church before moving here. When we got there, there was an on-going mass so we were not able to go inside. The church has definitely undergone renovations because it is still in good shape and very attractive.

At the Christ Church Melaka, Malaysia.

At the Christ Church Melaka, Malaysia.

The Town square is surrounded by a lot of historic sites. There is the Dutch windmill, the fountain and a museum. It was a good starting point because from there everything was within a walking range.

Town square,  Malacca, Malaysia.

Town square, Malacca, Malaysia.

Fountain in the Town square Malacca

Fountain in the Town square Malacca

Right opposite the fountain is the Dutch windmill also known as the Tropical Windmill. It was built to remind the people that the Dutch were there. Though it never spins, it serves it purpose because it is hard to ignore especially with its big stretched “hands”.

The Tropical Windmill in the town square of Melaka.

The Tropical Windmill in the town square of Melaka.

A few minutes walk and we were in the Melaka Windmill right next to the Melaka river. Its size and complexity add more beauty to this small town. On the other side of the river is the luxurious Casa Del Rio Melaka Hotel.

Dutch windmill right next to Melaka River, Malaysia

Melaka windmill right next to Melaka River, Malaysia

Casa del rio Melaka, Malaysia

Casa del rio Melaka, Malaysia

The calm Malacca River flows through the town dividing it into two. It was mainly used as a market as the town was an important trade route between India, Java, China etc during the Malay Sultanate but now it is a major tourist attraction with boats that offer river cruises.

The serene Melaka river, Malaysia

The serene Melaka river, Malaysia

Taking a boat cruise was a must do.Taking the cruise allowed us to see the old preserved Malay villages. These villages were built during the Malay Sultanate rule and they were built using the Malaysian architecture.

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We also got the chance to see the “eye” of Melaka and the houses along the river full of colorful graffiti and paintings. We took the boat to the final destination and walked all the way back to the town square. This gave us a chance to visit other places.

Melaka River.

Melaka River.

Melaka River, Malaysia

Melaka River, Malaysia

On the way to the town square is St. Francis Xavier’s church. The church is named after the French priest who oversaw its construction in 1849. It is built using the Gothic architecture which makes it very attractive.

St Francis Xaviers Church, Malacca

St. Francis Xaviers Church, Malacca

There are a lot of antique, cafes, restaurants and hotels along the river. You also get glimpse of the river from the bridges. The area along the river is decorated with flowers and the houses tell you their age by their appearance.

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After walking for almost an hour we arrived at the busy Jonker Street. We walked till the end of the street and I think it is the busiest street in this town. It is also full of shops and it was a magnificent place to shop, enjoy Malay desserts and the delicious chicken rice balls. There is also a night market but we could not wait as we had a lot to do and still go back to Kuala Lumpur. We wanted to go to the Maritime Museum, A Famosa and St. Paul’s church.

Jonker street, Melaka, Malaysia.

Jonker walk, Melaka, Malaysia.

The Maritime Museum is actually a huge boat Museum. It was built by the Malaysian government in commemoration of “Flor De La Mar” a Portuguese ship that sank on its way to Portugal from Melaka.

At the Maritime boat museum

At the Portuguese boat museum

No shoes are allowed inside the boat. We had to endure the hot wood but it was worth it. Inside there all sorts of artifacts from the Malay, Portuguese and British periods including sculptures depicting different times during their rule.

Sculptures inside the Portuguese boat museum.

Sculptures inside the Maritime boat museum.

I am not a great fun of Museums but this one was unique and in a certain sense I liked it.

Germa at the Portuguese boat museum.

Germa at the Portuguese boat museum.

Time was not on our side and after a few stops on the way to the A Famosa by the time we got there it was dusk. There isn’t a lot to do here. The building was built in 1511 but it as destroyed during the Dutch invasion.

At "A" Famosa Melaka, Malaysia.

At A Famosa Melaka, Malaysia.

This historic site has seen a lot of sunny and rainy days and this is evidence from its appearance. Just uphill lies the St Paul’s Church.

"A" Famosa Melaka, Malaysia.

A Famosa Melaka, Malaysia.

This is also another old old historic site also known as “Our Lady of the Hill”. Initially, It was a church but it was turned into a burial ground. It is located on top of a hill – hence the name “Our Lady of the Hill” – and from here you can see the whole town until the sea.

St. Paul's Church in Malacca, Malaysia

By now we were tired and it was already late. We went down the hill to the city square where we took a taxi to the bus station. It was an experience of a lifetime and it made me appreciate History.

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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – August 2011

Two hours in the clear blue skies and we were in Kuala Lumpur International airport. One hour and we would be in the city center, I was so anxious to catch a glimpse of Kuala Lumpur and now here I was. We checked in at the the Red Dragon Hotel in Pasar Seni (Chinatown) and headed out for lunch. I fell in love with Pasar Seni the moment I arrived there.The people were so presentable such that I felt out of place with my Indian shorts and the vest.

We spent the next three days around Chinatown enjoying the food, the Chinese teas, visiting the temples, the markets and jalan jalaning. Later, we visited Batu caves.

Batu Caves, Malaysia.

Batu Caves, Malaysia.

At Batu Caves.

At Batu Caves.

The sight is scenic. It is an impressive group of caves with hanging limestone rocks. Inside there are a number of temples where the Indian Malay come to worship. The most tiresome part is climbing the 272 steps to the temples. I might have stopped around ten times to catch a breath till I got to the caves. Inside you have Indian temples and Indian people worshiping. The cave is an important Hindu shrine and every year they hold the Thaipusam Hindu festival here.

At Batu Caves.

At Batu Caves.

The tiresome some 272 steps. I hate stairs and definitely this were the worst part of Batu caves.

The tiresome 272 steps. I hate stairs and definitely these were a nightmare.

Chinese tea. It was disgusting but after all "it is good for the health la"

Chinese tea. It was disgusting but after all “it is good for the health la”

Spicy delicious Malaysia food.

Spicy delicious Malaysia food.

Apparently, I always found myself perusing through the guidebook with a book in hand deciding which place among all the places in the guide we would visit. We decided to visit the most important and next off was The Menara Tower. The building is an important landmark in Malaysia together with the Petronas Towers.

View of the city from KLCC tower.

View of the city from KLCC tower.

At the KLCC, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

At the KLCC, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Built in 1995 it was mainly meant for communication purposes but the view of the city from the top is to die for. From there we could see the whole city and you get to underestimate the Petronas towers as they are less intimidating from here.

Yummy Malaysian food.

Yummy Malaysian food.

More and more mouth-watering Malaysian food.

More and more mouth-watering Malaysian food.

DSC03710 A man playing a flute inside the temple in Chinatown.

DSC03716 Cute Malaysian girl inside the temple in Chinatown.

We were not looking forward to leaving Malaysia any time soon. I wanted to stay here to school and work at the same time. We started looking for an apartment.After one week we had gotten a house in Ampang; a place thirty minutes from the center and we were ready to move. We moved to the new house and with no time had settled and made a few friends.

Petronas towers and KlCC during sunset.

Petronas towers and Menara Tower during sunset.

We did not know too much about this area till one day we decided to attend Occupy Dataran – Dataran is the Malay word for square – in Dataran Merdeka. Merdeka is the Malaysian Indepedence Square and it is very important to the goverment. It is not legal to hold mass meetings in Malaysia and this one was not different. It was held in support of the Americans who were occupying Wall Street but every ten minute after gathering the police would come and disperse us.

We attended Occupy Datarang but we were not around to continue till dawn, we were chased away by the police.

We attended Occupy Datarang but we were not around to continue till dawn, we were chased away by the police.

Going back in time – July 2011

This gallery contains 66 photos.

Jagdalpur – India After almost ten hours going through the most enticing and breathtaking landscape ever – in a train full of teenagers shouting like fishwives every time we went inside a tunnel – we were in Jagdalpur. This was the most remarkable train ride I had in India; going through mountains, forests and beautiful […]

City of the temples – July 2011

This gallery contains 30 photos.

Madurai – India After 12 hours in the bus – holding our lives in our hearts because of the crazy driver – we were in the other part of the ‘continent’ India; Madurai. The place is like an oven, polluted, over populated, dirty and with cows all around. In India cows are considered holy and […]

The cold cradle – July 2011

This gallery contains 27 photos.

Munnar – India Munnar is 1600m above sea level; that means it is cold.  It is acres and acres of tea plantations that are sown to create a very beautiful pattern. They also have a tea museum where they showcase the different types of tea they produce. There is also has a lake, many waterfalls […]

The perfect getaway – July 2011

This gallery contains 38 photos.

 Kochi – India Kochi is in the south of Mumbai in the southwest of India in Kerala State. It is one of the most touristic and beautiful places in India. It is famous for the Chinese fishing nets and it has a lot of old forts, sanctuaries, churches, traditional performances and the backwaters. We took a […]

Big tortoises, small beach – Feb 2011

This gallery contains 17 photos.

Prison Island – Zanzibar, Tanzania. The island also known as Changuu is about 15mins from old town. We took an organised tour of four people and they provided us with a masks and fins for snorkelling. However, there is an entrance fee of US$4. It was actually possible to take an organised trip where we […]