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Melaka, Day 13, Thursday

Written on: Thursday July 19th, 2007

A journal entry from: Elective

A short 2 hour journey saw us arriving at the small town of Melaka, a trading port with a reputation of being incredibly hot. Upon arrival, we hopped into taxis to head to our guesthouse, which was a relief, as I was not looking forward to another long walk with my bag on my back!

The guesthouse was an old Chinese house, complete with many of the original furnishings to give it that old, period atmosphere. It was really pleasant, but it could get noisy as the whole house was kitted out with wooden floors, and you could tell when people were walking around! There was a shared bathroom and toilet, which although it sounds bad, it was actually very clean, and very close to our room, which was handy.

We went out for a walk around the town, after eating far too many delicious battered vegetable snacks that sparked off old memories of my Mum making battered cauliflower when I was younger. Hannah showed us the main sights, and gave us another history lesson, before taking us for lunch at an amazing sandwich bar, that served up pretty much every combination you could think of. We had some fantastic smoothies as well, which really hit the spot in the heat (despite it raining again!).

Once we had eaten our fill, we were free to do as we pleased, so we wandered back to St Paul's church to have a look around. We avoided the hundreds of Japanese tourists, and attempted to take photos in the rare moments that they weren't doing some dodgy pose - usually the peace sign, for some reason! The church was an old building, filled with Dutch tombstones and placards displaying stories about each person's death. It was fairly interesting, but we didn't stay that long.

We then made our way down the hill, through crowds of school children on a trip, to the reconstructed Sultan's palace. Constructed using an old book as a guide, no nails were used in the building whatsoever. It has been turned into a museum, and looks impressive from the outside, but due to the heat, we were too tired and bored to look around much.

Our last stop was the mall for an hour in Starbuck's and a chat. The heat had become unbearable, so the cool, air-conditioned mall was a Godsend. We had a browse around, and I picked up the bargain of the century - a Roxy, 34 litre holdall, for 70RM (ten pounds!). My backpack was looking a little strained when fully packed, but the weight was not at the limit, so we thought we could just buy another bag to take some of the extra things.

On the evening, we went to the night market for food, but it was nowhere near as impressive as some of the ones we've sampled before, and I'm quite ashamed to say that I only managed chicken nuggets and chips. Heading back to the guesthouse around nine, we stayed up for a while with the rest of the group, reminiscing over funny quotes that we had heard, and places that we had been. We retired at around half past ten, ready to be up again the next morning to head to the place I'd been anticipating the entire trip - Singapore!!

 

From Kate on Jul 24th, 2007

Are the historic buildings of Melaka still painted a weird Germolene pink? It's some eight years since I was there ...