Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Malacca (Malaysia) Day 2

Since we covered quite a bit of ground on the first day,
by day 2, we decided to take it really easy

We started Day 2 by looking for coffee =)
We had our breakfast at the hotel,
but my family and I couldn't get used to the diluted coffee they were serving.
erm... nothing against the hotel food,
in fact the breakfast selection was more than decent.

But we are all coffee addicts.
Usually, we would need to start the day off with at least a doasge of really good, really strong coffee.

Eventually we ended up at one of the many traditional coffeeshops.
Sorry I couldn't take a pic of the coffeeshop to show you guys,
there were several eldery persons inside,
and some of them objected to the pic.

I managed to snap this one of this lady and her cart though.
Actually I kinda regretted having a full breakfast at the hotel.
I really wanted to try the traditional fare that she was selling;
steamed yam cake and chee-cheong-fun (Rice Noodle Roll)

A lot of Malacca is covered with old, double-storey shop-houses.
It was especially nostalgic for my parents as it reminded them of old Singapore and their childhood years.

The pic above shows that walkway along a row of such shophouses.
Such a walkway is called the five-foot-way,
a literal translation from what it is called in Mandarin.
Basically, it means that the width of the walkway is exactly five paces wide.

Once we were properly caffinated, we proceeded to Bukit China (translated to mean Chinese Hill).
Bukit China is the largest Chinese cemetery outside of China (again, according to the guidebook).
Apparently there are more than 12,000 graves in that 25 hectares of land.
This time, I was being superstitious and didn't want to take photos of the graves =)

In 1459, following visits from the Ming Admiral Cheng-Ho,
the Ming emperor betrothed his daughter Princess Hang Li Po to the reigning Sultan to seal relations between the 2 countries.
The princess brought along with her an entourage of at least 500 handmaidens.
The Sultan gifted her with Bukit China for their residences.

I always thought that it was quite sad that the Chinese princesses back then were seen more as commodities.
Plenty of them were betrothed to lands far away as gifts or to seal diplomatic ties or what not.

At the foot of Bukit China, lies the Po San Teng Temple.
It was built in 1795, and houses images of the Taoist entity Dabo Gong and Guan-Yin.

Again, I didn't know if pictures were allowed,
so I didn't take any of the temple interior.

Stone lion guarding the entrance of the temple.
I'm not versed in this area,
but I'm aware that apparently there are many different types of these stone lions,
and each type is either meant to guard different things,
or are placed for various Feng-Shui reasons.

Small statue of the Ming Admiral Cheng-Ho.

My brother and I were pretty surprised to see a Guo Ming Dang momument within the temple grounds.
Guo Ming Dang aka the Chinese People's National Party,
formed in 1912 and led then by Sun Yat-sen

Check out that dragon. Awesome Fierce!

After the temple visit, mum wanted some dim sum.
So we made our way to the Long Feng Chinese Restaurant located within the Renaissance Melaka Hotel.
Our waitress was very friendly and helpful.
Not only did she give us superb recommendations,
she was also very patient in answering daddy's questions about Melacca.
A++ for service!

I really loved the look of the menu!
heh. I always wished I could transfer such Chinese chinoiserie designs onto my nails =P

Some of the dim sum that we had;
left - fried bean curd skin rolls
top - shark's fins dumplings
right - mango and prawn rolls

After dim sum, to get out of the heat,
we made our way to one of the big shopping malls JUSCO.

Well, nothing to show for the shopping mall.
To me, they all mostly look the same.
But this one had some Mid-Autumn Festival decorations going on.

Next touristy thing we did was to take the Melaka River Cruise.
This cruise lasted about 40 mins and gives you quite a good glimpse of life in Melacca.

These girls were happily waving at us and seemed excited at getting their pictures taken.
I really hope they'll be able to see this pic of them =)

A lot of their buildings also had some really cool murals painted on.
Its a pity the boat went by so quickly.
I would really have wanted to spend some time looking at them.

I particularly liked this one with the windmills.

After the cruise, as we were pretty close to our hotel,
we went back for a short rest before going out for dinner.

Our dinner venue was recommended by the hotel concierge: Bei Zhan

The interior of the restaurant.

They serve some really awesome Chinese and seafood dishes.
And at an economical price too! Our dinner was about RM 200+
and this is with the order of whole steamed fish, roast suckling pig, vegetables, their speciality tofu (bean curd).
Mum really loved dinner. She went back to the hotel with a very satisfied smile.


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