Or the Malacca tour to be precise!
The alarm went off at 5.30 a.m. but only because the hotel one is not easy to set and we got it wrong!
I wasn’t feeling too good, I had been bitten by something small, insect shaped and hopefully now deceased. My leg was swollen and throbbing and my temperature was going up and down. My doctor had prescribed anti-biotics before I left (just in case) and I had started to take them – but I was feeling quite woozy.
We decided to get breakfast before we left so went over to MacDonald’s at 7.00 a.m. then got ready to meet Mark and Lisa for ‘The Malacca Tour’.
We got on the bus at the hotel and were given forms to fill in for the Malaysian and Singapore borders.
It wasn’t too far to the 1 kilometre bridge that separates the countries but we had to get out of the bus twice – once to leave Singapore and get our passports stamped accordingly then back on the bus and off again for Malaysian passport control.
The difference between the two countries was apparent immediately, buildings, streets and cars were unkempt and it was obvious that the two countries are worlds apart.
Our guide got on the bus in Malaysia – he introduced himself as ‘J.D’ and he kept up a running commentary as we travelled along.
We visited a pewter factory – one of Malaysia’s exports – it was just a small place but we were shown how the metal is melted and made – there was a gift shop too. It was interesting to see but there was nothing I really wanted to buy. mark had been telling us about the poverty here – so it was good to see some industry.
We got back on the coach and carried on our way for 2 hours until stopping for lunch at an hotel in the centre of Malacca.
And, what a lunch – beautifully set out in huge tureens were starters and mains with a whole one side of the room devoted to puddings, sweets and fruit.
I had sliced Malaysian chicken and beef stuffed with spinach then braised. It was gorgeous and served with beautifully prepared vegetables, followed by a tiny fruit tart and a little apple crumble with vanilla sauce….. delicious.
After lunch JD took us to a Buddhist Temple, while we looked around he told us the story of the Buddha
Then we were let loose in Jonker Street – where the shops are:
It was a fascinating place – the festival of Qing Ming was due to take place in just a few days time. This is when the people visit their ancestors graves and clean them up. They then leave gifts of houses, cars, mobile phones, shoes, household effects and money to keep their ancestors wealthy in the after life..
All these gifts are made of paper and there are replicas of everything you can think of.. These are taken to the ancestor’s graves and burnt!
The street here was quite narrow but very busy ..
Then we were taken to the Fortress which would have been demolished if Stamford Raffles hadn’t intervened:
It was a long way up
And I really couldn’t face the walk so I sat beside the cannon and let the others climb all those steps.
Liz bought two paintings
And they waved to me sitting with the cannon!!!!
Next – more shops and sightseeing –
What really friendly people they are…
When they are awake!!!
I bought a few souvenirs, fridge magnets for my aunt and a light box for me..
Isn’t it pretty?
Then we went back to the hotel for a drink and waited for the bus to take us back to Singapore…
More hours spent on the bumpiest bus ever and passport and customs control later – we arrived back at the The Meritus Mandarin hotel where Mark and Lisa left us. Liz and I showered and went went out for dinner to a little Italian Trattoria – I think the pills were starting to work because I really enjoyed that meal.
Then it was home for an early night – it was our zoo trip and breakfast with the monkeys the next day.