Malacca – a Malaysian Gem!

The action that is drummed up at night time here in sleepy Malacca made me wonder, could Malacca be the small town, that everybody told me about?! There is entertainment galore here…clubs, pubs, discos, casinos you name it. We sang till the wee hours of the morning in some karaoke lounge, then hung around in some Irish pub and had a perfectly pleasant time. After a high adrenalin evening when the tummy demanded food, we headed to Jonker street. During day time this street sells wares from antiques to bargain buys for the eternal hungry shopper. By night on weekends, after 7pm, this street shuts to traffic and transforms to a long stretch of eating places with variety and buzz for the foodie. By moonlight you see people thronging to this street for a night out, of food and merry. There is this Portuguese square right in the middle of a buzzing area which impromptu has live bands strumming their stuff, and before you know it, a large crowd gathers for free entertainment. The crowds sway to the hip hop or rock beats of the bands music with beer in one hand and a cigar/cigarette and watnot in the other.

We rented a car from KL and drove down to Malacca. There were umpteen signboards to direct us on the way but despite that many a times we wandered off:) Traffic within Malacca is easy but because there are many one way streets it tends to get a wee bit challenging but fun. We were not dependent on any local transportation to get us back at night and for just that we were glad to be public-transport-free.

Malaccan food has spices and coconut milk plus everything is non veg, so veggies pls be warned, go prepared to either starve or be wise and carry some stuff that can keep you alive there! I was wise to carry a food hamper from the hotel so my dinner was veggie sandwiches while on the street tapping my feet listening to the rock band and eating away a mouthful every now and then. Every food item there has fish, or fish oil, or coconut milk in it, and that makes the few veg dishes too, not palatable for me.

We visited the tiny island of Upeh in Malacca. Folklore has it that it used to be a stop for pirates looking to hide from the law during old times. There are a lot of water sports on offer here but I took none as all of them or well nearly all of them, are available in Goa! The other interesting tit bit I heard was that the rarest of sea turtle species come to this island between March and June to nest – so during this time this place attracts many peering eyes who come here to catch a glimpse of such rare sea turtles (Hawksbills). I hope Mr RN Tata is listening.

A beautiful spot full of rustic charm has much character in look and feel, it’s conveniently located from KL, and everything is actually within walking distance in this tiny town. The trishaws were cute but we never took a ride in one, we even skipped the river cruise as there was a longish queue for tickets. The people of Malacca are very friendly and meethinks that’s what keeps the tourists welcomed here.