Alice and Justin in Asia (again) 2007 travel blog

Our two tri-shaws waiting for customers

Alice and Bev being transported by our guide

Justin and David on their tri-shaw

The boys again

Detail from Chinese temple

Chinese temple - roof of porch

Justin and Frigid pose with our guide

More tri-shaws

Yet more tri-shaws

A tri-shaw after dark

Karaoke stage

One of the deepavali themed street stalls

View from our boat of one of the river banks

A monitor lizard swimming across the river

Someone takes a peep at us

Monitor lizards on the river bank

Frigid makes more friends

We've just got back from Melaka in Malaysia, which was lovely! We drove across the bridge from Singapore and it took about 3 hours to get there.

The town is lovely - very nice and friendly. We had a ride in a tri-shaw - it's a sort of bicycle with a side car - with two of us to one tri-shaw. Each one is differently decorated with windmills, flowers, tinsel, all sorts - some even have music playing or are shaped like a bird or a boat at the front! We had a guide who said his name was Ganasen, and his friend, and they took us around China town. So for about one and a half hours we travelled round that area. First of all we went to Harmony Street where there are many different places of worship - we went into our guide's Hindu temple,where he was married, and saw all the statues and decorations. It was only a small temple but very interesting. Then we went into a Chinese temple where some kind of ceremony with monks and other people was going on. The temple was very ornate with beautiful murals and carvings. After that we went to the courtyard of a mosque, and then past a Buddhist temple, although we didn't go inside that one - I think he forgot! We sat down with our guide and had a beer in a local bar (and it really was for locals - not a posh touristy one) - he had a Guinness! then made our way back although he did ask Bev and me to walk up the hill - he couldn't push us! Then when we got to the top we got back in and he rode straight into the middle of the oncoming traffic, before taking us back to the drop off point. He was a bit mad but very good - obviously knew a lot of the people as they would all shout hello to him, and welcome to us, and as soon as they know you're English they shout out their favourite football team! Strangely, no one has said "Newcastle" yet.

After that we wandered around an old church and looked at some of the other tri-shaws, then walked back to our hotel. It was very busy and there were lots of market stalls as Deepavali (Divali) - a big Hindu festival is going on at the moment. The stalls sell sweets, flower garlands, incense, and all sorts. We were welcomed to Malaysia by the street DJ! We didn't see many other Europeans but there were a lot of Chinese/Japanese tourists.

Later that evening Justin and I went out for food with Bev and it was great because everything was lit up, including the tri-shaws! After food we went back to Chinatown and walked around the night market for a bit, and saw the massive karaoke stage in action - there were tons of people just sitting watching performers.

Then this morning, after a very international breakfast (I had dim sum, omelette and chapattis to name a few things) we went out again and had a look at the river. We got on a boat with a lot of school children, who were very good, and chatted to their teacher, and were taken up and down the river for a bit. We saw some monitor lizards swimming in the water and a couple of enormous ones sitting on the side. Over a metre long. After that it was time to come back to Singapore.

On the way we were stopped by the Malaysian police for "speeding" - the policeman came over and told David he'd been doing 128 km/h (the limit is 110) and he was going to give him a ticket for 300 ringit (about £45.00) but David had been forewarned and said "can I pay it now" and the policeman said "how much do you want to pay" and he said 100 ringit, and put the money in the policeman's book, and off we went!!! Pretty dodgy if you ask me - they were stopping quite a lot of cars, most of them non-Malaysian. Hmmm.

Anyway, back in Singapore now, off for a meal soon. Bye!

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