|You couldn't help but feel sorry for the people of Melaka after going round some of their excellent museums and learning all about their history - they went from being one of the most successful shipping ports in the world to having pretty much no port at all thanks to the combined efforts of the Portuguese, Dutch and British. The Portuguese imposed huge taxes which drove ships away, the Dutch transferred trade as much as possible to Batavia (Jakarta), and the British tried to move everyone to Penang!
Despite all of this Melaka is a fantastic place to visit and we had a great time touring around all the old colonial buildings, museums and different areas. China Town has some fantastic old style buildings.
By pure fluke we found ourselves in China Town on the last day of the Chinese New Year, and there were huge celebrations planned. We managed somehow to get invited to a big celebration in a local school hall where they were doing various traditional dances and displays before everyone trouped into the centre of China Town to see 212 lion dancers who all congregated there. You literally couldn't move for lions, and when they all started up dancing the noise was deafening, as each dance troupe had it's own band. The atmosphere was fantastic, and you could see all the kids out with their families loving it.