April 7,2016 - Kuala Lumpur to Melaka
This morning we decide that we want a good breakfast so we go next door to the Ancasa Royal hotel. They have a much larger selection (they even have brown bread!) and it is worth paying for! Eke feels okay and after breakfast we walk around a bit in Chinatown before we get ready to leave KL.
At noon we all meet in the lobby of the hotel and walk with our big bags and suitcases down the street to the Rapid Transit bus stop. There is quite a line up waiting in the shade underneath the trees. The bus is parked already at the stop and our group positions itself right in front of the door - thereby jumping to the front of the line! I am sure that those waiting already did not appreciate that! We are standing in the sun for about 15 minutes and it is very hot. Louise (a group member) shares her umbrella with Eke. Finally the bus driver arrives and we all clamber aboard with our luggage. It is a 20 minute drive to the bus terminal with no stops on the way.
Once there we have some time for lunch. Our tour leader, Ant, stays with the luggage and we get a sandwich at Subway- with fresh veggies. At 1:30pm we take our luggage to the bus that will bring us to Melaka. Again a comfortable bus with the much appreciated air conditioning. We arrive in Melaka a few hours later where we are met by a minivan which brings us to the Mimosa Hotel.
We settle in our room. After a hour or so we are picked up by tri-shaws - a bicycle with a side car for two passengers. The tri-shaws are decorated with plastic flowers, lights and have very bright colours. The side car has a roof to protect the passengers from the sun.
We cross the river and visit two temples. We drive through two streets that have Dutch names: Jonker Straat and Heeren Straat. We are told that this is the "Dutch Quarter" and that many buildings are from the "Dutch Period" and reflect Dutch architecture. The Dutch captured Melaka in 1641 from the Portugese and ceded to the British in 1824. They had a profitable spice trade. The Dutch also built many houses, a Dutch Reformed Church and a "Stadhuys" - a City Hall which is a replica of a city hall in the Dutch city of Hoorn. In the middle of the town is the "Dutch Square" where the Stadhuys and the church are located with a row of other houses also built at that time. This is all very interesting to Eke especially.
After our trishaw tour we go for dinner at the "Geographer" restaurant. We are not hungry and share a dish. We walk back to our hotel in the dark, cross the river and the square which is lit up while waiting tri-shaws are also lit up - a nice light show!