Last night we dined on the banks of the Melaka River directly opposite our guest house. Started with a delicious coconut shake topped with a scoop of ice cream. It bought a smile to our faces. Followed with Nyonya squid in a rich chilli sauce. Next came a local Nyonya Chicken dish. Both were very tasty but not outstanding. A bit expensive at 48RM.
I am writing at a marble top table in the Wayfarer Living area overlooking the Melaka River. Poor old me! The tide is running out and it is almost low tide. It reminds us of a similar time when we sat on the banks of the Ping River in Chiang Mai about 15 years ago. The river flowing to the sea reminded me then, and again now that the same is happening with our lives. We are moving only one way and cannot go back. It reinforces again our resolve to not waste a single minute of our now short journey to the “Estuary of Life”.
When I fell in love with Erica she was just 19. Since then our powerful love for each other has endured and grown. The same cannot be said for Erica’s joints! Just a year ago she had an Anterior Hip replacement and that is working like a charm. However her knees are now worn and will also need replacing. Melaka is as well as being exotic, a city of steps. Yesterday we traversed at least 1000 steps (mainly steep ones) and covered many kilometres on foot. Erica’s knees have sent her the message “No steps today” so we are embarking on (you guessed it) the 10.30 Tourist River Cruise. It has passed our guest house so many times with Tourists waving at us that we have eventually succumbed to its charms!
On the steps issue we would not advise anyone over the age of 60 with any joint, muscular or heart conditions to tour Melaka. Come to think of it on our forays here to date we have been about double the age on average of everyone around us. Fortunately we have double the vitality of those youngsters and wiser heads! (self-assessed). Erica has just corrected me and tells me that the aged and infirm could visit but would only be able to stay in a hotel with lifts and confine themselves to the all level walking streets. You could finish up “Doing Melaka” but not seeing it. They would however miss most of the historic sites. Only one ramp entry has been seen by us so far and that was at an entrance to a large shopping complex.
Just had a problem with my computer screen display and our host’s son kindly fixed it in a second. I'm starting to think that technology use has developed youngster’s brain to a higher level than ours were at a similar age? We must be vigilant to not get left behind in this world of technology.
Off to the 10.30 River Cruise at 42.50RM for two. We cruised past our lodgings and waved to ourselves! The 9km cruise is very pretty as the Malaysian Government has beautified the river egdes including potted bougainvillea all flowering in a blaze of colours. Passed Kampung Morten a Malay traditional village sponsored by the Government and built on what was once a swamp. Towering above it on the river was the at least 40 storey Shore Condominium buildings. The old and the new in one picture. The cruise would have benefited from friendly staff and a live commentary (instead of a recorded one out of sync) we are almost sure from the staff dis interest that it is a government owned enterprise.
Post Cruise we trotted off to the Baba Nyonya Museum on what was once called Herren Street (meaning Gentleman‘s Street). It was built by the Dutch in 1650 and is in the heart of the wealthy traders area. The Dutch were buying pepper nutmeg, and cloves selling them in Europe for 30 times the price paid in Melaka. No wonder they got rich! Rubber then took over as a wealth provider and today it is Palm oil. Museum tour was of high standard as was the building. Having been in The Blue Mansion in Penang, we suffered from a touch of deja vu but were still very impressed. Put this one on your must do in Melaka list.
Stopped for lunch in Jonker Street (an old Shop House Street) at Famosa Chicken Rice Ball Restaurant. Lunch was a quarter of a roast duck with fabulous sauce, a plate of green vegetables with roasted garlic, and a bowl of rice We drank our now favourite lime juice with sour plum concoction. Cost only 28.75RM including the new 6% GST.
Onwards we journeyed to see the Aeon shopping complex to check out a large supermarket. It was another huge one similar to the one in Ipoh we so much admired and the array of fresh fruit and vegetables would satisfy even the fussiest expats. Liquor was also available at the usual super high prices.
We got caught up in a huge promotion for World Health Day. The Ministers from the appropriate government departments arrived and gave long speeches while TV cameras recorded every moment. One thing we did hear one of them say was that a recent delegation of representatives from regions where the bulk of the tourists here come from did not report one case of stomach upset or diarrhoea whilst in Melaka. We then realised he had been talking about keeping food safe from farm to plate. He also said there were 700.000 more tourist visits this year than last.
There are good private hospital here including Putra Specialist Hospital which is right next door to the Ramada Hotel (a good place to stay if feeling frail).
On returning to the Wayfarer our hosts had placed our 2 bottles of Red Wine acquired yesterday on our bed with 2 glasses and an opener. What a lovely touch. One may need to be opened this evening!