Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Malaysia - Melaka (Part 2)

After breakfast, we drove to Stadthuys & Christ Church.
Many buildings are painted RED.
Click on the bottom photo for an enlarge view of the map.

Christ Church was built between 1741 and 1753. Orginally replacing a already shattered Portuguese Church. Bricks were shipped from Netherlands. Oldest church in Malaysia.

This is call "Red Square"

Many shops beside the church. Selling lots of interesting local stuffs. Most of which you can also find at the Jonker's walk night market.

This Tang Beng Swee Clock Tower was built in 1886.

Can also enter here to take a path up the hill to St Paul's Church.
The Church was built in 1521 by Portuguese.

Cultural Museum is a replica of sultanate palace. Entrance fee is RM$1.00.But if you wish to visit the Dutch graveyard only, you can pass through without paying.

The Dutch Grave Ground.
First used at in late 17th century.
5 Dutch and 33 british graves are sited here now.

Steps leading to Stadthuys.It is now a historical museum.
Stadthuys was built in 1660, one of the oldest Dutch buildings.
Entrance fee to Museum is RM$5.00.

This is one of the finest museums I've visited.
It's big and houses many historical items.
Very well exhibited.
Highly recommended if you've extra time when visiting Melaka.

I like above two pictures very much.
Big applause for the artist whom drew this.
Don't you find it's so real?What's real and what's drawn.
It's really take some time to figure it out.

Fruit stall at one of the R&R spot.
Our last stop over before reaching Singapore.

While travelling back, I recapped my 2 day trip to Melaka.
At first the only reason for visiting Melaka was wanting to eat Chicken Rice ball, visiting night market and see the dutch grave ground.
I didn't think there was alot to see.
But I was wrong.
We didn't even have time for shopping at some of their big shopping centres.
If you ask me if I would return to this place again.
My answer would be yes.
The people are polite.
Streets are very clean.
Food are good and cheap.
Roads are planted with tress and flowers.
I summarized my trip as "GOOD & FUN."

Melaka, Malaysia
Located South-Western Coast of Peninsular Malaysia facing the Straits of Melaka and between the states of Negeri Sembilan and Johor.
Occupy an area of 1,658 square kilometers, divided into 3 districts (Melaka Tengah, Alor Gajah & Jasin)
144km from Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, 224km from Johor Bahru
Climate / Temperature : 21 - 33 dc
Time Zone : GMT/UTC + 08:00 hour
Currency : Ringgit (RM)
Country Telephone code / Area Code : 60 / 6
Electricity : 220-240V, 50 Hz, UK-style three-pin plugs are use.
Population: 713,000 (2005)
Ethnic Groups : Malay (60.9%), Chinese (26.8%), Indian (6.1%), Others (7.1%)
Languages : Malay, English, Mandarin

Short History of Melaka :
Melaka was previously known as Malacca.
Founded by Parameswara in 1396.
Given its strategic location straddling the Straits of Melaka, it thrived as a port-of-call and a centre of entrepot trade with ships and merchants from China, Japan, India, Arab and South Africa…
In 1511, it fell to the hands of the Portuguese, followed by the Dutch in 1641. In 1795, Melaka was given to British. It was returned to the Dutch in 1818 under the treaty of Vienna but was later exchanged by the Brisith for Bangkahulu, Sumatra. From 1826 onwards, the British East India Company along with Singapore and Penang governed it, under the Straits Settlement.
The Dutch left many fine buildings marking their heritage . The Stadthuys for example is today the oldest Dutch building in the Far East.

For Melaka Post Part 1, please click here!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Malaysia - Melaka (Part 1)

Date : 16th & 17th February 2008

Went to Melaka with my parents and 2 friends.
My dad drove his little red Chevrolet Aveo.
I wished he had goten yellow, so I can stick the racing stripes and imagine it is the Transformer "BumbleBee"...
Driving time from Singapore to Melaka is approx. 2hour & 15 minutes at about 100km/h.
Distance from Malaysia-Johor Bahru to Melaka is 224km.
We used the Tuas 2nd link expressway.
It's is more expensive compared to the Woodlands checkpoint.
But the time saved from avoiding traffic jams were all well worth it.

Common sight of these types of tower in Malaysia.
About every half an hour on the expressway, there will be a rest & relax spot.
The restrooms were all very clean. Big and well ventilated.
Some of the R&R spot also have lots of food stalls to fill your stomach.
We only stopped once for about 20 mintues and proceeded with our journey.

The first time we did when we reached was to find a hotel.
We checked into a hotel named "Mimosa" at No. 108, Jalan Bunga Raya for RM$138/per room for a night.
Price includes a complimentary breakfast.
The room & bathroom is clean.
Except that I find the lights too dim and the pillow is a bit dirty and dusty.
There's nothing in the fridge.
Apart from the above, I would say it's a plesant stay.

It's dinnertime!!!
I voted to eat the famous chicken rice ball.
I just love chicken rice.
One of my relative said it's super nice and if you are checking out food on Melaka, you'll wouldn't miss this too. There's a lot of advertisments on this Famosa Chicken Rice Ball.
I personnally find the food ok but it is not that fantastic.
Maybe it's because there are so much advertisements and making the chicken rice looks superb???
The rice ball tastes of chicken and ginger. Nice!
Otah is also reccomend to go along with the meal.
Which is about all...

A typical chinese medication hall near my hotel.
The way they stacked their goods, you really have to admire them.
No support but looks secure enough.
The cups of tea outside their stalls are herbal tea.
Usually have cooling effects for the body.
Can can cure coughs or slight flu.
Tea tastes a bit bitter.
It's good to drink if you've eaten alot of heaty food or fried stuffs.
But before you drink, it is better to ask for the price and it's effects!

The white church is the photo is "St. Francis Xavier's Church."
View of Malacc River.
We continued to Night Market at Jonker Walk.

Sugar coated fresh fruit candies. Many different types of fruits on stick.
It's very sweet.
Take your pick and the auntie would coat the sugar for you.
As it's name sugguest, this probably orginates from Taiwan.
Mine consists of Prune, Green Grape, Tomato, Orange, Red Grape.

I'm now regretting not buying this Pikachu helmet.
Cost about RM$36.00.
Cute, is it ?

Long queeue for deserts.
Must be really nice.
I didn't try it...Arughh, should have!!!

Selling fried carrot cakes.
It's not a stall, table...etc.
He's selling on his motorbike.
All these stuff you see here was stacked up on his motorbike. Mobile Food!

Streets are buzzings with people.
These people are watching some performance on stage. This picture kinda gives the the 1980's feeling. Where a lot of people would gather to watch public perfomance especially on Hungry Ghost Festival.

You might have already noticed.
There are alot of laterns hanging. Red laterns!
Full of chinese new year celebrations moods.
I find this "Hakka" association building unique. I like the way they hung their laterns.

We walked about another 15 minutes from Jonker's Market for supper at this place.
Full of people.
It is call "Satay Celup"
Each stick cost RM$0.50.
Go to the refrigerator and choose the food you like.
If you can't finish in the end, you can return the uncook food.
The food is cheap and fresh.
Only drawback is that the pot is quite dirty.
They will top up satay sauce in the pot.
Not replacing a new one when other customers arrive,
Which means everyone is eating from the same pot at the same table!!!
Forget about the cleaniness, you can then enjoy the food.
It's very very nice.
Slghtly hot but also taste sweet.
Contains lots of crushed peanuts.

On our way back to the hotel, I saw this!
Time was about 12 midnight. The Ferris Wheel was still turning.
Lots of people were there, thought the opposite streets where I'm at, was empty.
Back to the hotel.
Showered, set alarm at 6am and with very full stomach, I fell asleep fast ...

For Melaka Part 2, please click here!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Singapore - MacRitchie Nature Reserve

Date : 11 February 2008 , 11.30am-2.30pm, Windy Day

I was in a mood for some fat burning session so I went to this place.
Together with a water bottle, towel and camera, I'm off.
Come to think of it, haven't been to this place for about 15 years.
This year's chinese new year seems to pass very quickly.
I've sum up that I didn't eat a lot new year but my weight still increased.
Everytime my weight increases, I get depressed!
Drink water also grow fat...
Time for some exercise. Let's see if things starts cheering up!!!

These 2 monkey posts attracted my attention.
Not because of the S$500.00 fine or feeding of monkeys.
But because if there is such a sign, my chances of meeting monkeys greatly increased.
So this sign also means : THERE ARE MONKEYS HERE!!!
Yipes... I love monkeys. They are so cute!

Along the way, there are many other signs.
Trees signs, Safety signs, Warning signs...
I had once the urge to collect signs but gave up the idea.
It's expensive. heavy and takes up too much space.
There's one book I brought that shows a guy with his collection on signs.
Pretty impressive!
Oh, let's get back on the tracks here...

As I slowly strolled along the wooden walk.
Many things about life came to me.
Should I continue to walk on or should I just leave?
Fear came into the picture.
This place is so quiet plus I had just watch a horror movie last night.
I turned back and look. (photo above)
Stop for a while...
I decided to continue.

I do not know where the walk leads to or how long it's going to be...
Can't really think too much now as I am also very curious to know what's at the end.
Just like life.
Sometimes I feel like giving up but I am also very curious to know what will happened in the end.
Curiosity can also be a motivation!
Path ahead can be full of suprises too.
No one knows.

Just when I thought no one is here,
I heard some jogging noise.
Soon enough, somebody jogged by!
Then I came across a very unique tree.
The tree is growing horizontally.
The branches and leaves are beautiful and healthy.
Walkway is redesign to suit the growth of this tree.
People passed by bowed their heads lower to cross.

Stop to take a break.
Another surprise for me.
What a little metal sign with such Great wisdom.
Click on the picture below for a clearer view.

Sign to discourage people from releasing their fishes or turtles in the water.

This is one old sign, Standing at one corner.
It looks more like it's being left standing there to rot.
I wonder if any one is paying attention to it.

I turned back once again.
Should I continue ?
Now that I'm walking for about half an hour.
The place is no longer scary.
I begin to enjoy the windy weather, the trees, the fishes in the water...

I walked on ...

And on ...

Applause ! For myself...
Aha... I reached the end.
Or is this just the beginning ?
Now I have a choice to walk back the same way or choose a new return path (picture below)
5 minutes of procrastination, I took the jungle path.

A very protective parent.
The baby monkey loves to run around.
The mom or dad would grab the little tails preventing them going too far.
I spotted 8 adult monkeys and 3 little baby monkeys in all.

This monkey looks rather tired.
She rest for a few minutes and continue to walk with the rest of her members.

It took me about half an hour to let the monkeys get used to me hanging around them.
Bugging them with a handphone camera, clicking away their pictures.

Another creative sign.
It's eye catching and well designed.

This last photo completed my day trip today.
Lots of credit should be given to the park attendants.
They really did a great job keeping the park clean and not forgetting them placing so many signs all over the place.
A walk alone today
It's peaceful and calming.
Plus a little hungry, it's way past lunch time.
Happy because I got to see monkeys.
No matter whether we are happy or not, life goes on and on.
But can we go on if we are not happy?
I'll like to stop at the happiness when I see animals...