We rode out of KL, this has to be one of the best cities to get in and out of, we were on the motorway out of KL in about 15 minutes, and heading for Melaka, (Malacca, Same place different spelling, God knows which is right) We arrived in Melaka just after lunch and spent a frustrating 10 minutes trying to get into the town but all the streets were one way, all going the wrong way, of course. Finally we found the Guesthouse and then went for a wander around,
Christ Church in Melaka, with colourful cycle rickshaws and the tourist souvenirs stalls
Melaka has a mixed up history, having been colonised by the Chinese then the Portuguese then the Dutch and finally the British before Malaysia got its independence from Britain in August 1957. Most of the old Chinese buildings was destroyed by the Portuguese, a similar fate befell most of the Portuguese buildings when the dutch invaded, there are still some bits remaining but most were destroyed, when we Brits came along and kicked out the Dutch we did a bit less damage so most of the Dutch buildings are still standing and in fact make up the bulk of the interesting buildings here. The 'Christ Church Melaka' and the Stadthuys are the main Dutch buildings in the town square, the church has been an Anglican church since the Brits took over, The Stadthuys was once the Town Hall but now houses a Historical/Literature and Ethnographic Museums, This is actually a pretty interesting museum and it only cost 2 Ringets each to get in. (There is about 6 Ringets to the pound)
Courtyard within the 'Stadthuys'.
After doing the Stadthuys, we headed up the hill to the ruins of St. Pauls, this and the Porto de Santiago are the only two original Portuguese buildings that remain, the church of St. Paul is fairly complete but missing most of its roof, If I remember correctly we Brits messed it up when we took over and left it to ruin, There are several large Dutch tombstones inside the church which are just leaning against the walls. After looking at St. Pauls we walked down the
hill to the Porto de Santiago, (pictured left) which is the only remaining part of the old fort which the Portuguese built, when the Dutch took over they demolished the rest of it but they kept this one small section and incorporated it into the new fort that they built, After we Brits had taken over we destroyed the fort that the Dutch had built and left only the Porto de Santiago standing. The historical museum suggests that Napoleon did us Brits a favour when he attempted to take over Europe, as the Dutch were to busy fighting off his attempts to invade Holland, they left most of their colonies to fend for themselves, So we Brits took the opportunity
And invaded Melaka, I think that may have some truth to it , But they seem to forget or not realize that Britain was also busy fighting Napoleon, after all the Battle of Waterloo ranks as a fairly important day in European history !!
They like there red buildings in Melaka.
So, history lesson over, we hoped into a cycle rickshaw (well a bicycle with a sidecar !!!) and did the tour of the town the easy way, we were hoping to find something that we had not already seen ad done but alas we had pretty much covered all the interesting bits, so that was Melaka done, what was we going to do with ourselves tomorrow ? Well the next day dawned and we rolled over and went back to sleep !!! finally getting up (well it was Saturday) we strolled around for a bit, looked at a few bits in more detail, then we remembered the river boat cruise (which had been recommended as something not to be missed) so we went of to the jetty for the 3 o clock boat trip only to find that the tide was to far out, so no river boat trip for us, oh well maybe next time ! The next morning we were planning to head of for Singapore, the Plan was to get there on Sunday afternoon and find a hotel and get ourselves set up to get the bikes shipped out to New Zealand as fast as possible, Well the best laid plans of mice and men can be stuffed up by a sniffling smart arse bureaucrat, But more on that little episode later
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