(In English this would translate to “Peace be in coming” – in the context of Malay culture this implies – ‘come peacefully, we do you no harm’)
We had no definite plans for our South East Asian journey after wandering through Singapore. I had planned our first 2 weeks, but the next 4 weeks were open for “wherever the road took us”. Therefore Malayisa planning involved booking accommodation each time we decided to move. Check. And looking up places of interest. Check. The rest was left up to chance. To be honest, we thought that we would meet other travelers along the way, and then see where they wanted to go. As I mentioned before, surprisingly, we didn’t meet many people. This may be due to the fact that we are not big party animals (anymore), so they chances of meeting people slims itself down a little.
Singapore – Melaka (4.5 hours, $21 each)
A friend of ours had recently traveled to Malaysia, and told us that we should make a stop in Melaka. Everyone that we met in Singapore planned on heading up the east coast of Malaysia, but we were saving the beaches for later, so we headed up the west coast, to Melaka. Being the third smallest Malaysian state, there were less tourists following our path, than those going up the east coast.
The bus journey from Singapore to Melaka was pleasant, and it only took about 4 hours. Crossing the border was a simple process, and we had no issues there. The metal detectors were broken, and security was not tight at all.
We had no idea where the bus was meant to drop us, but we knew that arriving during the day meant that we could easily navigate our way around the city. In the picture above, you can see Ta Chi House. The bus stopped here, and we were told to get out and take our bags. Somehow the bus driver knew to leave the two travelers on the bus at this point. Almost everyone else remained on the bus. We are not sure why. The weather was gorgeous, and we were excited to feel some heat on our skin. We took out our lonely planet map, and tried to figure which direction to walk in.
Within minutes we were distracted by the “May God Bless You” sign above. Living in communist China has meant that we have not been able to attend church, and we most definitely have not seen any references to God, or blessings. Even though we had heavy backpacks and we didn’t know where we were, we strolled towards the sign, and then into a pretty church.
St. Peter’s Church (constructed in 1710 under the Dutch administration) is the oldest Catholic church in Malaysia. Its external architecture and decorative embellishments is a mix of both eastern and western influences.
Outside St. Peter’s church is a shallow pool of water and four iron statues depicting the story of Jesus and Peter. The statues are life size.
“You too, dear friend… is invited to NOT ONLY walk on water
But.. to ‘put out into the deep’ for a catch & to be caught by JESUS!!!”
Gong Xi Fa Cai
After venturing into St. Peter’s church, we walked further and found a big fancy hotel. We decided that this would be a good place to ask for directions to our guest house. To welcome in the Year of the dragon, there was a huge dragon displayed in the hotel lobby.
The dragon is looked upon as the ultimate symbol of Good Fortune and is the mightiest of the signs. 2012 marks the year of the Water Dragon. Water has a calming effect on the Dragon’s fearless temperament. It allows the Dragon to re-direct its enthusiasm, and makes it more perceptive of others. Water Dragons are better equipped to take a step back to re-evaluate a situation because they understand the art of patience and therefore, make smarter decisions.
This historical city centre has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008.
Roof Top Guest House.
We found this place on HostelWorld and we were very happy with our choice!!
The hostel’s reception area.
The owner is very sweet. She makes cake and leaves it out for the guests to snack on. There was fresh fruit and biscuits available too. The kitchen was open for us to use freely, and this was useful for nights we when decided to stay in.
On the third level of the guest house is a pretty patio area.
Being silly at the guest house.
The Malaysian Ringgit is the currency of Malaysia. We were happy to leave expensive Singapore and get to affordable Melaka.
Transferring money from our Chinese bank account was a troublesome task, so we decided to travel with cash (American dollars). This was a bit nerve-wracking at times, and let’s face it wearing a money belt in humid weather is pretty uncomfortable.
Upon arriving at the Rooftop Guesthouse, we were given a map of the area. The areas of interest were all highlighted. The map even had good bars and restaurants circled, so we had plenty to venture out and see. We were happy to exchange our hoodies for tank tops. Melaka was hot hot hot!!!