Sunday, September 6, 2015

Illustrated Melaka bound Travels

Travelling can be a wonderful experience, bringing with it many various personal experiences and memories that money just can't purchase. Here in Melaka, a recognized UNESCO world Heritage site; much has been accomplished to ensure that travelers enjoy their time and effort in choosing this particular destination, regardless of whether their destination is this fair city or if they are just passing through.

Is it any wonder then, that Melaka has won many accolades and gained much national recognition these past 15 years as a top destination to visit whilst in Malaysia. Blessed with good infrastructure, stable politics, easy English communication, top notch tourist destinations and locations, excellent health and medical care, stable exchange rates, easy to read road and destination signs, and a  low crime rate,  it also boasts of friendly locals and a great shopping destination to boot!

Recent awards Malacca has won include “Best administered Local Council in Malaysia” for MBMB and ‘Best Landscaped City Centre’.  

Many facets of living in today’s fast paced world make Melaka special in my humble opinion.
Living in Melaka is unique in that she still manages a town vibe while straddling City aspirations. Within just a few short blocks in the city center itself, one experiences the disparate life styles of the Historical Melaka and Modern Melaka without any discernible border or change.  It assimilates both modern and heritage living within its banks and boroughs with an ease of travel and acceptance.

This unique ability of hers, created out of centuries of surviving and assimilating through a multitude of eastern and western factors has provided Melaka with the formula to understand what life and living is all about.  Since as long as I can remember, this city has always aimed on leaving an impression on those that pass through her, with her special Malaccan touch, providing these travelers’ with memories fondly known as the “Melaka Experience”. 

This is illustrated through the myriad stories and impressions, hopes and contentions elicited warmly by the returning travelling friends of hers in their records of travel.

Perhaps what is most meaningful to me as a local is the special touch that she extends to everyone who arrives at her shores. The best experience  for any traveler is not just about the provision of  cheap destinations and their dollars bargaining power on local shopping and neither is it about efficiently arriving, receiving bland obligatory smiles & visiting the touristic spots adroitly before embarking on the next destination elsewhere. 

It’s about connecting with the people here. Even if it is through that momentary action of chit -chatting with someone local whilst waiting for the lift doors to open up.  That evocation of kindness and feeling good when people are nice to you and you happily reciprocate. It is about being remembered by someone here, and that comes from the heart; of creating a connection and believe me, Malaccan’s do that in spades and aces. 

For many across the globe, travel destinations are mere places of interest to visit or travel to.  Melaka, however, is different in that sense as she is closely interwoven with her community – people who are more than proud to guide and showcase her many famed streets and locations into the hearts and minds of the first time visitor. 

Many locals are very proud to show off her assets and dreams as a gateway and  source of first impressions.. of Malaysia.  The many private houses that are turned into B & B’s and rest houses within the heart of this city prove this to be true as their owners take time to not only open their homes to traveler’s and visitors but also to entertain these travelers with their tales and recommendations!

For these locals, their city holds special memories for them and they are more than happy to share these memories with the rest of the world.  Of course, it helps that Melaka is conveniently accessible by either road or air. A favorite saying here is “the world comes to Melaka”

With many festivities and entertaining done through food and drinks,  activities and facilities in the easily accessible public areas such as street corner restaurants, food courts in upscale supermarket, and even  fine dining grills for whole families to enjoy, it is no wonder many locals frequent the city center’s regularly  day and night.  

Surprise, surprise! Their favorite pastime is to dine and shop!  Just like everywhere else.
And boy, are you lost for choice when it comes to dining out & shopping in this part of our small world. There's more than a million square feet of retail therapy available for you to browse through. Don't get me started on food...... their glorious mouth watering spice laden food. 

Malacca has a colorful history spanning over 750 years, from its humble beginnings in the 14th century to the centuries of colonization by the Portuguese, Dutch, and the British.  Its unique religious and cultural legacies are all reflected in its food culture. Due to its historic position at the crossroads of so many cultures, Melaka boasts a myriad culinary heritage drawn from a number of distinct influences. 

Many of the upmarket restaurants specialize in fare that owes its composition and spices to European colonizers, while some of best (and most authentic) cuisine is kept close to its roots-sold for next to nothing by street-side vendors and mobile food stalls.

Nasi Lemak
The interracial marriages of Chinese, Indian, Eurasian and other regional immigrants to the local peninsular Malays gave us many fusion collaborative food samples, chiefly popular being the Straits Chinese or Peranakan cuisine, which uses mainly Chinese ingredients with local spices whilst retaining local Malay cooking techniques.
Sambal Petai
Peranakan or Nyonya food is distinctively tangy, aromatic, and spicy. Not forgetting of course the very good south indian curries and vegetarian dishes available in Jalan Bendahara, a main thoroughfare within the cityscape. 

In Melaka, you'll find a lot of restaurants selling dishes that draw from multiple ethnic sources all at once. Eurasian food like chicken curry debel (as in 'devil') is one that shouldn't be missed. Cristang crab served in a black pepper sauce & vegetable soup spiced with cinnamon, black pepper and mace; and baked, tangy marinated fish are a few favorite Portuguese dishes with their own distinct flavors. 
Debil Curry

Black Pepper Crab
Beyond these local favorites, Melaka's culinary infrastructure is equipped to satisfy virtually any palate. So do visit Melaka and be ready to be mesmerized by her tranquility and beauty.

Blog Archive



"Rojak " Video By The Suleiman Brothers

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The Malacca Story (Chinese version)

with courtesy to asmaliana-BPP

The Malacca Story (part 2)

The Malacca Story (part 3)

With courtesy to Asmaliana-BPP