Monday, December 24, 2007

visiting malacca: episode III: the journey on bus and feet

I have been in a slump these few days so I don't really have the mood to blog. But I want to finish what I have started so this is the continuation of my previous trip to Malacca with my beloved Form 6 ex-classmates.

Woke up late (effects from last night's late outing!) and had breakfast in the hotel restaurant/cafe with Laushu, Val, Phon, KT, Ben and WY. Suz and Mel were the last ones to wake up so they did not want to eat breakfast. Phak Hoe and Jino, as usual, were still fast asleep. Ah Len joined us much later so she was not in the photo.

I ordered the usual Western breakfast meal consisting of toast, sunny-side-ups, sausage, baked beans, hash brown, coffee and yoghurt juice.

After breakfast and some rest later, the boys came to our room and we all took a family photograph (using self-timer) before moving on to our sightseeing.

(Above L-R): The people who managed to make it for breakfast; My breakfast; (Below L-R): Our initial attempts to score a perfect photo

Finally...the family pic of BF-ians that went to Malacca trip

Our plan was to go to Bukit Cina to see Hang Li Poh's well. Because it was quite far, we decided to take a bus. While waiting at the nearest bus stop, which was at the Stadhuys (pronounced Stad-house, btw), I snapped some pics of those beautiful red Dutch buildings (I have a fetish for historical architectural buildings, ok? LOL)

The once-Dutch town in Malacca along Jalan Gereja. Marvellous!

The Stadhuys
=> Once the official residence of the Dutch governors and officers, it has now become an historical heritage and museum.

(Clockwise L-R): The famous fountain that is the hotspot for tourist photos - there is an inscription on it about Queen Victoria (reminds one of VI!); The clock tower (they are such a necessity for a town. LOL); The street stalls along the buildings selling all kinds of tourist fave items; The Malacca Art Gallery with pretty flowers in front

WY at the famous fountain; Later with PhakHoe near the clock tower at the town square

Yours truly at the Stadhuys!

I lurve this shot! The bird among the flowers is just simply awesome!

Moi, Lalat, Mel, Len, and pH

Finally after a little mishap with a bus, we managed to board Malacca Hop-On Hop-Off bus, the double decker bus that passes through all the scenic attractions in Malacca. It is RM5 for the ticket which lasts you for one day, no matter how many rides you take.

Of course, we HAVE to sit on the top deck of the bus!!!

We got off at Bukit Cina. Turns out Mel's grandma lives in Bukit Cina as well so we decided to pay a visit to her grandma. However, when we arrived at the house, Mel's grandma was not in so we left a note before making a detour to St Peter's Church, which was a few meters away from Mel's grandma's house.

Bukit Cina
=> is the official settlement of the Chinese entourage who arrived in Malacca with Princess Hang Li Poh. She was sent by the Chinese emperor to marry the Sultan of Melaka. The entourage stayed on this settlement until the Portugese colonisation in 1511. Today, it is the largest Chinese cemetery outside China and many of the graves there date back to the Ming Dynasty.

Random shots of St Peter's Church - as old as time

St Peter's Church
=> Built during the Dutch occupation in 1710, it is proclaimed as the oldest Roman Catholic church in the country. The nostalgic images of the past are preserved within this holy sanctuary.

I lurve this beautiful monument outside the church

After that, we were all hungry (esp Mel and Suz C!) so we went in search of lunch. Found this shop nearby that had lots of people inside. Turns out their specialty is in curry laksa.

Because we had such a heavy breakfast, Tsu Wern and I shared a bowl of curry laksa. Yummy!

After lunch, we tried again at Mel's grandma's house and finally we hit a strike! Her grandma was at home and gladly welcomed this LARGE entourage into her home. Mel's grandma lives in a Nyonya-inspired home, a traditional home that is still well-preserved.

(Clockwise L-R): Jino eating choc in front of the bedroom; Mel and Suz C during the first time when we went to the house and found out Mel's grandma was not in; Ah Len and Moi; The group pic with Mel's grandma (minus me as I was the one taking the pic); Mel and her grandma - See any resemblance? ^o^

After saying our goodbyes to Mel's grandma, who was nice and friendly, we make our way to Hang Li Poh's Well.

(Clockwise L-R): The wishing well; The depth of the well; Phon leaning forwards to check out the well; Suz C concentrating on the sign

Hang Li Poh's Well
=> According to folklore, those who throw a coin into the well will return to Melaka time and time again. The well was built in 1459 by the followers of Hang Li Poh. It is located at Jalan Puteri Hang Li Poh.

A short walk away was Sam Po Kong Temple.

(Clockwise L-R): Sam Po Kong Temple; Everyone "pancit" already and rested under a huge tree nearby the temple; A close-up on the temple entrance; WY making a funny face with pH's hat

Sam Po Kong Temple
=> Located on the foot of Bukit Cina and built in 1795 by Kapitan Ts'ai Shih - Chang in connection with the adjoining cemetery, Fu-te-tz'u. Later it was expanded, but the main deity worshipped continued to be Fu-te-cheng-shen or Ta-Po Kung. Within the premises of the temple is the famous well, San Poo Ching or King's Well, subject to many legends and stories.

We wanted to take the Malacca Hop-On Hop-Off bus back to our hotel again but after waiting and waiting, the bus never came. So we decided to trek under the hot blazing sun back to the Stadhuys. Along the way, we passed by St Francis Xavier's Church.

(Clockwise L-R): The exterior of the church; The painted glass windows as seen from outside; A memorial monument; Where the remains of 3 priests lie

The interior of the church was breathtaking

St Francis Xavier's Church
=> Built in 1849 by French priest Reverend Frave, the church is dedicated to St Francis Xavier, who was also known as the "Apostle of the East". He was a 16th century missionary who spread Christianity to Southeast Asia.

The stained glass windows were so gorgeous! Definitely one of the highlights of my trip

The Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci

After that, we returned to the Stadhuys but we did not go back to our hotel. Where did we go? Stay tuned for the next episode... (LOL, that is so cliche...)

Along the streets of Stadhuys


Ok, the days just got worse - I have a running nose now *Sigh*

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