When I embarked on my solo Asian journey in 2009-2010, Melaka was my first stop after arriving in Singapore. I was drawn by its long and fascinating history as a crossroads of cultures, and was captivated by the distinctive character of its narrow streets and laneways. And the food. And the fellow travellers you can meet along the way.
So when we were planning our shared journey, Melaka was high on the list of places to visit and of course it didn’t disappoint. We have already spent three nights there (I’m currently writing this from a hotel near KL’s airport), and we are about to return for two more nights for a special expedition which will be explained later. Because Kristen has not been to Melaka before we covered some ground I’d already seen, such as the Porto d’Santiago, the church on the hill, and Jonkers Walk night market. We’ve eaten up a storm, with highlights including chicken rice balls, top-shelf Indian at bottom-shelf prices at Selvam, a dim sum breakfast, my favourite chicken satay at Geographer Cafe, and plenty of stick food from the streets.
But the real highlight has been discovering the riverside walk north of the centre which has an amazing series of spray-painted murals on the walls of houses facing the water (many are shown in the slideshow above). It’s not mentioned in the guidebook, and I didn’t wander to this part of town last time; in fact we discovered it mainly because our guesthouse is actually on the riverfront and contained in one of the bemuraled houses. It’s been enchanting to sit outside on the edge of the river in the evening, watching the boats pass by as we read or blog or sort through photos. At some point the call to prayer from a nearby mosque breaks the silence, and when darkness comes waterfalls of tiny lights illuminate the far bank of the river. I’m looking forward to our return…