Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Merdeka 2011 @ Melaka Day 1

Malaysia gained its independence on 31st August 1957, and we've celebrated Merdeka Day ever since. This year it coincided with Hari Raya Aidil Fitri (Eid-Ul Fitr) and we had three days off. Being typically Malaysians, we took the opportunity to 'run away' from Kuala Lumpur to visit our spiritual home town of Melaka (Malacca).

We also hoped that this trip will help Brendan to unwind and get him rejuvenated for his big exams in a couple of weeks' time.

We left Kuala Lumpur at sunrise and reached Melaka a little after 9AM. We had already made reservations with The Baba House, a quaint little budget hotel just a stone's throw from Jonker Walk.

this photo says it all
patriotic malaccans!

Since we were only able to check-in in 5 hours' time, we parked our car at the hotel carpark and made our way to our fav kopitiam (coffee shop) for breakfast.

not sure if the signage is of the name of the shop
Brendan's suitably excited:)
Toast bread with butter (not margarine!)
digging in!

After breakfast, we walked along the river and noticed some boats passing by.

smiling sweetly.. not bad for 'not-morning' persons:)

Since it was still pretty early, we decided to go on a riverboat ride. Lo and behold, in conjunction with Merdeka Day tickets were at half price.. hooray!

Cat's hoping she doesn't get motion sickness..
life jackets everywhere, very reassuring!
how we would love to own one of these houses
riverview of St Francis
king of the world, eh?
the kind boatman:)

We later walked over to Dataran Pahlawan and plunked ourselves down at Starbucks for a breather and to make use of the free wifi (and air-cond!).

Rested, we then decided to take the panoramic bus that was supposed to take us on a tour of Melaka town. We've taken it before, and in those days it was actually a double decker bus with the roof off.

Huge disappointment.. The 'panoramic bus' is now little more than a minibus that shuttles passangers from town to the bus depot at Melaka Central!

The bus took us from Dataran Pahlawan to Bandar Hilir, then around Ujong Pasir before ending up near Jonker Walk. Having endured half an hour of being packed like sardines, we quickly hopped off and went about our merry way.

Cat soon spotted the A&Z stall near Jonker Walk that serves Brendan's fav (pale) wantan mee. That's where we had our lunch.

not exactly my thing, but for Brendan's sake..
pale wantan mee.. (some soysauce, please?)

By the time lunch was over, it was past 2PM and time to check-in to The Baba House. Gosh, we've been gallivanting for 5 hours straight. We got our luggage out of the car and rested up in our room.

meet Gwen, our humble ride (honk if you see us!)

We were supposed to rest up and enjoy some forty-winks, but woke up some 3 hours later!

We freshened up and made our way to the Newton Culture Food Village (beside Mahkota Parade) only be miserably let down. Forget the "Culture", its now a run-of-the-mill foodcourt run by a sole operator who employs Burmese cooks.

We made our way back to Jonker Walk and found this new nyonya restaurant in an alleyway..

its called Mama's Taste, I think..
I know its cheezy, but we couldn't help but pose with the menu:)
chicken curry rice for the boys, chicken rice for Cat..

The chicken curry rice was a bit bland, to be honest. Cat said the chicken rice was fine, though. Its reasonably priced, so we were not complaining especially after experiencing Nancy's Kitchen's over-inflated prices the last time (let's see how long you can last on Sing dollars alone, hah!)..

To the best of our knowledge, the Jonker Walk night market operates from 6PM till midnight, Fridays to Sundays only. So we were pleasantly surprised that the night market was granted approval to operate during the festive period. If only the same common sense would prevail in other municipalities.

So off went Cat & Brendan to shop around the night market while I parked myself at the Boutique Cafe (in front of the massive Mamee stage) to enjoy some Guiness Stout while music from the karaoke-ing blared on..

getting sloshed (hic!)..

We called it a night at about midnight..
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