Monday, July 27, 2009

Day 2: Visit to Malacca, Returning Home

Sunday, 19th July 2009. The 2nd day of my trip to Malacca started off slowly. Initially planning to go for breakfast at 8:30am in the morning, I ended up with Timmy in the lobby at 9:30am instead. The rest, were also having trouble getting up after our night's stint at Capitol Satay. :p Getting the assurance from the rest of the gang that we'll meet up at Tham's gallery so that he can bring us to the breakfast venue, Timmy and I sallied forth. We waited there for about another 15 minutes, making idle chatter with Tham and being introduced for the first time to his girlfriend before the sight of brewing coffee from a kopitiam opposite beckoned. Timmy and I waited here and a while later most of the gang appeared. Well, I mentioned most, because the gals, Eva, Annette and Li Chen still had problems starting up their engines. :p :) It was decided that we'd head to the breakfast venue with Tham first, the growl of our stomachs probably the prime motivator to our decision, while the gals would have to catch up with us later.

Breakfast was a little bit outside Jonker Street area (a corner shop located along Jalan Kampung Pantai opposite an old medical hall, a short distance from a bridge crossing the Malacca River), featuring a somewhat new version of Bak Kut Teh called 'Bak Kee Teng' (Hokkien). It's also listed as 'Malacca Yam Rice' in the GPS.
Malacca's Famous 'Bak Kee Teng' aka Yam Rice

In essence, it basically replaces the standard pork meat with minced and sliced meat instead while the fragrant rice used to eat with Bak Kut Teh is replaced with 'yam rice'. The soup was surprisingly VERY GOOD and not a few of us vowed to return to the place if they were to return to Malacca some day! :) We were almost finished with our breakfast when the 3 'wayward' ladies arrived, guided in by Hoong Yi who so gallantly went off to help them find their way to us. Hmm... looks like chivalry isn't dead yet isn't it? ;) But it wasn't just Hoong Yi doing a good deed today, Tham also did the same, by generously paying for our breakfast! *Sigh* And this is despite me protesting that we pay for him instead.

Breakfast done with, we headed back to our hotel to check out. Tham separated away from us on the way back as we stopped by a few shops. Having packed out bags and checked out, we took some time to take a few group photos at the lobby and also opposite the hotel where there was this finely decorated door with two guardians.
Checking out from Baba Hotel. Notice the gay model in the background? :p

A group photo of us before the two 'Moon San' outside Baba House

We moved on, to our next point of interest, which was incidentally... FOOD, more specifically Malacca Satay Babi! :) Actually, this next place was sort of mentioned by Hoong Yi and Timmy and naturally curious, I'd thought we should try it. As the name implies, it is NOT HALAL though. :p Called Ming Satay Hut, it is located along Jalan Laksamana 1/1 and offers as its specialty, Chinese Pork Satay with sauce mixed with pineapples (they also serve pork intestines on a stick too). ;) Despite it being a 'snack' not so long after breakfast, we managed to wallop quite a significant number of sticks, bolstered also by the fact that we've heard how Timmy obliterated 37 sticks of satay in one sitting once and sort of demonstrating it to us again (he ate probably more than 25 sticks)... ;) The continuous stream of satay sticks placed onto our empty platters also didn't help, unlike shops here, it is their SOP to put satay sticks on the plates whether you ordered or not. You stop on your own choosing and what's left on the plate (untouched or course) will not be counted in the final tally.

Pork Satay in Malacca

Bellies loaded up, we now have to part company with Li Chen and Hoong Yi. ;) Apparently Li Chen (being a lawyer) has a court case on the next day and she has to go back to prepare and Hoong Yi so graciously volunteered to take her back (Awww... ;)). Bringing Kin Liang and Mei Yoong into my car, we went over across the Malacca River into the historical precint to work off the fats. Our first stop is the pier where we were supposed to have taken the Malacca River Cruise which is priced at RM10/head. Finding a parking proved to be a very difficult proposition though. While Timmy managed to find a parking near the Dataran Hang Tuah, I only managed to find one near the Melaka Raya Police Station Cooperative close to the Stadhuys.
Malacca's Stadhuys

Relatively deserted, I was in for a surprise when I came back. When we reached the pier however, a majority decision was made not to take the cruise because

a) it's too hot
b) there's nothing to 'see'... ;)

So we went over to Muzium Samudera represented by the replica of Alfonso D'Albuquerque's carrack, Flor De La Mar ('Flower of the Ocean', translation courtesy of Henry).
The Flor de la Mar at Muzium Samudera

Entering the muzium requires a payment of RM3/head and its air conditioned interiors offers a respite from the hot afternoon sun. Built from wood and concrete, it is clear it will never sail the seven seas, with doors at the bottom of 'hull' emphasizing this point. Don't expect high standards from it's exhibits though. The replica of ships inside lack details and are not to scale while the 'relics' on display are not even relics at all but very poorly made reproductions (as evident by a 'musket' consisting or a stock and a pipe with no trigger mechanism) :p.
The Captain's Cabin and some people with very bad backs! :p

The narratives are hardly worth reading either, which I have to reluctantly say, typical of Malaysia, offers a certain ethno centric approach in their version of events (you should go see the 'Istana Melaka' throne room diorama! Didn't know the Ming Dynasty held Malacca in such HIGH regard!). :p More interesting are the mannequins of the sailors on the top deck, displaying frizzy hair that looked like they are in bad need of conditioners! Ouch! :)

This sailor is miserable because he didn't anticipate bringing conditioners for his long voyage! :p

We moved out of the ship and into another section of the museum housed by a more normal looking building. The group took a break at the video viewing halls (except there is nothing being shown and some of the interactive displays are not working at all), recording some pictures for 'posterity' and possible 'blackmail' in the future! hahaha! :)

Timmy and Kin Liang 'cozying' up to one another... You both better not go into politics... hehehe

After that we left the museum, heading over the bridge to the end of Jonker Street in the quest to discover Malacca's Famous Popiah! :p Located close to the intersection of Jalan Kubu and Jonker Street, Popiah Lwee was supposedly one of the choice places to savour this culinary delight. Distances on the GPS can look deceiving. ;) Looking like it was going to be a brief walk, some of the gang were soon complaining about the less than half kilometer walk from the Stadhuys (and they are Trail Trekkers at that!) :p. It was more dissappointing when we found out the stall selling the popiah was closed! :p Tired, we stopped at the shop anyway, the owner offering us to try their Malacca Curry Laksa and rojak instead which ended up quite good actually. It was close to mid afternoon when we set off for our cars. The sweet smelling gula melaka laced cendol derailed our efforts for a few more minutes as we stopped for one last taste.
Malacca Nyonya Cendol. Resistance is Futile...;)

Having done that, we eventually reached our cars, Timmy splitting of to claim his reparked car right under the shadow of the Stadhuys (which is little known and surprisingly empty!) and I going for my car at the Police Cooperative. What I thought was one of those bothersome advertisment flyers stucked on my window wiper turned out to be a parking summon! Shocked, I looked around and saw a man astride a motorcycle nearby. I asked about the ticket and was told apparently in Malacca, you'd still have to pay parking, even if it's on a Sunday! :p (So guys, watch out!) I called Tham to seek his help one last time, leaving my ticket with him and the fine of RM30 for him to settle at Melaka Raya which he often frequents before heading out to the Ayer Keroh toll for Seremban.

The roads out was packed, which was surprising to me actually. Initially dismissing it as probably due to a surpise influx of weekend holiday makers, it turned out that there was a police roadblock instead. Whether by design or not, a few impatient drivers chose to take the emergency lane to bypass the queue, resulting in them playing squarely into the waiting PDRM pockets... er hands. :p I avoided the temptation to do the same despite the hollering from Timmy who had reached the toll plaza ahead of me, 20 minutes ahead. By now, we had received yet another surprise... Hoong Yi is coming back to JOIN US in Seremban for dinner! We reached Seremban without incident slightly before sunset, favoring the Seremban BBQ Crab restaurant located along Jalan Tuanku Munawir close to the Seremban Baptist Church.
Seremban's 'Siew Hai' (please mention 'hai' in a descending tone lest it becomes 'vulgar'... ;)

Hoong Yi was waiting for us there already and together we head into the restaurant. We ordered as default two servings of crabs (one of course the BBQ) and assorted side dishes. Having satiated our hunger, it was time for some clowning around with more photos taken for 'posterity' (hmmm perhaps something to show for the grandkids? "Hey look, grand dad is an orge!").

Introducing... Dennis! The Human Can Opener! :)

And here he is, 'licking' the shell of a crab... Hmmm wonder how Audrey feels? ;)

An Orc imitating a Timmy (or is it vice versa?)

One last stop at Seremban's center for some tong yuen recommended by Eva marked the beginning of the end of our trip.

Strolling around Seremban center for some 'tong yuen'

Downing a bowl of the occasionally spicy concoction, we paid our dues and returned to our cars, bringing back with us memories and no less fulfilling one more thing 'to do before I die!'... ;) A wonderful thanks to Hoong Yi for helping organize the trip! Until next time...


  1. i didn't do much in the planning man...
    you did the most, so thank you very much for the wonderful trip. :D
    looking forward to the next one.. (hopefully i can join)

  2. Hi Eddie,
    looks like a very fun trip. Had been a long time since I last visited Malacca. Nice documentation!
    Tze Ying

  3. Hoong Yi, thanks for your comments. But it was your idea after all... I merely filled in the gaps... ;)

    Tze Ying, nice hearing from you again! :) Perhaps we should yum char one day. Bring Alan... ;)

  4. hello Eddie! Remember me? Tham's gf, yaya we went for that Bah Kee T'ng together :)
    very interesting melaka trip ya ^^

  5. Hey! Nice hearing from you here... ;) do u have a facebook account? ;)