Posted by: James Shannon | February 22, 2011

You Say Malacca, I say Melaka: A Photographic Essay On One Of Malaysia’s Most Historically Significant Cities

I went away for awhile again, and to those who got used to the posting schedule of every other day, I sincerely apologize. However, I coming to realize that we all have our high and low moments of attention. Acknowledging it and laying low when my motivation wanes seems to be the answer in the short term, as it beats burning out and abandoning this blog to the abyss of cyberspace, a place littered with dead blogs because their owners couldn’t keep up with an unsustainable pace of posting.

In the long term, I’ll have to come up with a better solution, as all the successful bloggers in all genres manage to keep a dedicated schedule from day-to-day, week-to-week, etc. I think batching my posts, that is, doing a bunch of posts at once or twice per week, will be the way to go for me. With Laos upcoming, and with it shaky or non-existent internet in some places, I will have to do it out of necessity, but with two unplanned hiatuses this month, it will be necessary for the long-term viability of PoE.

With that bit of serious business out of the way, onward to more photos! After Singapore, I entered into the mystical world of Malaysia, knowing only one thing about the place: it was the home country of a college friend of mine.

The first destination was Malacca (or Melaka, as it is spelt in Bahasa Malaysia, one of the official languages of Malaysia), a historically prominent city over the last 500 years, as it served as a trading post for the Portuguese, and then the Dutch…

I arrived just in time to catch the Sunday Night market on Jonker Street.  After dropping my bags at Ringo’s Foyer (awesome place to stay btw!), I headed over to Chinatown, and heard the most bizzare thing … people singing the same song over and over again, with the word Mamee in it.  Turns out Mamee is a major food producer in Malaysia (noodles is a big seller), and they had some sort of contest on at the market.  This song plays in a loop in my head whenever I think of Malaysia as a result! 😛

Tornado chips — sliced potato dipped in cheese and deep-fried … heart-achingly good!

A shot of the Melaka night market in action … a little tired of them by now, but that’s the frugal, non-retail therapist in me talking.


The next afternoon (I’m a night person, back off!), I set out to explore the town on foot, and maybe find the beach … Melaka is right on the coast, so it must have some sort of relaxing spot … right?

On the way to the Melaka river, stumbled across a tank of croakers about to um … croak?  **ducks rotten vegetables**

Although Malaysia is a cleaner country than Thailand on the whole, one thing that Malaysia doesn’t do is cover their sewers (except on major streets) … um, ew…!

Ah yes, the Melaka River … now to follow it to the sea.  Beach here I come!

Ahhh whhhhatt?  A breakwater?  I am disappoint.  Oh well, I guess Melaka uses their waterfront for work, fair enough! 🙂

I would have alot of amazing photos of Melaka’s stunning colonial-era architecture up in this post, were it not that most of them turned out horribly … this was the only one that made the cut!


The next couple of days were spent doing laundry — yes, you read right, because of the monsoonal rainclouds that had an annoying habit of drifting over the Malay Peninsula to the West Coast every afternoon, my laundry hanging out to dry got soaked two days in a row.  Also, some of my clean clothes +both of my backpacks joined the original load out on the line, as the flooding rains drenched my room on both of those occasions!

As I was hanging clothes on the line, some drama unfolded a kilometre away:  I don’t what exactly happened, but it appears that a building under construction caught fire.  It was quickly put out, but it was a surreal sight to behold!

Out to eat with hostel manager Howard and a rag-tag band of travellers … ate at Indian restaurant, had butter chicken, rice and a beer for about 10 RM ($3.30 CDN).  Activities happened on a nightly basis, whether it was drinks on the roof, going to the movies at the cinema, or staying in on a uber rainy night and ordering tons of Pizza Hut!  Honestly, stay at Ringo’s Foyer, it’s a sweet place!


Finally, my clothes dried enough for me to carry on to my next destination … the capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, home of one of the tallest buildings in the world, the Petronas Twin Towers!



  1. […] on this night. The Jonker Street Walk had a bizarre, yet fascinating karaoke contest (more on that here), I bought an unhealthy, but sinfully delicious stick of Tornado Chips (potato slices on a skewer […]

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