This port town meant to be our gateway to Sumatra, but thanks to my misunderstanding with myPhone and the mobile banking app associated with it, now we have a reason to visit Singapore. There we will meet a friend who may help with restoring access to my cash, which Barclays keeps safe even from me. It's a sort of win-win situation, since we were hesitating of visiting this city state. Main reason: cost. With the knowledge of meeting Michael there we had a couple extra days to spend in Malacca.
Accommodation worked out pretty good once again and we have found a nice hotel with a great terrace right over the tiny river of Malacca. The town, as the river, is often referred to as Melaka. I can not wrap my head around, seems like everything has few names around here and the use is distributed evenly by preference. Myself and it seems that Google too prefers Malacca, while local signs show Melaka and locals pronounce it as my preference. The old town resembles Georgetown a lot, so it feels like a good decision we have made to stop here. Old Chinese shophouses and the river that rather resembles a canal, along with houses of worship of the three main religions of Malaysia. These are all located on a single street that has been thoughtfully named 'Harmony Street'. Just meters apart is the oldest Hindi temple of Malaysia, then Kampung Keling Mosque and a Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, the oldest Chinese temple. On the other side of the river a trio of Christian churches from different eras of colonial past. All in a close vicinity coexisting in harmony. Malacca, like Georgetown, is an artistic hub and visitors from KL and Singapore swamp the place over the weekends. It is a good place for a few days, but we have not found too much interest outside of Chinatown. A few shophouses serve as house museums, each representing a different status. These didn't keep us busy for too long an neither did the visit to the temples, churches and mosque. The food once again left us something to desire.
Even though we had a pleasant stay after the first few days we were more than ready and happy to move on. Backpacks packed and headed for the station we have taken a lunch in McD in desperation for some familiar taste. For some reason the 'Halal' sign and girls in hijabs munching on menus tickled me a bit. West meets east…