Manic visits Malacca
Last month we decided to make a company trip up to Malacca by train before the Keppel station closed down. Entering the station was a bit like stepping back in time. Everything from the coin-operated children’s toy machines to the cheap malay food and worn plastic chairs felt like something vaguely familiar from my childhood.
The nine of us had a fairly dismal meal at the station – the Ramly Burgers were, disappointingly, sold out. We then spent the rest of our time before the call time wandering around the station and drinking canned beer on the front steps.
(The ticket queue – It seems the ticket sales tripled since they announced the closure of the Keppel station)
(Some great, cathedral-like architecture and artwork here)
(Waiting for the boarding call)
The train ride itself was pretty uneventful. The “restaurant” at the front of the train sold overpriced canned drinks that were served warm, and the on-board tv played a weird mix of cartoons, foreign drama shows and KTMB advertisements.
Roland and I spent quite a bit of time sitting on the steps of the train, hanging our legs off the platform, getting dizzy watching the blurry grass go by and nearly getting our heads chopped off by unexpected objects along the track.
(Roland attempting to get his legs chopped off.)
(After a mild bit of begging, we managed to convince the train attendant to let us go to the engine room.)
(On the way to Jonker street.)
(Chicken rice balls at Restoran Famosa.)
(Some nice typography.)
(Batman tries durian chendol for the first time – he did not like it so much.)
(Washing the chendol down with some beer at The Geographers Cafe.)
(Batman raving at a local nightclub.)
After dinner, we covered the night market and went for drinks with a friend of mine. At midnight, we got a little bored so he took us on a night walk around Malacca. It was lovely. We came across a butcher working through the night and spent some time chatting with him about his job.
Also got to see all the lovely storefronts and shophouses around Jonker without all the cars and people polluting the scenery. I think this was about the time that I started to fall in love with Malacca. Everything was so wonderfully vintage – Malacca looked like it had been left untouched for at least a couple of decades, but it was also beautifully preserved.
After our guided tour of the town, we headed to Capitol Satay for some famous Lok Lok. The “satay” was sold at RM0.80 per piece, super cheap!
(Mixing all the ingredients with the sauce.)
(Hungry Ben attacking the Lok Lok.)
(Spotted these two kittens in the morning, they were so tiny that they could’ve fit easily in my palm.)
We woke up super early to catch the famous Bak Kuh Teh with yam rice at Kok Keong Restaurant. It was AMAAAAZING, never had such good Bak Kuh Teh in my life. And a meal like this costs only RM6.50!
(Breakfast with the boys; the girls decided to sleep in.)
(Checking out some small alleys.)
(Is this for real?!)
(A small shop selling biscuits and snacks.)
(Absolutely love these calendars. My grandmother still uses these … I wonder where I can get one of them for myself.)
(A water chestnut drink stand. The drink is served in plastic cups so you have to stand around the stall and finish your drink.)
(Vintage Woman’s Weekly mags for RM3 each)
(Snagged this book for RM3. Published in 1972 and even signed by the original owner!)
(I believe Roland bought this book)
(Titbits! Just too good.)
(Zen checking out Titbits.)
(The copy that Roland bought.)
(Roland reading Titbits while we waited for lunch.)
(Chin Weng Lee forger – a knife like this takes two days of heating and hammering and sells for around RM150)
(The famous Chendol Jam Besar. One bowl costs only RM1.50.)
(The resident retriever at The Baboon House)
(Stopped at the Baboon House for a chilled out beer. There’s a great, huge, courtyard with lots of plants and natural light. The place also serves coffee, burgers and finger food.)
(Visited a place called Second Hand Bookstore that had a pretty dismal collection of books and records.)
(Roland’s spinning top.)
(Chanced across this guy who was hand-carving Chinese signs. These signs go for about RM300-400.)
At the end of our two days there, I honestly felt like I hadn’t had enough of Malacca. I was and still am smitten with this town. I love how self-sustainable it is; how they value old crafts and preserve their culture. I would definitely recommend a visit to anyone who hasn’t been.