Saturday, July 27, 2013

Malacca, Malaysia

  In our Malaysia trip, we visited Malacca(Melaka) which is 2 hours South of Kuala Lumpur. From Bukit Bintang we took the LRT to Terminal Bersepadu Selatan. From there we boarded a bus going to Melaka which costs  about 12MYR. In Melaka Bus Terminal, we took a Panorama Bus No. 17 going to the center for about 2 MYR. From there we began to discover the place by foot.

Melaka Christ Church
     Malacca was conquered by the Portuguese, Dutch & British. And was once the center of trade during 1500's. It is listed as one of UNESCO World Heritage Site. The place reminded me of Vigan in Ilocos Sur. The old structures show the different multicultural influences.

The main landmark at the center of the square is the Christ Church
 and the Stadhuys(Red Square).

Rickshaws are adorned with colorful & creative ornaments to attract the tourists. And at night they have bright lights that will dance to their upbeat music.

A windmill stands at the center showing Dutch influence.

Melaka River

Going to Jonker Street

  Jonker Street is known for shops selling antiques. Now there are shops selling clothes, shoes, souvenirs, knick knacks and delicacies. I ended up buying Malaysian White Coffee and My Cafe Durian Coffee. My Cafe Durian Coffee is really rich in flavor, great for Durian Lovers.

  The structures in Jonker Street are decades old. Some were restored and some still have their original designs. There are several cafes and restaurants. Most have queues of tourists. We opted to have lunch at Restoran Famosa. While we were in line waiting for our table I ordered for Roast Duck and the waitress said "It's finished", telling me that I can not order it. I didn't understand her so her friend told me that she meant that it was already out of stock.  They are also famous for their rice balls.

Preparing Cendol- Shaved ice dessert

Restoran Famosa  serves Nonya Cuisine since the early 1900s. Nonya cooking is a blend of Chinese & Malay Flavors.

Roast Chicken

Chicken Feet

Pork Wanton Soup

                              The restaurant is rich in Chinese decorations in red and gold.

The Jonker Walk will take you back in time. The structures are full of history and culture. It blends the East & the West.  That time Melaka was full of tourists, almost every few minutes buses unload tourists coming from different countries. In the heat of the sun we all ventured along the narrow street.

The last place I chance to see is the Maritima Museum. It's a replica of a Portuguese Galleon. It houses several artifacts and the history of Melaka Trade.
Maritime Museum( Flora De La Ma)

  Going back to Kuala Lumpur, we just bought tickets at Melaka Bus Station. You can choose from several bus companies.
  Traveling across Malaysia is very convenient. Terminal Bersepadu Selatan is their main bus station which is interconnected to the LRT and train. It's spacious, accessible and everything is systematic. So you won't have a problem going around.

Inside Terminal Bersepadu Selatan

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Doufuchi Hutong, Beijing

In our Beijing Trip, I told the guide that we wanted to see authentic "Old Beijing". He took us to Doufuchi Hutong which a few blocks away from the Forbidden City. Hutongs are old roads or alleys surrounded by old houses. During the modernization of Beijing, thousands of Hutongs were cleared to give way for the new buildings and other developments. 

Drum Tower


 Doufuchi Hutong is reminiscent of the old Chinese Villages, though some old buildings are turned into shops. We never did roamed around the very narrow alleys but be walked through the streets to get the feel of the place.  We were first greeted by the big red Drum Tower (Gǔlóu) which is only a  few steps from the Bell tower(Zhōnglóu)

Drum Tower

Locals were spending their leisure time at the square. We were able to get a glimpse of their lifestyle & usual activities. The place seemed laid back. I love the architecture, some may seem pretty simple ans some ornate.
Bell Tower

Jet Li's Old Home

 My friends even tried the freshly baked buns. There are rickshaws offering tours but we opted to walk. While roaming we even met a Filipino who was teaching English there. While he was also exploring the place overheard us and said hello. 

Youghurt Drinks