Saturday, September 28, 2013

Half Day Cultural Tour in Malacca - Jonker Street, Floating Mosque, Local Foodstuffs & Peranakan Dinner

Yeah! I am finally going to talk about the half day cultural tour i participated in Malacca shortly after we checked into Mahkota hotel. I have no idea how much it cost per person as my friend had reserved an entire bus for the tour!

Anyway, i was looking forward to cover more places than i did the last time i was at Malacca although one of the key attractions would no doubt be Jonker Street, our first stop of the tour.

Contrary to news report, the plan to reinstate the street back for motor vehicles at night had yet to be implemented. I did a check with a street vendor and she told me with skepticism, that the state government would not dare given the popularity of the night market along the street on weekends.

I am keeping my fingers crossed but shall enjoy it as much as it continues to exist. A photo entry on Jonker Street in the daytime was posted by me only three months ago and you can find more details by clicking here.

Nothing much seemed to have changed; even Jonker 88 continued to attract a queue that stretched out to the busy one-lane one-way road.

The famous one-bite durian puff by "taste better". I thought of purchasing them at night since i didn't want to hold up the others and the ending point of our "stop" was at the red building where San Shu Gong was located.

Massive crowd descending in San Shu Gong - most of us went crazy with our purchases. I was more tame as i knew exactly what i needed to buy; the yam biscuits!!! By the way, do ask for samples before you buy them.

Failed miniature function on my D7100 - my younger sister had difficulties understanding what i mean by entrances of Jonker Street. For those who are unaware, Jonker Street is a stretch of straight road with two ends and numerous streets that cut across it. There were two main entrances with visitors usually entering from the one near to Hard Rock Cafe, next to the red building and feature a noticeable junkboat right in front.

A fellow tour mate bought the durian puffs and he kindly offered one to me!!!!

Remember - don't bite
Take the whole piece, put it into your mouth and bite SLOWLY. Enjoy the soft buttery crust and the unstoppable flow of delicious durian puree down the throat!

Sight of the charming Sungei Melaka. I would have loved to take the boat ride but it was quite a hectic trip for us. Guess i would be making my way to Malacca again very soon in the future.

Directions given by the guide was a bit confusing; we were supposed to cross the bridge to the historical landmark (the stadthuys where we could take some pictures) and turn right where the tour coach would be waiting for us.

Queen Victoria Fountain - built in 1901, this was said to be the only functioning colonial fountain in Malaysia. I got this information from the web and not the guide.

Like the fountain, the Christ Church continued to function as the place of worship for Protestants with one big difference; it was completed a hundred and forty years earlier in 1753!

A view from Christ Church. As you can see, the stadthuys was closed for major renovation and i am unsure when it would re-open.

How could anyone ever miss the colourful trishaws?! For my post on them, please click here.

Walking past the re-constructed Malacca Fort. I almost took a wrong turn as the tour guide mentioned turn right, which in this case, led to two roads! Thankfully, my friend spotted the coach.

Seating in the air-conditioned coach was a cool respite from the killer hot weather outside! Next time would be a drive around Bukit Cina.

No picture (i sat on the wrong side of the bus) although i did manage to take a picture of the Muslim cemetery very near to Bukit Cina. Honestly, i might travel back to Malacca just to trek in the 42-hectare Chinese cemetery.

Question: Anyone knows what is Melaka named after (hint is in the above photograph)?

Answer": A tree known as Melaka! This name was given by the founder, Parameswara, who also happened to be the last king of Singapura; ruling it from 1389 to 1398.

Our next stop - Tan Kim Hock Local Products. Don't belittle this Dr Tan Kim Hock; he was actually the father of San Shu Gong's founder! It was said that differences in operating the business resulted in the younger Tan setting up a separate entity.

By this time, many of us had already purchased many packs of local products in San Shu Gong and hence, some of us loitered a while in the shop before making our way to the rest area outside.

To be totally honest, the bulk of us wanted to try the state dessert of Malacca; the chendol.

The hype was on durian chendol but as usual, i am sticking to my traditional type at RM 3.00; shaved ice topped with red beans, chendol soaked in a bowl of coconut milk and drizzled with a generous amount of gula melaka!

It wasn't exceptional although it wasn't as bad as Alex's proclamation. Guess the black flies added a certain element of disgust in Alex's review.

Floating Mosque - for more details. Click here please.

Last stop - a Peranakan dinner at Kapitan restaurant! Unlike my usual food posts, i am not going to touch on each individual dish as i have no idea on the cost and absolutely zero understanding on its location.

So here's what i am going to do. I would place them into two broad categories; the good and unimpressive. By the way, the fried chicken in mango sauce belonged to "unimpressive". Simple right?!

Other unimpressive dishes were as above. By unimpressive, please do not misunderstand that they were horrid and bad tasting. They were simply not exciting enough for me to remember.

The good as above. Soup was light flavoured yet laden with seafood; prawns were fresh and sauteed in a fragrant concoction of garlic and spring onion; brinjal was delightfully crispy; chendol was surprisingly nice although it was the watery version.

Nothing beats a dazzling setting sun to conclude the tour!

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