Saturday, July 10, 2010
Melakan Tales - Progress Faster Than Reciting the Alphabet
This photo only courtesy of flickr's The Bugz.
Melaka - So a royalty's hunting dog fell down the river and drowned when it saw a mouse deer, inspiring the prince to name this city from the site this actually happened - beside a melakan tree (Indian gooseberry)! So goes the legend. On my 2nd visit in this hybrid of Portuguese and Dutch city, I was just floored! This wasn't the city that I visited just a few years ago! It has amazingly grown exponentially!
First off, there is already an Eye of Melaka (their answer to the London Eye); a revolving restaurant that amazed me no end (at 20 ringgit per person); a hop-on,hop-off tourist bus service that perplexingly riuns from just 9AM to 12 PM; a more frequent and voluminous river cruise business; a better planned public transport with a more comprehensive itinerary (their town bus service now runs directly from the city center to the main terminal, you'd get there in 15 minutes; it used to take an hour!); a very much alive Jonker's Street that used to only come alive at night, but is a heavy bustle of activities and tourists now - even at daytime; and a tourist set that has more than quadrupled! I am not exaggerating!
I remembered having a cheap meal at a makeshift stall just before turning towards St. Paul's Hill - now it is all gone! What used to be small forgettable stores has been transmogrified into a luxurious Carrefour and its contiguous Dataran Palahwan - Melaka Megamall, the smallest megamall I have ever seen. LOL
The Stadthuy and Christ Church (an anglican church) still took my breath away! They even have a Taman Mini Malaysia now - a cultural park - Melaka's tribute to the 14 states of Malaysia as well as its neighbors in Asia. This is Malaysia's version of the Philippines' Nayong Pilipino and Indonesia's Taman Mini Indonesia Indah!
I feasted on their fruits - dragon fruits, balimbing, some anonymous ones - at 1 ringgit each! The Melakan Bus Terminal is such a well planned system of local and interstate transport system that it doesn't matter now that it is actually 4.5 kilometers outside of the city center.
To be honest about it, I cannot wait to be back! One day, soon!
This is the Eye in the Sky.