Sunday, April 12, 2009

Malacca with the Chews Day 1!!!

Hi Everyone!

Malacca was a blast! Julien and I never usually would take the tour package, but we did this time, since we were going with my parents. Looking back, we were quite happy we did, because they brought us to places that we would never have travelled to, since we would only explore by foot like the last time. It was a different aspect of Malacca that we saw from the last time we came.

So here goes.... DAY 1:

The one main reason why Julien and I do not take the tour packages, is because we have to assemble by the coach real early. This time, it was by 6.45am (when it's still dark!). That meant we were out of bed by 5am. We all desperately needed sleep still...

We smiled for the camera nevertheless!!!

Took us about half an hour before we reached the causeway to enter Malaysian territory. We drove another 3 hours before we crossed over to Malacca. Once we did though, it felt like we were in another place altogether, surrounded with acres and acres of lush greenery as far as the eye can see.

Since it was still really early, our first destination, was to the bee farm/museum. When I think about a bee farm, I think protection. So I had in mind that we were going to be wearing some sort of netted outfits, before entering bee territory.

The only protective gear we were given, as you can already tell from the pictures were our very own clothes. I found out later that these bees do not sting and since this farm has been open to humans for a while now, they are quite accustomed to having humans in their midst. Overall, it was pretty educational. We were given a brief introduction on some of the different types of bees in the world and the different types of hives they build.

The highlight of the bee farm in my opinion, was that you get to taste the different types of honey these bees make. In all blunt honesty as conveyed by the bee farmer, "honey is bee vomit". A nice punchline before inviting your visitors for honey tasting, don't you think?

There were 7 types of honey for tasting. I went for pure honey. There were some variations, mixed with apple, for example. It was really good, but the major concensus was that it kind of made your throat feel a little dry after. Which is weird, because in Asia, we believe that honey is good for the throat. I remember my grandmother used to make me some warm honey with lemon to soothe my throat each time it was sore or raspy. And it always made me feel better.

We were all in better spirits after the bee musuem even though we didn't buy any honey. It was also because we were told that we would be stopping at the hotel to check in and be given some free time to do what we want. Most people will choose to shop. For the chews, that meant more sleep time.

Anyways, that news perked everyone up. We all still needed some sleep. Especially Rachel and Andy (Min's boyfriend).

We checked in, finally, and after checking the other rooms, Julien and I realised that ours had the best view!!! We could see the Straits of Malacca from our hotel!

I love these pictures... I like how there is this tiny cloud just above sea level.. It looks like a ship sailing in the sky!

The last time Julien and I were in Malacca, we had visited the remains of an old Dutch Fort where we had seen a painter with some great artwork. Unfortunately, we did not buy any of his paintings, much to Julien's regret, because he could not stop thinking about it since. So this time round, he brought everyone back to the old Fort to look for that mysterious painter. The result: We didn't manage to find that same painter, since it had just finished pouring, and no painter in his right mind would risk his paintings out in the open rain like that.. But we found this guy selling some old prints of Malacca in the 50s. Of course, Julien didn't know they were just prints. He had believed he guy when he told Julien that they were sketches.... until we went to another shop that same evening and saw the same sketch.

We were very happy for him of course.

When we were walking back to the hotel, we had noticed that there was a huge commotion just at the lobby. There were many police bikes parked at one side of the parking, and at first we thought something bad happened. I mean, it's not everyday that you have that MANY policemen in one location.

Turns out, there were that many policemen in the hotel lobby because they were escorting the King of Malaysia to our hotel! Imagnine that, to have a King commune in the same hotel that you're in! We felt different after. Like royalty. Haha.

It wasn't very long until it was time for dinner. It was a great experience for me since I love to cook! We stopped over at this restaurant called the "Nonya Sayang".

Why this was such a great culinary experience for me, was because the lady owner of the restaurant was conducting a cooking demonstration on how peranakan food was prepared and cooked. It was marvelicious! The special chilli is home made from dried shrimp mixed with red chillis. Just like how my grandmother used to make it at home!

What was funny that happened was when she stir fried the chilli paste, it made this stinging sensation up the nose when you tried to breath, as if you had taken wasabi, only by breathing. That was the only time everyone stepped out for a moment for fresh air. The rest of dinner was still scrumptous though. =)

We hit the night market after. We were more mucking around than really shopping.

Met up with our friends Jimme and Yihmay who happened to be in Malacca for a weekend too!

We had supper. Asam Laksa, which is noodles in spicy sour broth, and then headed down to this bar for a drink.

A great way to spend Good Friday!

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