Malacca

We are sailing through the famous Malacca Strait as I write. Even though the wind is mostly on the nose, it’s a good time of the year to go through as the weather is calm, with less chance of violent thunderstorms and Sumatra winds. We’ve had the sails up a few times, but mostly we will be motoring all the way.

It’s not the thunderstorms, nor the pirates (they’ve been mostly scared away since the government took action a few years ago), nor the busy traffic of huge tankers that worries us. It’s the fishermen. And not the fishermen themselves, but the kilometres-long unmarked and unlit nets they put out. It makes sailing at night nigh on impossible.

We’ve made a stop in Pulau Pisang (aka Banana Island) and Pulau Bessar. The latter is part of the Water Islands, named so because of the fresh water wells. In the olden days, ships used to stop here to re-victual. Today it’s a place of pilgrimage for muslims who come and visit the ancient graves of Sultans and other historical leaders that were buried here. There’s a resort and golf course too.

Our next stop was Port Dickson, where we took a few days rest and the opportunity to visit the ancient town of Malacca (also know as Melaka).

One day really wasn’t enough to do this fascinating historical place justice. The long colonial history (Portuguese, then Dutch, then British) is visible all through town and the historic centre has been classified a UNESCO world heritage site. But, most visible is the rich Chinese heritage which started long before the first Europeans arrived, when the daughter of the Chinese Emperor married the first Sultan and brought 500 ‘attendants’ with her, who all married and mixed with the local Malay. The famous mariner, explorer and diplomat Cheng Ho (1371-1438) stopped in Malacca five times during his seven legendary voyages. He was instrumental in getting Malacca on the map as a major trading hub and port. At one point, this port could accommodate 2000 ships. Right now there’s isn’t even anywhere to anchor Rehua! It’s all been silted up.

6X8A7074

Lots of traffic in the Malacca Strait

IMG_7248

glad to have AIS

6X8A7032

a fisherman and his kilometres-long nets, at least this one is marked with tiny white buoys

IMG_7240

sails up, but not for long, as we mostly have wind on the nose

6X8A7045

approaching Pulau Bessar, place of pilgrimage for muslims

6X8A7063

sailing past the town of Malacca, nowhere to anchor here

6X8A7090

so into Port Dickson instead, just north of Malacca

IMG_7258

a marina with a swimming pool. Yay!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

day-trip to the historic town of Malacca, a UNESCO world heritage site

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Queen Victoria’s fountain

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

local transport awaits

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

very colourful and tempting, but we prefer to walk

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

in the red square, built by the Dutch

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

‘Stadthuys’, the old town-hall

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and of course …the token windmill, left behind by the Dutch?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Jonker Walk, the historic area in town, small streets with lots of quaint shops and restaurants

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

lots of colourful decorations for the upcoming Chinese New Year

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

plenty of Chinese heritage visible everywhere

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

quaint little shops

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

interesting antiques

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

local art gallery

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

‘chicken in a bun’; not an alive one, we assume?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

an old fort, always a favourite with the boys

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

replica of the Portuguese galleon ‘Flor de la Mar’ with a museum inside

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

imagine being on this ship …

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

at the naval museum

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, practicing the three doctrinal systems of Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism. It’s the oldest functioning temple in Malaysia, built in 1645.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

beautifully decorated inside

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

lighting a candle

Frame-24-01-2018-09-23-38

offerings on the table inside the temple

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

colourful houses along the canals

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

plenty of opportunity to stop for a rest

IMG_7273

late afternoon, overlooking the Dutch square

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Dinner before we head back; we found this delightful Tapas bar called ‘The Curly Tail’, serving pork-belly, jamon iberico, patatas bravas, calamares, yum yum yum …

2 thoughts on “Malacca

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s