Manic, mayhem, mystifying; Malaysia has definitely been an experience which has made me learn a lot about myself. My favourite part is just how multicultural the country is and yet somehow, though mismatched, everything fits together perfectly. Seeing some of the other sites of Malacca; I could barely contain my excitement at the thought of a visit to china town. Anyone who has been following me for a while will know of my many misadventures when attempting to visit the china town district of a city (my most spectacular fail was in Singapore).
Malacca Chinatown is an ancient part of the city, founded by Ming Chinese migrants who arrived between 1400-1500. They built many buildings, the oldest and most well known is the Cheng Hoon Teng (青云亭).
The area is relatively small and is centred around three streets; Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, Jalan Hang Jebat, better known as Jonkers Street, Harmony Street and Jalan Tokong. It is totally aimed at tourists but there are many authentic stores and temples. In theory it shouldn’t have taken me long to walk through the three streets. The area is so picturesque, I stopped every few steps to let my senses soak up the area. Chinatown feels almost nostalgic in a sense, the whole place has a slower and more relaxed outlook on life. The thing I love most about Asia (after the food of course).
My first stop on Harmony Street was the ancient temple of Cheng Hoon Teng. Built in the 17th century, it is a beautiful ornate building filled to the brim with ornate architecture. The whole area is feng shui perfectly and has the most beautiful air of grace. The statues of the Buddha are very ornate and beautiful but I didn’t stay inside the temple long as some humans were praying and meditating. Instead I chose to sit outside watching the lanterns floating happily in the sunshine.
My favourite part of the visit to the temple was hearing the mosque putting out a prayer call and seeing the Hindu temple all in such close proximity to each other harmoniously.
Malacca Chinatown is one of the few Chinatowns in the world that is located within a UNSECO World Heritage site. Jonker Street is at the heart of Chinatown and the name literally translates to ‘Second class gentleman’ Street. I thought this was quite funny until I realised it was referring to the times when the servants, who worked for those living on Hereen Street, lived here.
It was busier than the other parts of Chinatown but it wasn’t overly crowded. I really like how compact the old town is. Making it really walkable and exciting. The funky colonial Chinese-style two storey buildings filled with interesting shops and cafés.
Once again wishing to escape the heat I chose to go into Sin Sing Café. This turned out to be a little gem. It was like having coffee in an elderly relatives court yard. There was even a small lizard running up the walls. This place turned out to be the home of the best coffee I had in Malaysia; for the tiny price of RM4 for an iced coffee.
I chose to spend the last part of my time in Malacca wandering along the Riverside taking in the beautiful Wall art. Most of Europe is filled with rude grafitti, I always enjoy seeing the unique paintings on houses in Asia.
I would have happily spent a few days herein Malacca because it reminded me of Emerald Hill in Singapore, just a bit less posh. Sadly, my time in Malaysia was cut short and I had a flight to catch to my next destination.
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