The words on the tip of the fountain (not in photo) reads:
“Victoria Regina 1837-1901, erected by the people of Malacca in memory of a great Queen 1904.”
In so many ways, Melaka is as a family-friendly destination. Along with her heritage trail that preserved colonial structures from her historic past, is a bunch of modern attractions from theme parks to charming coffee shops and teeming with food stalls and eateries and night bazaars and whatnot, that effortlessly appeal to all ages. I must admit, Tina, Gabby and I were happy with our entire experience despite the fact that our three-day-two-night-family-trip was so unplanned, without hotel reservation and a limited budget at hand, everything surprisingly went smoothly and what really mattered most :
we all had fun!
In case you missed the previous posts on this series : On the afternoon of Black Saturday of 2013, we found ourselves in Malacca instead of crossing the southern Malaysian border on foot to revisit Singapore for a supposed sponsored trip (which was rescheduled last minute to fourth week of May due to unforseen circumstances; we cannot wait!). Cliche as it may sound, it was truly a blessing in disguise as we finally discovered Melaka; we loved every moment we spent there to bits.
One of the highlights of our short break to one of Malaysia’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, was embarking on the touristy boat ride via the Malacca River Cruise.
Before we rode the boat for that famous river cruise, we paid an almost obligatory visit to the iconic landmark, the Dutch Protestant, Christ Church Melaka…
We admired that Queen Victoria fountain in front of the church…
And never missed to take tons of photos, of course (oh, one of those things we do best! lol).
Christ Church Melaka, the Clock Tower and the Stadhuys Museum that was previously the administrative office, all in terracotta red color make up the Dutch Square or Red Square.
After quick homage to those must-visit-spots, we walked our way to the jetty where ticket booth to the Melaka River Cruise is located.
*I love this photo! While my lovely wife was ever ready for a close up, our adorable son’s busy with munching! Behind my family are another tourist drawers to Melaka -those overly adorned trishaws!
Few steps more, et voila! The area where the 45-minute-river-cruise starts. No, we didn’t ride that galleon ship, hahaha! I wish!
We bought 15 rinngit per adult tickets and 7 ringgit per kid. This is Malaysia so admission rates are higher foreigners. No further questions.
It was our first time in Melaka and I was the most excited. “Hey, wait, honey, Gabby. Picture!”
The sight reminded me of the title of a movie of my youth, ”A River Runs Through It.”
All aboard! Here we go!
“On your right is the St. Francis Church…. on your left is….this…and that…” heard from the recorded tour commentaries. With a reasonable price for the tour, I could not hope for a better interactive and live tour guiding. Or perhaps, there’s a boat with an actual tour guide but we had it otherwise.
Moving on, the river is cleaner than I expected. I personally liked the presence of few pedestrian bridges that link streets along the river. Even delighted with the fact that no bridge was built the same. Each has its own design and character.
Read somewhere that Melaka River was called, “Venice of the East.” Wow! Thankfully, it didn’t stink. Keep up the cleanliness, please!
Major attractions to the Malacca River Cruise were the colorful murals on the shop houses and inns and restaurants and residential and commercial buildings along the waters. It was something we had not seen before! Beautiful!
Look, there’s a monorail!
Monorail by the river. Amazing!
The 45-minute-10-kilometer-river cruise could also be a hop-on, hop-off for passengers as there are a few jetties at one side. One group of tourist from our boat decided to alight after the boat took a turn at the river’s end to go back from where we started.
And it’s true that the best way to experience Malacca River Cruise is between 6 to 7PM (or onwards) when the sky starts to become blue. If you must know, sun down in Malaysia comes after 7:30PM or so.
There were a choices of restaurants and coffee shops on both sides of the river that apparently offer a romatic ambiance at night. I asked Tina if she wanted to have a dinner in any of those but she thought it might be more costly. We didn’t waste time and strolled our way to the nearby Jonker Street (I’ll have a separate blog post about it).
For now, here’s a glimpse of Jonker Street…
In my opinion, the Malacca River experience is never complete if one only saw her beauty from the boat. The river is totally different when the sun is up! Murals provide you another perspective at daytime.
Small inns and guesthouses for backpackers (If we only knew they’re here!), mini-groceries and eateries are where the murals on. We spotted a mini-pasar (mini-mart) and had some thirst-quenchers. Look at us, mag-ama, tambay sa Melaka! lol
I was saddened by the sight that my most favorite mural along the Malacca River was dilapidated too! Authorities, when can you restore this?
Had we known that guesthouses and inns are what most of these painted walls are made of, we could’ve spent our two nights in one of them.
Stroll. Pause. Smile. Picture. Repeat. It’s a vicious yet happy cycle! Therapeutic actually! :D
The Malaccans know how to do it! Look at these orchids and other blooms and greens! Bravo!!!
Food murals along the Melaka River. Nice!
Photos, more photos!!!
My favorite mural, that Chinese Lion!
Another mural not to be overlooked…
Worries were melted, nothing in mind but fun, fun, fun with the family!
We’ll cherish all our fun and colorful memories from Melaka forever!
*This Melaka Blog Series includes :
- We Wore Baba & Nyonya Traditional Attires
- The Baboon House Malacca
- Malacca River Cruise
- To be continued…
*Since we had a CHANGE of travel destination from supposed Singapore to Malacca, this is my entry to WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE : CHANGE