Moments in Malacca

Babas and Nyonas, belachan, kasut manek, gula melaka, Sultan Iskandar Shah, Hang Tuah, Alfonso de Albuquerque, Admiral Cheng Ho, St Francis Xavier, Hang Li Po…..names synonymous with Malacca. It was during the last week of the mid-year school holidays that our family embarked on a daytrip across the Causeway, Malacca.

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^ It was not the usual visit to the various historical sites in Malacca like the Istana Melaka, Christchurch, Stadthuys, Maritime Museum, Fort Formosa etc. Rather, it was a walk down some places capturing the moments that may have gone unnoticed.

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^ The first stop was a nondescript nursery displaying a variety of flowering and non-flowering plants. It was actually the property of the owner whose house is just next to the nursery.

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^ From ferns to cactus, fertilizers to dragon pots, they probably have what you need to put your green fingers to work.

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^ Though the weather was pretty scorching, this flower still manage to bloom with vibrancy.

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^ A flowering plant that deserves its beauty to be shared.

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^ The next stop was at Bee Bee. A home cum shop along a quiet road…homemade pineapple tarts with its freshness emanating from the oven.

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^ The atmosphere was entirely laid back. An old man catching up with the latest news while the other takes in the sight of the few traffic passing by.

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^ Lunch was at Bibik Neo Restaurant. A spread of Peranakan dishes await us.

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^ Lime juice with a piece of sour plum thrown in was the juice of the day. Extremely refreshing. The spread consist of fried chicken (above photo) which I find very crispy, lady’s fingers with a splash of garlicky chilli, steamed garoupa, sambal kangkong and a few more…..but I have no time to photograph all of them as the chopsticks came charging in removing every morsel from the plate.

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^ Window frills hung at the top and bottom of the window. Part decor, part to keep out prying eyes.

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^ Names of Jonker Street and Jonker Walk…it’s actually Jalan Hang Jebat. A spot tourists to do some shopping.

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^ Provisions shops in Malacca. A bygone era in Singapore.

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^ The old and the new.

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^ With some refurbishments, old two-storey houses morphed into a modern shophouse. Batiks and cheongsams can be found at this shop.

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^ Charkiak or wooden clogs that gives the sound of click…clock…click…clock…as you walk in them. It was quite common to see the older folks wearing these at the markets. Seldom seen now.

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^ After your visit around the premises of this little museum, it’s time to sit down and have some refreshments…chendol with a generous spalsh of gula melaka.

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^ One of the refurbished double storey house that presented a modern day facade. As you step inside, there still exist the centre airwell near the back of the house which is the norm for homes in that era.

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^ Wooden xylophone.

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^ Beautifully woven rattan lacquered baskets.

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^ Bicycles of yesteryear. Notice the bull-horn shaped handlebar, bicycle stand, and the dynamo battery to power the front lights. Only that these are mini figurines for decorative purpose.

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^ Hokkien Clan Association.

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^ Motif of a dragon on the wall outside the Hokkien Clan Association. The dragon is the only mystical creature out of the 12 Chinese zodiac animals. If you look closely, you will see that this dragon has the legs of horses’ hoofs instead of the dragon’s claw.

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^ For those who love kueh-kueh, paying a visit to Nancy’s Kitchen may satisfy that urge.

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^ One of the many old photos that adorned the walls in Nancy’s Kitchen. A photo of the lady wearing a baju panjang and batik sarong.

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^ For the believers.

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^ Knick-knacks such as this wind-chime that will add some colour and tinkling sounds to your home.

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^ One look and you would know the name of this fruit. The final stop is never to be missed. The sharp prickly and pungent fruit. You either love it or hate it.

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^ The fruit stall of H.J.Mohammad. Durians, mangosteen, buah duku, rambutans and whatever fruits in season. Mohammad wasn’t around when we visited to have our fill. His daughters help to manage the stall.

Perhaps you may like to know that some roads in Singapore were named after persons who were from Malacca.

1. Tan Tock Seng (b.1798, Malacca, Malaysia – d.24 Feb 1850, Singapore), a Hokkien merchant, landowner, entrepreneur and philanthropist. He set up a hospital for the poor in 1844 which today bears his name – Tan Tock Seng Hospital.

2. Gan Eng Seng (b.1844, Malacca – d.9 Sep 1899, Singapore) Chinese community leader, who contributed considerably to charities like hospitals and schools. He began the Gan Eng Seng Free School in 1885.

3. Tan Jiak Kim (b.29 Apr 1859, Singapore d.22 Oct 1917, Singapore) was the grandson of Tan Kim Seng, where Tan Kim Seng came from Malacca and eventually made a name for himself as a wealthy businessman and a civic leader. Tan Jiak Kim himself was also a well-known Straits Chinese merchant and philanthropist in Singapore. You will know Kim Seng Road and Jiak Kim Street.

4. Tan Keong Saik, was a Malacca-born prominent businessman and community leader where Keong Saik Road in Chinatown was named after him.

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Who knows? Peering into the corridor of history may reveal something interesting.

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2 Responses to “Moments in Malacca”

  1. yg Says:

    your blog makes me want to make another trip to melaka. miss the chendol and the peranakan food. must remember to buy home pineapple tarts.

  2. ordinary guy Says:

    And maybe chance upon buying the belachan back for that added zing to your meals. Yummy!!

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