Malacca, formerly known as Melaka, was the trading capital of Malaysia in the 1500's. It was ruled by Portuguese and it's evident on the structures that's been preserved by the government.
Upon entering this City, it felt like I entered into a whole new world.. I loved the architectural designs. I found it amazing that these buildings still look sturdy considering that most of them where built 5 centuries ago.
I noticed also that the place is so clean.
Several things caught my eye. One of those is their colorful motorcycle. In the Philippines, we call them "trisikad". It's a motorized bike which passengers use to ride around town. The ones in Malacca though are beautifully adorned with plastic flowers. Then, there were pretty girls in their attractive costume, it seemed like I was watching some kind of a show. But they were just sitting on the road and posed for the tourists. I wonder if we were supposed to give them a tip? hmmm..I never thought of it.
And then, I saw some kids playing a boardgame. I don't know exactly what it's called but it seemed interesting.
Then there's the beautiful river. I was told though that they have crocs there. The boat trip is interesting and relaxing. Of course, just be careful and make sure that you do not fall! hehe
This is one of my favorite pictures of Malacca.
Then, I saw Malacca Fort. It used to be a prominent landmark during the Malay Sultanate's time because this was where the administrative complex and the royal residence were located.
Our next stop was the Taoist and Buddhist temple. Before we reach our destination, we passed by a trading ship which the Malacca government recovered from the bottom of the sea and preserved.
As we continued on, our driver led us to a narrow road, we were worried that the big bus won't be able to fit. Mr. Singh, our tour guide , explained that since the buildings beside the road are considered the world's heritage, there's no way to expand the roads anymore.
Malacca's temples are as colorful as their history. When we reached the place, I was amazed by their rich color. The temple we went to is being shared by two religions. The Taoist and Buddhist. When we entered the gate, I stood in awe. The exquisite carvings on the walls, the ceilings, everywhere I looked were beautiful. Then I smelled the incense burning.
I am a catholic, but it did not stop me from buying their candles. I was told that when you pray, you should use a set of 3 candles. Take a bow and pray. And then bow again, when you're done. I think it's a form of respect.
Another belief they have is that , if you put your hands in the Tiger's mouth and roll the ball inside 3x, your wish/es will be granted. I heard John said "I have nothing to ask for anymore".. but he still did it. And so did I. Remember the Fountain of Wealth in Singapore? I did that in 2007 and as I said, everything that I prayed for was granted to me. Maybe the fountain has nothing to do with it, but then again, what am I to lose if I tried it right? Same with the Tiger's Ball at the temple.
After praying, Mr. Singh brought us to the back of the temple. You'll see from there different types of altar which houses several vase filled with ashes. From what I understand, the families of the member paid to leave them there so they can be prayed on. Some have gold plated ornates while the others look plain. I guess it all depends on how much you pay for it.
Then I saw some tiger statues whose faces are no longer recognizable. Mr. Singh, our tour guide, explained that when a family member is sick, people go there and pray. And if they touch the tiger's face, the patient will be healed. This made me realize that each culture has different beliefs. My husband smiles when I tell him about our Filipino beliefs. I guess, we all just have to respect each other's faith and belief.
On our way back to the bus, I saw an old man painting. I could not resist so I asked permission to take a picture of him and his work. I can write, but I can never draw or paint like this genius of a man.. I found his painting so beautiful! And his talent, awesome... Too bad it wasn't finished yet or I would have bought it.