Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Jonker Walk

Jonker Walk is situated in the heart of Malacca. It's a long narrow 500m street, flanked by old houses and temples dating back to 17th century.

The story of Jonker Walk goes back to the Dutch Period in Malacca. The servants and subordinates of Dutch masters used to live at the nearby Heeren Street (now Tun Tan Cheng Lock Street). However, as soon as the Dutch left, it became noblemen's street. The rich Baba and Bibiks started to live and trade here giving the street a deep rooted ethnic and culture flavour.

Jonker Walk is a haven for antique collectors. Assortment of artifacts, some dating as far back as 300 years can be found in the antique shops that lined the street. There are also many entertainment, food and beverage outlets catering for the visitors in the area.

Most of the shops in Jonker Walk operate their business from 10am until 8pm, whilst Tourist Market is held on every Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights at which vehicles are not allowed into the street.

There are also Chinese Cultural Shows held at Jonker Street (Friday-Sunday night) as on of the ways to further promote the cultural lifestyle and heritage of the Babas and Nyonyas (Straits born Chinese) to the tourists.

During these hours, traders are lining along the pedestrian street and setting up stalls to sell and display products such as antiques, local and ethnic traditional food, unique arts and crafts. souvenirs, ornamental jewellery and wooden clogs.

I reckon this would be a better place to hunt for souvenirs compare to the heritage areas across the Malacca River. One can get better quality and more creative items here.

Strange thing is most of the stalls and shops here don not allow people to take photo in their premises.

The street is also an ideal place to look for food or snack. Pineapple tarts, twisting potato, dumpling, "Ting Ting" sweets and many more signature products can be found here.

For the record, there are also some pubs nearby the street that serve foreign beers such Paulaner, Kilkenny, Hoegaarden and Franziskaner which are usually found in Kuala Lumpur and Penang.

This street is only worth to be visited from Friday - Sunday night as it really comes alive during that duration time. It is kind of dull on any other day

Monday, June 27, 2011

KTM ETS Train

Recently I took an ETS train from KL Sentral to Batu Gajah. The ETS train pretty much serve the city of Ipoh-Kuala Lumpur-Seremban.

This is probably the best train ride one can get in Malaysia. Its arrival and departure time is so punctual that I thought I was taking a Swiss rail.

ETS train basically has 3 types of schedule (Platinum, Gold and Silver). The difference between these 3 types of train is the stations in which they stop. The Platinum train serve only KL Sentral, KL (Old Railway Station) and Ipoh which made the journey slightly below 2 hours. The Gold train on the other hand make 9 stops from KL Sentral en route to Ipoh while the Silver train stops at all the train stations en route.

Once purchasing the ticket, one will need to know which coach they will be seating as indicated in the ticket. The train platform will have the coach letter on it so passengers can stand in the correct position and board the train quickly as it arrives.

The ETS trains are all manufactured in 2009 by Korean Hyundai Rotem.

The coach is clean, spacious and comfortable. All the coaches are equipped with overhead luggage racks for easy luggage stowage.

The staffs here are neat and friendly. I kind of like their uniform attire as it reflect well on the company. F&B Bar is also available onboard, usually located at Coach C. However, the train staff will still walk around and taking orders from the passengers.

The LED TV mounted in front of each coach will show the time and the train speed. I noted the highest speed the train achieved in my recent ride was 152km/h

Even the toilet onboard impressed me. It is very clean and comfortable to use. It also has a dedicated toilet for the disable.

I arrived Batu Gajah from KL Sentral slightly over 2 hours onboard the Gold Train (RM34) and I definitely fancy another ride on this train in the future

Friday, June 24, 2011

Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, Malacca

One of the oldest streets in Malacca is called Heeren Street by the Dutch and known as Holland Street to the Chinese till this very day.

It has also nicknamed Millionaires' Row as most of the Chinese millionaires of the pioneering period lived on this street.

Most of the houses here appear small and narrow from the outside but don't let the appearance fool you as they stretch some 100m back.

After Malaysia's independence, the street was renamed Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock in memory of the Founder of the Malaysian Chinese Association for the important role he played towards the achievement of Malaysia's independence.

Some of the architectural jewel was built here in the 18th Century. The Chee Mansion, for example is the testament of the wealth for those who once lived along this street. The mansion which has a touch of Dutch architecture is surely a sight to behold.

The Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum is also located at this street. A visit reveals a way of life that lasted unchanged until World War II. It is opened everyday (on specified time only) except Tuesday

The guided tour, conducted by petite Nyonya ladies dressed in traditional costumes, reveals the architecture and decor of the era as well as intimate details about how the Babas and Nyonyas lived

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

History Room @ Hotel Puri Melaka

The History Room in Hotel Puri Melaka somehow manage to attract local and foreign visitors during my stay at this hotel. I could see endless flow of visitors coming to the hotel and made a brief stop to admire the artifacts inside the hotel's own small private museum.

It has quite an artifacts, most probably from the original house itself. The Malacca history and story are also been highlighted in this museum.

The story and history of this house from its original owner until its careful restoration to the present hotel is well depicted here.

Betel box & tray

Figures with Portuguese warrior wearing a fine suit of armour

Items collected from the Japanese Rule (1942-1945)

Artifacts collected during the British Rule (1795-1957)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Breakfast at Hotel Puri Melaka

Every guest who stay in Hotel Puri Melaka is entitled to complimentary buffet breakfast in one of its restaurant.

The restaurant itself has an interesting concept. It adopts an open garden concept at the rear of the hotel itself which give a pleasant dining experience.

The variety of food here is satisfactory. The food is cooked from the kitchen where it is originally located at this heritage site.

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