At first I had the boat almost to myself, then I was swamped by a mob of riotous Chinese who frolicked on board like children, singing, laughing and photographing everything in sight, especially me the peculiar-looking foreigner. I must be in every photo that went home to China.
Finally I got off at the hotel landing where I had started and walked back along the river to the centre of town. How nice this walk was, along an immaculately kept paved path beside the water, shaded by the densely packed little houses and edged by lovingly tended pot plants. This very old part of Malacca is now UNESCO World Heritage listed. Along the way were many boat landings where I saw signs advertising a hop on, hop off boat, but, Ramadan again, no one could tell me about it. I found the Tourist Bureau but they were useless, and the supposed boat ticket office was closed except for a man sleeping (the guard!) outside it on a bench. There were few individual travellers here and only tour groups seemed to be catered for.
Burma Administrative Map Photo Gallery
I sat down on one of the many seats overlooking the river for a rest and was immediately engulfed by more jolly Chinese and photographed some more once with a woman tenderly entwined about me. This must be the new Chinese middle class. God help us when they can all afford to travel. All 1.2 billion of them! They either weren’t allowed out before or couldn’t afford it.
Although Malacca wasn’t as hot as KL, said to be the hottest place in the country where the temperature can reach 40°C, I got tired walking about after a while so I retreated until the evening. It was pleasant then to amble along Yongers Street, Malacca’s famous Chinese night market.
The following day I took a Duck Tour. The duck wasn’t Donald but an amphibious vehicle. This was fun. A group of Chinese (more photographs) tourists and I sat high on the open top of the duck under an awning as we chugged around town passing the sights. We saw the Malacca Tower, another great pointy article that I was urged to climb but again resisted, refusing to be a Good Little Tourist. This tower was not only sickeningly high, but, to make matters worse, it revolved!
Then our duck drove down a causeway and straight into the sea, which was a great novelty. On the nearby headland, sailing now, we passed a spectacular mosque, the Straits of Malacca Mosque, that guards the land and the sea it looks out over. We chugged along the waters of the coast a way and then returned.