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the annual pilgrimage

whenever i speak of going to malacca, i always refer to the trip as “going back“. that is the way that my mum puts it, because malacca is the place when she was born and raised. almost all of her family still reside there.

i returned from what i have come to describe as my “annual pilgrimage” last wednesday. the trip to malacca this year was a short 3 day/2 night affair, largely thanks to the fact that my reservist unit is on standby and i could be recalled anytime. i figured that it was pretty safe for me to skip town for a couple of days and no longer. the prospect of having to explain myself to a bunch of numb-skulled superiors should i fail to materialise if my unit got activated does not really excite me.

below i have posted some of the more interesting photos from the trip, along with the corresponding text. feel free to post comments or questions. enjoy.

how we roll — there are a few ways to get to malacca. being broke students, my brother and i naturally chose the most cost-effective way – mrt to kranji station, bus 170 across the causeway to larkin bus terminal in johor, then onto an interstate bus for the ride to malacca.

start of trip

on the interstate bus with our “skinny stethoscopes”. it’s not easy shooting yourself with a dslr sans tripod and remote trigger, but we managed.


one of the many pylons that dot the malaysian landscape. the cables stretch as vastly as the roads and the land that they overhang. a strange kind of communion between nature and the works of man.

once in malacca, the typical way for a foreigner to get around would be by taxis, which do not have a meter in them. as such, the cabbies would often call out exhorbitant charges if they get a sniff that you are a tourist. since i have relatives who are locals, i always am updated on the prevailing fares from one point to another. if i sense that a cabbie is trying to rip me off, i just grunt in disapproval and walk away. they are plenty more around lazing in the slow afternoons. regardless, fares usually hover around the 20 ringgit mark.

taxis aside, there are also buses that run on irregular schedules. if you are willing to wait an hour at times as well as endure the less than comfortable ride on these rickety old “tin cans”, you can save a lot of money. bus fares are around 1 to 2 ringgit.


the inside of a bus run by the patt hup bus company. this is a company that does not believe in keeping up with modernity and upgrading its fleet (not exactly) of buses.


this boy can’t wait to grow up and buy his own proton ___ra (or “ga”).

while we are still on the subject of beat-up old buses, adjacent to my auntie’s place is a lot where buses go to rust and die. they are stripped of all recyclable materials (and their dignity as well) and then just left there. clearly, the authorities there have a lot to learn in terms of waste-management.

a kampung abode

above is the photo of my auntie’s kampung house bathed in the glow of morning. i woke up at 6 a.m. that day (no one wakes up at 6 a.m. there because there is no chase, corporate or otherwise) to shoot the sunrise and got the following:


in case you are wondering why there are temperate-looking trees in the background, it is because there is currently this big effort in malacca to reclaim land and to make the coastal areas more aesthetically-pleasing. let us not judge them, for we each have our own way of dealing with the current economic downturn. in their case – potentially unsuccessful attempts to boost tourism.

malacca is home to some really great food. my favourite local specialty has to be “satay celup”. a bunch of starving individuals sit around a table with a cooking pot of peanut-based gravy in which they dip their food (on satay sticks, of course) and wait impatiently to stuff their mouth.


the boy caught in the act of doing so is my nephew terence, by the way.

being a historical city, there is no shortage of culture and heritage in malacca, even though much of it is not the doing of the locals. there is a strong portugese presence in terms of historical structures. below are what remains of a church on a hill, and the handless statue that stands vigil.

an old fort

look ma, no hands!

a final note, they are not 2 seasons behind in terms of fashion.


for more posts on photography. click here.

for more on my thoughts, click here.


5 responses

  1. Lovely saga and photo! Clearly, we share the same travel perspective. Life is about exploring and new adventures. your sagas in http://www.GotSaga.com would highligth this world! Please Sign up it’s free, and share with the rest of the world your wonderful adventures.

    Sunday December 7, 2008 at 9:00 am

  2. haha, hi paty, i am glad you enjoyed the post but i wouldn’t call it a saga. saga is defined as “a long story of heroic achievement”. i am not sure my mini travelogue here qualifies for that distinction. cheers nonetheless! thanks for reading.

    Sunday December 7, 2008 at 2:33 pm

  3. Pingback: Malacca Trip | The Second Press

  4. just scrolling through… and saw the statue (it rhymes! ) used to give me nightmares… might just trigger another bout. you know the story behind it right?

    Friday January 9, 2009 at 11:49 pm

  5. actually i don’t. pray tell.

    Saturday January 10, 2009 at 3:30 pm

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