The Chinese apparently discovered Australia????
Well looks like its my turn to update this blog of ours... Man, has there been some adventures already and we have only been travelling for a week!!!!!
I must say you never really appreciate your air conditioner until you are in Asia, with temperatures reaching over 30 plus degrees with 80% + humidity..... lucky for me Neil worked his magic and got us an air conditioned room.... much to my delight :)
I have been very fortunate over the years to be able to travel overseas, (generally with family) but this is a whole other side of things that you can not possibly imagine unless you jump on that wagon... anyway enough of my rambling.... Fortunately I acquire a skill my father has kindly passed on.... the knowledge of history and the beginnings of cultures and societies across the globe... Melaka is no exception with the invasion of the Chinese, Portugese, Dutch (twice), British and Japanese and I suppose a few more I haven't yet mentioned.....
We started our day off by heading to the Taming Sari Revolving Tower, which is a massive 80 metres high which revolves (as the name suggests) giving us a perfect view of Melaka and its beautiful surroundings.
What ever you do don't look down!!!
The People's Museum was meant to be the next stop but unfortunately it was closed for renovations. It basically contained exhibits showing the lengths people go to for perceived beauty, e.g. dental mutilations, foot binding, tattooing etc. So we moved onto Porta de Santiago. Which is a fort, the remains of a massive slave Malayian force under the rule of the Portugese. The fort stood for approximately 296 years until the British come and decided to demolish it moving everything from Melaka to Penang.
Next stop was the beautiful Istana ke Sultanan, a beautiful dark timber palace surrounded by grand gardens, it was built recently and based on the description in the Sejarah Melayu, a text written in the 15th century. In typical Malayian tradition it is built with multilayered, sharply slanted roofs containing no nails!!!! It was basically where the Sultan lived when he was in the city but mainly was used for administrative purposes. The detail inside was absolutely amazing to say the least with a lot of wax figures of traders and officials etc. Overall great fun.
I wonder how many Ringgit it costs to rent the place???
Finally Neil sees someone else in a sarong!!!
Peace and free trade... thats the way its done :)
Ever heard of a bloke Cheng Ho??? Nope?? Neither had we.... next stop was the Cheng Ho Museum where we were warmly welcomed by a gentleman who very graciously gave us a very cheap and fantastic tour of the place.... Basically during the Ming Dynasty the Emperor asked Admiral Cheng Ho to travel from China to Melaka no less then six times. Interesting little fact here. The Emperor built the forbidden city and it was divided into two areas. One for functions and the other his private quarters. Now he had a lot of consorts and didn't want any male poking around if you get my meaning. So if you were not of nobility you were castrated which Cheng Ho was at the age of 13!!! He then worked his way up through the ranks and landed the role that would make him legendary. Below is a photo of Cheng Ho at the tender age of 13 loosing his "money bag" and "spring roll."
Records show there were seven trips in total with Cheng Ho commanding six of them. His fleet consisted of no less than 300 ships. He travelled from China around the globe, including Melaka where he set up a warehouse for the valuables obtained on this long journey. Cheng Ho encouraged peace and prosperity unlike the invaders to come.
Many valuables were brought to China as a result of his voyages he travelled as far as Africa to Somalia. Where he brought back a giraffe as it represented a magical creature. These voyages lasted 2 years at a time...
I would highly recommend a visit here, Cheng Ho was an amazing person who accomplished what other explorers like Colombus would not do for another 87 years!!!!
Quick note according to a book 1421,written by a guy named Gavin Menzies. Basically he states this is the year that China discovered the world. He says that in this time a few of Cheng Ho's ships left them and set off to find America, New Zealand, Australia etc. I personally have not read it but it will be an interesting read. The guide said that they had found in present times a ship dated 600 years ago to the Ming Dynasty off the coast of America. Just before Cheng Ho's death he recorded on a tablet his six voyages on behalf of the Chinese empire. I think I will leave the history lesson there.... but this is what I love about this place it is sooo full of interesting history...
Clarneil decided to call it a day and return to our then fan room.... With the next port of call Jonker Walk
This is basically a night market where they cut off the street to road traffic and line it with things you need and things you don't..... Food and drink are a plenty along with Durian (ewwww). It was sooo beautiful and breath taking located in Chinatown, just down the road from our accommodation....
We ended up at the Eleven Bistro enjoying a "bucket" of beers watching the world go by... the waiter was so attentive and ran at us to help over the smallest thing... it was great service you just don't get that much anymore.... We also scored a photo of us, a photo with the waiter and free key rings!!! JACKPOT!!!
When I took this photo I couldn't stop laughing... Harry Potter or Where's Wally??????
I must commend this woman singing in front of at least 80 people not to mention passers by. They have karaoke where anyone can get up and sing.... it was great to watch a man in fluro down the front get his grove on for every song :)
Well thats all your going to get from me today.....Hope you all enjoyed my turn....
Love n well wishes to all those in the land girt by sea...
PS Thank you Ellen for your lovely letters xx