After the wedding was done, it was time to go out with the boys. So what’s the plan? Beca time! A short drive to Menara Taming Sari - a new tower built last year with a ride. People enter a platform, forming a doughnut around the main tall column. The platform was then lifted up from ground level, right up to the top. The platform then do a couple of slow spin to offer the visitors panoramic view of Bandar Melaka. It charges a reasonable fee for what it offered and I was sure the view will be stunning on a day such as today when the weather was gorgeous. Unfortunately with Idlan afraid of heights and all, I didn’t think it was a good idea. P/s - I have no problem what so ever with heights.
We then did the most touristy thing we could think off - getting a beca - trishaw - ride across town, stopping at the main tourist spots. For RM40 an hour, it was money well spent especially when the boys being so excited with the ride. The trishaw were also very colourful, blaring out with music, and decorated with flowers. Quite a spectacle. There were plenty of them and most of them were very professional and organised. They offer routes according to what interested us, and we picked the one going through A Famosa, the Christ Church etc. Unfortunately being quite late in the afternoon during weekend, some of the route were blocked for the evening festivities, the famous Jonker Street being one of them.
Our first stop on the beca ride was an old Melaka tree. Legend has it, the founder of the great land, Parameswara was on the run from Temasik - now Singapore - and while resting under a tree, he saw a reindeer kicked away a tiger - well, I am not much of a historian, so I might got this fact wrong big time - which he thought was awesome. Awestruck, he asked one of his minions the name of the tree, and he was told, “Melaka”. He decided to stay and form a new colony. Melaka was born. At the spot that we stopped, there were also an old locomotive - bearing in mind that there was no railway line in the whole of Melaka - and a old airplane. That very airplane was the one which carried the late Tunku Abdul Rahman from London with the declaration of Malaya Independence from British rule.
Few snaps, and we were ready to go. Next stop - A Famosa. It was a famous Portuguese fort built after their invasion of Melaka in 1511. The fort was later destroyed when the Dutch came to town some 100 years later. What’s left were ruins of what was the church on top of a hill. The were steep steps to get up there, and before we asked, Idlan has already started running up! Poor Puan Anita had to follow along with us. Reaching on top of the hill, there were already a group of students taking pictures and vendors selling souvenirs. There were also street performers there, eager to sing and play songs for change. The one which caught everyones’ attention was a Portuguese guitar duo singing traditional songs. It was great fun.
After 10 minutes looking around, it was time to get back down. We stopped for a couple of minutes to see a set of ruins discovered a couple of years back when surveyor were digging around to built Menara Taming Sari. They found old Portuguese ruins and skeletons, believed to be part of the original A Famosa. It was still being studied and the state government planned to rebuild the site once fully explored. The Menara Taming Sari was then built on the current site away from the original plan due to this findings.
Next stop, was along Lorong Muhibbah or Harmony Street. On that small stretch of road, there was an Indian temple, a Mosque - Masjid Kampung Keling, and a Chinese Tokong. Further along was a newer Buddhist temple but it was clearly not from the same era. We stopped at the Mosque, and it was pretty unique. It still have a chandelier going back 100 years and the stairs and ornaments looked antique. We pushed on later to Makam Hang Jebat. Legend has it that during the time of Melaka Sultanate, there were five great friends and great warriors, sworn to protect the state of Melaka from invasions and also uphold the rule of law. Due to jealousy, Tuah, one of the five were accused of having an affair with the Sultan’s maid and was sentenced to death. Knowing that it was not true, a Minister hid Tuah away, leaving both the Sultan and Jebat thinking that he was dead. Seeing it as an injustice, Jebat went on a rampage and savaged the town. The Sultan’s army cannot contain Jebat’s wrath until finally the Minister told about Tuah’s hiding and the Sultan summon him to subdue and kill Jebat. Ever obliging, Tuah had to choose between friend and the Sultan. He chose the Sultan - a rather unpopular decision accding to the youth of today hehehe! Anti-establishment that we are - and killed Jebat. Jebat died later in Tuah’s arm and forgave his friend but not the Sultan. He body was buried at the Makam - in a mausoleum 7 and a half foot long! Was he that tall then?
The boys were getting tired by then and we snaked around the streets towards Christ Church where the streets were lines with stalls and a photo-spot available all round. Idlan picked up a replica galleon from one of the shops there, while Irfan bought a stick with boxing padded boxing glove at the end. Good for releasing stress. There was a small garden with a water fountain, but the day was getting dark. Time to head back to base. Our Abang Beca gladly took us back initially to where we started, and then on to Dataran Pahlawan where we alighted to do some shopping. That was our final stop in the beca ride. I will blog about the beca riders later in another entry.
After getting some drinks and Puan Anita getting herself some bedspread, we headed back to our hotel. We went straight for the dinner buffet. Halfway during our meal, the light were suddenly switched off and the candles were lit. It was Earth Hour! Lights were off for an hour, and the hotel was really taking it seriously. The light on our corridors were also off, but the staffs were there with flashlights to make sure the don’t get sued if we injured ourselves. We got changed and before long, we were in fairyland after a long day. More adventures tomorrow I’m sure!
The slideshow for the trip can be found here.