Sunday, October 9, 2011

Melaka &C

We plan (by which I mean Marc plans) our vacations in a kind of backwards way. We start by seeing how far away our frequent flyer miles will take us, and pick the major entrance/exit places. Then we see where local transportation can take us between our entrance/exit cities, and triangulate our way to other places to visit. For this trip, we knew we wanted to return to Vietnam -- Hanoi, Sapa, and HCMC/Mekong Delta. But we had 15-16 days, so we wanted to see another country too. We considered Thailand but decided against it; since we went to Laos and Cambodia last fall, we started looking into Malaysia. Air Asia has very inexpensive flights, and Kuala Lumpur is a hub so we poked around to see places other than Kuala Lumpur that we might visit. After selecting Borneo, our second destination in Malaysia was Melaka, chosen because it looked interesting and it was near enough to Kuala Lumpur to make it a reasonable destination. So we didn't set out, in NYC, thinking "Whee! Let's visit Melaka!" Marc's research suggested that it's a lovely place to visit, and if you're here, the place to be is in the Jonker Street area. So here we are.

My initial sense, based on a lunchtime visit, is that it's like Bourbon Street (minus the naked ladies and all the bourbon and jazz) -- tourist central, lots of mass-produced plastic or bamboo tchotchkes to buy, and not a whole lot else. But we'll see! It was extremely hot and crowded, and perhaps we haven't found the neat part yet. I really hope so; we have the rest of today, all day tomorrow, and until mid-afternoon the day after, before we return to Kuala Lumpur for our flight to HCMC.

More later......

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