Search Results for: label/melaka

Rickshaw Riding in Melaka

There comes a time in everyone’s life when you just have to be the cheesy tourist.

Like pretending to push the Leaning Tower of Pisa upright for a photo, or sitting astride a massive clog in Amsterdam, we are all united in the fact that as much as we love to laugh at people who engage in such tomfoolery, we love it equally as much.

Our cheesy tourist day came in Melaka, midway through our visit to Malaysia. After the ordeal of having had the ends of my hair butchered by a ladyboy, I was in desperate need of some cheering up. Luckily, there are some men with plastic flowers and boomboxes for that. And by that of course I mean the trishaw drivers that line the streets of the city’s Red Dutch Square, outside the oft-photographed Christ Church.

Graffiti Street Art in Melaka

Melaka was an unexpected little gem.

Planning on only spending three nights there originally, we actually found ourselves hunkering down at our cute riverside hostel for six nights in total. Partly because of laziness and partly because accommodation was so cheap compared to everywhere else we had been in Malaysia. And we only left after that because we felt like even the guest house owner was getting sick of the sight of us.

The bonus of being located on the banks of the river was that we could walk back to our hostel via the boardwalk, where you will find that the majority of the buildings have been covered in spray-paint murals commemorating the city and its culture, heritage and tourist attractions. Apparently it is officially known as the Melaka River Art Project, set up to showcase the talents of local graffiti artists. Whatever its purpose, it definitely added to the charm and uniqueness of Melaka.

The View From My Window: Melaka, Malaysia

melaka river malaysia
I’ve recently been looking back through all of my photos from the last year, reminiscing about the wonderful places I went, the delicious food I ate (Mexican coffee buns: will I ever taste your delicious sweetness again??) and the great flights I took (thanks again, Air Canada).

The great thing about doing this is that I keep finding photos that I had totally forgotten about, or remembering events that had gotten pushed to the back of my mind by newer, fresher, seemingly more important things.

This photo is actually one of Scott’s, but I remember when he took it thinking how pretty it was – this was the view from the balcony of our hostel in Melaka, Malaysia, first thing in the morning. We spent a lot of time on this balcony, overlooking the river and waving to people passing on the riverboat tours. The only time the river was ever as still as this was first thing in the morning and last thing at night; after all of the tourists had gone home for the night and the boats had stopped running.

At both of these times, it was so serene and calm and pretty; no one had started their day yet, the city was unusually quiet and it was exciting to think of what the day ahead would have in store.

My Favourite World Cities

favourite world cities

Of all the questions we’ve been asked since taking a break back home and visiting family and friends, the most common one has to be “What was your favourite city?”

Which is a pretty tough question to answer.

We travelled to 55 different cities last year. All of them had their benefits and their flaws, but we were happy with almost all of our destination decisions.

However, that isn’t the answer that I give them, these people who are hungry for answers. (Or maybe just bored with our travel talk and want to condense the conversation into one easy-to-digest anecdote).

I give them the names of two cities, the two that I enjoyed the most. The ones that truly made me feel as though I was experiencing something exciting and new. The ones I could possibly even see myself living in one day.

And although this appeases them, I feel as though I have cheated the others, like a child who is picked as a favourite by their parents.

So, in the interests of fairness (and to stop all the questions – sorry, people, this is just easier) I thought I’d share with you my favourite cities from last year, starting with my two absolute favourites and the ones I always give as an answer: Amsterdam and Hong Kong.

favourite world cities

Amsterdam

What can I say about Amsterdam that I haven’t probably already waxed poetic about before? I had wanted to visit the city for several years before I actually made it there and have always had a strange sense that one day I will live there as an expat. Don’t ask me why, but I just always felt that it would be a good fit for me. And it was.

The quality of life in the city (the slightly more flexible work environments and the focus on cycling and using public transport instead of driving) make everyone so much more relaxed and happy. The melting pot of different cuisines is great for a foodie like me and the canals just give it the feel of somewhere “special”.

favourite world cities

Hong Kong

Before I went to Hong Kong, I pictured it to be much like an Asian version of New York. And I was spot on.

It is like New York, but with even busier streets and better dumplings. The city’s skyline is one of the most extravagant and built-up of any city I’ve visited; just looking at it gives you chills (in a good way). It is somewhere you see on TV and in movies your whole life and then when you’re there, you really can’t believe that you actually ARE there. I had to pinch myself a few times in the five days we were there and I still only believe I was there when I see myself in the photos.

favourite world cities

Las Vegas

Ahhh, Vegas. You all know how much I love Vegas.

Strangely, this is another city that I could honestly see me living in one day (that is, if my fair complexion could take the summer sun). What many people don’t realise is that there’s other things to do in Vegas besides sit in a casino all day and I love the vibrancy, the excitement and the wealth of restaurants and bars in the city.

Although many would probably criticise the fact that we started our round-the-world trip there, in our eyes there was no better place to start than in a city that both of us have loved our whole lives.