After 15 hours on the road we finally arrived at our home for the next few days, 'Jalan Jalan guesthouse' in Melaka. Greeting us was our host, the legend that is Alan, a man with more stories than the British Library. "Random humour" was his speciality. The accommodation is basic but the shared showers and toilets are always spotless - Woohoo!!
The streets were filled with the leftover carnage from the Chinese New Year celebrations. At one stage it was like a scene from Rambo, coughing through the thick smoke from the giant incense sticks burning outside the temples. The one problem with new year is everything is closed (for days it turned out to be). We wondered around the maze like streets until we stumbled upon 'Dutch square', lined with Indian flower-power rickshaws blasting out happy hard-core tunes, colonial buildings and a church painted red (thanks to the British), and a miniature windmill. Along the river you'll find our mate the lizard, Fred; he'll be sleeping in the shade catching flies, while you're reading a book drinking a lassi to fight off the intense heat. Chinatown is a wash of red and gold colours with dragon statues flying above your head and lanterns on every street. Jonker Walk is a place where patience is a virtue as the crowds and cars outnumber the space. Hungry as horses we indulged in the local cuisine at Famosa Chicken Rice Ball. Forget about the rice balls the BBQ and roast pork was sent from heaven. YUMMY! We'd have licked the plates if the restaurant wasn't full. Back at the hostel we met our fellow hostel buddies. A great bunch from all corners of the globe brought together by cheap booze from Mr. Lee, an elderly gentleman with an amazing potbelly, who shuffles around in his stripped boxer shorts and white vest, selling beer from his front room. Another great restaurant we visited was 'Nancy's Restaurant'. We joined the line and had to wait a good half hour in the blistering sun for a table to free up. Luckily it was worth the wait. One of the things we ordered was the fresh spring rolls. Now we've had many a spring roll, in lots of countries, but none come close to this. Delicious, and easily one of the nicest things we've sampled in Asia. Melaka has a chilled out vibe where you can stroll around the streets, finding new curiosities, sampling from the food stalls and enjoying the beautiful architecture. You don't get hassled here by touts like you do in the majority of Asian cities we visited, people are simply here to enjoy themselves. Just like we did.