Tuesday, 20 November 2007

MALACCA. November 2007

We have been in Port Dixon for a week now with the inevitable jobs to do. This time it was a very small but persistent diesel leak in the port tank. Thankfully all our tanks are easily removed so the problem was rectified and cleanup achieved with a minimum of fuss.

Malacca is an old port city on the western Malay peninsular and was high on our list of priorities for a visit.

In the early 1400s, during the Ming dynasty, Cheng Ho a famous Chinese navigator first visited Malacca. He sailed to the area many times to trade used the port as a base to explore further west. 
His earlier visits saw the virtual annihilation of the coastal pirates by the sheer strength of numbers of his 270,000 man fleet! Cheng Ho's mission was as a Chinese ambassador and trader.He had no ambition to conquer foreign lands. He forged strong allegiances with the local ruling sultan who eventually made the trip to china to meet the Emperor. One of the Emperors daughters became the 6th wife to the sultan and was installed with her 500 servants upon the hill overlooking the straights.
Later Portuguese, Dutch and English were to colonize the area. The resultant cultural mix has stamped the old city with its various influences in architecture, religion, art and cuisine.

Restoration commenced in the late 80’s and the area now enjoys tremendous popularity as a tourist destination. 

Cruise liners can be seen anchored off and the passengers are plied ashore and up the river in large tenders.
It’s approximately an hour’s drive to Malacca from Port Dixon’s Admiral Marina. Along with Jon, Pam (Tweed) and Jocko from Synergy we made the journey by hire car. We visited the Cheng Ho Museum, Architecture Museum, Old Portuguese Forts and Church ruins which house tomb stone tops dating back to the 1500s. There was just too much to see in a day so we hope to take a couple of nights there again on our voyage south next year.

Now we are heading north again to Langkawi and on to Phuket.