|More than 25 years ago Anna was my student. Later we became good friends. She has been working in many Asian countries as a consultant and is now living in Sri Lanka.|
Last week she visited Malaysia for the first time. We took her on a short trip to show her some highlights of my second home.
First we paid our respects to Lord Murugan at the Batu Caves. It is a tourist attraction, but it remains interesting with all the Hindu deities. At the entrance of the main cave you could have your picture taken with a white python. And there were many monkeys.
After lunch in Ulu Yam, of course with loh mee and fish cake, we went to Serendah, where we had booked a glass house in the Sekeping Serendah Retreat. We have been there several times, and often advise it to our friends when they like to stay in a place, away from it all. Click here for a report.
When we arrived in this beautiful place, it was quiet, we enjoyed the swimming pool and the sounds of the jungle around us.
Then disaster struck. In the other glass house a group of Malay youngsters arrived. Probably spoiled rich kids. Not interested in the solitude of the place, but looking for a location where they could organise a disco. YES, a DISCO, with booze and probably drugs, without the risk of being arrested by the religious police.
In the evening more and more people arrived and the nightmare started, until the next morning. So, instead of falling asleep with the sound of cicadas, frogs and the murmur of running water, we had to use earplugs, which at least reduced the disco noise a bit.
The friendly Nepali caretaker told us that this had happened before and that nothing could be done about it. These morons just book under another name the next time. A furious Aric made a telephone call the next morning to the management office. They apologised and the next time we will get a 30% discount. But of course we will never come again, unless the management can give a 100% guarantee that this will never,never happen again.
Our urgent advice:
Do NOT visit Sekeping Serendah unless you get this guarantee!
The next morning, rather sleepily, we visited the Serendah waterfall, and the nearby Seven Wells. Our next destination was Melaka. Here we had quiet rooms in the attractive Baba House. After lunch we visited the historical part of the town, with the Stadhuys, Christ Church and St Paul's Hill. Everywhere you can see the effect of being a World Heritage Site. Not always positive (the waterwheel, the rebuilt fort with "authentic replica's" of the VOC cannons). But in general it is not bad what they are doing, the river promenades for example.
We had a delicious seafood dinner in the Medan Portugis, and went to bed early to get some badly needed sleep.
The next morning we visited Chinatown. There is a lot to see here, many beautiful Chinese shop lots. The original street names, Heeren Street and Jonkers street, date back to Dutch VOC times.The Goldsmith street has been renamed Harmony street, because in this street you will find a Mosque, a Chinese temple and a Hindu temple almost next to each other...:-)
We found the Aik Cheong shop, where they produce the famous Aik Cheong coffee, and had lunch in the equally famous Chung Wah Chicken Rice shop.
In the afternoon we visited the Taming Sari tower. This "gyro tower" was first planned along the banks of the Melaka river, fortunately they found archeological remains on the chosen location, now it has been constructed in the Mahkota part of town, further away from the historical center. It must be said that the views of the town are interesting.
Before going back to Kuala Lumpur, we visited the Jonker Walk, the famous pasar malam. It was a bit too early yet, but the food stalls were already operating. Malaysia and good food, the two belong together.
The night in Sekeping Serendah was a bizarre experience, for the rest it was a very pleasant trip.