Monday, January 09, 2006

Back from Malaysia

The rest of the Malaysian holiday was fabulous.

After saying goodbye to my Canadian friends in Kuala Lumpur, I continued down the western coast to the city of Melacca (or Melaka). We took the unprecedented step of booking a hostel in advance via and ended up at a small, family run home in an old Chinese style dwelling filled with antiques. The city itself was a real treat as well. It was founded in the early 1400s, and has a long history as a trading center. Over the years, Melacca has been colonized by just about everyone, and they have all left their mark. Lots of beautiful and colourful buildings, as well as friendly and colourful people.

Trishaws are popular here, and the drivers (some of whom look about as old as the city itself) decorate their cabs with flowers to entice customers.

Melacca felt much more relaxed than our previous city stop (Georgetown) -- although that's perhaps because we had a chance to unwind and relax after being in Japan for so long. And get used to things like jaywalking and haggling. I got pretty good at both by the end of the trip. Well, at least better than at the start of the trip.

We spent our last morning in Melacca shopping in Chinatown, where I picked up some neat stuff for a pretty good price. One last meal in Malaysia, and then it was time to start the trek back to the land of snow.

The original plan was to go back and spend another night in Kuala Lumpur so we could get to the airport. The owner of our hostel informed us that we could just as easily get to KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport) from Melacca, considering the airport was about halfway between KL and Melacca. It wasn't quite as simple as he made it sound, but it was a lot cheaper. We bused from Melacca to Seremban, and then took the longest bus ever from Seremban to KLIA (even longer than the bus from my grandparents house to West Edmonton Mall). It took about 5 hours to get to the airport. For comparison, it was a 2 hour ride direct from KL to Melacca.

After the epic bus ride, it was a mere three planes, three trains, and a walk in the snow back to my door.

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