Jeremy had some time off between Christmas and New Year last year, so we used that time to see a bit more of Malaysia.
On Saturday December 27th, the Portuguese village in Melaka was having a national open house for Christmas, and everyone and anyone was invited. So we headed down for the two hour drive as soon as we got up in the morning. It was pouring down with rain as soon as we left the car park, and we didn’t have an umbrella or anything. So we ended up buying an umbrella (and a crappy plastic bag raincoat) from 7-11 so we could attempt to go out and see some things. Where we parked wasn’t exactly close to the main things you go to Melaka to see, so we did a LOT of walking, ended up finding the “Eye on Malaysia” which is like a smaller, crappier version of the London Eye, and not in a very interesting location. It was okay, but probably not a highlight and could easily be missed if any of you ever have an interest in visiting that part of Malaysia.
But at least being up there, we found the general direction we had to go to see the main attractions of Melaka. We went to the Chinatown area first, once we got there, and visited the Baba-Nyonya Heritage Museum, which was one of the things I wanted to do there, and I found it pretty interesting. I think it was worth the RM8 entry for the guided tour.
For lunch, we weren’t able to try the famous chicken rice balls (the lines were very long, anyway!) – I tried some yam rice, which was good, but not as nice as I was expecting it to be.
Then we wandered through some street stalls and picked up a few things, and wandered up to the ruins of a Portuguese church and a free museum. When we were done with the attractions, we took the LONG way back to our car, thanks to the fact we had no idea where we were and eventually having to turn on our GPS to find out how to get back!
Then we drove to the Portuguese village area, and arrived early enough to get a good parking spot, and watch the pre-show entertainment, which was really fun. I liked seeing the different Asian costumes and dances. Eventually the Prime Minister of Malaysia showed up, as well as the Governor(?) of Melaka State, and thus the evening’s festivities were allowed to proceed. The Governor’s speech was very long, and in Malay so we didn’t have any interest in it. The entertainment was okay, but when interspersed with long speeches, it made me glad to have seen the pre-show stuff. We left before the end because Doyle was restless and tired.
The GPS failed us when we were very nearly home, by telling us to “drive in the left lane,” we took an exit to a highway that wasn’t even on the map. It was a long detour too because there were no u-turn points or exits for about 10km or something, until we practically got to Putrajaya, and they made a u-turn point just after a toll point, thus we had to pay to exit AND re-enter on the u-turn. The road planners annoyed me with that decision! I reckon it stressed Jeremy out more, because he was driving and it was already past midnight by the time we got on the new highway.
The following Monday and Tuesday was spent in Genting, known as “the entertainment city.” We took the bus up from 1 Utama, and bought a package that included unlimited rides at the indoor and outdoor theme parks. When we went to exchange the ticket for the pass, the lady told us the outdoor theme park was closed so I was very sad and feeling like we’d been ripped off. The hotel we stayed at was HUGE. Like, it was fully booked, and I believe it might be the largest hotel in the world, with 6000+ rooms. It took more than 2 hours just to check in (we got a queue number and then went off to enjoy some rides in the indoor theme park until our queue number came up). Doyle had so much fun on the rides (and being under 90cm tall, he didn’t even have to pay to ride them). He kept asking for “more.” Yep, his mother’s son, already addicted to theme park rides!
Our hotel stay included a free buffet breakfast as well as a free buffet other meal, which we used for dinner that night. After dinner, Jeremy insisted that we check and see if the outdoor theme park was open. It was! It was absolutely freezing, especially when I was only wearing a t-shirt, but hardly anyone else was at the park, and thus we basically got to go on every ride out there as soon as we joined the queue! We got to ride just about every ride in the outdoor theme park we wanted to ride in less than two hours that way. So the package deal we bought from the bus folks at 1 Utama seemed very worth it in the end.
Whilst I was riding one last ride at the outdoor park, Doyle fell asleep in Jeremy’s arms, so we took him back up to our hotel room. I stayed with him and read while Jeremy went back downstairs to try the indoor theme park 4D ride. Then we swapped.
Tuesday was spent doing non-theme park things in Genting. I did the Haunted Adventure by myself, and was most freaked out when someone threw an arm at me, which was just as scary-amusing for me as it was the Indian couple that went through with me. Jeremy looked after Doyle while I did that, because Jeremy wanted to do something himself later on. Then we went to the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum, which was the cheapest Ripley’s museum I’ve ever seen, and thus it seemed worth the price.
We had to check out immediately after that, but fortunately the check out process was a lot quicker than the check in one! Jeremy then organised a time to do his extra solo thing, which was to go on this sky-diving simulation thing. But we had some time to spare while he waited, so we went to this gem museum we had free tickets for, and that was pretty cool. The Sky Venture looked pretty cool when Jeremy did it, but I don’t know if it’s something I could try. Maybe another time!
Then it was practically time to go back to the gondola (which I forgot to mention before) to make sure we got back to our bus on time, so we could go home. We took a slight detour for the bank, but the line for the gondola was, well, non-existant, unlike the one we took to get up to the complex, which we had waited in line for, for about half an hour or so.