Tuesday, November 27, 2012

World Heritage Historical Site - Malacca - in Malaysia

Christ Church is located next to the Queen Victoria’s fountain. It’s also the first attraction that most tourists would visit here.

Built by the Dutch in 1753 to commemorate the centenary of their occupation of Malacca, this church took 12 years to complete. No expense was spared in building it – from the wooden ceiling beams, each cut from a single tree, to the elaborately hand carved pews and frieze of “The Last Supper”. When the British took over the church in 1795, they put in a few additions, most notably the weathercock atop the bell tower. Originally a Dutch Reform Church, it was later consecrated as an Anglican Church.
The church is still in a very good condition. Photograph is not allowed in the church though, so I only spent like 5 minutes in the church. The church is relatively small, similar size to most of the contemporary churches in Kuala Lumpur. There’s no way it can rival the churches that I visited during my trips in Italy and Vatican.
Many of Malacca’s buildings are painted a distinctive shade of red
The building is owned by the Dutch Governer in 1650 as the governer office, it serves the purpose as Museum of History and Ethnography nowadays. Well to be honest, the building itself is much more antique and unique compare to the inside offering! Standing tall and strong with bright historical red wall, with one magnificent clock tower in its vicinity, it is sure a great place with a postcard view.
The Stadthuys Museum Complex is composed by History and Ethnography Museum, Literature Museum, Admiral Cheng Ho’s Gallery, The Governor’s Museum and The Museum of Government Democracy. If your history teachers always call out your name for getting A’s in history, this is really a Disneyland for you. Walking through the display will put you in a time travel machine showing the history of Malaysia throughout the decades.
Taking time between few hours up to half day tour, one can simply mesmerized  by the collection offered by the museum. Old rifle, porcelains, replicas, ancient weapons like swords, Kris exhibit will kill the time efficiently. Try to look for traditional wedding of Malay, Chinese, Indian, and Portuguese with plentiful of classic wedding dresses complete with altar or pelamin area carefully presented with detail of history.
Bukit St Paul (St Paul's Hill)
A’Famosa aka Porta de Santiago

St Paul, probably saying something wise like:
"Let the one who thinks he is standing be careful that he does not fall"
Fantastically decrepit St Paul's Church (1521)
The courtyard, with the statue of Admiral Cheng Ho in the middle.
The internal of the Stadthuys
The Stadthuys (an old Dutch spelling, literally meaning “town hall”), also known as the Red Square, is a historical structure situated in the heart of Malacca Town, the administrative capital of the state of Malacca. It was built by the Dutch occupants in 1650 the office of the Dutch Governor and Deputy Governor.
The Old Stadhuys Drainage System
Concrete staircase to St. Paul Church.
                   The Dutch Square is the starting point for a ride in one of these rickshaws.
Melaka Maritiem Museum
The Maritime Museum itself is a replica of the 'Flora de La Mar', a Portuguese ship that sank off the coast of Melaka while on its way to Portugal, carrying loot plundered from Melaka. The ship measures 34 meters high, 36 meter long dan 8 meter wide. The museum highlights Melaka's importance as a regional and international business centre from the period of the Melaka Sultanate, right through the Portuguese, Dutch and British era.
Maritime Museum (Replica Flor de La Mar), Malacca is also known as Muzium Samudera in Malay language. There are 2 phases of Maritime Museum. And together with TLDM Museum and Ex-KD Sri Terengganu Warship are part of the Maritime Museums Complex. We are going to explore Maritime Museum
It's surprising that you have to take off our shoes at the entrance of the museum. You can choose to put your shoes at the shoe rack provided at the entrance door or put them into a plastic bag provided by the museum and carry it with you to the museum. When you continue your visit you'll find the answer at the first deck of the ship museum. The floor is very well polished.
At the upper deck you'll see different models of ships showcased there. Also visualized are situations of how traders from Arab, India and China conducted business with each other in order to gain profit in Melaka port, which was known as Venice of the East at that time. Porcelain, silk, textile and spices were among some of the famous merchandises being brought into Melaka by the traders. Framed paintings and pictures that illustrate how Melaka played its role as emporium for traders from all around the world, were also hanged on the walls.

Moving forward to the other side of the ship, was the captain’s cabin. This is where you can see diorama of a captain's cabin although you are not allowed to walk into the cabin to have an actual look, you can still read about the roles of a captain at the door step.
The museum houses exhibits, artefacts and documents from the Melaka's golden era as the Emporium of the East and reveals how political control of Melaka was essential to the establishment of maritime dominance in the region.
The museum also traces Melaka's trading links from the earliest times through the colonial era, the Japanese conquest and brief period of Japanese rule, the return of Britain as the colonial master, the emergence of the independent nation of the Federation of Malaya and the formation of Malaysia.

The Maritime Museum is located along Quayside Road (Jalan Merdeka) at the  Melaka River. 
Opening hours
9am - 5:30pm (Monday to Friday)
9am - 9:00pm (Saturday and Sunday)
Entrance fee RM 5
Air Keroh lies about 15 km from Melaka city and there you will find the largest crocodile farm in the country. This sprawling 3.2 hectare park houses more than 200 species of crocodiles living in its natural environment. Some of the species include the humpback, albino, African Dwarf, Siamese, Tailless and many more.
The highlight of a visit to the crocodile farm is of course the exciting performances by the trained keepers with the crocodiles. The performances are sure to keep you at the edge of your seat. The times of the shows are usually displayed prominently at the farm. There are also fixed times when the crocodiles are fed and these are equally fun to watch. The kids will love this part of the family vacation.
The crocodile farm is opened to the public from 9am - 6pm everyday with an entrance fee charged.
Be amazed! Malacca Flyer

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Singapore Flyer

Since the Singapore Flyer started spinning its wheels in February (and officially opened on 15 April), it has become a favourite debate among local residents and tourists — is $29.50 (for adults) worth the 30-minute ride? To which we confidently say, yes. The experience is priceless and the view is spectacular, and will be even more impressive in the next few months.
In September, the F1 Night Race will be held here and you can get a panoramic view of the track while on the capsule. And by the time Marina Bay is fully redeveloped and the casinos are opened, riding the Flyer at night will be nothing short of breathtaking.
When the Flyer was about to open, people were under the impression that tickets were sold out for months. Not true. A certain percentage of daily tickets are reserved for walk-in visitors, though it’s easier to secure a ticket during the day than at night. We have not met a single person who was unable to purchase a ticket for the same day.
How does it look?
The Flyer is like a giant Ferris wheel, but it rotates very slowly. It’s height is equivalent to 42 storeys. One round takes 35 minutes. There are 28 glass capsules (the bottom is not made of glass, though), and each one can accommodate as many as 28 people. The Flyer, however, does not wait for the capsules to fill up. So, depending on your luck, you could end up having the capsule all to yourself or sharing it with 27 other people.
As of this writing, there is no electronic tour guide to help you along with the sites. So if you’re a tourist, it’s best to ride the Flyer on the last day of your trip, when you’ve already done the streets of Singapore and can more or less identify which building is which. Otherwise, you can always get one of those Singapore maps where the landmarks are indicated; 30 minutes is enough time to identify the rooftops of the buildings. On a clear day, you can also see parts of Malaysia and Indonesia.

What’s it like aboard?
If you’re expecting a thrilling ride aboard the Flyer, you won’t get it. The wheel moves very slowly, so you almost don’t feel it going for a spin. Let’s put it this way: it’s slow and stable enough for you to host a 30-minute dinner or cocktails.
Either way, each capsule is equipped with a closed circuit television so the operator will be able to see if anyone in your group is suffering from motion sickness and needs to disembark.
The best way to enjoy a ride on the Flyer is to pace yourself. You have to realise that you have all 30 minutes to enjoy basically the same landscape, though your view gets wider and wider as you go up, and narrower and narrower as you go down.
Sure, feeling the wind hit your face as you go higher and higher from the ground could make the Flyer a more liberating experience, but getting a view from top also works to put things on a different perspective. You’ll feel better when you reach the ground.

How much and what time?
There are three price categories.
Basic/Normal Ride Ticket, which means you queue up with everyone else, is at $29.50 for adults, $20.65 for senior citizens, and $23.60 for children.
Express Ticket guarantees you faster clearance through security for $52, $36.40, and $41.60. We recommend this to the VIPs. Then again, if you can spare 30 minutes for a Flyer ride, we’re sure you can afford a few more minutes queuing up with a Basic Ticket, so why pay double?
Signature Cocktail gets you one glass of the Singapore Flyer cocktail at a cordoned-off reception area, faster clearance through security, and a souvenir cocktail glass. These are limited seats and you have to purchase tickets three hours in advance. Costs $69, $48.30, and $55.20.
The first flight is at 8:30 am and the last flight is at 10 pm; scheduled in 30-minute intervals. You can arrange to stay for more than one rotation if you’re holding an event such as a wedding or birthday celebration.
How to get there?
The Flyer is in Marina Bay, which is where Singapore is hosting the upcoming F1 Night Race and opening up casinos in the near future. The nearest hotel is the Ritz Carlton and nearest MRT station is City Hall, around about 20 minutes away on foot. Here are the directional tips from the Flyer website.
Shuttle bus. The easiest transport from City Hall MRT is to ride the Flyer Shuttle Bus ($2 for adults and S$1 for children; redeemable off Singapore Flyer tickets) which picks up passengers at the Coleman Street bus stop, next to St. Andrew’s Cathedral. Shuttle buses arrive every half an hour starting from 10.00am to 11.00pm
By hotel shuttle. You can also arrange for the Flyer shuttle to pick you up at your hotel for $4 for adults and $2 for children. Book in advance through 67383338.
By public bus. You can catch public buses 106, 111 and 133 to Temasek Avenue. Singapore Flyer is just across the road.
If you’re still contemplating if you should shell out money for the Singapore Flyer, let us give you our final argument. When you’re in London, you go to Big Ben and ride the London Eye, if you’re in Paris you ride the lift to the top of the Eiffel Tower, if you’re in New York, you up the Empire State Building. In the same vein, if you’re in Singapore, you should ride the Flyer: like the buildings we mentioned, it is also a national landmark, and a visit to any city is not complete until you experience what it is proud of.

The Singapore Flyer Opening Fireworks Display 2008