Jim asks again for chinese medicine, a public holiday for the king’s installation, and munching murtaba at a local eatery.

Day 75: Melaka, Malaysia. We both woke today feeling a bit lethargic after a restless night sleep, for no obvious reason.

Jim was quick to mention he wasn’t feeling great and probably needed some more ‘Chinese medicine’ from the rice wine shop around the corner. Lil said he probably needed water, coffee and some more sleep. Nice try, though.

We’ve always found the best remedy for lethargy (excluding any possibility of Chinese medicine) is a long walk in the sun. So after a big breakfast and lots of caffeine, we set off west through the town, and beyond the heritage area. Soon we were wandering past gorgeous old houses – some kept well and some sadly abandoned – temples and mosques, and traditional street side shops selling all sorts of stuff.

We walked north-west along the coast, passing reclamation projects, and ended up at the Melaka Submarine Museum, which is plonked in a fairly isolated location about 8km from the town. The museum was packed with families and didn’t look overly exciting, so we bought some more water from the empty cafe and set off to retrace our steps back to the town.

From our guesthouse rooftop, we can see a building in the distance with a bright blue illuminated roof. Jim checked it out on Google maps and was pretty sure it was an arts theatre, so on the way home we decided to go and check it out. It’s called Encore Melaka, a purpose built 2,000 seat theatre which has a 70 minute long show recounting forgotten Melakan stories, from the days of the early voyagers to the birth of modern Melaka. Architecturally, it’s a pretty interesting building and we both reckon it has aspirations to be the Sydney Opera House when it grows up.

Then we headed home along a different route, and after walking almost 20km, reached our guesthouse about 6pm. We were both starving, so after a quick shower we headed out for dinner.

Today is the ‘Installation of the King’ here in Malaysia – they pick a new king, in turns, from each state every five years. It’s also a public holiday, so lots of places are closed. Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah was appointed in January 2019, but today was his official coronation (and his 60th birthday).

We found an Indian Malaysian restaurant open a couple of blocks away, and had some great chicken soup, beef soup and an astonishingly good mutton, beef and chicken murtaba – a stuffed pan fried bread made with egg and onion. Happy days.

We were hoping the bar we visited a couple of nights ago, with the outside pavement seating area, might be open but it was also closed for the holiday. So we headed to the riverside and had a couple of Tsingtao beers and a spot of people watching at a very cool little bar there.

Then it was back home for an early night, to catch up on some lost sleep.

Tomorrow we need to do some dreaded shopping, and finalise accommodation and transport for our trip to Kuching, Borneo on Thursday.

More then.

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