Thursday, December 24, 2009

Chef Baini's Malacca Holiday Adventure!

Salam, dear friends! All of us need a break, what more at the end of the year. So, instead of the usual cakes, cupcakes, classes, sugarboxes etc., why not we take a break from all of that and let me share my recent getaway in Malacca. We went to Pengkalan Balak, near Tanjong Bidara, a quiet little jewel in the Malaysian landscape. The place we stayed was the Darul Aslah Chalet, another little gem.

Set within the idyllic traquility of a kampong, the chalets reminisce the traditional malay kampong house. Built on wood stilts, the timber floors silently bounce as they would when you walk on them. I dare say for those of us who live in the city, just walking on timber floors can be a new experience!

Each unit can fit 3 persons comfortably, with 1 queen sized bed and 1 twin bed. A word of advice, though! Try not to keep the air-conditioning unit running the whole night, as it does get a very chilly! Brrr!

So here we go....

The Turtle Sanctuary
The Hawksbill Turtle (at 6 years old)
I'd wager a fair amount of icing sugar that few people know that turtles land and nest here on the beaches of Pengkalan Balak, jsut like in Rantau Abang, Terengganu! However, the species that land here are the Hawksbill Turtle, acknowledged by the International Association of Turtlers to be the world's most beautiful turtle! There you go, folks! Even turtles have beauty pageants!

That's my family with the turtles!

Not only turtles, Sea Terrapins nest on the beaches of Pengkalan Balak. How are they different than turtles? Well, for one, they are very slimy! And of course, although they nest in the sea, they actually live in fresh water. So the hatchlings, once a little bigger, make their way upstream into the rivers to assume their habitat! Quite the opposite of the Salmon fishes.

Beach Fun
One of the true beauties of beaches is the majesty of the sunset. What a way to end a day!

But kids being, well, kids, what can they do here for fun? How about a fast ride on the pencilraft?
Dont's worry, everyone had to wear lifevests! Whatever the outcome, safety first!

A' Farmosa

Chef Baini at the St. Paul's Church
Of course, no trip to Malacca would be complete without the customary visit to the A' Farmosa citadel.

Up at the ruins of St. Paul's Church is where the kids discovered the grand history of the
occupation of Malacca by the European nations of Portugal, Holland and Great Britain

Eye On Malaysia

Well, when the EOM was at Titiwangsa, they went for the ride. But when we got here, they wanted to go again. And we had 2 bonus rides!

Taming Sari Tower
This is a rotating carousel that climbs upward as it slowly spins around for a panoramic view of the city. Unfortunately, there was a brownout and the carousel stopped and jerked downwards causing everyone to panic momentarily! Then the safety mechanism kicked in and down we went.

The operator started the machine a second time
and thank goodness, it went flawless!

Malacca Rivercruise
One of the biggest hits of Malacca is the rivercruise. Water locks were built at the mouth of the river to maintain the waterlevel deep enough for the boats. However, we did not figure that the boatsmen love to race as well!

Flor De La Mar

The replica of the famous flagship of Alphonse d' Alberquerque lost at sea wat the perfect setting for the kids to play the Pirates of the Carribean fantasies! Guess who got to be Capt. Jack Sparrow?

The Old Clock Tower

Jannah and Sara love to pose! ~ One day I think they want to be models!

And Finally.....

Our day ended with the famous Cendol Jam Besar. The cendol maker is none other than En. Kassim, a fourth generation cendol hawker who said that his great-grandfather started selling cendol at this very spot way back in 1940.