Malaysia - Muar/Melaka

After spending a few days in Singapore, I crossed over to Malaysia two days ago. Singapore-JB-Muar. It's dirt cheap, 12RM (about 4CAD), for a 3 hours trip into the Malaysia "jungle" (on an expressway). A surprisingly modern country - not as much of a surprise after all this publicity from Wee. I met up with his family (while he was still in Montreal (we called him yesterday, but he was sleepy and grumpy)) and we went to Malacca, while having lots of yummy food I never tasted before.

Today, I'm in Kuala Lumpur. Another bus ticket on the Mayang Sari bus service from Muar for a mere 10.40RM. Prices are sometimes low, sometimes high, compared with North American standards. Yoghurt can be 1/3 of the price paid in Hong Kong, but then you have commodities such as shampoo and soap that cost as much as in Canada. The country is by all means on par with the other richer countries in Asia such as South Korea and Taiwan and Hong Kong. Well almost. But it's got oil, and is a muslim country, the first one I visited so far, and probably one of the most foreigner-friendly there is out there. Chinese make up about 24% of the population, while Malays are 58%, and that upset my previous conception that mostly/overwhelmingly Malays supposedly live in "Malay"sia. It's a multicultural country for sure... not in the same way as Canada I'm sure, but this will probably be the object of long debates with Wee upon returning to Canada.

What I didn't know about Melaka was that it changed hands about three times in its existence. Founded by the Malays, it was taken by the Portugese, then the Dutch and then the British, all of which possessed it for about 130 years at the peak of their own power, as trading empires. It's neat, because I've been to Nagasaki and Macau, two of the other important ports in Asia where the Dutch and/or the Portugese established points of power.

It's interesting how the Westerners, as hated as they can be in Asian History, have influenced the growth of cities. Shanghai too, lest we forget, or Saigon.


Leave a comment

Type the characters you see in the picture above.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Cedric published on May 31, 2005 5:50 PM.

Ang Mo Kio is Singaporean for "Tomaato" was the previous entry in this blog.

Malaysia is not scary is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.