Melaka comes alive at night
Once a thriving hub of traders, well groomed by a Sultan and defended by the Chinese, Melaka was ruined by the Portuguese who thought that they could storm in and take advantage of its enviable position and make the terms of exchange of goods that was happening in its port. And the traders,boats and power moved to better pastures.
About 500 years later, the place is a popular stop with tourists instead. It has those charming tight streets that invite you to meander through. The old Chinese shophouses are preserved enough to be visually appealing, yet not perfect like in Singapore, so you get a glimpse of the history and the melancholy that comes with that.
There is a lot of allure in the place, but now I will take you on a night boat cruise along the river, because it is after the sun goes elsewhere that the place shines – literally. Melaka is lit to please.
We spent most of our days inside, hiding from the sun and heat and later in the afternoon we criss-crossed the narrow streets. The birds busily start their chatter on the trees next to the river around that time too.
And the whole place becomes a mellow sparkling dream.
Hoping that the cruise will not disappoint we bit the bullet and took it on one of the last nights there.
It felt like a guilty pleasure. The slight bobble of the boat reminded us of the river, the peaceful banks of it lit to perfection, yet lacking the tourists that would be enjoying the sight – yet, there we were enjoying it as though it was all for us.
There has been a lot of effort into making the experience and set up as good as possible. A lot of houses have been opened up to the river side to make it more appealing, because who wants to be looking at back walls of buildings?
Every bridge along the way had been carefully adorned and prepared.
To say we enjoyed this would be an understatement.
Melaka charmed us with its architecture and won us with its nights.