Thursday, January 27, 2011

PD-Malacca 1st Visit 23-26 Jan2011

It was a hot, sunny afternoon and nothing would be better than a hike up to the Tanjung Tuan lighthouse.

Mummy, termites!

Fai spotted a tree branched filled with busy termites as I prodded a nearby rotting log looking for the little critters without much success.

Fai was at his usual creative self. He made protective headgear and a violin out of twigs.

Shibani and Ean found that towering ferns made a good hideout.

Although there are steps leading up to the lighthouse, the kids preferred trekking up the grassy hillslope.

Rattan grows in abundance along the trail to Pulau Intan.
This trail leads from the lighthouse down a steep hill to a secluded beach.

After the steep trek downhill we were greeted by a pristine beach all to ourselves. The waters of Tanjung Tuan was carpeted with sea-grass. Schools of silvery fish fries could be seen among the swaying grass.

A fruiting pandanus tree by the beach.

Trekking back up to the lighthouse was no easy task. so we took our time and admired the beautiful landscape such as this Strangling Fig tree.

As we made our way down the hill, JY asked where tar came from.
I love was a wonderful opportunity to discuss fractional distillation of crude oil and boiling points of its components and how fuel having the lowest boiling point would be the first to evaporate and tar the last. It is astonishing the questions that are asked at unexpected moments and I am glad I was there to answer them.

Pengkalan Balak was our first stopover as we made our way from PD to Malacca. This place was discover by PohPoh and KongKong as they went in search for a place for lunch a few months back.
Pengkalan Balak boasts a lovely stretch of beach that was remarkably clean. A fisherman on a sampan was seen throwing crab nets into the sea.

Lots of chalets line the beach. The malay food served was delicious.

The Jetty.

A failed government project - after the jetty was built and millions of $$ spent, it was found that the seabed was too shallow for ships to dock.

So now, the jetty is run by Holiday Inn and turned into a karaoke joint. A buggy transported us from the entrance to the tip of the jetty. It was a rather long ride, the jetty could have been at least 600m long.

The view at the jetty was beautiful and overlooks Melaka Island - another failed project. We had the whole viewing deck to ourselves and the kids had a good time running around, hiding behind pillars and feeding Todak fish that could swim against the strong currents. When we threw pieces of bread into the sea, the bread was carried away by the currents in seconds.

I was disappointed with the trip to the new Planetarium and totally dismissed my few hours spent there. However I was in for a surprise. Somehow that trip got Fai thinking......
A few days after we visited the Melaka Planetarium, Fai came to me with a question
"What did earth look like when it was 100 years old?"
I told him I had to search thought the net for the answer and typed out his question on YouTube . There was a documentary by National Geographic on the birth of our planet and that seemed to answer his question.
After listening intently to the documentary, Fai asked "Where did all the water on earth come from?" Again, National Geographic came to the rescue. There were two hypothesis and he said he believed the theory of water on earth originating from a comet that crashed into earth.
Next question " Where did life come from?"
While I was sifting through the many videos, skipping those that were too religious and deciding which one was suitable for him, Fai was called away by Han who needed help invading an enemy's, that ended our question time.

Malacca River cruise(left), A-Farmosa(right)
Yesterday, at the playground, I had a discussion with Fai on the Malacca trip. I briefly told him why Malacca was an important trading hub about 500years ago and about the Portugese who conquered Malacca. I asked him if he remembered visting the Cheng Ho museum when he was 4years old. He said he did and asked "Why didn't the Chinese help when the Portugese was invading Malacca?"
I couldn't answer that and I am still surfing the net searching for the answer.
Maybe another trip to Malacca will unveil the answer.

Gula Melaka in Malacca is not to be missed. Gula Melaka drizzled onto ice kacang is must-have.

Malacca, we will be back soon.

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