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    Malacca Malaysia

Visiting Danga Bay and Malacca Town
    Entry to Malaysia was via the western channel of Johor Straight which is the waterway that divides Singapore and Malaysia.

    Both sides are similar in their flora of forest and mangroves except the Singapore side is fenced and all along it’s length the patrol boats pace up and down to make sure you don’t enter their space!. Mike later described them like dogs on a leash.

We anchored at Danga Bay where they have built a complex complete with restaurants, both local and western, and a good jetty for the dinghy.

Just on shore is a main road with easy access by bus to Johor Bahru town and then to Singapore if you so wish.

Checking in should have been a piece of cake as Malaysia welcomes tourists with a free 3 month visa but there was a hitch of course.
    We were directed to the relevant buildings but they omitted to tell us that road works etc would hinder our progress so we ended up scrambling over rail-lines and through mud paddocks to find our friendly immigration, customs etc.

    JB is a bustling town with building going on everywhere with just as many complexes under construction as there were abandoned ones. This we have found to be a classic pattern throughout the country.

    JB in particular, as apparently it is a popular place for Singaporeans to shop, and they come in droves. Someone told us that they love to come and drive their cars on the long freeways as space is limited in their little country.

We were fortunate enough to be there during ”Ramadan” which is a Muslim celebration whereby they fast during the day and then in the evening the locals hold food stalls and offer the best in home cooked Malaysian food.

We were taken here as guests of a lovely family we met, and the food was brought back to their home where, when the clock struck 7, we dug in!
    Fazziel was quite the entrepreneur; he ran two small charter boats, owned lots of vehicles, paddleboats with swan heads and had recently purchased a flying boat, the first for his country. He was a very humble man with three girls whom he adored.

    Opposite our anchorage in Danga Bay was a creek opening so one morning early we set off in the dinghy and met monkeys and kingfishers and then spotted our first family of sea otters! The tide was coming in so we had switched off the motor and drifted along and also saw large water monitors prowling the shores.

    There was a small settlement of huts on stilts and fishing boats moored yet so close was this ultra modern Danga Bay lurking just around the corner.

    Although Fazziel ran the tourist boats, he said he had no idea the otters were up there. I wonder how long they can last. We left the boat here for 48hrs and traveled north to the town of Malacca.

    This was best as the winds are not favorable in October to anchor off the coast and the river is too shallow for yachts. We have since heard that a marina is planned for Malacca in the future.

We were looking forward to seeing some of the country side but ended up on a freeway and for the whole three hours we passed through acres and acres of palm oil plantations. There are also rubber plantations which I had always imagined to look like the plants Mum had in her pot at home! I am wiser now!

We loved Malacca town, especially the old Chinese area where you wander through little lanes with little shops and businesses selling anything from antiques to hand beaten pots.

The buildings are like the terrace houses in Melbourne but not yet renovated and trendy. Of course we found a nice little bar with an even nicer owner who shared with us some history of the town and its occupants.

They have built a replica of a past sultans residence complete with the family history and clothing etc of the day.

The shape of the building was beautiful with curves and arches everywhere and all in timber with shingle roof.

We went to a museum which housed a huge collection of kites both large and tiny. The maritime museum is housed in a replica of an old ship, once again filled with fascinating models and paintings of Malacca’s history including wars and pirates of bygone days.

There is the remains of a Dutch fort but it was up a steep hill and it was too hot so we gave it a miss.

We stayed the night in a little backwater guesthouse for about $15 Aus and it was clean, and we had our own loo and shower! Quite special as the shower on our boat is the deck hose, on deck of course and rather salty!

The people once again were very friendly and I highly recommend the town of Malacca to anyone visiting these parts.

Map Of Malacca Malaysia