|The replica of a Portuguese trading vessel|
|The Dutch influence.|
Barry has decided that he would like to leave for South Africa from the top of the island of Sumatra, which means we would not be going back down the Straits of Malacca. I really wanted to see the historic town of Malacca, so here we are. Malacca was a centre of trade where East met West since the 14th century. An admiral appointed by an Emperor of the Ming Dynasty traded here in the 1400's offering protection to the Sultan of Malacca. The Portuguese took over the port after the Chinese withdrew their support due to some ill omens in China and a change of Emperor.
The Dutch challenged the Portuguese and burned the town and imposed draconian taxes and duties on the trading goods. Malacca's star dimmed as merchants chose other locations. The British took over and were a little fairer but a fellow named Raffles decided Singapore was a better location and it became the hub to trading.
|Chinese shophouses on the canal|
Through just pure dumb luck we ended up here at the same time as a performing arts festival. I took in 3 dances this afternoon, one which was held on top of the hill in the ruins of an old Catholic church. The food is terrific here as well, I have been gorging on the local speciality bean sprouts while Barry enjoyed chicken and rice balls this afternoon. We are headed off to sample some night life after spending part of last evening watching a judged Chinese karaoke contest.