I love Malacca for the same reasons I love Penang - both are like multicultural soup!
But when I showed you pictures of Penang is was not architecture but street art that filled the blogpost. (If you missed it, you can find it here.)
Not to be left out, Malacca has also painted some of its buildings - though not with similar images to that decorate Penang but with big, bold, wonderful sweeps of colour. These buildings were once the backs of small homes. People hung their washing here, and threw slops into the river. Now tourism has brought a different look to the riverside, and in place of washing and the stink of effluent, we have painting!! (This picture is taken from a boat, hence the odd shapes in the corners, and the pole!)
Those homes were once shacks for the poor. At the other end of the income scale, wealthy Chinese traders build mansions like this:
It's lovely from the front - and inside it stretches back with internal courtyards, one of which - right at the back - is full of small palm trees and green shrubs, and a fountain playing in the corner. Tables and chairs nestle among all the greenery. It's where I lingered so long over breakfast it morphed into coffee time.
In contrast, the Portuguese build solid colonial buildings like this:
Many of these buildings are now museums - some more interesting than others. I have no idea what a museum of beauty is doing in Malacca, but the display of Chinese foot-binding placed next to a display of modern women's shoes asked an interesting question.
And then I hit the streets. It was coming up to the Chinese New Year - well, I could hardly miss that, could I, with streets dressed up like this:
I'm not a shopper, but needed to do my bit to support the local economy. What better way than take a trishaw ride. A trishaw- for those who've not met one - is a bicycle with a seat beside it. I don't know when Malacca's trishaw riders began to decorate their contraptions. Last time I was here most had a few flowers and streamers. Over the years these decorations have become more elaborate (or maybe ridiculous, depending on your point of view) until they look like this. And what's more they come with music - and so one can ride through Malacca's streets to the theme from Frozen, or Justin Bieber ... and yes, you do feel a bit of a wally. But there are worse things to feel.