Like many travelers, I only planned on skimming Malaysia. A day in Malacca. Maybe two in Kuala Lumpur. Perhaps – if there’s time – a stop in Georgetown.
As I disembarked the bus in Malacca, a UNESCO World Heritage city on the south-western coast of peninsular Malaysia, I remember a less-than-thrilled impression. “This is it?”, I pessimistically thought, side eyeing the mini-mall that doubled as a terminal. “This was crowned a UNESCO World Heritage city?”
But as the classic adage states, don’t judge a book by its cover. Or rather, a world heritage city by the desolate depot on the outskirts of town.
The mundane and unremarkable dissipated as I taxied closer to the soulful citycentre. Half-baked mid-rises transformed into colourful colonial churches. The snaking river was lined with heritage housing, gardens and street art. We shared the cobblestone road with bedazzled trishaws. Chinatown’s flamboyant architecture was particularly enthralling.
Before we hit my hostel, I was in love with the land of the Malay.
“Just a day in Malacca” turned into five, and, “maybe two in KL” became a week.