May 30, 2017

16 Melaka : The Ruins Of St. Paul's Church

Located at the peak of a hill, just a little away from Aldy Hotel Stadthuys is the ruins of St. Paul's Church. Hubs and I walked through a small entrance with an open air staircase leading up. The climb wasn't too steep but we found out later that there was an easier path up, behind the gate of the famed Portuguese fort A Famosa.

It is said that St. Paul's hill was previously known as Malacca Hill by the locals before it was renamed Monti Ali Maria or Mary's Hill by the Portuguese who had developed the place. St. Paul's started out as a little chapel dedicated to Virgin Mary, which later extended into a church with the addition of a second floor and a belfry tower. The place, now no longer what it used to be, was deconsecrated with the building of a new place of worship, that is, Christ Church under the Dutch rule and underwent several modifications to be strengthened as part of a fort.

Next to the ruins is a statue of St. Francis Xavier; he is said to have established a school in these premises. The hand on the statue was severed when a Casuarina tree fell on it.

Left : St. Paul's Church and A White Belfry Tower
Right : A Statue Of St. Francis Xavier

The building has no roof in a large part of its area. It is designed with many arched windows and entrances. I imagine the church to be bright and airy in its heyday. This place is a tourist hot spot, as you can see from pictures below. There are buskers and stalls right outside the building adding liveliness to an otherwise solemn spot.

Inside the Ruins of St. Paul's Church, Melaka

St. Paul's Church, Melaka

Intriguing Dutch tombstones are lined against the old walls. I wondered about the people who once walked here, how they dressed and lived, what 'routine' was for them.

The Dutch Tombstones of St. Paul's Church

The Dutch Tombstones of St. Paul's Church

More pictures of St. Paul's church on my way up the hill that sunny day. We enjoyed touring this place. It gave us a nice view of surrounding areas too.

View of St. Paul's Church nearing the top

Beautiful St. Paul's Hill, Melaka

Finally, this shot of Aldy Hotel just to show you how close the hotel is.

The best time to visit would be early in the morning before the humidity sets in. Entrance is free.

St. Paul's Church

Address: Jalan Kota, Bandar Hilir, 75000 Melaka, Malaysia

May 22, 2017

20 Melaka : Old Is Gold Aldy Hotel Stadthuys

Perhaps the fifth hotel I have stayed in, in  Melaka. And I must warn you that this is a long overdue post - last Christmas long in fact, when my aunt and I were here for a holiday.

This is what Aldy Hotel Stadthuys looks like. Painted dark red like all most of the buildings in Melaka's Dutch Square. Bamboo Hut bistro takes up the ground floor.

Aldy Hotel Stadthuys, Melaka

The check-in lobby is hidden behind the bistro. We headed to the back and entered through a side door. Checking in was fuss free. I had even arranged with the courteous hotel employee to book a taxi for us to the bus terminal for the day we were leaving.

The Entrance Located At The Side

We lugged our bags into a small lift at the corner and were soon in our room, happy that everything from toilet flush, electric kettle to the flat screen TV was in working order. The wifi service was good too - not that we used much of it since we were out most of the time and exhausted at night!

It was a good-sized room with twin beds. I could snore peacefully in mine and my aunt, in hers. A casual batik kaftan was found hanging in the wardrobe - my aunt wore it as her pajamas to sleep.

The Comfy Beds In Aldy Hotel Stadthuys, Melaka

Another View Of The Room. My Aunt In The Kaftan.

I chose this hotel because it was located smack in the middle of many tourist attractions. It was a short walking distance from Jonker Street, the Dutch Square, a number of museums and old historical buildings such as St. Paul's Church. It is also close to the jetty of the River Cruise, the Taming Sari Revolving Tower and two large shopping malls. We relied only on our two legs to get around.

The Dutch Square, Melaka

The room rates were reasonable too. I managed to score 2 nights stay for RM350 with breakfast from an online hotel booking website.

The view outside our window was not bad either. We could see colourful trishaws passing by with loud music blaring from the speakers attached to it. The noise stopped before midnight. Funnily, it didn't really bother us.  I slept through it.

I was happy with the cleanliness of the bathroom. The basics were provided - soap, shampoo, towels. It is enough for me.

Bath Amenities

Breakfast was a simple affair at the bistro.  The waitress greeted us cheerfully and we were asked to choose from a small menu what we'd like to have. I much prefer this over a breakfast buffet - less food wastage and no chance of overeating. My aunt agrees too! This way we wouldn't be too full to hunt for street food later.

Breakfast At Bamboo Hut Bistro, Aldy Hotel Stadthuys, Melaka.

To end, I will say that am taken in by the excellent service we received from staff at this hotel. The warmth I felt makes me want to come back. The rooms and overall decor is okay too. There is an aged feeling to the place unlike the minimalist rooms of modern day accommodation or the fanciness of trendy boutique hotels but I like it.

Aldy Hotel Stadthuys, Melaka

Aldy Hotel Stadthuys
Address: 27, Jalan Kota, Bandar Hilir, 75000 Melaka, Malaysia.
Telephone: 06 - 283 3232

May 15, 2017

14 Getting All Excited At The Body Shop

A firm believer of not making anyone wait for me, I had arrived early to meet a close friend at Mid Valley Megamall. Since there was still an hour to go, I decided to look around for a great place to sit and chat.

As I was heading towards South Court, I noticed a queue outside The Body Shop. I had wanted to go in and purchase the White Musk fragrance for hubs because he had almost finished the one at home, but thought better of it - good to wait until after the crowd has dispersed.

The Body Shop, Mid Valley

However, it was not meant to be as one of the salespeople enthusiastically rushed forward to invite me to hear about their promotion. They were giving out free brightening eye creams worth RM125 to the first 50 people in queue who had downloaded the Love Your Body app - no purchase necessary! Whilst they guided me to register my particulars through the phone for the app, another promoter gave me a free skincare sample to try.

Since I was already there, I bought hubs' favourite fragrance and was blessed with a free RM59 lip and cheek stain for making the list of first 100 customers of the day.

Free Gifts From The Body Shop

When my friend finally arrived - " You are so lucky! " she gushed.

I took her over to see if she could still qualify for the eye cream. Unfortunately, we were too late. It had all been given out by then.

Moisture White SHISO 2 in 1 Eye Cream

I tried the cream out this morning, applying it around my eye area. I'm not sure how effective it will be against my long neglected panda eyes but 'you gotta have hope' , right?

May 13, 2017

20 Eat Out : The Living Room, Westin KL

It was a Public Holiday for us last Wednesday. Hubs and I decided on lunch at The Living Room, Westin KL, an open but cosy place where we could relax and enjoy each other's company. As we had hoped, it was quiet with nary a soul except the waiter and waitress who attended to us.

We could see the main entrance of the hotel from where we were seated. I realised it was raining when I looked outside and saw a lady holding a vibrant red umbrella up walking by. Behind her was another person holding a white one. Squinting my eyes, I saw the drizzle of light rain. It was the perfect weather for our lunch date, the song Singin' In The Rain  playing in my mind.

The menu carried both local and international food, some affordable, some pricey. I ordered steamed black cod fish in delicious light soy sauce with the greens. It was served with a plate of rice. Hubs went with beef tenderloin on mashed potatoes. We rounded that up with a beautiful meringue pie.

Steamed Black Cod

Beef Tenderloin With Vegs

A sweet and sour concoction.

Meringue Pie With Berries

We sat near the flower display.

The Living Room

Our iced tea drinks.

Iced Tea

All in, we had a wonderful time and were well taken care of by Westin KL's attentive employees. We paid RM40 for the entire meal after deducting cash vouchers.

The Living Room
Address: Level G, The Westin Kuala Lumpur, 199, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Hours: 6AM to 12AM
Phone: 03-2773 8338

Signing off this post with Gene Kelly's Singin' In The Rain. ☔


May 9, 2017

27 Eat Out : Jamaica Blue, Mid Valley Megamall

"Eh, can we go to that cafe you took us to last time, arh? " my friend asked softly as she looped her arm around my elbow.

" CaAann .. " I responded in typical Malaysian accent.

We made our way to Jamaica Blue on the 1st floor. I was about to order my usual glass of iced tea when I noticed the barista creating the image of a baby on a hot chocolate drink, latte art style. How excited I was! Before I knew it, I'd ordered a tall glass of hot chocolate for myself from the cheerful barista.

My friend was tickled by the suddenness of it all. We had barely taken a look at the menu and we had decided on having a seat before ordering anything, but this friend of hers had already settled on her drink!

I took my table number 9 sign after paying and headed towards my friend who had picked out a spot for us near a large pillar. When my drink arrived, my friend ordered her tea. We topped that with scones and a carrot muffin.

I was awed by the design on my hot chocolate. It was a heart. I spot a high heeled shoe design on the right and a baby's bottom if I turned my cup - funny things I'm seeing. Whilst that made it interesting for me, I was surprised by how much I liked this drink. It was smooth, creamy and had none of that sugary taste. I love the chocolatey flavour. This is one of the most delicious hot chocolate drink I have ever had. Aah .. so yummy.

Hot Chococlate (RM10.90)

The scones and muffin were served soon after by the ever smiling, friendly employee whom I regret not getting the name. I'd have written in to the management with a - 'Give the young man a raise!

Muffin (RM8.90)

One Scone, Jam and Butter (RM4.90)

My friend and I spent 3 hours catching up with each other on life. We had such a great time that the hours just flew. This was our second visit to Jamaica Blue. I am guessing from the vibes my friend is sending me that this place is going to be our regular hangout.

Jamaica Blue, Mid Valley

Do you see the words 'wan wan coco ful baskit' in the picture above? It is a Jamaican saying - one cocoa at a time fills the basket (one one cocoa, full basket). It means take your time, you will achieve your goal.

It is a reminder for all of us not to rush through life, not to rush through whatever we're doing. Remember to smell the roses along the way. You will still reach your destination or your target.

May 3, 2017

18 My New Buddies - The Pigeons

Never in my life did I foresee a time that I would be friends with a couple of pigeons.

On and off, I'd see birds visiting my little garden in the balcony. A loud chirp alerts me of their presence. Hubs and I decided that we should leave some food around for them. We started out with sunflower seeds. No success there. I was saddened but determined so I kept doing it.

This pigeon thing all started about a month ago after Hubs took me to a pet store in Taman Tun to see a talking Mynah bird. It had sparked something in us. Next thing I knew, we were walking to our car with a bag of premium bird seeds in hand.

Bird Food

I stopped putting sunflower seeds and started serving the newly purchased gourmet bird seeds. Nothing happened for three weeks until I saw it one evening - a pigeon eating the seeds. Peck, peck, peck, peck! A surge of happiness engulfed me. I was gushing all about it to hubs. Hubs was saying that it'll be bringing its buddies over soon.

His words came true as three flew in the next morning. I was thrilled! "Buddies!  " I thought to myself.

During the following days, I observed that two pigeons would faithfully pop in between 8am-9am. Just the two. I know that they're the same guys because one of them has feathers sticking out weirdly from the back of its neck - a bad hair day kind of thing. I wondered what happened to the third bird. It never came back.

These pics were taken behind a glass door because they fly away the moment they hear me opening it. Funnily, they don't mind it too much if I sit close to the glass to watch them eat as long as I don't move too much.

Pigeons, The City Dove

This Is Gaston

Today, I started leaving a bowl of water and chopped lettuce (this, after seeing Benji peck on the leaves of my chrysanthemum plant) in addition to the seeds. Gaston gave the lettuce a miss after analysing it from the edge of the container, bobbing his head here and there, probably going, " Veggies. Ugh! ". Benji tossed some out and swished it around with its beak.

I think the lettuce is a no go but I'll try again tomorrow for the sake of a balanced diet. I'm getting too involved, I know.

The water was a great idea. Both pigeons drank it.

At 4PM, as I type this, my two amigos popped in again. I am surprised. They took a sip of water. Benji headed to my mint plant and started pecking at it. It looks like Benji's with me on the balanced diet thing. Gaston, on the other hand, loves strutting his stuff on our balcony. He'd be bobbing his head, chest out and in between, rub his head against his wings. Show off!

First pics of Benji and the other birds who visit me.

Top-Left to Right : Benji , Javan Myna
Bottom Left to Right : A Small Brown Bird, Benji

Would you take a common pigeon for a pet? I didn't think I would but now I look forward to seeing and spoiling them daily. Haha that.


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