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March 13, 2004

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From Kuala Lumpur we continued down the peninsula and reached Malaysia's most historic city: Melaka. Following the tradition of all Malaysian cities, multiple cultures created it; Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch and British. It was once the most important trading port in the region. Old junks still lie in the river, preserving the waterfront's commercial past, but the river has mostly silted up and the trade has moved to Singapore. What remains are antique shops, temples, government buildings, and churches of European colonial powers.
The Stadthuys stands in massive pinkness as Holland's biggest memorial. The Dutch built it in 1641 during their colonial rule. It's the oldest Dutch building in Asia and architecture buffs say it showcases all the hallmarks of a Dutch colonial building. It's the big pink.
Tourist shops conduct Malaka's major trade nowadays in scenic Chinatown.
Chinese posters sell Irish beer.