I guess that when you have been colonised as many times as this place it’s not a surprise that you answer to many different names. The Dutch, Portuguese and British have all ruled over this once vital port town.
Today it is reinventing itself as a tourist destination half way between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. Many people come as day trippers, particularly at the weekend, to see the street market. There are 14 museums in a fairly small area though they are reaching a bit with the Stamp Museum and a couple of the others.
A relatively recent phenomenon are the gaudily decorated trishaws. These are generally festooned with Hello Kitty, Frozen and Pokemon characters and lights. Ostensibly they are there for guided tours but they are an attraction in themselves. After dark when they are lit up and flashing they are certainly a unique sight.
As with most cities in this part of the world there is a large and thriving Chinatown. A few of the original traders remain, more as souvenir shops than for locals, amongst them are a couple of shoe shops which made the bead decorated shoes for the Chinese women. The woman had their feet bound from a young age and suffered a great deal of pain in order to obtain the perfect 4 inch foot size – think of that next time you complain about a couple of blisters from your new shoes!
Quite a number of shops, restaurants and attractions were not open this may be because it is getting close to the Lunar New Year, or perhaps as it is relatively quiet as regards tourists. It is a quirky little town with a great deal of history.