“All Work and No Play Makes Jack A Dull Boy” – so the saying goes… ELS Language Centres, Malaysia isn’t just about teaching English to the world. Numerous extra-curricular activities are regularly planned for students who are interested to participate in getting to know Malaysia with its unique and diverse cultures and numerous tourist attractions.
During the recent session break, the P.J. students headed south to Malacca on a fun yet educational day trip. On Monday, 30th June 2008 a total of 25 students from countries such as Djibouti, China, Yemen, Libya and Saudi Arabia accompanied by Student Advisors Virginia Chin and Nurul took to the road to give the participating students an insight to tourist attractions outside of K. L. city.
By 8 am, the students had all gathered at the PJ Centre and with light snacks distributed to satisfy their gastronomical urge they were all ears as they were briefed on the day’s itinerary before the start of the journey. They were all without a doubt geared to take in the sights and sounds of Malacca.
On the way to Malacca, the students were given a brief summary and history of the town and all the tourist sites they would visit. At the same time, they had the opportunity to know each other better as they were all from different levels and countries. All too soon, the group finally arrived at Malacca town at about 11 am.
First on the itinerary was the Baba and Nyonya Heritage Museum located behind the famous Jonker Street. As the students did not know anything about this famous Malaysian heritage, the guided tour conducted in English was truly an eye-opener for many of them, and they also had the opportunity to hone their listening skills. The students were really fascinated and spent about an hour exploring the entire museum, particularly the master room, living room, kitchen and dining areas, and poring over all the unique architectural designs, decorative wall displays and portraits of long-gone ancestors of the house.
After this historical tour, the group stepped out onto the famous Jonker Street/Walk, which is famous for its amazing architectural designs fronting the long row of houses and shops. The elaborate and ornamental frontages of Dutch origin, and traces of Chinese and English influence in their motifs was a sight to behold! The students also had a lot of fun souvenir shopping for their friends and family. It was also a great opportunity for them to practice their speaking skills as they bargained with the shopkeepers in English for the best prices.
There were also a lot of photo opportunities for the students during the walkabout all over the town after lunch, with Virginia, the student advisor and Nurul as their guides for the day. As the weather was sweltering hot, some students quenched their thirst at a local stall by having their first taste of Malaysia’s famous local sweet dessert, “Chendol”. The most unforgettable experience the students had were the irresistible, antiquated and colourful trishaw rides – for most, it was a first time experience and one that thrilled them to bits! The trishaw rides, about RM20 per trishaw for a 30-minute ride, took them around to all the historical sites such as the ‘A Famosa’, Independence Memorial, St. Francis Xavier Church, and The Stadhuys. Needless to say, the students captured memorable pictures of themselves with the trishaw riders!
All too soon, the trip had to end at about 4pm when the group had to leave historical Malacca and all its antiquities behind. It was with a heavy heart that they boarded the bus to return to Petaling Jaya. This excursion, though tiring, was truly exciting and indeed a very memorable one where the students experienced and learned a different side of Malaysia, its history and culture. The knowledge and experience they gained is undeniable and the photographs and the numerous souvenirs they brought back with them will surely have a story to tell and be treasured for a lifetime!