Want a quick getaway from the hustle bustle of your busy Singapore life? This is what my husband and I were thinking, when we decided to visit Malacca for a weekend. This, by far, has been the most unplanned trip of ours 😛 no flight tickets, no hotel booking, no plan… we just went with the flow 😛
Little History about Malacca
Malacca is located on the west coast of peninsular Malaysia. It is believed that the name Malacca is derived from the tree Melaka (Indian gooseberry).The city throughout has imprints of its rich historical and cultural background from previous Portuguese, Dutch and British rule. The city center was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in July 2008.
See… I just kept it short and sweet!
As I mentioned above, we dint have any planning for the trip. From Singapore there are many SMRT buses which will get you to the Immigration checkpoint and drop you at the bus depot in Johor Bahru. We did the same. From here, we booked a return bus ticket to Malacca. The buses are very comfy and it takes around 3/3.5 hrs to reach Melaka Sentral bus station. We then took a taxi from the bus station to reach Jonker Street, where we planned to stay.
Tip: While going back to Singapore, make sure to leave on time as the Immigration gets quite crowded late in the evening.
Where to Stay
At 12noon, when we reached the city, it was so quiet and deserted; we got a little worried as we had no hotel booking. We wandered around the street in the scorching sun, looking for cheap accommodation. You can find many hotels around. But we found house- stay suitable for us, as we were there just for 1 night and most of the time we would spend out roaming. It was a weekend so understandably, most of the places were full already. Luckily, we found a sweet lady who had a rooms available for us. And guess what!! it was just S$35 per night 🙂 🙂
This is was the first time, we went for house stay. Surprisingly, we found it quiet comfortable. The lady taking care of the place was very helpful and provided us what we needed. It was a 2 storey apartment; the ground level was the common room with TV, Kitchen and laundry room. Tea, coffee, biscuits and water were complimentary. My room was on level one. Bathroom was on sharing basis, but luckily for us, there was nobody else at that time, so it was all ours.
Where to eat
The city is bustling with restaurants and cafes. You can find different cuisines and interesting decors of the restaurants. With restaurants, cafes and street food all across the city, food can never be an issue in Malacca.
We were way past lunch time and famished, when we found this place right next to our room. It is a small place at the banks of river Melaka. The staff was super friendly and fixed up a lunch for us.
Peranakan or Nonya cuisine
Cendol.. yumm yumm
Many places around the river do not have full fledged dinner menu. You can enjoy some drinks and finger food sitting at the riverside. We actually managed to get some Thai food at one of the restaurants around the river.
PS: We do not eat beef or pork, so I might not be able to give you a 100% review of the food here.
What to do in the city?
- Cruise along Melaka River
Melaka river is the heart of the city and it is a very popular tourist attraction in Malacca. You can enjoy a 45 min River cruise which takes you across colonial buildings, ancient bridges, and local surroundings. Make sure to be early to buy your tickets as on weekends there can be endless queues.
- Roam around Dutch square
This is the liveliest part of the city. Red colonial buildings, cafes, fountain and clock tower are what you should look out for. You can also hop onto a colorful trishaw, beautifully decorated blasting with “let it go” from Frozen. They are all over the place.
- Climb up to St. Paul’s Church
Around sunset, we walked up a long fleet of stairs to reach St. Paul’s Church. By this time, the heat was subsiding which made walking up easier. The church is mostly ruins. The roof is mostly gone and the walls are pretty washed out. Just enjoy the view from the top with the church in the background.
- A’Famosa Fort
While walking down from the St. Paul’s Church, we reached the A’Famosa fort, where many tourists were posing with the canons. We jumped in ourselves to take some pics.
- Take a walk at Jonker’s Street
As deserted the streets are during the day, at night, it is bustling with tourists flocking the market lit with colorful lights. Street food, souvenirs, clothes, bags, shoes.. you name it and they have it. You can also enjoy some live music at restaurants around the streets.
- Click! Click!! outside Christ Church
We came here Sunday morning. Crazy lot of people everywhere. It was quiet hot but what can stop us from taking pictures 😛
- Malacca Proclamation of Independence Memorial
My husband insists on going to a museum to learn about the history of a place. Hence, we landed at this memorial where we found interesting facts about the history of Malacca.
- The Malacca Sultanate Watermill
Along the riverside, is a giant watermill, which looks absolutely beautiful.
- The Flor de la mar Portuguese ship and Maritime museum
This museum is a replica of a Portuguese ship said to have been carrying the loot from Malacca when it sank off the coast of Malacca on its way back to Portugal. This humongous ship is 10 mins walk from the Dutch square.
Must have before planning Malacca trip
- Hats/caps- it can be very sunny during the day
- Summer clothes
- Malaysian Ringgit
Well! this was a short and sweet description of my tour of Malacca city in about 2 days. Please let me know if you need any more information about the trip.
Keep reading, I will be putting up new destinations soon.
PS: This is my first blog, suggestions are welcome.