AdventureNotes #7: Malacca

The decision to go to Malacca was made a few weeks before we actually departed. We decided to go there because we both haven’t been there before. It was a UNESCO World Heritage place and we were curious on the attractions. We both love photography and exploring new places – especially with cultural highlights.

Day 1

As we went through Batam, we took ferry to Johor Bahru before going to Malacca by bus. The ferry ride was around 90 minutes and it costs around IDR 800k for return ticket per person. We went quite early in the morning, noting that there is an hour time difference between Indonesia and Malaysia. After we arrived in Johor Bahru, we took a taxi to Larkin Bus Terminal to continue our journey by bus. The terminal was quite far from the port but fortunately we got the meter taxi. Note that the taxis in Malaysia sometimes do not follow the regulation so that passenger needs to bargain for the fare. We already bought the bus ticket online (RM 42 return / person) and we just needed to exchange the online receipt before we could get on the bus. We arrived in the bus terminal just in time and a few minutes after we got on the bus, it departed. Malacca, here we come!

3 hours and a tube of Pringles later, we finally arrived in Malacca. We embarked in Melaka Sentral, a bus terminal there. We were hungry and it was already 2 pm. We decided to eat in the terminal. I could say that it was carbohydrate party for our lunch. As usual, the meal in Malaysia does not cost a diamond. It was less than RM 20 for both of us.

As it was still bright after we had our meal, we asked the information desk for a trip to Portuguese Settlement. Apparently, bus number 17 to Ujong Pasir passes the Portuguese Settlement. We found the bus and waited for a while before the bus started its journey. Downtown Malacca is a touristy place. The whole bunch of attraction condensed in that one place and it caused traffic. It was Christmas holiday and it was no wonder that there were lots of tourists there. We skipped the whole attraction because we planned to go there on the next day. Around 45 minutes later, we got off the bus in front of the Portuguese Settlement gate. We walked for around 10 minutes before we reached the place. Sadly, there was nothing. Well, one or two restaurants were opened, but the rest was quiet. The whole neighborhood seemed to celebrate Christmas and it was kind of similar to Eid in Indonesia. People went around the neighborhood, visiting the houses. The Christmas decoration was cheerful and it may be better to be seen during the night. We took picture and in less than 30 minutes we were back to the main road to catch a bus back to the terminal.

We were tired so we went to our hotel. It was a shame that the hotel was located far from the central. However for the service and the room, as well as the Melaka River Cruise ticket, the price was quite good (IDR 900k for 2 nights). It seemed that we were so tired that we dozed off straight away. At around 9 pm we woke up. Unsure whether there is anything that is still open, we tried our luck and went out. It turned out that near our hotel, there was a kind of small restaurant that still opened. In Indonesia, it was like ‘tukang nasi goreng’ or ‘warteg’. We ordered roti canai and fried noodle. Ryan loved the roti canai. The fried noodle was okay for me. As usual, it only costs less than RM 15 for the whole meal. We were full and went back to the hotel, continuing our rest.

Day 2

It was raining in the morning on our second day in Malacca. We tried to wait but when it hit 9.30 am, we thought that we may be stuck in our room if we don’t try to get out. We ordered a taxi from the hotel and went to Malacca River Cruise. It was quiet and there were not too many people there. We had our cruise along the Malacca River. It was nice and worth the ticket. We could see Kampung Morten and other attractions we haven’t got a chance to go to. The cafes on the riverside were interesting. We didn’t have a chance to walk along the riverside, but I really recommend it if you go to Malacca.

After the river cruise, the rain got worse but we had no choice. We had to continue our trip. We decided to go to the tourist information center to get a map of downtown Malacca. Walking through the rain, we stopped by a few attractions, like Malacca Watermill and St. John Fort. After we got the map, we went to the ‘Red Brick’ area and took plenty of pictures. The good thing of walking around when it was raining was that we had the place for ourselves. We walked around the area and walked our way up to the St. Paul Church on the hill. We passed a few museums on our way up and on our way down.

As the rain got pretty bad and we were exhausted and so wet, we decided to go inside Dataran Pahlawan Shopping Mall. We walked around and did a little window shopping and tried to find a place to eat. We ate in the newly opened food court there, warming ourselves. During the time we visited Malacca, it was sale period. Fortunately (or unfortunately), we only brought our backpack and if we shop, we would have to bring the shopping bags and it was not efficient. Therefore we did not shop (or try to stop ourselves from shopping).

At 3 pm, finally the rain stopped. Excitedly we went out, feeling warmth of the sunlight. We walked back to the central area, stopping by some museums to take pictures. Now that it was almost evening, we went to Jonker area. Jonker Street area was a night attraction. However, nearby that street, there are many tourist attractions. We strolled along the street, moving ourselves to some historical places, like Kampung Kling Mosque and Cheng Hoon Teng Temple. On our way, we stopped by a café called Mods Café. It was a unique small café with a VW inside their small place. It was opened just until 6 pm so we were forced to come in although we were still full. It was truly a hidden gem in Malacca.

We walked around, passing by some other temples, other unique buildings and such until it was kind of crowded in Jonker area. It was 5.30 and the atmosphere was getting hotter. Lots of food stalls opened up on the sidewalks. There were other kinds of things sold there, too. We walked our way in and out the area, gave up waiting the well-known Jonker 88 restaurant and walked our way to an area near Dataran Pahlawan Shopping Mall. In front of the mall, there was a place called Pahlawan Walk, and there was a halal food court there. We ordered seafood set meal. It was the most luxurious meal we had during our trip to Malacca. After we finished our dinner, we went back to the hotel to rest.

Day 3

There was not much going on during our third day. We went back to Melaka Sentral to take the bus back to Johor Bahru. At first, we wanted to go to Doraemon Expo in JB Sentral. However, looking at the ferry schedule, there was one just around the time we arrived in Johor Bahru. We decided to take the earlier ferry back to Batam.

To summarize, the whole trip only costs us about IDR 3500k for the whole trip, including transportation, hotel, and meal. We had fun and Malacca was a worth place to visit.

 Dec 29, 2014

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