5 Ways to Enjoy Melaka
August 23, 2016 nandrawr 1 Comment
I took a random trip to KL with friends back in June, just to take a break from Jakarta and the grind. Instead of just roaming around KL, we decided to spice things up and plan a short trip to Melaka, just a 2-hour drive away from KL. So, after touching down in KL, and spending less than 12-hours there, our friend Souvil picked us up and we began our road trip to Melaka.
I’m not really sure if Melaka is on the radar of most travellers who come to Malaysia. But, I have to say it’s a quaint little town, perfect for a weekend break. We only stayed one night, but here are 5 ways to enjoy your short stay at Melaka.
Fine, this is a no-brainer. Considering the very reason we visit this place is to eat. Almost every Malaysian friends I know told me to go eat Chicken Rice Balls in Melaka. Apparently, it’s what they’re famous for. So we did. We tried them at Huang Chang Restaurant.
To be honest, what sells from this is the Hainan rice moulded into the size of a ping-pong ball. Taste-wise, probably not very “Wow” but the chicken is really nicely cooked and seasoned. It was worth the wait and the fighting for a table.
We also went to have this really nice mille crepe and some kway teao, though not too special, really.
The highlight was the Nyonya place we visited, called Restoran Aunty Lee at Jalan Ujong Pasir. We waited until it opened at 5.30pm and despite the aunty telling us the place is fully booked, they gave us a table, but had to scurry out of there not an hour after we sat down. Didn’t matter though, since we finished our meal pretty quickly and it was THAT good.
2. Get lost in the crowd
If you come down on the weekend like we did, you’d probably get stuck with the weekenders crowd. There were so many people and cars it was a pain to navigate the small alleys. But, it wasn’t so bad considering Melaka is a cute little town with a myriad of historical architecture. Despite the crowd it’s still nice to roam around in and take nice pictures.
Also, we came down to Melaka from KL close to midnight, and went straight to the night market at Jonker Street — Melaka’s main heritage street. It’s one of Melaka’s top attractions, so make sure to check it out when you’re here. Grab some late-night snack and don’t forget to stuff an entire durian puff in your mouth. Then, if you were like us, find a random bar with speakers so loud it will damage your ears, order a beer tower, and talk about random stuff with friends.
3. Stroll by the river
Melaka’s main attraction can be enjoyed just by strolling along the river, and marvelling at the old architecture. I imagined the buildings having stood there for ages and generations after generations. Like most touristic cities, a lot of them have been transformed into cafes or hostels. I contemplated whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing.
4. Take pictures everywhere!
Melaka is very instagramable, I give you that. The rows of old houses are such a sight of sore eyes, and don’t get me started on the street art! I love street arts not just because it’s beautiful to photograph but more because it adds flair to the urban space. Especially in a heritage town like Melaka. Street art shouldn’t be seen as defacing or vandalising property, instead, I see it as breathing new life into the old.
Or if you’re the odd photographer-wannabe like me, take pictures of old doors because you like the juxtaposition of rusty and dilapidated, yet colourful wood.
5. Sit down and chill
The riverside is lined up with countless cafes, each offering rather overpriced coffee or a light meal. But, never mind that. You’re on holiday. So sit down and catch up with friends. Or if you’re going solo, read a book and contemplate on your life.
So, as you can see, Melaka is a pretty chilled out destination, perfect for a short weekend visit. I believe the best way to get there from KL is by car, but I know there are good bus connections as well. All local and long-distnace buses goes to Melaka Sentral bus station. Check out this travel guide for more info. Getting around seems pretty easy even without car as well. It’s small enough to walk everywhere, and there are local buses which seems reliable. Metered taxis are available everywhere, too.
In a nutshell, if you’re looking for an alternative quick destination in Malaysia, Melaka is worth a visit. You don’t need to stay long, just enough to forget about your work and other mundane routines back home.