The next World Heritage City I visited was Malacca (known as in the West, and spelled Melaka in Malaysian). The first time around Malaysia I had only briefly considered a stop here as my research fell short of producing anything I thought at the time was worthwhile. To my neglect, I was wrong and Malacca definitely well deserved its place in Malaysia’s long list of places to go.
The heritage area of Jonker and Heeren Streets highlight the best antique shops, street food, architecture and culture that Malacca has to offer. The side streets that run adjacent to Jonker also house many of the city’s cultural museums where you can properly learn about the history of the city. The Tourist Market is held every Friday, Saturday and Sunday where people from all over Malaysia come and crowd together and walk through Jonker to experience the eclectic tastes, sounds and smells of Malacca.
Convinced by Ellie and driven from Thailand to do a visa run, I wanted to make Malaysia part 2 to make sense and not revisit the places I’ve already been to. Since it was so close and easy to get to after Borneo, I went straight there after returning to KL.
From KL LCCT (Low Cost Carrier Terminal) I made my way to Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS, Southern Integrated Terminal) where it services many of the southern bus routes. Malacca was only 2.5 hours by bus from KL.
After some brief research, I sought out the Transnasional (http://www.transnasional.com.my/) counter and purchased my tickets to Malacca Sentral station, $12.30 RM.
Clean and slick like an airport, well organized and easy to find things.
Had their own boarding terminals and gates.
Grabbed some Curry Ayam (chicken).
After my Mt. Kinabalu climb, I had a huge craving for chocolate and sweets and never went away.
Reclining super spacious seats.
So apparently they run their cars in Malaysia on Harry Potter magic.
Took the local bus 17 that runs around the historical city which will drop you off at the Dutch Square which is right by Chinatown and Jonker Street where many of the hostels and backpacker accommodations are situated.
$1.50 RM for the ride to Dutch Square.
Menara Taming Sari Revolving Tower offered 360 panoramic view of the city and the coastline. $20 RM for the ride, I skipped this.
From the moment when I arrived I was greeted by these super decorated tricycle taxis blasting music from the rear mounted speakers (Gangnam Style). It was so lively I was wondering what was going on.
The Maritime Museum in the shape of a Portuguese Galleon “Flora de la Mar”. Houses invaluable treasures from Malacca’s maritime history primarily in the 1500s.
So I was lucky to arrive on a holiday with everyone off from work, there was bound to be crowds of people everywhere, oh joy. From what I know the Malaysians were celebrating their National holiday of Malaysia Day, where they celebrate 50 years since formation.
Street performers found along the boardwalk of the Malacca Rivers and waters that all lead to the Malacca Strait.
First of all, checking into the hostel Jalan Jalan Besi. The sister hostel of Jalan Jalan Emas managed by a single owner Sam. Sam was a sincere and well spoken younger guy whom I would not have expected to have been capable of running 2 hostels nearly single-handedly. However the downside of it was that he barely slept. I asked him why he didn’t hire more staff and he honestly answered that it wasn’t the cost of help but the trust that had to go into the staff. He was a perfectionist and did most of everything and said that his previous staff had bad experiences of slacking off, or not being able to be communicate well enough in English. In the end, Sam himself had to fix up the issues. He gave me a lot of insight as to what needed to be done in order to run a place like his and our conversations were for sure interesting. It was only about 2 hours into speaking with him that he found out I spoke Cantonese and we proceeded to speak in Cantonese. Although not perfect, he said his idol was Stephen Chow and that’s the reason he knows and spent time learning Canto. Other than that, he spoke Malaysian, Mandarin, and English fluently.
Do as the note says.
Just outside of Jonker Street and the beginning of the crowd madness.
During the day a few cars still run through, but with the all the humans walking around, I wouldn’t know why anyone would choose to drive through here.
The Weekend Tourist Market (Fri, Sat, Sun).
PORTUGUESE EGG TART!
One of the most famous and must tries of Malacca’s local dishes is Hainanese Chicken with Rice Balls. Check out the long queue at Kedai Kopi Chung Wah (中華茶室). Luckily I met Jacqueline from Singapore who was down for trying it! We both stayed at Jalan Jalan Besi and she loved to travel so it was easy conversations. She had recently started her auditing job from Singapore and had a training week here in Malacca and I vividly remember her passion of her travels through China and she completely loved it there. Compared to any destinations in the West, we came to a consensus that money just went so much further in the East that it only made sense doing extended travel here in East Asia.
I wouldn’t say the best, but decent chicken. The rice balls were no different from what you would expect, it was rice in a ball format.
Durian Puff… tried and it’s ok to not do that again.
Radish cake omg.
Bomb Cendol compared to the one pictured before.
Popcorn chicken. Satisfied my craving.
Muar Otak Otak also known as BBQ fish paste in a leaf. Yums,
The Geographer Cafe as recommended. =)
Thai Tom Yum Soup served in a coconut. Pieces of coconut found on the inside and can be scrapped off to consume. A little distant from traditional tom yum but it was super flavourful and fragrant. Awesome midday meal!
Bar street off of Jonker.
Super popular Char Kuey Teow.
It’s like Fried Dry Beef Noodle they have in Cantonese dishes but with a little seafood thrown in for good measure. Slightly sweeter and spicy. Comparable to the one I had in Penang!
Dinnertime and wok sounds everywhere.
Local performances held at one end of Jonker for the locals and tourists to enjoy. Festive as ever.
A Tamil Methodist Church at the end of Jonker just showing that yes, it’s not all Malaysian/Chinese here.
Such a lively atmosphere at night.
Light it up! So colourful and eye-catching. It was certainly a step away from the norm from visiting a city.
THAT was a lot of food. Next up, the more cultural side of Malacca seen by moi.
Up in the next day!