We have had enough of beach holidays. Therefore, this time around we decided to explore a different place. Due to lack of leaves, we just had the weekend plus a day to ourselves. Malacca came as the best choice as it was very near to Singapore – a bus ride will take you there in about 4.5 hours. If you have a car, it’s even faster. Malacca is a historical city – once one of the biggest port cities and today declared a UNESCO world heritage site.
The journey – important things to know when traveling from Singapore to Malacca
So, on a Saturday morning we boarded a bus to Malacca from the concrete city of Singapore,
in hope of something different. If you are travelling by road from Singapore to Malacca, you need to do immigration check at the Singapore end as well as at the Malaysian side of the border. If you hold a Singapore passport/PR or EP in Singapore, the process is very quick. No manual checks are required. You just need to tap your passport and thumbprint and you are granted access. On the Malaysian side, you need to get your luggage checked. The only issue is that you need to get down twice for the immigration process – once on the Singapore side and again on the Malaysia side. We were lucky as it hardly took 10 minutes on each side.
It was a comfortable ride as the coaches are quite spacious with surplus leg room. We reached Malacca Sentral – the pick up and drop off point for the coaches. Thereon, we took a cab for MYR 20 to our hotel. Always fix the price before hiring a cab here as drivers may overcharge you. In about 10 minutes we reached our hotel, freshened up and went out to have lunch.
Walk along Jonker, Malaka river and the tasty Baba Nonya dishes
Malacca is a small town. It’s convenient if you stay in or around the world heritage site as you can explore the place on foot. We went to Jonker Street – the main market area – with shops selling artifacts to clothes to anything you can name. We wanted to try local food and at the end of the street we found a place that serves Nonya and Baba cuisine. For the uninitiated, Nonya and Baba food is a mix of Malay and Chinese cuisines. We ordered – prawns with coconut and pineapple curry and a duck dish along with plain rice. The food was sumptuous and we had it to our heart’s content. When in Malacca, you must not miss out on Chendol – a traditional dessert and it’s a must try. There are several places selling the sweet dish along Jonker Street.
There is little night life in Malacca, although Jonker Street comes alive after 9 pm. There is a weekend night market all along the street. There are a few bars and pubs – Geographers, Entrounge, et al, and all of them are located at one place. Malacca also boasts of a Hard Rock Café by the river side. You must note that smoking is prohibited in the world heritage site – which includes Jonker Street, the river side, etc. there are ‘No smoking signs’ all over the place, but we found many people smoking openly.
Next day we had a hearty breakfast of bread and sausages and baked tomatoes at Dutch Harbor Café by the river side before exploring the heritage sites. We stopped over at the Customs museum to see the history of the port city and artifacts that were confiscated. Further ahead of the museum is the Maritime Museum & Naval Museum that is actually a huge ship converted into a museum. It was really interesting to get inside the ship and read the maritime history of Malacca and how the city has a rich colonial past – Dutch, British and Portuguese ruled Malacca at different points in time. In fact the city was once of the biggest ports.
One can also take the river cruise, especially in the night. There is no beach in immediate proximity of the city. The nearest one is about 10 km away. People who plan to stay longer can explore the beaches.
Overall Malacca is not a bad destination for a weekend getaway from Singapore.
For more information visit: http://www.malacca.ws/attractions/placestovisit.htm