Wanderlust Malacca: Part 1

Alright folks, here’s yet another blog post in the Wanderlust series. This time, I’m gonna recount the travel experience as it happened. Which basically means, what you’re gonna read is pretty much the itinerary of my trip, which should make it a considerably long post. Fret not. To avoid severe boredom to you, the reader, I’m gonna divide the post into parts. This also let’s me ruminate and churn out the second post at a later date, so, it’s a win-win!

Malacca Cityscape

My most recent trip was to the Malaysian heritage city of Malacca (or Melaka). My wife and I were super excited about the trip for two reasons; one we REALLY needed a holiday and two, we were celebrating our one year wedding anniversary.

Malacca was on my wish-list for quite some time. Being a UNESCO recognized heritage city meant that there were unique sights and sounds to experience. I had of course read up on the city plenty and was quite intrigued with the rich history. The milieu of colonial influences coupled with its almost bohemian culture sounded like the perfect holiday spot for a newly married couple like us!

There are a couple of ways you can reach Malacca, but the most direct and hassle-free one (from Singapore of course) is a bus ride which lasts around 4-5 hours and is usually directly to your hotel in Malacca. 

We departed early Friday morning (8:30 AM) from the Golden Mile Tower (check this correctly since there is also a Golden Mile Complex, although they’re pretty close to one another). The journey was quite smooth, including the two immigration stops (one for each end of the border). Although the one at the Singapore end is slightly speedier (and neater!) The border is essentially the Singapore strait which separates the two nations. The connecting bridge (one of two) looks pretty sweet. It’d be a good idea to visit the washrooms while at the immigration stops since some bus services do not have any pit stops until the destination.

Our hotel (Holiday Inn) was at the edge of town (along the Straits). So our bus meandered through the heritage portion of the city, to reach our destination. This gave us an early, albeit brief, glimpse of the beautiful architecture and colors of Malacca. Although I was a little confused by the choice of roads that were taken by the bus driver to reach the destination since the GPS had a more straightforward route to the hotel. Ah well, we weren’t in any rush and the road time in different parts of the city was quite cool too.

Menara Taming Sari

Our first stop for the evening was the Menara Taming Sari which offers a 360 Degree Panoramic View of the Historic City. The total duration of the ride is around 7 minutes (2 of which are spent in the ascent and descent). The view offered from this altitude is quite breathtaking. Rest assured you will get some really stunning aerial shots of the city (like the one at the beginning of this post!). Around here you’ll also find a number of other touristy activities for the entire family, ranging from mechanical pony rides for the little tykes to back, foot and shoulder massages for the weary ones. 

Maritime Museum

Our next stop was the Maritime museum which is housed in the replica of a portuguese ship (At least I think it’s Portuguese!). Another nice place for getting photos clicked of yourself as the captain of the vessel! Although for an entry fee of 3 Ringitts, it’s worth the expense even if you simply wanna stroll around the ship and read up on the history. 

By this time, the sun had already set and the evening skies were turning dark. And the city also starts turning a little dim, since there aren’t many street-lights (Well not all over at least!) This coupled with the numerous colorfully lit up riverside cafes and hotels on either side of the water body made the Malacca river appear even more picturesque. Walking with your significant other in such an atmosphere was simply delightful! If you’re planning to grab a bite and want this view, head to Dutch Harbor Cafe or Harper’s Restaurant And Lounge. Both have seating that faces the river in addition to quite delectable menus.

But we skipped the romantic dinner (Don’t worry we covered up with a LOTTA other activities!) and headed to the infamous Jonker Walk. But that’s gonna be featured in another blog post. 

The Malacca river is quite scenic so if you do get the time, take a river cruise to appreciate the beauty. But we found strolling along the riverside far more romantic and rewarding. So you know, to each his own.The Malacca river divides the heritage city into distinct sections with contrasting architectural styles. While most of the heritage portion lies to the west of the river, the east is dominated by  rows and rows of houses, many with Chinese influences on their styling. 
Dinner was at a cafe close to the hotel in a newly opened late night hot-spot called The Jetty. The place looks deserted during the day, but trust me, once the sun sets, the place is anything but quiet. With a number of restaurants, bars karaoke lounges and even a dessert hut, The Jetty is probably your best bet for some fun in Malacca post dinner time.

So that was pretty much what we did on our first day (well half a day to be fair!) The next post will give a little more about the many sights Malacca has to offer to the shutterbug and the tourist in you and of course the stupendously spectacular shopping experience at Jonker Walk!

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