After we moved to Singapore from USA, we have been exploring several places around Singapore. Melaka or Malacca , has been one of the highlights so far. We crossed the border from Singapore using the KTMB train and reached Johor Bahru. The train is a pretty good option if you have planned well in advance and want to save some time. You can find more details on it on the moneysmart website . Rented a car and drove to Melacca during the Chinese New Year weekend. The freeways are very smooth and although it was a big high traffic weekend, everyone drove in a very disciplined manner. Overall, the trip was for 3 days.
If you want to drive on the freeways, make sure you get a touch and go card before you enter the freeway. Load enough money (at least 100RM for round-trip.)
Things to do in Malacca
- Malacca River Cruise: Malacca River Cruise is one of the most popular things to do in Malacca. There are actually multiple starting points along the river where you can board the cruise. There is one close to Jonkers which probably is the most convenient for people as most tourists stay around that area. The cruise had a very good background audio covering history of Malacca and also some amazing music in the end. During the cruise, we saw multiple locations of the city. It was very colorful.
- Jonkers Street: Undoubtedly, everything about Malacca starts here. The food, the heritage, the night-life, everything. We explored Jonkers street starting the very evening we reached Malacca and overwhelmed by the amount of food options available. Starting from satay, dumplings, puffs to the very unique putu pirings. We also bought some tea flowers. Also, I can never say “No” to Satay. Too much food-gasm. Also, lots of vegetarian options.
- Gunung Datuk Hike: Gunung Datuk is about an hour drive from Malacca and is a very popular hiking destination. A number of locals as well as people from Singapore go there regularly to hike. After moving from US, we have been missing out on some hiking. Therefore, no missing out on this opportunity. I would rate it a moderate-to-strenuous hike. The hike included a lot of climbing rocks. The temperature was pretty high, but the hike is fairly shaded, so that was somewhat good. It took us close to 2 hours to make it to the top and then we were greeted by swarms of bees.
Apparently, the bees there do not harm you. While I had several that actually touched my clothing, I was (surprisingly!) left unharmed.
Overall, a highly recommended hike.
The rest of the day after the hike, we ended up again at Jonkers, had more food and replenished all the lost calories 😇
On the last day of the journey, we visited the famous Cheng Hoon Teng temple and also the museum in Dutch Square. The temple was such a calming place with the chants being addressed to the Gods. It was such a soulful experience feeling the strength and connection in those chants.
Malacca is an amazing place to experience the culture, food and also something for the outdoor freaks (hiking I mean!). We really enjoyed our stay. Probably there are many more things to do in Malacca and if not, I could visit it again only for the food Jonkers had to offer. Such a colorful, lovely and vibrant place. Until next time …..