Day Trip: Melaka on a Shoestring

Malacca |

Malacca, Malaysia – Located two hours  south of Kuala Lumpur, Malacca (‘Melaka’ in Malay) is a perfect weekend getaway. This UNESCO Heritage Site is a popular weekend destination for many because the city with its charming old buildings, wide range of food selections and shopping street can be explored without spending too much. It’s a great escape not only for visitors coming from Kuala Lumpur but for visitors from Singapore as well.

Malacca |
Let’s go Melaka!

How to get there?

To get there we decided to rent a car. This our first out of town trip since we got our Malaysia n license. Thus, we’re extra excited to finally explore Malaysia on our own. Hooray for more road trips!

There are a couple of ways to travel to Malacca on public transport from Kuala Lumpur but the easiest is via bus from the Terminal Bersepadu Selatan at Bandar Tasik Selatan. Bus leaves the terminal to Malacca every 30 minutes. You can buy the tickets directly at the terminal or book online. Bus tickets fare from Kuala Lumpur to Malacca start at RM 12 depending on the bus operator you choose. From Singapore, you can check EasyBook for the buses that offer services to Malacca.

It takes 2.5 hours to travel to Malacca from KL. For those taking public transport, most buses stop at Malacca Sentral. From here, you can take local Bus #17 to make your way down to the city centre to start your Malacca tour.

While for those going via private transport, parking around city centre is a common problem especially during holidays. Thus, you can park at one of the malls near Dutch Square, Dataran Pahlawan Malacca Megamall. Most of the attractions  are within easy walking distance from here.

What to see?

Most of Malacca’s places of interests are located in the city centre which can be explored on foot within a day or two. For us, since we only rented the car for a day, we just did a day trip and I must say we covered most of the must-visit places.

  • Chung Wah Chicken Rice Ball

We arrived at Malacca around lunch time, thus, the first thing we did was to queued up for some chicken rice balls at Chung Wah Chicken Rice Ball shop at Jonker Walk. This place is so famous that you have to wait for at least 30 mins. Once we got in we ordered for Hainanese-style chicken with rice balls. Tender and juicy chicken + tasty rice balls = yummy! No wonder why this place is so famous! Meal is around 30 -40RM for 2 persons.

  • Flora de la Mar Maritime Museum

After grabbing a map from the Tourist Centre, we started our walking tour by taking a stroll at the side of the Malacca River towards the Maritime Museum.

Built as a replica of a Portuguese ship, the museum narrates and show artifacts about the history of Malacca as trading district. Entrance fee is 5 RM.

  • Menara Taming Sari

To witness Malacca’s panoramic view from 80 meters high, we took the ride on top of Menara Taming Sari for 20RM.

  • Jalan Kota Museums

We only went to People’s Museum as the others were already close. The other museums are Islamic, Umno and stamp museums.

  • A Famosa Fortress

From Jalan Kota, we walked towards A Famosa, also known as Porta de Santiago which is a fortress built by the Portugese in the 16th century. Only one gate is left after the British destroyed in 1806

  • St. Paul’s Church

From the fortress we took the stairs to see the church on top of the hill. The church is only partly preserved due to war destruction. There are also Portuguese tombstones located within the ruins.

  • Dutch Square

The sun was already setting thus we headed down the opposite stairs to our next destination which is the Dutch Square, also known as Red Square (the pictures explains it all 😛 ). Here we saw the attractions which are located next to each other: Stadthuys, Christ Church and Queen Victoria’s Fountain. Dated from the century of Dutch colonization, these attractions show  the history of Melaka.

  • Jonker Street

After the sunset, the stalls started to piling up in Jonker Street which means its already time for shopping and food trip!!! We ended the day with full a stomach and an amazing view of the Malacca River!

If you’re visiting Malaysia, we definitely recommend you to add Malacca on your list for 3 reasons:

  1. Easily accessible from Kuala Lumpur or Singapore.
  2. UNESCO Heritage Site. You can do and see so much without spending too much!
  3. Food! Perfect for trying authentic Malay-Chinese cuisine.

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