An Afternoon in Malacca

25 October 2009

It was pretty much a very smooth bus ride to Malacca. It was so smooth that I was able to sleep for the whole duration of the two-hour trip. When I woke up at quarter past two in the afternoon, the bus was already parking in its assigned platform in Melaka Sentral.

First agenda upon disembarking was to get return tickets back to Singapore for the following day. Initially we were looking for a bus that will take us directly back to Singapore, however most of the tickets were either sold out or the only available seats are the morning trips. Definitely, we don’t want to take an early morning trip back to Singapore as we’ve done it last year and we almost missed the ride. In the end, we settled for a bus back to Johor Bahru that leaves Malacca at 4PM the following day.

It was a very hot afternoon when we arrived; we decided to take an air conditioned taxi to the central part of town instead of the cheaper bus ride. The fare to our destination costs 12 MYR; not your good taxi with very cold aircon but it is better than sweating it out in the heat.

Traffic was horrible that afternoon; the driver explained that it was because of the Deepavali holiday. I would surmise though that given that Malacca is a very popular end of week destination from Kuala Lumpur and Singapore plus the narrow one-way streets, it would really be jam-packed with cars during the weekends.

Malacca is a vibrant old city that is very much wealthy in terms of history. The rich historical background of this lovely place earned it a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation together with Penang in July 2008. Some would say that this designation really helped increase the tourist influx.

one of the two newest source of pride for Malaysian Tourism

one of the two newest source of pride for Malaysian Tourism

The taxi driver dropped us off around 15 minutes later in Jonker Walk, the short stretch in the heart of the city that is home to many stores selling all kinds of stuffs mostly to tourists. It was chaotic when we arrived there; the sidewalk of the narrow street was filled with people while the street itself was filled with cars.

taken in Jonkers Walk circa 2007

taken in Jonker Walk circa 2007

As this was an impulse trip to Malacca, we wasted no time in finding our accommodation for that night. We inquired first in Twenty Hostel as it was just along Jonker Walk; as we have stayed here last year, we know that this is a very good place to spend the night. Unfortunately, there were no vacancies (as I initially expected). Hopping on from one accommodation to another to inquire, the place was just either full or was just not to our liking.

Half an hour later, we decided to check the other side of town to check on some more hostels. Along the way, we passed by the Heritage Area. It is very distinct because of the bright brick red color; I just learned that several years back, the government decided to paint the area with such color as the constant spitting by passers-by was proving a nuisance to aesthetic value of the historical attractions.

We managed to get a decent accommodation a few hundred meters away from the Heritage Area. A small affordable room with aircon and private toilet pretty much was enough for us; quite affordable as well at 70 MYR but definitely there are much better accommodation elsewhere. As it was still very hot outside, I took a nap for an hour.

The temperature outside was already bearable when we went out. We took a quick stroll and found ourselves in the foot of Bukit China. Poh San Teng Temple was built at the foot of the hill in 1795 as a graveyard temple. The well of Hang Li Po stood beside the temple; it was built in the 14th century and has served throughout the early years as a main source of water in the area.

taken at the gates of Poh San Teng Temple (circa 2007 again!)

taken at the gates of Poh San Teng Temple (circa 2007 again!)

the Hang Li Po Well - main source of water in the past

the Hang Li Po Well - main source of water in the past

We made our way up Bukit China; a hill that was used as a graveyard by the early Chinese settlers in Malacca. It was said that it was the biggest Chinese cemetery outside China and has several graves dating back to the Ming dynasty. Today though, it serves as a jogging track for the locals. The hill also offers an excellent view of the city.

A grave marker in Bukit China

A grave marker in Bukit China

As it was already sunset when we reached the top of Bukit China, we slowly made out way down not long afterwards. Definitely no one would want to get caught in the dark in a cemetery.

To be continued…

6 Responses to “An Afternoon in Malacca”

  1. nina Says:

    “Definitely no one would want to get caught in the dark in a cemetery.”

    …but it’s fun! 😉

  2. cherie sanges Says:

    nice blog bro.

    OT, pano mo nkuha mo nakuha yung php36 na ticket to Cebu Pac. I was waiting las nyt until 12nn, wala.

    Thank you.

    • Hello,

      It was not me who got the Php 36, one way ticket… It was another poster. Technically it is possible as the ticket (without baggage allowance was just Piso plus probably some tax of 35 peso. I did got 2 roundtrip tickets SIN-MNL and 4 roundtrip tickets MNL-SIN at less than Php 800.

      Flight out of Singapore are more expensive as there is a prepaid terminal fee of around SGD 17.

      Right now, these are no longer available. Supposedly sold-out! 😀 I got mine dawn of Oct 31.

  3. cherie sanges Says:

    Thanks for your reply. Sorry, I waited until 12midnight not 12noon, unfortunately there was none either.

    Anyway, I will try to wait for the post from pinoysg as they post there what are on sale.

    • Best bet would be to enrol yourself in the email announcement of Cebu Pacific or become a fan of their facebook page. I heard they are also on twitter. I don’t subscribe to the above, I was just lucky enough to stumble upon a comment of a cousin re: PISO sale… 🙂

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