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Wrapping up our time in Malaysia.

Melaka had intrigued us from the moment we started researching places to visit in Malaysia. We had read about its heritage and seen images of the architecture, markets and food scene influenced over time by the Malay, Chinese, Indian, Peranakan, Portuguese, Dutch and British. It is also conveniently located in the direction of our next stop in country #3 (hint hint). We may only have been able to fit in two days here, but we are glad we had time to stop by this fascinating city.


We were so tired, we had McDonald's for dinner.

Our bus from Kuala Lumpur to Melaka was at 11:30 am. We spent the morning packing and over-indulging at the buffet breakfast one last time. We walked to the train station, caught a 20-minute train to the bus terminal and finally jumped on the bus that would take us to our final destination in Malaysia. The bus pulled into Melaka Sentral on time, we jumped into a taxi, and within 30 minutes, we were checking in to our hotel.

It was just past sunset, and we were very eager to see the Melaka Straits Mosque light up at night, so we started walking over towards the coast. Once over the bridge, heading towards Melaka Gateway, we quickly discovered just how deserted this area was. It felt like 98 percent of the buildings were under construction, and the whole area felt like an abandoned film set. Except for one building called the Riviera, which felt even stranger considering it was built with a French-colonial design. Regardless, we continued on the very eerie walk to the mosque. We had arrived just after 6:30 pm, so we couldn’t enter the Mosque itself, but we could walk into the grounds, admire the building and listen to the service that had just started.

We headed back to The Riviera to find dinner but didn’t see anything we liked, so thought we might have better luck near our hotel. The walk was not as short as we had thought. By the time we were nearing our hotel, we honestly could not be bothered sitting in a restaurant, and many places around us were closing in the next 20 minutes anyway. Conveniently across the road was a McDonald's. As much as we hate to admit it, the idea of some burgers, chips and tv in our hotel room was too hard to resist. So that is what we did, telling ourselves it was technically a “travel day” and therefore didn’t count.


Squeezing Melaka into one very packed day.

With only one full day in this city, but determined to fit everything in, we woke bright and early, ready to seize the day. The first item on the agenda was coffee. We headed straight to Coffeebar125+, which we had found online the night before. The café was small and intimate, had a beautiful minimalistic design and, most importantly, great coffee. Once we had our morning caffeine, we were ready to explore the streets, alleyways and street art of Melaka.

We found an alleyway just off Jalan Hang Kasturi filled with street art and plants down its many twists and turns. At the end of this alleyway, we hopped over the road to The Orangutan House and then My Kiehl’s Heritage. At this beautiful mural, we met an artist who showed us his work, told us his story and gifted us two small, signed artworks. With these sweet souvenirs in hand, we strolled along the Melaka River, admiring the murals across the water, walked over the bridge, past the Bastion Middleburg and down to the Melaka Sultanate Watermill. This is when we first saw water monitors. We had not known these large water lizards lived in the Melaka River, and from a distance, they looked like small crocodiles. Intrigued by this, we sat and watched from the riverbank for a while before we decided it was time to hop to our feet again and continue our day.

We could have spent hours exploring the shops along the Jonker Walk. We strolled through clothing and gift stores and discovered the Mamee Jonker shop. I had seen the Mamee Monster signs all over Melaka from the moment we arrived, which instantly took me back to primary school lunch boxes and the great joy of having Mamee Noodles for a recess snack. Clark had never had this pleasure, so of course, we bought him a pack to try. Then we went for a more fulfilling lunch at Geographér Café.

With very full bellies, we walked back down the Joker Walk to the Dutch Square. Here the red buildings of the Stadthuys, Christ Church, Clock Tower and all the museums sit in stark contrast with the rest of the architecture in Melaka. This site was one of the main things that drew us to Melaka in the first place. From here, we climbed up the hill to the ruins of the Church of Saint Paul and back down again via A Famosa, or the Porta de Santiago, which is the only remnant left of the Portuguese fortress that once surrounded this site.

Before dinner, we did a little bar hop down the Melaka River, stopping at Ram Café and Reggae on the River. Earlier in the day, we had seen a restaurant called GravyBaby, and with a name like that, we had to try it. The restaurant had great views of the river, and we luckily got a seat at the open window. To say the menu was extensive is an understatement. I landed on a Chinese chicken salad, and Clark tried one of the pies they claim to be famous for. When we came out of the restaurant, the Jonker Street Night Markets were in full swing, so we took a walk down the very long line of stalls.

Walking back to our hotel, Melaka had turned into a mini-theme park. Everywhere you look, people dressed up in cartoon costumes, as they do at Disneyland, offer to take pictures with tourists. All you could hear was the music from the rickshaws (or pedicabs, not sure what they are called), decked out in popular children’s characters and bright lights, rolling people around the streets of town. Seeing as we weren’t going to partake in this, we decided it was time to call it a night on Melaka and our Malaysia adventures.


Located around a 12-minute walk from the Dutch Square and Melaka River, the Imperial Heritage Hotel was a lovely stay for our short time in Melaka. We had been upgraded on to a Heritage Deluxe room with great views of Melaka from the 11th floor, and it was the largest room we had stayed in on the trip so far. The staff were very helpful and friendly, and the café next door had a very affordable breakfast available to guests, which made life easy on the day we checked out. The room, despite being large, was a bit sparse, with not much besides the bed, tv, closet and desk. The bathroom was a little small, and the water from the shower went everywhere, which our little floor mat tried so desperately to soak up each night. Besides this, we were comfortable and happy to be in a location that was a short walk from the main attractions but still quiet at night.


If you haven’t already figured it out from the little hint above – we are on our way to Singapore.


When planning our travel destinations, we pin our bucket list of sites to see and recommended places to eat and drink on Google Maps. We are then never lost for ideas when travelling, and can easily share these lists for our friends and family to use as well.

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