Known to some as Malaysia’s ‘mini Venice’ or the ‘Venice of the East,’ it isn’t difficult to see why. Melaka (or Malacca, as it used to be known) is very pretty, very sleepy, and very romantic. In fact, out of all the places that I visited whilst in Malaysia (which you can read about here, here, here and here), I’d say that Melaka is definitely the place to go if you’re part of a couple.
I was not part of a couple when I visited Melaka. However, I was just with one friend as oppose to a group of people, and so we got the enjoy the slow pace of Melaka just the same.
We stayed at Roof Top Guest House, which was just £11 for a twin room and so lovely! There were two roof terraces, full of plants and hanging baskets that were just perfect to enjoy the free morning coffee, as well as a cosy living area downstairs and communal kitchen.
Arriving in Melaka in the evening, our first stop was to find food and beer. Luckily, our guest house was only a 2 minute walk from the riverside, and so we stopped at a cute little reggae bar and spent the night drinking beer, watching the boats go by and chatting away. It certainly made a really nice change to the huge beach parties of Perhentian Kecil!
The next day, I grabbed lunch by the river and then met my friend Nigel, who’d spent the morning walking around and getting lost, by the sounds of it. We’d planned to do the Dutch Heritage Trail, and although I’m not a huge history buff, Nigel is, and so off we went.
Our first stop was the famous Red Square, or Stadhuys. Now like I said, I’m no history buff, and neither of us wanted to pay the entrance fee to the museum, and so you won’t be getting a history lesson from me about Melaka’s previous Portuguese, Dutch and British rule.
However, while the history of Melaka evaded me, the beauty of it didn’t, and I was enchanted by the Red Square, with its lovely little red buildings, Hello Kitty trishaws, Queen Victoria’s fountain and Christ Church. After exploring inside the church (something I always enjoy doing), and admiring a lovely Muslim bride having her wedding pictures taken, we bought ice lollies and garish sunglasses from one of the souvenir stands and went on our merry way.
Next stop was St. Paul’s Church. Now, apparently, this was not a Dutch church, but nevertheless it was included on the Dutch Heritage Trail map, and so we climbed the hill to find the church. It was actually very beautiful, although my highlight was definitely the kittens that I played with whilst inside.
After the church, we headed down to the Dutch Graveyard which was small, unkempt and altogether not very impressive, but hey, it was another box ticked, right?
We continued our journey and found ourself on Jonker Walk, a shopping street that you just can’t miss when you’re in Melaka. After browsing in some of the shops, we discovered that number 18 Jonker Street was not only a Dutch Heritage building, but also a restaurant. Not feeling hungry quite yet, we sat in the quaint little courtyard of Bistro Year 1673 and I had a divine Bloody Mary. I’m not usually a one for day drinking but Bloody Marys are practically soup so they don’t count anyway, right?
We then nipped back to the hostel to get showered and changed, before heading back to Jonker Walk where I was lucky enough to meet Mr Malaysia (although he’s unfortunately only a statue), before returning to Bistro Year 1673 for dinner, where I had a steak for the first time in months, and then to our favourite reggae bar for after dinner beers.
The following day we were at a it of a loss of what to do, and so we did the unspeakable and allowed ourselves an entire day of home comforts. I used to turn my nose up at people who come ‘all the way to Asia’ and do the things that they do at home, but after months on the road, I think we both needed day of ‘normality,’ whatever that is.
First we went for brunch at The Daily Fix. I’d read about online and let me tell you, it did not disappoint. I was pretty boring and stuck with a caramel latte and tuna and onion ciabatta, but it was so good. I can’t recommend The Daily Fix enough.
After our bellies were suitably stuffed, I dragged Nigel on a hunt for Red Bull (I told you it was a day of home comforts!) before finding a Western style shopping mall where we both tried on clothes, and then went to the cinema to see The Purge: Election Year (which I actually thought was really good). Last but not least, we headed to a sushi bar to fill up with our favourite dishes!
So that concludes my trip to Melaka! Have you ever been to Melaka? Let me know what you think in the comments below!
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