On a chill weekend, I decided that I should probably check out Melaka – for three reasons:
- It’s a UNESCO world heritage site and is just brimming with local culture and architecture
- Food is good, and ‘unique.’ I’d been to Penang and had absolutely loved the food. Therefore, I was eager to try what Melaka had to offer as well
- It’s only two hours away from KL, I had nothing to lose and a cultural experience to gain!
If you feel the same, then join me in exploring the nooks and crannies of Melaka today!
How to get there via bus
Go to Bandar Tasik Selatan Station (~20-30 mins from the KL city center). This station is HUGE and is a major bus terminal for the city, with hundreds of buses arriving and departing from this hub every day.
Tickets from KL to Melaka are fairly easy to purchase on the day itself. Once you arrive at the station, head to a booth window and tell the person you want to go to Melaka. They’ll then bring up a list of buses that are operating, number of seats available and cost. Each bus company is different, but my local friends assure me that they’re all pretty decent + it’s only a two hour drive
Because of this, I decided to optimize based on the schedule rather than the bus company. My ticket cost RM 10 one-way, and I opted to purchase a return ticket as well, as I was worried I might run out of tickets on the way back (return ticket cost RM 12 because it was a fancier bus)
Afterwards, just go to the indicated platform on your ticket, hop on and off you go! All the buses drop their passengers off at Melaka Sentral, which is quite unfortunately, outside of town. There are local buses and taxis that can bring you to the Melaka town proper, and we managed to find the bus through trial and error (and lots of hand miming). Basically, we just kept repeating Melaka to everyone we met, and they pointed us to the right direction. Nice people, these Malaysians
What to do once you get to Melaka
1. Check out the Christ Church Melaka
This church was built by the Dutch, and the design is iconic. The brick-red building with a huge white cross in front feels very familiar, doesn’t it?
2. Enjoy a juicy watermelon shake
Super worth your money! I had difficulty finishing this big watermelon on my own!
3. Ride a trishaw with upbeat music blaring and colorful decors waving at the Red Square
4. Walk up the Bukit St. Paul and down to A’Famosa Fort
It requires a bit of exercise to ascend the hill though. Just think of it as burning calories to justify the heavy meal you’ll be eating after this. Once at the top, you’ll get a semi-panoramic view of Melaka, the opportunity to see old Portuguese tombstones, and a chance to buy local wares (e.g. paintings) for a souvenir
5. Walk along the Melaka River bank
6. Take nice artsy shots (or not) against the pretty wall murals
7. Eat lunch at Restoran Chop Chung Wah
Famed for their chicken rice balls, this is a must-try. I’ve never tasted rice balls like this, with Hainanese chicken cooked to perfection as the perfect complement
Location: 18, Jalan Hang Jebat, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia.
Monday to Friday: 8:30am – 3:00pm
Saturday to Sunday: 8:30am – 4:00pm
8. Grab dessert at Jonker 88
Notable desserts that we tried – Chendol, Gula Melaka, and Nyonya Laksa. Online reviews state we should’ve probably tried everything though. Oh well, next time!
Location: 88, Jalan Hang Jebat, Melaka, Malaysia.
Opening Hours: 10:00am – 8:00pm (Daily)
9. Walk along Jonker Street
Check out the eclectic stalls and stores selling various wares along the street – from street food, to cultural items, to souvenirs, to kitschy stuff – everything seems to be here! And at night, the whole street transforms into a night market with local music playing loudly in the background and bright lights set up all throughout
10. Drop by the Cheng Hoong Teng Temple
This temple is considered to be the oldest Buddhist place of worship in Malaysia, and is a heritage landmark that you should definitely check out
And, that’s a wrap! Time to head on home else you miss your bus back to KL!
For other day trip ideas, check out my list of blogs under the Malaysia tag: Malaysia Truly Asia