Monday, May 9, 2016

Malaysia: Melaka Revisited


We walked along the banks of Melaka River retracing our memories from last year’s trip. We passed by the Malay Traditional Village, a carnival right after a certain bridge, a market with hawker food stalls, some guesthouses, cafes and down to our soon-to-be fave beer place. It was a fulfillment of some wishes from last year during our 22-hour jaunt in Melaka; to follow the riverbanks wherever it may lead us to.

Melaka Malaysia

Me and my buddy commenced our Beach Hop Asia 2016 trip on Melaka. We dashed out from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 and bought bus tickets to Melaka (RM 24.10 | USD 6.15). The two-hour bus ride was smooth and I snoozed most of it. We arrived at Melaka Sentral at around 8:00 pm and hopped on a domestic bus (RM 1.50 | USD 0.37) to our hotel, The Pines Hotel Melaka.

Melaka Malaysia St Peters Church
St. Peter's Church
Oldest operational Catholic church in Malaysia
It was drizzling after we settled in on our room. I was about to surrender to the snuggly bed but Melaka Food (Mee Goreng and Kopi Ais) kept flashing on my thoughts, so late dinner we did.

Melaka Malaysia Mee Goreng
Mee Goreng and Kopi Ais combo; our all-time fave!
Just a hundred meter or so from our hotel was food haven. Hawker stalls with local Malay fares were at its peak serving local diners. It was a no-brainer for me and my buddy; Mee Goreng + Kopi Ais combo. And just on the first bite, we knew it was happiness.

The next morning we had coffee sesh on the riverside just a few strides away from our hotel. It was a quiet and relaxing time that we wanted to do more of that. Suddenly, we had an itinerary on what to do on that day; to walk along the riverbanks.

Melaka River Malaysia
Strolling along Melaka River
We started to walk from Villa Sentosa (Malay Living Museum) and got a taste of Malay’s local way of life. We walked further, passing by some business establishments, a carnival, guesthouses and public market.

Melaka River Malaysia

Melaka River Malaysia
Villa Sentosa - Traditional Malay Village
Melaka River Malaysia

Melaka River Malaysia
Choose your spot
We ended the stroll at the core of the UNESCO Heritage City of Melaka. The sun was about to set and we were just on the perfect spot, Idler’s Corner, one of the riverside beer places on the area. We shared a big bottle of Anchor Beer (RM 17 | USD 4.24) and watched the sky glowed with its radiant bluish state. 

Melaka River Malaysia
Idler's Corner riverside bar
Melaka River Malaysia

We walked back home and called it a day, oh well, after having some Nasi Goreng Ayam and Mee Goreng on our fave hawker area.

Melaka Malaysia Nasi Goreng Ayam
Nasi Goreng Ayam
We had almost the same itinerary next day, we traversed the quiet Melaka riverbank and almost became familiar with Melaka morning scene. We went to the famous Jonker Street where shops and restaurants lined the street. It wasn’t busy as it was a weekday. We then headed to its parallel street, Heeren Street, which we loved more.

Melaka Malaysia St Francis Xavier Church
St. Francis Xavier Church Melaka
Melaka Malaysia St Francis Xavier Church

Melaka Malaysia

We headed to the Dutch Square where we were greeted by the Disneyish tuk tuks then hiked up the hill to the Ruins of St. Paul’s Church. I checked out the church, snapped some photos and lazed on a rock somewhere and viewed Dutch Square from there which almost didn’t get empty.

Melaka Malaysia Dutch Square

Melaka Malaysia Ruins of St Pauls Church
Ruins of St. Paul's Church Melaka
Melaka Malaysia Ruins of St Pauls Church
Epitaphs
As it became a routine for us, we went back on our favorite beer spot and, again, shared a big bottle of beer (we need to save as much for this 2-month trip).

Melaka Malaysia Christ Church

Melaka Malaysia

Melaka Malaysia
Disneylandish tuk tuk
The next day, our last day, we woke up earlier than usual and went to Bukit Cina, just a kilometer away from our hotel and checked out the largest and oldest traditional Chinese cemetery outside China (the earliest grave that was found was of 1622) . It was quiet and serene, a normal cemetery scene.

Melaka Malaysia Bukit Cina
Bukit Cina - the largest and oldest traditional Chinese cemetery outside China
We then headed to Poh San Teng Temple at the foot of the hill where the King’s Well was also located. Further walk led us to Chinese War Memorial.

Melaka Malaysia Poh San Teng Temple
Poh San Teng Temple
Melaka Malaysia King's Well
King's Well
Melaka Malaysia Chinese War Memorial
Chinese War Memorial
We went back to the hotel, as if not contented on our previous walks, and rented a bike for our last few hours in Melaka. It was relaxing and fun as we got to meet some locals who kept on referring to us as Thais and after revealing that we are Filipinos, they would smile and nod.

Melaka Malaysia

This Melaka trip was a fulfillment of last year’s wish; to cover the historic Melaka River not on a cruise but by foot. We had four wonderful days strolling around with no particular plan. It was our second time but we still felt that we needed to be back again. What’s great about a chill, no-itinerary kinda trip is that you get to savor each moment as it should be. So see you Melaka, maybe next year?

Check Melaka accommodations here


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