Someone is very inspired to write more posts this month. Read JC’s (@kingceejay) Top 5 to do in Melaka, Malaysia.
This is definitely the best way to explore the historic Malacca River, or at least a part of it. Doing it at night means seeing the beautiful lights and vivid picture of Melakan lifestyle; at daytime, you will see a few reptiles that comfortably reside in the mangroves. With just RM 10, you will be amongst local and foreign tourists on a boat discovering the strait of Malacca. Is it safe? 100% because there’s a river traffic police that closely monitors the tours, plus the boat’s facilities are fairly modern and reliable.
2. Eat and shop at the local market.
They say the best way to get to ‘experience the town/city’ is to eat and shop the way locals do. This is totally true, plus it is very practical especially if you are travelling on a tight budget. The best thing about it is that Melakans are not rip offs, and tasting local delicacies is another perk; plus there’s the replica of the old Portuguese ship on your view when you dine at this place. How much for a meal? At least $2 for rice, two big portions of meat (except pork) you like, curry sauce (usually there are two choices) and vegetables (mostly boiled). Why shop here? The souvenirs are at least 20% cheaper in the shops at the market compared to the ones sold in Jonker Street and the mall.
3. Shop till you drop at Dataran Pahlawan Melaka Megamall.
This massive shopping mall and complex houses almost every single thing that you can find at any mall in the world, from food chains to clothes but what makes it special is that you can find a lot of local brands here, too. Open from 10am to 10pm, the mall has a cinema comples, karaoke rooms, archery studio, spas and salons, cafes, etc. The ground floor complex has an outdoor area which is a football pitch cum picnic area of local teens. Old Town Coffee, our favorite café in this city is on the upper ground floor and a few meters from it is the VOIR Gallery which is like a factory outlet of international brands manufactured in Malaysia. And guess what, I obtained 2-year membership and with it, I bought Diadora shoes & apparels for up to 80% off.
4. Go cycling on the boulevard.
This is for tourists who love outdoor activities and do not mind the heat of the sun. Just like the River Cruise, you can see the gorgeous view of River of Melaka, the graffiti that adds color to the houses by the river, and the bridges that store a lot of cultural and historical values. We did this one whole morning-our idea of romancing the scenic riverbank of Melaka but never did this on our second visit because the kids were with us and we’re not as fit as before. The best thing about this is you can visit the Malayan Village, a small community of preserved and restored Malayan houses- a great view of the Old Melaka. Where to rent bicycles? Anywhere on Jonker Street or hotel or guest houses.
5. Be a Catholic for a day (or more).
One of the best reasons for Catholics to visit this city is to feel its Catholic presence. St. Francis Xavier had spent several months in Malacca in 1545, 1546, and 1549 and his statue can be found on St. Paul’s Hill which was also turned into a burial ground by the Dutch for their noble dead including the Jesuit missionary’s before his body was transferred to Goa, India. A few meters from this sacred site is the Fort A Famosa ( a very important and religious landmark), St. John’s Fort and the Christ Church of Melaka-a red building that houses a copper replica of the Bible, a headstone written in the Armenian language, and a replica of “The Last Supper“. We visited all of them on our second trip to Melaka and had almost lost my handbag-I had left it in the Christ Church while praying; good thing the tourists were religious enough to not take what weren’t theirs.
If you’re not Catholic, visiting these places shouldn’t hurt; they not only keep an important part of the city’s history but also hold a trace of magnificent architecture and design that once resided in this culture-rich Malaysian territory.
More posts about Melaka, Malaysia here: Travel Melaka
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