Monday, January 29, 2018

[Melaka, Malaysia 2018] 2 Days 1 Night In Melaka!


Photo By: Elin Chow

Last week, we went for a 2 days 1 night trip to Melaka, which is located just a 2 and a half hours drive away from Kuala Lumpur. Traffic is fairly smooth on that day, and we were happy that we arrived at our destination within the expected time. The weather was pretty cooling as well, which was really great because there will be some walking to do.

The Pines
Official Website: The Pines
We checked in a Superior room at The Pines, a 4 star hotel located on the bank of Melaka River. The hotel offers a variety of luxurious accommodation at fairly affordable prices. Each room types comes with spacious interiors and modern furnishing that will ensure a comfortable stay.

The types of room offers by the Pines include Standard Room, Deluxe Room, Executive Room, Executive Premier Room, Pool side Suite and Executive Suite. The Pool Side Suite, which is said to be the first in Melaka, will gives you direct pool access from your room.


Other facilities include a salt water swimming pool, well-equipped gym and business center. There are computer stations at the lobby with free internet connection and free to use. Parking is free at the hotel for all hotel guests, so you do not need to worry if you drive.


The hotel also provides free shuttle service to Jonker Street everyday for all hotel guests. However, please note that advance booking is required in order to use the free shuttle service.

Superior room

Measuring 46 square metres, the spacious Superior room comes with a Queen-sized bed, sofa bed, kitchenette and ensuite bathroom. Modernly decorated, the room can sleep up to 2 adults and 2 kids, making it perfect for a small family or travelers who just prefer that extra space.


When I first entered the room, I instantly fell in love. The room is actually way bigger than what we have expected, and it felt almost like home! I wish we have more time to spend at the hotel.



The room comes with a large working desk with satellite TV and a long bench. Free WiFi is available for all hotel guests.


The room also features a separate sitting area that comes with a sofa bed and a small coffee table that sits on a brown carpet. While the bed is comfortable and plush, the sofa bed is great too. I love the carpet very much as well because it is very soft and comfortable to sit on.


Featuring large floor-to-ceiling windows, the room offers a sweeping view over Melaka river and the city, giving the room an abundance of natural lighting. It is really nice to be able to enjoy such spectacular view over the city right from our room at any time of the day.


Kitchenette is equipped with a sink and mini fridge for us to store our cold drinks and food in the room. There is also a long table that can accommodate 2 persons.


Basic coffee and tea making facilities and complimentary 2 bottles of mineral water are provided in the room as well.


Modernly furnished, the bathroom is spacious, spotlessly clean and warmly lit. The bathroom features a spacious glass-enclosed walk in shower with rain shower head. I love the rain shower head very much because it gives a relaxing shower experience. The bathroom is equipped with basic complimentary toiletries such as bath gel, body lotion, shampoo, cotton buds and hair dryer. It is not a lot, but enough for a comfortable stay.


For those who are interested, here is a quick walkthrough video of the room. You may want to watch my video to get a better glimpse of the room.

Exploring The Historical City 

After settling down, we decided to walk to Jonker Walk, which is about 20 minutes away from our hotel. Most of the attractions in Melaka can be easily reached on foot or a trishaw ride. Walking will allow you to explore the city at your own pace and avoid the heavy traffic jams, especially around the town area. Furthermore, parking spaces are very limited, which is also the main reason why we chose to walk.

Melaka River

To get to Jonker Walk from the Pines, you can either walk along the main road which will take you past some interesting areas of town, or along the Melaka River at the back of the hotel. We chose the latter because I always love strolling along a river. It was very relaxing and peaceful stroll.


The river winds its way from Dutch Square and flows through the middle of Melaka city. It runs alongside Kampung Morten, an old Malay settlement classified as a national heritage site, which later become a tourist attraction in Melaka. You can enter the settlement by crossing the river using the bridge opposite Majestic Hotel.


However, the main attraction of Melaka River is the 45 minutes River Cruise. The cruise, which is accompanied by an informative commentary, is a great way to see the sights of Melaka.


You will see many well-preserved historical buildings and bridges along the river. Some of the buildings are decorated with colorful murals and street art, offering photography opportunities.


After a 20 minutes, we arrived at the famous Jonker Walk (or Jalan Hang Jebat in Malay). Located in the heart of the city, Jonker Walk is a Chinatown street in Melaka and is crowded by locals and tourists alike.


It is also popularly known as "Antique street'', which is said to be one of best places in Melaka to hunt and bargain for antiques. Besides the valuable and unique antiques, you can find many locally made products, souvenirs, clothes, traditional restaurants, temples and museums here too.

My Chicken Rice @ Jonker Walk

Feeling hungry, we randomly walked into a small chicken rice restaurant for a quick lunch. The restaurant is called "My Chicken Rice". I am not sure whether this restaurant is famous, but it is packed with people.


We ordered steamed chicken half to be shared among the 4 of us. It was so delicious! The chicken meat was very succulent and slippery soft. Even the chicken breast meat were tender, juicy and packed full of flavor as well. In fact, the chicken are so good that you cannot seem get enough of it. Now my mouth is watering while writing this.


We heard that Chicken Rice Balls are a must eat in Melaka, so decided to order a few to try. Basically, this is just chicken rice being shaped into little Ping Pong sizes. It costs RM 0.50 each, which I feel is a little too expensive for its small size.

The Chicken Rice Balls are moist, sticky and mushy with a light hint of ginger. Nothing really special and definitely overrated. If you are not a fan of these rice balls like me, you can opt for regular rice too.

Hard Rock Cafe

After filling our stomach, we continued our walk down Jonker Walk street. At the end of street, we passed by the iconic Hard Rock Cafe located by the Melaka River. Hard Rock Cafe is a a hot tourist spot in Melaka. But we did not enter the famous cafe because we were simply not interested.. In fact, we cannot understand what is all the hype about it.

Christ Church & Stadthuys 

Majority of the popular attractions in Melaka are concentrated around Dutch Square (also called Red Square), a plaza fringed by striking cluster of red Colonial Dutch buildings. Dutch Square is a very picturesque area located just next to Melaka River, offering plenty of photo opportunities. It is also a historical site that will offer you an insight into the cultural heritage of Melaka.


Among the red painted building Christ Church and the Stadthuys are probably the most visited and photographed attractions in the city.


All around Dutch Square, you will see vibrant colorful trishaws trying to attract tourists with blaring loud pop music. Each of them are heavily decorated with flashing lights and cartoon characters such as Hello Kitty, Pikachu and minions. Trishaws ride is one of the tourist attractions in Melaka. Trishaw can be hailed anywhere along the street in Melaka but you will find most of them around Dutch Square. It is quite pricey for a short ride since it is targeted at tourists.


Other than Trishaws, the historical city also offers a new mode of transportation for tourists - Horse- drawn carriage rides. The Horse- drawn carriage rides are the latest attraction in Melaka. I am not sure how much a ride costs, but I believe it will not be cheap.


Porta de Santiago (A Famosa)



Walking further down along the same road, we arrived at the remains of 16th century A'Famosa Fort, another famous sightseeing spot in Melaka. Built by the Portuguese, it is said to be one of the oldest surviving European architecture remains in Asia.


Other than red painted buildings, the A'Famosa Fort is probably the next most photographed site in Melaka. Basically, you will see a crumbling white washed gatehouse with two tiny canons. The gate is the last remains of what used to be a mighty fortress.


Of course, since we were here, we have take a picture or two as momento. To be honest, we were  never interested in history. We visited the attractions purely for the sake of taking pictures.

Nadeje

Nadeje Millie Crepe is a must-eat if you visit Melaka. Since we have some time to kill, we decided to have some Millie Crepes at Nadeje Plaza Mahkota even though they have branches in Kuala Lumpur too. 

Nadeje offers a variety of choices and flavors of Millie Crepes to choose from. Although I have tried a few flavors, I still prefer the original flavor one.

Jonker Street Night Market

The best part of Jonker street is the night market, which only operates on Friday and Saturday night from 6 pm to 12 am. Jonker street night market is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Melaka. So you can expect it to be almost on every tourist's itinerary.

A busy and normal city street in the morning, the entire stretch of road transform into a lively, vibrant night market in the evening, attracting both locals and international tourists. Hundreds of stalls lined up both side of the street, offering a wide variety of street food and drinks, clothing, accessories and souvenirs at a relatively affordable price.

The night market was an interesting place to explore and the best place to taste a number of local delicacies. With the amount of street food on offer, you will never go hungry at the night market.

However, the night market was crazily packed and we have to constantly push our way through the packed-like-sardine street. It was certainly a very frustrating and not an enjoyable experience.


We arrived at a main street dining area where temporary tables and chairs had been set up. 

Assam Laksa

Prawn Noodles

We quickly grabbed a table because the crowds are starting to pour in and ordered Assam Laksa and prawn noodles to try. I am not sure how the noodles taste like because I did not eat any. I was saving my stomach space for the street food. 

Oh Chien (Fried Oyster Omelette) 

Oh Chien (or Fried Oyster Omelette) is one of my most favorite street food. It may seems easy to cook, but it really requires some skills.

The starch solution is first poured onto a hot iron pan, which spread and crisp up into a thin layer. Then eggs, a handful of chopped spring onions, oysters and chili are added.

The texture of the Oh Chien is soft and chewy but slightly crispy. I love that it is not very starchy. The eggs were perfectly cooked to a golden brown, which is really a delight to eat. However, I feel that it was not spicy enough. I think it will taste so much better with more chili added. 

The stall owner was also very stingy. The oysters were very small and little. In fact, we could not see or taste any of them at all. It felt as though we were just eating fried eggs. Anyway, this is actually a very unhealthy dish because it was quite oily. But with lesser oil, it will not taste as good.

Muah Chee

Right beside the Oh Chien stall, there is a stall selling Muah Chee. Muah Chee is very similar to Mochi. Basically, this is glutinous rice balls rolled into a sugary peanut mixture. 

The Muah Chee is moist and sticky soft, but not as good as I have expected. Muah Chee is actually one of my favorite snack, but unfortunately, it is difficult to find nowadays. 

Kushiyaki (Furui Michi)

Opposite the Muah Chee stall, there was a Kushiyaki stall called Furui Michi. For those who do not know, Kushiyaki refers to skewered meat and vegetables.


3 bite-sized pieces of meat or vegetables are skewed with a bamboo stick and grilled over charcoal fire. The meat is coated with a thin layer of Mayonnaise and burned with a propane torch before serving.









Prices are fairly cheap, but serving size are small. But the meat were very well-seasoned and nicely cooked.


















Near the end of the street, you will see a live stage that features a Karaoke competition every night till 11 pm. The competition is usually joined by elderly folks from Melaka and neighbouring states. So please be prepared to hear some singing in your room if you are planning to stay at one of the hotel near the stage.



There are plenty of seats below the stage if you like to sit around and enjoy the performances.

Longkang Siham

Longkang Siham (or Cockles by the drain) is one of the famous food attractions in Melaka. It is located 10 minutes walk from our hotel, in the back alley along Jalan Bunga Raya. The entrance to the alley is just beside Madam King's Emporium.

As you walked into a dimly-lit back alley, you will find food stalls, tiny stools, tables and chairs arranged between drains.There are two stalls along the alley side by side, with Tong Bee's Stall Shell Food located right at the front and Capitol Seafood at the back. But whichever you choose, you will have the choice to either sit on a tiny stool and share a long table with others or normal table and chairs.

Please note that this is definitely not the cleanest and most hygienic place to eat. This is obviously not a place for anyone who place a high priority on food hygiene. I was not keen on the idea of eating right beside the drain too. It just sounds so unhygenic. But eventually, I still decided to try because I believe this will definitely be an experience that I would not forget.


We chose to eat at capitol on a normal table because the tiny stools does not seem comfortable to sit on. The menu does not offer a lot of choices and I believe both stalls serve almost identical food. You will find mainly shellfish type of seafood like cockles, clams, sea snails, oyster and cuttlefish here. Some non-seafood offers here include Tauhu Bakar and cuttlefish KangKung.

Once you have done ordering, each person will be given a tiny fork and a specially made sauce. The sauce is made of sambal chili and sweet sauce and topped with crushed peanuts. My husband does not the sauce at all because it was too sweet for his liking.

Siham (Cockles)
When you visit Longkang Siham, you must eat Siham. The Siham are simply blanched for just a few seconds and served half-cooked in order to preserve their original texture and flavor. As a result, they are still quite raw and bloody. For those who could not stand the sight of bloody cockles, you can request them to be fully cooked.

But whether half or fully cooked, I could not stand the bloody and fishy taste of Siham at all. If you are a big fan of Siham, I believe you will love this place.

Lala (Clams)

Lala is the only thing I can eat. We ordered both boiled Lala and Claypot Tom Yam Lala. Just like the Siham, the Lala are simply blanched to preserve its original fresh flavor. The Lala were very meaty and does not taste fishy at all.


However, we actually prefer the Claypot Tom Yam version more. The Lala were very fresh and meaty and full of flavor. The Tom Yam soup was spicy, sour and savoury.

Oysters
My husband also ordered an Oyster to try. Looks really nice but I am not sure how the it taste. But according to my husband, it taste super weird and not as good as it looks like.

Century Egg with Ginger Slice
I am not a fan of century egg too. But my husband love it very much. The pickled ginger is a perfect match with the century egg.

Tauhu Bakar

Other than seafood, we also ordered Tauhu Bakar (also known as the "4 Treasures") to try. Basically, this dish is very much like rojak, with a mix of beancurd skin, fried dough, fish cakes and grilled tofu. The dish is served with sweet sauce, sambal chili and topped with crushed peanuts. It is delicious, but a little to salty for my liking.


The back alley gets busier as the day gets darker. You will actually find both locals and international tourists here. But unfortunately, this is really not a place for me because I am not a fan of shellfish seafood.

The overall experience was not as bad as I thought it would be, and luckily, the drains does not smell bad at all. Prices are pretty cheap as well, though the serving size are really small.

Buffet Breakfast @ The Oak

We had our buffet breakfast served at the Oak, which was located just beside the lobby area. Surprisingly, it was extremely chaotic during breakfast time. We have to wait in a queue for about 20 minutes before we were assigned a table in the restaurant. Obviously, the Oak do not have the capacity to accommodate all the hotel guests at full occupancy.


But once we were seated, a sumptuous buffet breakfast awaits us. The selection of food offered was awesome, ranging from fresh pastries, cold cuts meat, cheeses, salads, cereals to traditional Malay food. We really enjoyed our breakfast time at the Oak.

After breakfast, we went back to our room to chill for a few hours before checking out and made our way to Kuala Lumpur.

Be sure to follow me on my Facebook or Twitter to get the latest updates on my travel adventures! Also, do not forget to share my blog posts with your family and friends if you find them helpful. In the meantime, you might also want to check My Wanderlust page for some of my other travel adventures.

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