A Malacca Experience
It’s the Autumn semester break of my second year at UNMC and I’m stuck in Malaysia with my passport being held in Immigrations for student visa renewal. I was hoping to travel to some nearby countries during this break, but without my passport on me, my only options to travel were within Malaysia. Fortunately I haven’t been to that many places within Malaysia, so this has been a great opportunity to explore my current second home.
The first place that I visited during these holidays was Malacca (Melaka in Bahasa Melayu). Malacca is a historic, coastal state in Malaysia with a colourful past. If you have been forced to study Malaysian Studies like me, you should know that Malacca was ruled by a Sultanate and was taken over by the Dutch, Portuguese, British and the Japanese during various points of history. As a result Malacca has got several historic sites from different eras, which attracts a lot of tourists.
From Semenyih, where I’m based at, Malacca is around 120km away with about 1 hour 40 min drive. Since we were travelling in a large group of 13, we didn’t have the option to drive. Instead we opted to take a 2 hour bus from Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS) to Melaka Sentral. However to get to TBS, first we had to take a train from Kajang KTM station to Bandar Tasik Seletan (BTS).
Since all the early buses were fully booked, we had to take a late evening bus. Hence we arrived in Malacca at Melaka Sentral around 9:30pm. From there we took a local bus to our hotel, Time Hotel Melaka. The hotel rooms were clean and comfortable and cost RM90 per night per room for 5 of us sharing. As we were all tired and hungry, we decided to go out to eat after checking in.
After walking around for sometime we settled on eating at a place called The Windmill Station. The food was tasty and affordable, however since it was near closing time no rice dishes were available and we had to change our initial orders.
After resting for the night, we got up the next day around 10am and had a delicious breakfast of Roti Chanai and tea at the mamak in front of our hotel. After breakfast me and another friend set out for a long photo walk and sightseeing.
Our first main stop was A Famosa, which is an old Portuguese fortress. Located on the hill top right next to it was the St. Paul’s Church. A short walk down from there led us to a Dutch Graveyard and the Malacca Sultanate Palace Museum. From there we walked to the Dutch Square. After that we went to the Maritime Musuem which was shaped like a huge Portuguese ship.
After taking a tour at the Maritime Museum, we went back to Dutch Square and crossed the Melaka river to take a walk down the Jonker Street. By the time we crossed back across the river, it was late evening. We were tired and hungry from all the walking, so we decided to grab a bite at a nearby MacDonald’s.
While the rest of my friends went back to our hotel after eating, me and 2 other friends headed to the man-made Malacca Island to catch the sunset and photograph the Malacca Straits Mosque. After taking several photos and praying both Maghrib and Isha prayers at the mosque, we headed back to the mainland around 9:30pm. I wanted to take ride in a Trishaw and take photos of the lighted attractions along the Melaka River, so again we went back to Dutch Square. By the time we returned back to our hotel, it was almost midnight. My feet were hurting from all the walking and shoulders were aching from carrying around all the camera gear. So I went to sleep immediately.
We were to checkout at noon on the next day. So all of us got up early to visit St. John’s Fort as one last attraction. After coming back from there, we checked out from the hotel and took a bus to Melaka Sentral station. We had lunch there and took the 3pm bust to TBS.
After taking a train to Kajang KTM station, we were able to return home on the university bus before sunset. All in all it was a fun and memorable trip with lots of photo opportunities. If you are a photographer I would recommend you pack light to make the walk around town more enjoyable. For students, Malacca is a cheap place to visit and great way to explore historic Malaysia.
Check out the photos from my Malacca Trip on Flickr