Just finished a roadtrip to Malacca(Melaka) from Singapore in January, to welcome year 2018 and was thinking to put down my thoughts here so that you can be better prepared for your roadtrip to Malacca! It is about 3 hours roadtrip from Woodlands Checkpoint Singapore including a rest stop in between. Prepare your stomachs! Let’s go!
As it was our first time there and there was not much time to plan, so we decided to go with the flow! The must go to place in Malacca is of course, Jonker Street. Jonker Street is Malacca’s most famous street. We arrived on Tuesday(2/1/18) all the shops in Jonker street started to close at around 5pm and we were puzzled… Then after talking to a local, we realized that most of the shops are closed on Tuesday. During the festive season, all the popular eateries will be opened for business in order to cater for the overwhelming crowds and will be closed after the New Year (1/1) for 1-2 days, depending on how hard they have worked through the holiday season to bring us good food! Oh well, go with the flow remember? Still got other things to do, other places to explore, other food to eat! That is the spirit of CrazyAdven2ras, Norman and Sherry! We always believe in being positive and make the best out of everywhere/everything we go/do! WOOO HOOOO let our adventures BEGIN!!!! TADAAAAAAA!
The Best time to go on a Malacca roadtrip is…..
Friday to Sunday as most of the shops are closed during Tuesday and Thursday(to prepare for the weekends). The famous night market at Jonker Street happens from Friday to Sunday and the whole street comes alive. During the normal days, Jonker street becomes quiet because most of the shops operate on regular hours, they close at 5pm or 6pm. However, if you are looking to have some beer or cocktail, there are some restaurants that are still open till late.
Bonus Travel: If you like some Delicious and Fast dessert, you can go for the Best Cendol in Malacca,. Why is it Delicious and Fast? Read on! From Malacca, drive 20mins to Aunty Koh’s Cendol,5113, Jalan Batang Tiga,Kampung Bukit Rambai,75250, Melaka. She opens only on Saturday & Sunday for an hour, from 12pm-1pm (Please be early to queue before it gets sold out! And that is why it is Delicious and Fast Dessert, get it!) The Cendol is made with lots of hardwork that Aunty Koh will handpick her pandan leaves and pluck and pound it herself to make the pandan noodles on the cendol and also wakes up at 3am to hand squeeze the fresh coconut milk herself. Get ready to savor the best Cendol you will ever eat!
Things to prepare for the roadtrip…
1) THE MOST IMPORTANT THING!!!! Bring mosquito patches and also mosquito sprays!!!! That’s the one thing that i forgot to bring on the trip that I regretted and it would be so much of a pleasant for enjoying the shopping and good food without the mosquito bites. If not, you can do what Norman say, wear long pants or jeans to cover your sexy legs!
2) Enough cash! Malaysia Riggit! There is so much shopping and eating to do at Jonker Street! There are some really interesting items if you are looking to buy something to decorate your house! If that is not enough, in the vicinity of Hatten Square, where Hattens Hotel Melaka is (the one that we stayed in), there are lots of factory brand outlets! More shopping if you are looking to buy some new clothes for Lunar New Year!
3) Buy a Touch’nGo in advance so that you can clear the toll station in a breeze.
4) GPS device for routing or just buy a local SIM card and just use the ever trustworthy Google Maps, you will be just fine!
5) A self entertaining character to keep the driver awake when he is driving if there are only 2 of you, or you can simply have different roles if there is 3 or more! Simply refer to this guide that I recommend! You need to participate!
6) Bring an empty stomach to eat! This is some serious non-stop eating campaign.
TOP 3 Things to DO in Malacca!
1) Just EAT ONLY!!! EAT AND EAT ALL THE FAMOUS FOOD!
- Jonker 88 ~Famous for its Baba Laksa with Creamy coconut milk, Nyonya Assam Laksa and Ah Ma fishcake! Our votes goes to Baba Laksa as it is really delicious compared to the Nyonya laksa that is too sour and spicy. We did not try the Cendol we wanted to save our stomach for other stuff! But to each his own taste, some say nice, some say overrated, but you will never know until you tried it!
- Bikini Toppings ~ They sell bikini….pyjamas! Basically it is bikini images printed on a one piece pyjamas for ladies. They are actually famous for their hand made coconut ice cream. The ice cream comes served in a coconut shell! I think that is why the owner came up with the name Bikini Toppings because it makes quite a good bikini top for the daredevils! If you go for the signature hand made coconut ice cream, you can add one one topping and it also automatically comes with coconut flesh as well. If you would like more toppings, go ahead, but of course additional cost as well. The hand made coconut ice cream is really smooth. Not that much of strong coconut taste which is why it is hand made, taste the pure coconuttyness of the ice cream!
- Nancy’s Kitchen ~ The best Peranakan dishes in Malacca. We tried the salted veg soup that is really very very nice! The duck meat is very tender, the salted vegetable is cooked to perfection, take both together with a sip of the piping hot soup, HEAVEN! The Kang Kong is very spicy! So if you cannot take very spicy food, please order other vegetables ok! The Ngoh Hiang is definitely hand made! One mouth and I already know! Good things comes in pairs! So take the Ngoh Hiang and dip inside their signature Nonya Curry! Best combination! Don’t see the egg is like plain and normal, the egg is fried with cincalok (fermented small shrimps or krill). Everybody loves egg dishes! Note that they are closed on Tuesday,opening hours is 11am to 5pm and extended hours on Fri and Sat till 9pm.
- Famosa Chicken Rice Ball ~ It is a local speciality so just go for the best! So we ordered the chicken rice ball (RM$0.40/ball). The chicken rice ball comes in bite sizes, about the size of a regular fishball, so it is not the big size kind if that is what you are expecting. But the bite size chicken rice ball really taste no different from the the chicken rice! If you are a soup person, definitely go for the fishball soup! The fishballs are a little big bigger than the chicken rice balls, why? That is because the fishballs are handmade! Where else can you taste handmade fishballs these days. The otah…. oh my…. is just top notch. The otah is served very generously in thick cuts, it is definitely handmade as well, not too spicy, goes well with hint of lime and chicken rice. We had the char siew as well but it was really not to Norman’s liking as it was too fatty for him. Last but not the least, the chicken! Oh well, the meat was tender and goes really really well with the chilli, the chilli is the champion! Side note though, come to Malacca of course must buy the Gula Melaka! It comes in rock hard forms or liquid forms. Choose the rock hard forms as it can last you longer, the liquid ones runs out faster. Be sure to take a look at the rock hard form gula melaka before you make the purchase. It should come in a darker color, if the color is lighter, it means that it is not the very pure kind.
- Gao Lao Wan Tan Mee ~ Located at Jonker Street, the Wan Tan Mee has been around for more than 70 years and has been passed on for 3 Generations already! Though it has been around for so long, it has no big signboard to welcome you and patronise the stall, and it will be very easy to miss it if you don’t search for it carefully. You might not even know whether it is open or not. But fred not, just look for Low Kong Jong Ice Cafe on Google Maps and you will be able to find it, if it is open that is. Look for the stall shown in the picture! Now onto the Wan Tan Mee, it sells at RM 5. The way the uncle cooks the noodle is an art, his hands are quick as lightning, tossing the noodles like they are dancing. The noodle is well mixed with some oil, soya sauce and chilli sauce, then vegetables and pieces of char siew are added and comes together with a bowl of wan tan. The wan tan is well cooked, you can see the meat through the wan tan skin. The noodles are springy and not over cooked, it is not the regular mee kia as it is a bit thicker, more tasty than other regular noodles! Pair the wan tan and the noodles together with the char siew, OH YES! The char siew is the exact one that Norman is looking for! It is thinly cut and it is the lean portion (he likes the lean portion) barbecued to perfection.
- Taste Better Original One Bite Durian puff ~ If you are a durian fan, you definitely have to buy this one mouth durian cream puff dessert on Jonker street that is opposite the Gao Lao Wan Tan Mee. There is a rule on how you eat the cream puff, you can only take one bite to finish the whole puff, that means you have got to open your mouth nice and wide to receive this tasty delicacy! If you take 2 bites, the durian cream might just ooze out on to your shirt. Once the whole puff is inside, the cream explodes in your mouth and feel the smooth creamy durian cream flowing down your throat! If you do not like durian, they have it in yogurt which taste as good as well! If you are looking to buy some back to Singapore for your family, note that it can last for only 6 hours outside, so make sure to buy only when you have decided to head home.
- Nadeje Cafe, Millie Crepe cake ~ They have only 2 outlets, 1 in Kuala Lumpur and 1 in Malacca! You got to try the premium cheese crepe cake that is special to this outlet only! But my personal favourite is the Rum and Raisin crepe cake. If you don like alcoholic cakes, you can try their Original Crepe cake, the Royal Milk Tea or the Green Tea Crepe cake!
- Calanthe Art Cafe ~ The MOST visual appealing cafe in Malacca that is worth your time to chill all day with a good book. Coffee Lovers BEWARE, they sell 13 different states of coffee in all formats, so be spoiled for choice! Do check out their menu before ordering! We had the Greentea coffee and mini cappucino on the first day. We decided that we can come here on the second day to get our coffee fix! So on the second day, we have Melaka coffee and the Iced Melaka coffee! All the coffees served here are really really good so try everything if you can! If your hotel don’t serve breakfast, you can come here for for breakfast too as they served breakfast from 9am to 1130am! If you notice, there is beautiful Er hu music playing at the background by a street artist. Please do be kind and donate some money ok! This cafe is the BEST FOR YOUR INSTAGRAM PHOTOS! There is fish tank disguised as an old TV, tree vines covering the whole entrance, pots and pans for wall decorations and even walking into a 60s living room. If you have nothing to do, just head over to the Calantha Art Cafe with your book and enjoy the whole afternoon with all the 13 cuppas! Do let us know which one is your favorite!
Hello there! After seeing and reading up on all the awesome food, you must be hungry already right? Yes! I make you hungry so that you can come to Malacca and try all the best food here! All must goooooooooooo into the stomach! Wahahaha! So after eating, can go clock some steps to aid digestion, let’s go!
2) Visit the Floating Mosque of Malacca at Sunset!
The most romantic place in Malacca goes to …….. Melaka Straits Mosque, also known as the floating mosque of Malacca. The mosque is open to the public for visiting till 7pm as the muslims will start to flock in gradually for prayers. If you plan on visiting the mosque, do make sure you check your attire if you would like to go inside and take some pictures. Shorts, Bermudas and skirts are not allowed, security will not let you in. However, if you are not dressed to go into the mosque, they do provide some coveralls for both the males and the females free of charge! But make sure you put them back nicely the way they were! They are just located next to the toilets. The sun set at about 7:10pm when we were there, so do make sure to get a good spot if you would like to take a time lapse video of the sunset with the mosque. You can just sit there and wait for the sun to set and just let your mind go blank.
The mosque is built on a Man made island with stilts and the cost of construction of the mosque took about MYR10 million. The mosque had its opening ceremony on 24 November 2006 and was built using the mix of Middle Eastern and Malay craftsmanship, and it will look like a floating structure if the water level is high! Beautiful place to chill and relax. If time permits after the sun has set, wait for the lights to illuminate the mosque, and it is a brand new perspective!
3) Rekindle your childhood memories by customizing your own MAMEE Cup Noodles!
Did you know that our favorite childhood snack MAMEE comes from Malacca! WOW! I still remember when I was young, one of my favourite snacks is MAMEE and it still is! Crunching the noodles and pour the whole packet of nice and salty powder in and then you shake shake it!!! Shake it like a polaroid picture or Shake it up ~ Shake it up~. So if you are a MAMEE fan, you have got to visit the MAMEE house at Jonker street! There is a cafe inside serving local fare, there is also MAMEE merchandise available for purchase. But the most important activity to do at the MAMEE house is……. TO customize your very own MAMEE cup noodles. They have cup noodles? Since when? Haha!
To do your own customization of MAMEE cup noodles is pretty easy, just make the purchase at the counter. For RM22, you can get 4 cup noodles. There are 3 flavours to choose from; Chicken, Curry Laksa and Tom Yum. Once done, just head up to the 2nd floor where you will be greeted by colorful drawings and childcare centres tables and you can just let your imagination run wild and do some serious coloring! The MAMEE monster can just be in your favorite color. If you really want to give the cup noodles to that someone who is really special, you can write their names on the cup and leave a really special message for them! This serious coloring activity reminds me of my all the coloring competitions I participated when I was young. After you have finished your coloring, just hand the cups to the staff, choose your condiments and have the honor of pressing the green button to seal your very own personalized MAMEE cup noodles. If you are looking to go on weekdays, make sure to give yourself at least 1 hour allowance to do the colouring as they close at 5pm sharp. So it is best to be there by 4pm.
There is also workshop to let you in on how the MAMEE monster snack is made! The workshop sessions are 90 mins and available on Saturdays and Sundays at 11am, 1.30pm and 3.30pm. However, prior booking is needed, so be sure to ask before going!
Last but not least I would highly recommend you to have a drink at Alto Sky Bar (the highest floor of Hattens Hotel Melaka) to enjoy the night view of Malacca! We ended our road trip on the high with a jug of Singapore Sling at the price of RM60! Drink until you shiok! Cheers!
Signing off from my road trip and hope this brings value to you and keep on travelling and make memories! Cheers to a great year 2018 ahead!