Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A Day In Malaka City

Just like all Indonesians, I learned at school about Malaka strait, its vital role as the gate for foreign merchants wanting to trade with the Malaka sultanate and how it dwindled under the monopolizing Portuguese-British-Dutch rules.

Last weekend, I got a chance to visit the city for just one day. Lesson Learned #1: if you're a history buff/foodies/architecture-urban junkie, one day in Malaka is not enough. Note to self: Malaka, I'll be back.

The visit to Malaka was a bit impromptu. The first plan was my friend Nanda and I would visit our friend Tika, who now has a very cute baby son called Arashi. But during the waiting period (we booked the ticket in July 2013 while the flight takes place in February 2014), Nanda asked if I wanted to go someplace else besides visiting Tika and her family. I said, "Yes. I want to see Malaka." She agreed to make a quick visit to Malaka before coming to Tika in Kuala Lumpur.

A lot of things have happened since then. I changed jobs while she ended her work contract but then her former office called her and offered a permanent employment status starting on Feb. 14, 2014, just a day before our departure! Luckily, she can persuade her employer to move the start of employment to Feb. 20. Yay! So off we go to KL on Feb. 15.

We had a morning flight and arrived in KL at 10.30 a.m. I met up with another friend Ririn and her family at LCCT. As I waved my hand to her, Ririn's oldest son Aditya (4 yo, if I'm not mistaken) ran to me and hugged me. Aww, so sweet. I hugged him back. But then he turned his head to Ririn and asked,"Mommy, who is this?" Hahaha! Well, this auntie should make herself remembered :).

After I handed out the package from Ririn's brother in Jakarta, we bought the LCCT- Malaka bus ticket. Since the departure time was at 1 p.m., we had lunch and then waited at the bus shelter. We took the Transnational Plusliner bus (MYR 24.30 per person).

The bus exterior
The bus interior

After arriving at Malaka Sentral (Malaka's bus terminal), we asked around for the direction to Taman Kota Laksamana (our hotel). A man in uniform pointed us to Bus No. 17 heading to Ujong Pasir. So we hopped on and paid the fare (MYR 1.5 per person).

Bus No. 17
A bit similar to TransJakarta

And here comes Lesson Learned #2: always check and re-check with the driver on your destination. The man in the terminal told me that we should take the bus until it made a round turn back to terminal and not far from the U-turn, we would arrive at Taman Kota Laksamana. 

When the bus did not seem to make any U-turn, I asked the bus driver to stop at Taman Kota Laksamana and guess what? He said the bus didn't go to that place. But I was told that this No. 17 bus would pass the place? No, this is not bus no. 17, the bus driver said. Argh. Nanda and I were upset, because we were tired, sleepy and hungry. Well, perhaps it's hangry not hungry.

We returned to Malaka Sentral, hopped off the bus and watched where the bus parked. It parked on the platform for Bus No. 17 to Ujong Pasir. So we rushed to the platform and confronted the driver and also the man in uniform. Nothing beat the fury of two hangry women. Hahaha, no, we asked them quite nicely.

They explained that Bus No. 17 had two routes: Route A (not going to Taman Kota Laksamana) and Route B (going to Taman Kota Laksamana). The Route B would depart at 5.40 p.m. said one of the men. I glanced at my watch: 5:10 p.m. So we decided to have a meal while waiting for the bus.

Nanda was almost on the verge of giving up the hotel. Let's just find another hotel, she said. Because I'm persistent and stubborn, I insisted that we continued the search. It's not dark yet and the bus would be here soon, so let's eat first before taking the bus, I told her.

After the meal, we hopped on Bus No. 17 again. This time, we made sure it would go to Taman Kota Laksamana. Yes, it is, the bus conductor said, but I don't know where your hotel is because I think it's a new hotel and Taman Kota Laksamana is a long road. We decided to walk along the road and asked the people once we got there. You know what? The hotel is right there where we hopped off the bus at the intersection. There is no signage outside of the hotel, but it has glass wall and we can read the hotel's name from outside. Our hotel is AL-33 Hotel Melaka.

Our hotel room

We took a bath, rested for a while and drunk a lot of water to cool down. Dude, despite the fact that Malaka and Jakarta are waterfront cities, the former is very hot compared to the latter. After 8 p.m., we decided to go see Jonker Walk at night.


The next day, Nanda wanted to join the Sunday mass at Christ Church Melaka. The Anglican church has English service at 8.30 a.m. While she was in the church, I walked around the area and took photos. An hour later, she joined the walk. After that, we had lunch and departed for KL.

Panorama of Malaka fort

Archeological work on Malaka fort

Last treat before we left Malaka: Ais cendol durian :)


  1. Wah.kayanya bagus juga kota melaka ya tip. Rate nginap berapaan disana?

  2. Tergantung budget fik. Di Al-33 itu gue dapat 88 RM berdua + kamar mandi di dalam. Kamarnya bersih, recommended. Tapi lumayan jauh dari jonker walk. Ada juga hostel yang sampai < 20 RM semalam, biasanya dorm.