30 November 2008

Historic town of Melaka, Malaysia 13-14 Jun 08

One Friday evening after work, hubby and I had the wild idea of driving into Malaysia and stay a night somewhere (couldn't extend the stay till Sunday as I had something on). Somewhere preferably not more than 3 hours drive away.
Melaka came to our mind because all these years of road trips to Malaysia, we have not for once stay in Melaka before. We did drop by for meals but never a stay. We thought, why not?
So, we searched the internet for nice lodging and decided on Hotel Puri, a boutique hotel just next to Jonker Street. Yes, we were quite crazy to set off at around 8pm and after 3 hours journey, reached Melaka at 11plus pm.

The facade of Hotel Puri. The hotel is originally a traditional Peranakan House, as we could see from the intricate facade and distinct interior furnishings.
All the standard and double rooms were fully booked that night, so we settled for a Junior Suite; simple but tastefully decorated. But we weren't really used to the loft concept as the bathroom is on the lower level.
After settling in, we headed to Jonker Street immediately. Apparently, the entire Jonker Street is closed to traffic and transforms to a night bazaar every Friday and Saturday. I love bazaars, always colourful and vibrant with lots of knick knacks for sale.
Hubby couldn't resist a bowl of Laksa.

Whereas I was more interested in a bowl of ice kacang!

Old-school and retro-looking stores paddling food and drinks brought much nostalgia. There was even a singing competition going on at an open-air stage. The whole place was still quite crowded even though it was close to midnight. Melaka is happening!

After exploring the bazaar, we headed back to the hotel for a good night's rest.

We woke up bright and early and ready to explore a bit more of Melaka town. First, we explored the hotel since we checked in late and didn't really have a good look.

Balcony on the loft level.

I was so intrigued by this retro telephone which is still working.

Original structures and interiors are preserved, doorways, windows, partitions, airwells are intricately carved with patterns (couldn't make out what they were, should be animals and creatures that symbolise fortune, health, prosperity, happiness).

Beautiful facade of the building.

We skipped the complimentary breakfast offered by the hotel as the spread was quite ordinary. Hubby wanted some Assam Laksa, so we headed to Jonker Dessert, an eatery we passed by the night before and also recommended by a colleague previously.

Hubby's verdict: ok, but not spicy and shiok enough.
I had a bowl of fish dumpling noodle soup. It was passable. Probably I didn't like this type of yellow noodles.
After breakfast, we walked towards Christ Church, built since 1753 by the Dutch. There were many trishaws in the vicinity touting for business. Most of them are decorated with exuberance using colourful artificial flowers. The 'soft-toy' themed one caught my attention but no, I didn't take a ride.
Next, to Maritime Museum, which is a life-size replica of 'Flora De La Mar', the Portuguese ship that sank off the Coast of Malacca on its way to Portugal.
After visiting a few attractions, we headed back towards Jonker Street. Weather was rather hot and humid so we couldn't resist a bowl of refreshing dessert.
Couldn't remember what this was, I think something like Gula Melaka Ice.
After checking out of the hotel, we decided to go for an early lunch before it gets too crowded at Famosa, famous for its chicken rice ball.

I ordered 2 chicken rice ball and 1 yam rice ball whereas hubby ordered a normal plate of rice. The rice was more fragrant and actually tasted nicer than the rice ball which was quite mushy.
The chicken was not bad, meat quite chewy, could it be kampung chicken?
Roast meat and char siew were ok as well. Overall, not really very impressive. Should have hunted for authentic Peranakan food instead. Next time, perhaps.

After lunch, it was still quite early to head home. I didn't want to go home! We decided to hunt for durians at Segamat since it was near the durian season. Exited the North South Highway at Tangkak. After driving towards the direction of Segamat for about 15-20 mins, we found a roadside durian stall amidst a palm plantation. It was like set up in the middle of nowhere. Found out from the very honest looking durian stall owner that it was too early to go Segamat, not the season yet; and he strongly recommended his Tangkak durians from his grandfather's plantation.

Opened one durian to try, it was GOOD! I love this type of kampung durians, wholesome, authentic, not too jelat like those D24/XO, most importantly the meat was bitter. I prefer bitter ones to sweet ones. We whacked another 2 more durians immediately and bought a few more home.

The durians were so good that we went to purchase more the week following. Now we know where to hunt for good durians :p


  1. Hi, nice pictures :)

    Melaka is really an amazing historical place to visit in Malaysia. I visited once and feel like visiting again :) All the red buildings, architecture, Melaka River, Jonker Street .. everything is just amazing ...

    I put up some information about places to visit in Melaka in my blog . Please visit and have some comments .. Hopefully I will visit Melaka soon :)

    cheers ...

  2. Hi louise,
    Thanks for visiting my blog :)
    Yes, I agree that Melaka is really charming. Recently, after watching Little Nonya, I feel like going there again and this time to try all the authentic nonya dishes and kueh kueh! Will visit your blog!