Travelogue : Melaka, Malaysia (Day 1)

22 September 2015

We had our breakfast that morning at Legoland Hotel. The meal here are all tasty. We returned to our room to get our luggage and do final check so we wouldn’t left anything valuable. Again, I used MyTeksi app to transfer us to Larkin Sentral. Check out is smooth, just remember to return both room key card during check out.

Taxi ride to Larkin Sentral cost us about RM27.00. As we’re travelling with kids and two big backpack, I don’t mind paying that much. I wonder how much space we would take if we go there by bus.

We arrived at Larkin Sentral about 30 minutes later. When we arrived, some guy immediately get to us and offered bus ticket to Kuala Lumpur. When I told them we were going to Melaka, all of them move to the next taxi. Apparently only those going to Kuala Lumpur get their attention. We continued walking to the ticket counter. We chose Delima Bus Express, as it was near to the taxi stand. Most of these bus operators going to KL or Singapore. Those heading to North will have to walk further as there are few bus operators selling ticket to those destinations. I remember Larkin Sentral as Terminal Bas Larkin back in the days, 15 years ago. I told my wife I used to hang out there 15 years ago with my friends when I stayed at APPJB. Speaking of which, I had a glimpse of the hostel on our way here. It was painted in yellow, and no sight of new building. I guess it might be just the same. I was thinking about going to the second floor of Larkin Sentral to search for t-shirt. I have this plan to buy t-shirt from any states I visit, and I shall start here in JB. But time was not on our side, and we have to go to the platform immediately as the bus will leave in 30 minutes.

Not many people taking the bus that day. We had one row for ourselves. Hana and Iskandar are much comfortable with their mother, so I was let to sit with our small luggage next to me. As we’re leaving, the bus drove to another part of the Larkin Sentral and let some passengers in. I guess they’re those with “cheaper” ticket, definitely not bought from the counter. Or maybe they’re just late. Or maybe they’re connecting bus trips after just arriving from somewhere. I don’t know. As long as we start leaving and no one making a scene, I’m fine.

One and half hour later, we are about to enter Melaka when I realised we are now stuck in traffic jam. It’s been 30 minutes the bus moves really slow and some passengers keep looking to the front of the bus, trying to figured what happened ahead. I opened up Waze app and check the feed. Apparently there’s an accident about 1 kilometre ahead. A truck carrying Gardenia bread involved in an accident, and blocking both lane. I giggled at the funny comments some Wazer left. 30 minutes later, we’re moving a little bit faster. PLUS staff and Police Traffic were seen handling the traffic, while the Gardenia truck already moved to one lane and had the traffic bottlenecked. That is better than not moving.

We arrived at Melaka Sentral at 12.00 pm. This is not where the bus terminal I used to know. 15 years ago the bus would stop at the city centre, somewhere near a river. 15 years brought a lot of change. Melaka Sentral is big and very convenient. The building are air-conditioned, there are a lot of shop and restaurant, some ATM and money changer. We took some time for lunch and buying some souvenirs here. I bought some Melaka T-shirt at one shop that priced at RM15 each. Being big, finding XXL size is a bit problem. I liked some design but those doesn’t come in XXL. “Out of stock” said the shopkeeper, but I settled with 2 grey shirts.

30 minutes later, we head to the taxi. They were having trouble trying to figure where Qish Hotel is. I took out the file I kept in my bag, pick the print out from Agoda and hand it over one of them. (Note : Print your booking and bring it with you). Apparently Qish Hotel is new, but they know it’s next to Yellow Mansion Hotel. Of course, I had the same confusion when I received my booking confirmation. Why I booked at Qish, but received confirmation for Yellow Mansion. We agreed at the price of RM15 for the ride. After about 20 minutes, we arrived at the hotel. I paid RM 20 and told the taxi driver to keep the RM5 as tip.

The wooden door was closed and locked. I keep looking inside when I saw a piece of paper with a writing on it

“CHECK IN AT YELLOW MANSION HOTEL”.

I told them to wait there as I am going to Yellow Mansion that located on the next building. The distance was not far but the one way road that separate the two are busy. The small lane were meant for one car, but not that time.

The guy at the counter greeted me with a serious face. I passed the booking slip without saying anything. He took a key and return to Qish Hotel with me. He opened the entrance of Qish Hotel, sit on the reception counter and started writing my details on a log book although there are computer next to him. Maybe he was just lazy to switch it on. He asked for deposit (MYR 50.00) and Heritage Fee (MYR 4.00, non-refundable). He passed a receipt, a key and asked me to take the stair next door. There is no elevator in the building, yet the stairs are high. Unfortunately, we were placed in second floor.

We entered the room and realised it was far from what pictured in Agoda. The bed sheet were stained and the blanket looks like it survived apocalypse. I rather stop writing here, as I’ve wrote a very negative feedback in Agoda website. I just hope the hotel will have some consciousness to improve their facility and service. The only good thing about this hotel is its location.

My parent joined us later late in the evening. They just arrived from Port Dickson after spending time with my sister’s family. Hana and Iskandar was very happy to meet them, so I left the kids with them. My wife and I went out looking for coin-operated laundry. It was my plan to bring less clothes and do the laundry here. We walked as far as we can from Lorong Bukit Cina to Kampung Morten. Although we couldn’t find any coin-operated laundry, we’ve seen some part of Bandar Hilir. We walked past Kampung Morten and had a look of some model house that retain its originality for tourism purpose. We walked past the place where it used to be bus terminal, which is now looks dull. Maybe it’s because of holiday, as Malaysia will celebrate Aidiladha the next day. We walked for about 2 hours, walking past old buildings, new shopping complex, etc. I really like what I saw, that I started to imagine someday I might stay here for a week and photograph the street life of Malacca. The buildings, old and new, makes a beautiful perspective and imagination.

Saifulrizan_Melaka_ (1 of 1)

That night, we all took the Night River Cruise. The price are MYR 10.00 for adult, and MYR 5.00 for kids. Price differ to foreigner. The pamphlet says “Cruise along 9km of the Melaka River for 45 minutes on the Melaka River Cruise from Taman Rempah (Spice Garden) to the river estuary where you will experience the historical sights and buildings during the Dutch era, the influence of the Chinese trades as well as the Malay traditional houses and many more eye catching sights reflecting the World Heritage history and the beauty of the natural surroundings.

Saifulrizan_MalaccaRiverNightCruise

Afterwards, we drove all the way to Klebang beach for dinner. It’s good to have my parents joining us as they have their own transport here. They were transferred to West Malaysia few years ago and brought along their cars. It’s cheaper than buying a new one. Once we reached the place, we visited the night market and proceeded to the beach area where old busses were converted into food stall. Mom told us they used to sit customer in the bus, but now the tables are set outside the bus. It’s really cool, like something you saw on TLC channel. However all the banner and bunting were hanged outside the bus, making it less visible. But still, it’s a good idea for being creative.

We return to our hotel later, and I borrowed their car to a coin-operated laundry that I found by searching on Foursquare app. As we’re doing our laundry, we sit down talked about our trip so far.

Tomorrow, we will be going to the Heritage Site, located about 5 minutes walk from our hotel.



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