Journey to Malacca
21 October 2013
Malacca...I have heard of it in history books, but never really knew what it was all about. So when I was assigned in Putrajaya, Malaysia for a work assignment, it was a perfect time to see what Malacca was all about.
I did all my research in the internet, and some tip from the hotel reception as to how to get to Malacca...it has to be safe and cheap! Shangri-la Putrajaya, is 15 minutes away from Putrajaya Bus Terminal, so at 7:00 AM in the morning, we had the hotel car take us to Putrajaya Bus terminal for 30 RM. Then me and my friend Babes bought a ticket to Malacca for 16.40 RM in the Transnasional Bus. We took the first bus that leaves at 8:00 AM. The next bus leaves at 10:00 AM, so it is highly recommendable to take the earliest bus, if you are only going on a day tour. The bus ride was long and pleasant as we get to see more of the countryside of Malaysia. The trip lasted for more than 2 hours.
The first thing we did when we got to Malacca was to head for information. There is an information booth, where you can get a map for 5.00 RM. The map guides you to places of interest in Malacca. In the information booth, there are several taxi drivers who will offer you a ride to the city. It's a 30 minute ride from the Malacca Bus Terminal to the tourist area. The taxis are not metered and we had to negotiate for 50 RM.
The taxi ride ends in Victoria Fountain and our Malacca escapade begins! From the time we stepped out of the taxi, it has been real excitement brought about by the colors, the landscape and the old architecture...it's like travelling back in time! Near the fountain, tour guides in fancy tricycles, will offer you a tour to Malacca...the tour costs 100 RM.
At the start of the tricycle tour, I was amazed at how well our tour guide Asang, talked about details of history of Malacca...It's like having a historian in a trike! He loves Malacca and his passion is very evident in how he tells the stories in every structure we passed by (Check out my photo op with the best tour guide in Malacca).
Asang directed us to museums and places of interest. I got to see the historic Melaka Tree, the Maritime Museum, the Melaka Sultanate Palace Museum and the Porta De Santaigo. You really get your money's worth, getting to see all these places in a limited time with your tour guide. The sun was really hot and walking would be very tiresome...thanks to the shades of the tricycle, sightseeing was relaxing and enjoyable.
We asked Asang to drop us off in front of the Maritime Museum where we did our shopping. Here you can find trinkets and souvenir items. I bought key chains, t-shirts, and guess what, a wooden stool with an interesting Starbucks wood carving design. I don't care if I get excess baggage...I must take it home to Manila!
After our shopping Babes and I did our walking tour, looking around other places of interest. We strolled around Coronation park and had a super late lunch at McDonald's.
At 4:00 PM, we called it quits and decided to head back to Malacca Bus station. There was some traffic, so we got back at around 5:00 PM. There was a bus scheduled to leave in a few minutes, so we bought our tickets and boarded our bus.
The bus ride back to Putrajaya took more than 3 hours this time. Next time, I'll get down to the nearest train station and take the train, which should be faster. From the bus station, we took a coupon taxi going to back to our hotel for 15 RM. We got back to our hotel at about 10:00 PM.
And that concludes our Malacca journey. From the experience, I gained painful leg muscles, a wooden stool with great carving for a souvenir, and tons of great memories from historic Malacca. I'll do this again when I have the chance, and next time...I'm staying for a night!