Malacca/ Melaka, Malaysia: Two-Day Itinerary, Travel Guide & Photo Diary

Hello guys! Just came home from Siquijor for Nico's birthday getaway and it was all sorts of awesome. Will get to that soon, maybe a little sooner than my other travel backlogs. Let's see! Hihi. For now, I want to share with you our quick stopover after our 8-day Krabi, Thailand adventure. Since we were flying out from Malaysia, Nico and I decided to make a little side trip to the city of MALACCA or Melaka. Read on to know more...

From Krabi, we flew to Kuala Lumpur International Airport, headed straight to the bus ticket counter and bought 2 tickets to Malacca Sentral Bus Terminal for RM 24.30 each. The trip was quick, took about an hour and a half. I fell asleep on the way and when I woke up we were already in Malacca! Yipee! We immediately hailed a cab and showed the driver our hostel address. Photos below...

 Hello again, Malaysia!

 Brunch first at NZ Foodhouse located on the lower ground floor of KLIA2. This resto serves authentic Malay food.

So easy to purchase bus tickets. Just look for these counters and then choose your destination.

 Chose our seats and paid RM 48.60 for our tickets


Comfy seats, no restroom inside

Melaka Sentral Terminal

 There are lots of stalls, shops and restos inside the terminal

 Rode a cab until we reached this street where our hostel is located (left side!)

 Found it! Sayang Sayang2 Youth Hostel Chinatown.

Our hostel was just 15 minutes away from the terminal.

Love our neighborhood!

Booked a Standard Room (shared bathroom) for only P1,200 for 3 days/2 nights!


   Receptionist is not always there but they'll give you your own key card for the door.

Bicycles for rent

I chose Sayang Sayang2 Youth Hostel as our homebase in Malacca because of its convenient location-- right at the center of Malacca's historic Chinatown, overlooking the Melaka River. It's just a few minutes away from the bus terminal and just walking distance to the city center. The hostel is perfect for sightseeing because of its close proximity to lots of heritage sites & local attractions like the Malacca Clock Tower, The Stadthuys (Oldest Dutch Building in South East Asia), A Famosa (St. Paul Hill), Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, Kampung Kling Mosque, Sri Poyyatha Venayagar Moorthi Temple, Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum, Cheng Ho Museum, Jonker Street, etc!

2nd floor hallway

Our room looks like a loft!

Couch was a bit dirty so we just used it as patungan for our things. At least we have a window! Love it.

Comfy loft bed. It might be inconvenient lang if you're ihiin. Like Nico. Haha. 

Our floor's common bathroom!  

Bathroom was okay. For a budget hostel I didn't really expect much. 

First floor lobby!

This area was just a few meters away from the hostel

Turista shot by the river

Map you can use to navigate the city or plan your itinerary

Melaka River

 Church of St Francis, 17th century gothic-styled church modelled after the Cathedral of St. Peter in Montpelier, Southern France.

Melaka River was once dubbed the ‘Venice of the East’ by European seafarers as it was a prominent port of entry for traders from Europe and Asia during the late 16th century. Spanning a total distance of 10km, it is also believed to be where Malacca was founded by Sumatran Prince Parameswara, who built his palace along the east side of the riverbank (at the foot of St. Paul’s Hill) in the 1400s. (source: http://www.malacca.ws/)

Today, it is a popular tourist attraction primarily because of the 45-minute River Cruise, which offers tranquil views of colonial buildings, antiquated shophouses, local settlements and ancient bridges as well as modern decorations and local art displays within Malacca.

More aura

After passing several more bridges, the Melaka River leads up to Kampung Morten: an old Malay settlement classified as a national heritage site. It is a typical Malay village, but is widely-recognized as a living museum with well-preserved traditional Malay architecture and a conservative olden-days lifestyle.

There are lots of streets and alleys (especially along the river) with beautiful mural paintings & graffiti. Love it. 

Fresh watermelon juice anyone?

I just had to try it so I asked Nico to buy me one

They just bore a hole in it and placed a straw. It's quite difficult to drink though 'coz there were too many seeds hehe.

After a few minutes of walking, we found ourselves across Stadthuys or The Red Square. More on that later! 

Christ Church

We didn't have enough time to tour around on our first day (most of it happened on the 2nd day, our 1 full day in the city) so we just decided to check out JONKER WALK/STREET, Malacca's vibrant night market.

There were lots of stalls selling different tasty treats to cheap keepsakes!

DIY shabu-shabu

So many nice spots and corners 

Art for sale

Oooh they also have Stinky Tofu!

It was still early so lots of stalls were still setting up

Time to eat!

Nico bought hot noodle soup from this stall


Sushi and maki

OMG looked so good! Never got to try it coz I was already full huhu

Photo was corrupted but this was our meal! I ordered the squid sambal meal. So tasty!

Bought Cendol for dessert

Cendol is an iced sweet dessert that contains droplets of worm-like green rice flour jelly, coconut milk and palm sugar syrup. It is commonly found in Southeast Asia and is popular in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Cambodia, East Timor, Vietnam, Thailand, and Burma. Next to the green jelly, additional toppings might be added, including diced jackfruit, sweetened red azuki beans, or durian.  (source: https://en.wikipedia.org)

So good!!!

Happy hour

I love how there are signs and maps everywhere

From Jonker, we just walked back to our hostel (used Google Maps)

I just had to take a photo with my favorite Totoro!

Lots of local food places around the area

The river became our landmark

Junction near the hostel and river

Our lively street. There's a convenience store in front of the hostel so that's where we bought snacks and water.

Saw this nice wall art on our way to Jonker Street for brunch

We walked through the side streets from our hostel to the center of town

Portuguese Egg Tart & hot pastries!

Back in Jonker Street!

For lunch, we decided to try the popular FAMOSA CHICKEN RICE BALL RESTAURANT! Chicken rice ball is one of Melaka's signature, local food dish so of course we just had to give it a try. It's basically Hainanese chicken rice shaped into a ball that is, I guess, for easier consumption once upon a time? You also partner the chicken rice balls with tender chicken meat & delicious sauces. 

Since 1911, so it must be legit! It's also on Tripadvisor and almost always full. :)

You can choose from different meat dishes like fish, pork, chicken, etc.

We were immediately seated and our orders taken

 The building is part of the Malacca World Heritage City

They have lots of tables

 We ordered 5 chicken rice balls, roasted pork and Taiwanese pechay with oyster sauce. It was a pleasant meal! Paid more or less RM 25 for everything.

Bird Nest drinks 

Jonker Satay House. Will try this next time!

Melaka's catchphrase is so bad ass!

It was our first time in Melaka, so I relied heavily on Tripadvisor and travel blogs for our itinerary. This small yet charming town is filled to the brim with ancient landmarks and colonial structures majority of which centers on Peranakan culture. The place's rich local culture and history resulted to it being named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008! 

First on my museum list is this Peranakan heritage house called Baba & Nyonya. This private house museum is a combination of three terrace lots that were acquired by the Chan family in 1861. Four generations lived in the house before it was opened as a museum in March 1985. The name of the museum is derived from the term Baba, an honorific manner of addressing a Straits-born gentleman and Nyonya which addresses a Straits-born lady.

The family’s earliest existence in Malacca dates back to the early 19th Century, with origins from Tong’An county in Fujian province, Southern China and has links to one of the last few Kapitans of Malacca. Chan Cheng Siew J.P (Justice of the Peace) was born 27th June 1865, and was a second generation Straits-born Chinese who began his career as a planter (gambier and rubber), investor and was also involved in many social activities in Malacca.

Nico with our museum guide! Our 45-minute tour was full of fun facts and stories. Entrance fee is RM 16 for adults and RM 11 for children.

Took a few photos at the holding area before our 2pm tour. Photos and videos are not allowed inside. 

"This beautiful 19th-20th house was the home of Baba Chan Cheng Siew (1865-1919) whose eclectic taste offers a glimpse into the richness of the culture and the opulence that was fashionable in many pre-World War II Peranakan homes. Like most all of these long narrow buildings, the Baba Nyonya shop houses are pierced by two courtyards which provide light and air circulation. In a traditional Chinese shop house, business was done in the front half of the lower floor, while the back half and all the upper floor were living spaces."

I was so engrossed with the whole tour that I was not able to secretly take photos. Waah.  

"The interior decor of the house gives many clues to Dutch, Portuguese, Malay, and Colonial influences that make a Straits-born home unique. Lavish Blackwood furniture from China, inlaid with mother of pearl and marble, greet visitors in the formal reception hall. Set above them are 5-meter high silk embroidery of Chinese symbolism. A unique set of stairs made of solid cenggal wood leads to the second floor. With its intricately woven gold-leaf carvings adorning the back portion, this staircase is reputed to be the first of its kind seen in South East Asia. Customized sinks with Chan Cheng Siew’s initials are seen in the different rooms of the house. These are just some of the distinctive features that guests experience when visiting the house." (source: http://babanyonyamuseum.com)

I wasn't able to take photos inside because aside from the fact that it's prohibited, the tour was also very engaging. So let me just describe the house in words. As you walk through the halls, it's like being transported into a different era with each step showing us the roaring grandeur of years passed inside a typical Baba & Nyonya household. Our guide's stories along with every piece of furniture or decor inside fired up my imagination. I can almost hear the footsteps of children running through the halls, the clinks of pots & pans as the Nyonya women prepares a feast, the loud laughter of gentlemen sharing stories. I love it!

Malaqa House is a mini museum/ art shop :)

It's connected to the Baba & Nyonya house

On the same street is another museum called Straits Chinese Jewellery. We were not planning to go inside but we were greeted by their warm and friendly staff who are Filipinos! We ended up paying for the entrance fee (RM 15) and checking out the museum. Photography was allowed so I took lots of them. Worth it! :)

The museum is another typical home of a rich Baba and was recreated to offer a glimpse of their opulent lifestyle and their many customs and traditions. With close to thousand pieces of antiques and collectibles of the era on display, this Baba-Nyonya house is also located in one of Malacca's heritage architecture. 

The Peranakans, also known as the Babas & Nyonyas, was a prominent community of Straits Chinese. So what does that mean? When Chinese settlers originally came to Malacca as miners, traders and coolies, they took local brides (of Javanese, Batak, Achenese, etc descent) and adopted many local customs. The result of this is an interesting fusion of local and Chinese cultures. Adopting selected ways of the local Malays and later on the colonial British, the Peranakans had created a unique lifestyle and customs which left behind amazing cultural influences particularly in cooking and language.  (source: http://www.straitschinesejewellerymuseum.com/)

OMG so beautiful!


How to make beautiful Malay beaded slippers

Traditional Peranakan clothes

Foot binding was also a thing back then

Got scared by this purse! Huhu. Whyyy.

Our kind guide

Sup guys

House is owned by Ms. Josephine Tan Pin Neo and maintained by his son, Mr. Peter Wee Ban Kheng. (rightmost photo)

Hokkien card game!

They also have a courtyard inside. Love it! 

Sample Baba & Nyonyan meal set-up

At some point we had to take off our footwear 

Porcelain dolls and decors showed the Peranakans fascination for European culture

Happy tourists! Haha


So many cute walls

Off to Dutch Square & Stadthuys

Dutch Square Malacca is the most picturesque along Jalan Kota. It's also a colorful trishaw pickup point, it is distinguished by a group of bright, terracotta-red colonial Dutch buildings, built between 1660 and 1700, with louvered windows and chunky doors with wrought iron hinges.

Cute and colorful trishaws!

One of the oldest surviving parts of Malacca, Dutch Square’s most prominent building is the Stadthuys. Presiding over the entire south side of Dutch Square it was completed in 1660 and is said to be the oldest-existing Dutch building in the East. The simple, sturdy Stadthuys in Dutch Square originally served as the official residence of the Dutch governors and was used as a town hall throughout the British administration. It now houses a collection of museums.

We didn't enter na the museum

This central fountain is an ornate Victorian marble addition, erected in 1904 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.

Christ Church, Malaysia's oldest Protestant church, was built in 1753 to commemorate the centenary of Dutch occupation in Malacca and to replace an earlier Portuguese church. Its most significant features are the original, elaborate, 200-year old hand-carved pews plus its heavy timber ceiling beams, each carved from a single tree trunk, which span more than 15m long. The porch and vestry were added in the 19th-century. Also check out the elegant collection of sacramental silverware which bears the Dutch coat-of-arms and also the intricate painting of the Last Supper on the glazed tiles of the altar.

Sandwiched between Christ Church and Laksamana Road is the Malaysia Youth Museum & Art Gallery. Built in 1784, it was originally intended as the Dutch Administrative Complex but was turned into the Malacca Free School in 1826. In the 1920s it was used as a post office and today it is a museum. Also within Dutch Square is the Tang Beng Swee Clocktower. It was actually built by a wealthy Straits Chinese family in 1886 in honour of Tan Beng Swee, a rich Chinese merchant.

Middleburg Bastion built by the Dutch in 1660 to protect the old quay

Bikes for rent for RM 5 an hour

Passed by the Cheng Ho Cultural Museum but didn't go inside na

Mejo creepy yung asa window haha

Cute Kiehls wall

You can always go on a cruise to see more sights along the river

While walking, we passed by the Cheng Hoon Teng Temple located at No. 25 Jalan Tokong. It is a Chinese temple practicing the Three Doctrinal Systems of Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism and features a complex of several prayer halls, with a large main prayer hall dedicated to the goddess of mercy, Kuan Yin. 

Near the temple you will pass by Kampung Ketek, one of the oldest village in Melaka.  

Old house in the village

Fresh pineapple tarts!

Shop where you could buy freshly made Pineapple Cakes

Packed Nasi Lemak for RM 1.50!

Another resto serving chicken rice ball! Huang Sheng is also a popular resto in the area.

Nico and I bought delicious hot noodle soup from this stall!

Longan drink! My fave!

Ice cream for RM 3

Jonker Walk gets crowded after sunset! They close the whole street during weekends.

Local food Otak-Otak or grilled fish cake

Grilled seafood anyone?

Hindu temple

Restaurant a few steps away from our hostel

So hipster

Our 2 days in Melaka was just enough to cover most of the tourist spots and learn so much about local history and culture. I highly recommend this tour if you have a few days to spare in Malaysia and you want somewhere near to go to. Just like we did! You would love all the sights and of course, all the mouthwatering food. That's it for now! Working on Singapore or Siquijor next. Thanks again for reading. Hope this post helps you on your future travels. Love you all! :)

2-Day Budget for Melaka (in RM)  
Hostel for 2 nights = 46
Brunch at airport = 12
Bus ticket to Malacca = 24.30
Cab to hostel = 7 / 2 = 3.50
Snacks = 7
Dinner = 15
Convenience Store buys = 7
Lunch at Famosa = 13
Baba & Nyonya museum = 16
Straits Chinese Jewellery Museum = 15
Snacks = 12
Dinner = 15
Cab to bus terminal = 4
Bus to airport = 25
TOTAL =  215 RM or P2,780

*budget depends on shopping habits and food preferences

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