All you need to know…
Know your city
- Melaka or Malacca means the ‘historic state’, in Malay
- It was called Orang Laut and was originally a fishing village
- It was coined Melaka by founder Parameswara, after a tree where he took shelter
- It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and attained this status in 2008
- Known for: its harmony and blend of culture, hawkers lanes, antique stores, historic sites
- Influences of Portugese, Dutch and British can be seen through the city
Travel tips and tricks
Airport: Melaka has an international airport with limited flight connections. Malacca International Airport (MKZ) was earlier known as Batu Berendam Airport.
Drive: If you are trying to get to Melaka from Singapore, Penang, Johor Bahru, Kuala Lumpur or many other parts of Malaysia, book a bus, taxi or drive down. The drive from Kuala Lumpur is barely 2-2.5 hours long.
Bus: Taking a bus to and from Melaka Sentral is the best bet. It offers very comfortable and convenient options of booking right at the counter. The frequency of buses plying to Kuala Lumpur, for example, is one every 20-30 minutes. Try CatchThatBus, EasyBook or RedBus sites to book in advance.
Trishaw: Take a trishaw ride to head to places nearby or take a tour of a specific area. A typical ride would cost 40-45 Ringgits for an hour. Reach Jonker Walk, the city hall called Stadthuys or Melaka river on a trishaw and surrender it there. These places are better discovered on foot.
Shuttle: Most of the good hotels offer a free shuttle to the river side or main city centre. Check the shuttle timings and match it if you can.
Rent a car: A number of agencies offer cars on rent. You can find them online or at the bus terminal itself.
Taxi: Book a cab at the hotel counter or download GrabTaxi to stay connected with the city. If you hail a regular cab, be aware that most of them do not run on a taxi-metre.
Cycle around: Enjoy an eco-friendly tour around the city. Rent a cycle.
Outside food: You are not allowed to carry outside food or drinks to the buses. Taxis do not allow you to consume anything, especially drinks (as simple as juices, slushes or aerated beverages) during the ride. There is a close watch on this and they are likely to be fined if you drink inside the cab. What if you are holding a drink in your hand? That’s ok, as long as you don’t sip it.
Paper napkins: Carry your own napkins or tissues when you head to Jonker Walk or any other hawker’s street. Most hawkers do not provide them.
Places of interest
Museums: Most of the museums have a one-day entry ticket. If you spend 10 Ringgits on a specific circuit, you will have access to 4-5 museums in that vicinity. Some of these include the tickets at St. Paul’s Hill and the Maritime Museum circuit.
Enquiries: Visit the Tourism Centre near the circle around St. Paul Hill for any clarification and piece of information.
Passport: Keep your passport handy at all times. You need to produce it at the time of buying tickets for the museums, river cruise, tower ride and other tourist attractions.
Clothing and essentials
The weather is predominantly hot and humid. Please carry clothes that are light and allow you to breathe. Shorts, skirts, dresses, light tees are perfect. Denims are a big no! Carry a sunscreen, hat, umbrella, mosquito repellent, face towel and fresh wipes. It is a good practice to cover your shoulders when you visit churches or other places of worship. Use a scarf that can double up as a shrug and protect your head from the heat.
The currency accepted is Malaysian Ringgits or MYR. Make sure you carry enough small denominations and change, to hand over to hawkers. ATMs are plenty and credit cards are accepted at bigger cafes and restaurants.
- Fly with AirAsia to reach Kuala Lumpur. Look out for their ‘low fare’ days.
- Board the StarMart Express. It is spacious and comfortable. Though some of them offer massage coaches, the massage feature will most likely be defunct. Nevertheless, ample leg space indeed.
- Download GrabTaxi and stay hassle free. Uber does not currently operate here.
Got any travel tips? Please let us know…
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