Bored of the usual short trips to Johor Bahru, my brother, cousin and I decided to travel to Melaka for a short getaway trip over the weekend. Known for its historical sights and iconic dishes, we couldn’t wait to tuck into some hearty chicken rice balls and shop all night in Melaka! Here’s a low-down on what we did during our 24 hours Melaka trip.
1) Visit the Most Iconic Melaka Attraction: Christ Church
CC BY-SA 4.0 /Natalie. Thoo
If this is your first time in Melaka, you can’t not visit Melaka’s iconic historical attraction. One of Melaka’s must-see places, Christ Church in the Dutch Square has a long history dating back to 1752. And the best thing ? It’s free of charge! Besides its striking red walls, this church is known to be the oldest Protestant church in Malaysia. It is now an Anglican Church.
Surrounding this red brick building you’ll find many special, brightly decorated rides catering to tourists. These trishaws will bring you around the popular areas of Melaka for you to enjoy the sights and sounds of this bustling city.
Tip: Ask and settle a price with the trishaw rider before you hop in
Address: Jalan Gereja 75000 Melaka, Malaysia
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday – 08:30 to 17:00
2) Quell your hunger pangs with Melaka’s famed chicken rice balls
What’s a trip to Melaka without some chicken rice balls? At Jonker Street, you’ll chance upon several famous chicken rice ball restaurants – Hoe Kee Chicken Rice Ball, Chung Wah Hainanese Chicken Rice Ball and last but not least, Famosa Chicken Rice Ball.
Having tried Famosa’s chicken rice before, we decided to head to Hoe Kee this time. Besides chicken rice balls, they also sell a variety of cooked food like a variety of soups, braised eggs, vegetables and tofu – very tze char style. Don’t worry about the queue if you see one, it clears very quickly! Head upstairs to enjoy your meal in air-conditioned comfort.
Hoe Kee Chicken Rice Ball
Address: 468 Jalan Hang Jebat, Melaka 75200
Opening Hours: 8am – 5pm Daily
3) Shopping at San Shu Gong
Goodies from our Melaka trip
Bring back a piece of Melaka with you by shopping at San Shu Gong, a well known shop at the start of Jonker Street selling local produce, from traditional goodies such as beh teh soh and tau sar piah to durian confectionery and mochi. The great thing about this place issss… yes, the samples! I’ll try everything, thanks!
Near the cashier, they also sell made-to-order chendol desserts – smooth ice shavings doused in coconut milk and gula melaka which is perfect for an after-meal sweet treat. For the durian lovers, get their Durian Chendol– an amped up version of the usual chendol with a thick, generous serving of durian puree on top ladled on top. If that’s too heavy for you, you can also get their Iced White Coffee – thick, sweet and rich. Yumm!
San Shu Gong
Address: 33, Jalan Hang Jebat, Melaka
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday 10:00 – 22:00
4) Explore Melaka’s Jonker Street Night Market
Besides the chicken rice balls, the night market has to be the highlight of our Melaka trip. Jonker Street is one of the most popular Melaka attractions. Only open on the weekends between Friday-Sunday, the Jonker Night Market is like our pasar malams but retailing many varieties of Melaka food and cheap keepsakes. The whole street is just bustling with activity!
Jonker Street Night Market
Address: Jonker Street Night Market, Jalan Hang Jebat, 75200 Melaka, Malaysia
Opening Hours: Fri – Sun, 6PM – Late
5) Cooling down in the heat!
My brother and I enjoying some refreshing watermelon juice
This guys, is the real deal. If you’re thinking it’s the same sugared, watered down version you find in Singapore’s pasar malam, then boy you’ll be surprised. (I’ve tried it before at the Ramadan night bazaar and I was pretty disappointed), Here, they literally take hand-mixers and blend the insides of the watermelon so you get 100% pure watermelon juice.
There are a few stalls along Jonker Street with slightly different prices and sizes so you might wanna check out a few stalls before making a purchase!
6) Melaka Food: Nothing like some good ol’ supper
What’s a holiday without some hearty supper? With its late opening hours, we decided to head for some late night grub to quell our growling tummies at this Hong Kong cafe. With the 3:1 exchange rate, this makes the usual crowd favourite deep fried french toast so much more affordable!
7) Take in a stunning view of Melaka’s skyline from a rooftop bar
View from Hatten Hotel’s Rooftop Bar
With our bellies satisfied, we decided to venture to the top floor of our hotel. And look what we were greeted with! A panoramic view of the cityscape of Melaka so beautiful we couldn’t resist grabbing a few shots for memories sake.
If you’re craving for a drink to end the night or simply to enjoy the cool night breeze, then head up to the 22nd floor of Hatten Hotel’s Alto Sky Lounge. Here, you can enjoy light bites along with cocktails as you take in the gorgeous sight of Melaka’s coastal township while bobbing to tunes from their live band.
Alto Sky Lounge
Address: Hatten Hotel, Hatten Square, Jalan Merdeka, Bandar Hilir, Melaka 75000, Malaysia
4.00pm – 12.00am (Sunday to Thursday)
4.00pm – 1.00am (Eve of Public Holidays, Friday and Saturday)
How to Get from Singapore to Melaka
There are many express bus companies operating services from Melaka to Singapore. They cost between $18 – $33 and depart from Golden Mile Complex and Golden Mile Tower along Beach Road.
Bus from Singapore to Melaka – For those living in the east:
Pick up Point: Bugis MRT, Textile Centre, Katong V Mall, Tanjong Katong Complex, Tampines MRT
Drop off: Hatten Hotel, The Pines Melaka, Melaka Sentral
Pricing: SGD23 (for 1 way)
Bus from Singapore to Melaka – For a cheaper ride:
Pick up Point: Golden Mile Complex
Drop off: Equatorial Hotel, Hatten Hotel, Mahkota Hotel, Holiday Inn, Kapitan Kongsi Hotel, Melaka Sentral
Pricing: SGD 15 (for 1 way)
Average Duration: about 3-4 hours depending on traffic conditions
Best Time to Visit Melaka
The best time to visit Melaka would have to be between Fridays to Sundays to catch the Jonker Walk Night Market.
Weather in Melaka: The weather there is pretty similar to that in Singapore. Hot and sticky! However, remember to bring along an umbrella in case it rains as many places do not have shelter.
Where to Stay
Where to Stay in Melaka
Hatten Hotel (4 star)
Located in Melaka Town, this spa hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Hatten Square and A Famosa. St Paul’s Church is 0.6 mi (0.9 km) away.
Seri Costa Hotel (3 star)
Located in Melaka Town, this 3-star hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Menara Taming Sari and A Famosa. The St Paul’s Church is 0.6 mi (0.9 km) away.