Malacca,Malaysia,Melaka

Travel Guide: Malacca, Malaysia

Malacca is a beautiful city, rich with history and culture. As you walk along the cobblestone streets, you will notice the influence of British, Dutch and Portuguese colonialism in many aspects of the city’s architecture. It was one of our favorite cities in Malaysia.

Currency

Malaysian currency is called Ringgit (abbreviated MYR). Exchange rates fluctuate all the time but a good, conservative rule of thumb for quick estimations would be 10 MYR = 3 USD, 2 EUR.

Accommodation

Hotel Pelangi

This hotel is located outside of Malacca in Batu Pahat. We stopped here on our way to Malacca. We paid 125 MYR per night for a room with AC, hot water and good wi-fi. The hotel was old and outdated and our room was a little dirty. When we checked in we received two vouchers for free breakfast, though it was pretty disappointing. See below (on the right).

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Not all breakfasts are created equal. On the left, kaya bread with caramel and mocha lattes, on the right, the free “American” breakfast at Hotel Pelangi.

Malacca-Malaysia-054

Tony’s Guesthouse

This guesthouse is located right in the center of Malacca town within walking distance of Chinatown, Little India, shopping malls, restaurants and tourist attractions. The owners, Tony and Sanny, are extremely welcoming and easy going. They had no problem with us lugging our bikes up to our room, and gave us great advice about where to find the best food in the city. We stayed in a private room with a fan, a shared bathroom and fast wi-fi for 40 MYR per night.

Tony and Sanny also offer an outstanding breakfast menu. Our favorites included french toast made with delicious homemade multigrain bread, and homemade French baguette with butter and jam. We had a great time talking about Indonesia with Tony’s Sumatran wife; she let us know when she found cheap flights to the island and even offered to store our bikes and equipment if we decided to take a trip there! We ultimately decided to stick with our bicycle tour plans, but it was incredibly sweet that she went out of her way to try and help us. We highly recommend this guesthouse.

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Tony and his beautiful wife, Sanny.

Hotel Suria

This hotel is located outside of Malacca in Port Dickson. We paid 85 MYR per night. Our room was tiny but had AC and hot water. The wi-fi only worked on the first floor, which was a little inconvenient. The staff was friendly and helpful and there were plenty of restaurants within walking distance.

Food

Roti Canai

A delicious Indian flatbread usually served with a curry sauce.

Kaya bread

Kaya is a coconut jam that is spread on toast and sometimes topped with butter or sugar. It’s a great snack or breakfast meal. Mocha, caramel latte and kaya bread. Our favorite breakfast in Malaysia.

Chicken Rice Balls

This is a Melaka specialty found on Jonker Street. The names says it all, it’s chicken served with balls of rice. Chicken rice balls

Satay

Delicious seasoned, skewered meat, seafood & veggies boiled in and served with peanut sauce. Capitol Satay

Tandoori Chicken

Yogurt-marinated, roasted, seasoned chicken cooked in a circular clay oven called a tandoor. Tandoori chicken

Naan

Leavened, oven-baked Indian flatbread. Garlic nan

Restaurants

Pak Putra Tandoori and Naan Restaurant

The best Indian restaurant we have ever been to. We recommend trying the butter chicken, tandoori chicken, butter naan and garlic naan. The best Indian Restaurant in Malacca.   Tandoori chicken

Big Bowl Ice

A great place to have dessert. They have any kind of snow ice you could imagine. Our favorite flavor was mango. Big Bowl The City Of Ice

Big Bowl The City Of Ice
Condensed milk shave ice with kidney beans tastes better than it looks, and made Matt feel less guilty about eating dessert in lieu of lunch.

Famosa Chicken Rice Ball

We were excited to try the famous rice balls, but forgot to do our research before heading to Jonker Street. We don’t recommend this place, it was overpriced and not very good.

Hoe Kee Chicken Rice Ball

This was our favorite chicken rice ball restaurant. It was delicious and affordable.

Capitol Satay

This is the most famous satay place in Malacca. We recommend getting there before they open at 5pm. There will always be a line of people waiting. We thought it was good, and worth trying.

Capitol Satay
The wait begins.

Capitol Satay

Everything you can choose to boil in Capitol Satay’s famous sweet peanut sauce.

Rabbit Home

This restaurant was located across the street from Hotel Pelangi in Batu Pahat, the city just outside of Malacca. This buffet restaurant has a wide array of meats, veggies, curries and desserts. Everything was delicious and so fresh. We highly recommend this restaurant if you are traveling through. Malacca-Malaysia-053

Water

We didn’t drink the water straight from the faucet. We ended up using our filter and re-filling water bottles or buying water for about 5 MYR.

People

The people we encountered all over Malaysia were extremely nice. Most people spoke English and were curious about what we were doing and where we were from.

Roads

We found the roads in Malaysia to be excellent. We rarely ran into pot holes and only had a few flat tires.

Bike Route

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Things to do

A Famosa

This is a Portuguese fortress which is among the oldest surviving European architectural remains in South East Asia. Most people say it is a “must see” in Malacca and some think it is a waste of time. We thought it was beautiful and worth checking out. A Famosa Fort

Jonker Walk

This is the main street going right through Chinatown. You will find dozens of clothing and craft stores as well as restaurants. On Friday and Saturdays nights they have a night market which is definitely worth checking out.

Jonker Walk, Chinatown
Matt trying out the sexy professor look.

Jonker Walk, Chinatown

Red Square (Dutch Square)

This is the center of town where you will see all of the Dutch-inspired red buildings. Unfortunately, there was construction going on while we were visiting. The colorful city of Malacca

Baba-Nonya Heritage Museum

Located right in the center of town, this museum showcases the local history of ethnic Chinese-Malays in Malacca. We really enjoyed our tour and recommend going if you have some free time. They are open everyday from 10:00 am – 12:15 pm and 2:00 – 4:00 pm. Heritage Museum Melaka

Heritage Museum Melaka

Malacca Sultanate Palace

This building is a modern reconstruction of the palace of the sultans of Malacca built with no nails. This cultural museum showcases the history of the region. Sultanate Palace Melaka

Sultanate Palace Melaka
At first we thought this was a wax statue. Then he blinked.

Transportation

Pedal-powered rickshaws, called trishaws, are everywhere in Malacca. They are all decorated with wild, elaborate flowers and lights and blast the music of your choice. It is the cheapest and easiest way to get around the city.

The colorful trishaws of Malacca
We were inextricably drawn to the Hello Kitty trishaw.

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Spends each day doing what she loves best, traveling the world and taking photographs.