In my quest to explore Malaysia on short breaks this year, Malacca (also spelt Melaka) was our next destination. A popular place for weekenders from Singapore and also a favourite haunt for backpackers, we were curious to learn more about Malacca’s long and fascinating history, and see how it compared to our previous colonial history-rich trip to Penang.
Wanting an easy journey, we booked bus tickets online and took a Singapore–Malacca luxury bus. It called itself a massage coach, which sounded great…well actually it sounded a bit dodgy. It turned out to have massage chairs for seats, but we couldn’t make the massage function work. They were pretty comfy though, and the journey was very smooth.
Crossing the border from Singapore to Malaysia was exciting for us, because we are so used to flying every time we travel internationally. From our previous home in Java, Indonesia, you can’t drive to another country.
Apparently the causeway between the two countries is over one kilometre long. We had to disembark on the Singapore side with our passports, and then we watched the sea on both sides as we sped across no man’s land before disembarking again on the Malaysia side, this time with our luggage as well.
Safely stamped into Malaysia, we were back on the bus, watching acres and acres of oil palm plantations whizz by. Malaysia has wonderfully smooth roads compared to Indonesia, and the journey only took four hours including stops.
We arrived at Malacca Sentral, the main bus terminal, and found a local bus (called a domestic bus in Malaysia, which is arranged in states, like the US). We took bus 17 to Stadhuys, known as Bangunan Merah (the Red Building), which is a central point in Malacca’s old city, for just RM 1.30 each. From there it was a short walk to our guesthouse, Roof Top Guesthouse and Hostel.