In May 08, I drove down to Malacca for a visit. Actually, it was my first time driving down there. The other times I was there, I had travelled via bus with a group of people- that was years ago. And I cannot remember the direction, except that I’ve stayed in Equitorial Hotel.
For a first time drive, it was relatively easy to locate the place. I went with my mom and another friend. I was told to exit the North South Highway via Ayer Keroh. After paying the toll, just drive straight and follow the signboard that states “Pusat Bandaraya” (town center). After which, I reached the red colour historial buildings whereby the Christ Church Melaka (since 1753) and the A Famosa fort are located.
As I reached the roundabout with the Church on my left, I turned right where I could see OCBC bank. Through one of the smaller roads, I was able to find a parking. One thing you must remember is that Malacca uses the parking coupon display system- you can buy the parking coupons at any shops that sells them (there are signboads that indicate the shop sells them). The parking cost RM0.60 per hour. The parking coupons are sold at the pack of RM3 (5 pieces of 60 sen each).
After parking, my mom and I walked past the roundabout to the Christ Church. Mom decided not to visit the fort (as it requires a hike up), so we detoured to Jonkers Street that is located nearby (when you see OCBC bank on your left and a restaurant on your right, you walk straight and you will reach Jonkers Street (the picture on your right is a signboard located at the roundabout that shows the distance of Malacca to other towns in Malaysia and all over the world).
Jonker Street basically is known for selling craft items and other old/hard to find items. Still, I observed some products from China and Thailand also made their way there- and maybe overpriced. The Malacca Nyonya cendol is very nice because it is made with authentic gula melaka and with more santan. There is also a famous chicken rice whereby the chicken rice comes in the shape of balls. If you are a tourist visiting Malacca, there are a number of guesthouses located nearby and you can walk along the collonial shophouses around the area. Food in Malacca are slightly cheaper than Kuala Lumpur.
Next, we drove to shopping complexes. We turn one round and end up in front of Mahkota Parade. Managed to find a parking lot by the road. Parkson Grand is located inside Mahkota Parade and there are more varieties of items and better discounts compared to what I find in KL.
We then crossed over to Carrefour but did not purchase anything from there. Saw a parking inspector checking on parking tickets- he seemed to take special interest of outstation cars- both cars located in front (with KL license plate) and at the back of my car got summoned. So, no joke, remember to buy parking coupons or else, you need to park inside the mall (RM2 for the first 2 hours on weekday). There is a field in front of Carrefour and you can see people climbing up the A Famosa fort a distance away. Walking is not that far.
We then drove the car around to find a restaurant to settle for food (had taken lunch earlier). Because we do not know the famous places, we just settled at Yong Peng Fish Ball restaurant (going a round- many major roads in Malacca are one way street, so if you miss a turning, you have to go another big round).
I ordered some fishball soup and my mom ordered “red wine chicken” as you can see writen in Chinese on your right for RM4. The food is okay and the staff is very courteous. But after a few hours when I was driving back to KL, I become very sleepy (had to keep pulling my ears to prevent myself from falling asleep)because of the MSG that was put in the soup (usual for outside food).
It’s very easy to find the road back to North South Highway because you can just follow the signboard that writes “Kuala Lumpur”. We left Malacca about 5pm (the roads there are not jammed) and reach KL about 7.10pm to be greeted by the traffic jam.
Overall, I am glad I am able to drive around the places of interest in Malacca even though I have not been on my own before. However, personally for me, I would still prefer Penang to Malacca due to the variety of food choices, shopping places and places to visit.