Monthly Archives: April 2014

Melaka: A Solo Trip Experience

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it has long been a plan for me to visit the town of mellaca in malaysia. but it was always put behind everytime another travel plans or any other plans that will come along the way.  until one day, an idea of a first solo trip came to mind.  at first, i was really hesitant.  i asked some colleagues first if they want to tag along.  one told me that she still can’t travel outside singapore and that they need to get a visa to visit malaysia.  another one told me that it is too soon.  so, I have no choice but to pursue with the plan of going alone.

i visited the site who sells bus tickets to those who wish to visit malaysia or singapore.  when i checked the price, i was surprised that it will just cost me 38-45 sgd for a round trip ticket.  i did not buy immediately.  i still did some research and asked a friend if what I’ll be doing is completely sane and safe. hehehe.  when she told me to go, that a friend of ours once visited there alone, i then printed some maps, list of tourist attractions in mellaca and some instructions in going around mellaca, stored a lot of courage to click the buy button in the bus ticket site and finally bought my ticket.  hehehe.

on the day of my trip, it was raining in singapore.  silly me, that’s the only time i realized that i did not check what the weather will be in mellaca.  when i checked it on the internet, it showed that there will be a 60% probable rain.  so i prayed that even if the sky will be gloomy, hopefully, it will not rain.  travel time from singapore to mellaca is about 3-4hours.  depending on the traffic, how many people lining in immigration and the pace of the driver.  our bus left kovan hub in singapore at 8am and we arrived in mellaca, bus sentral at around 12 noon.  i wasn’t really hungry when we reached mellaca but since, i needed to use the toilet(you have to pay 0.30MR) and was thinking to ride the bus to reach the historic core, i have to get some coins and smaller bills for my 50MR.  i decided to have my lunch at mcdonald’s inside the bus sentral.  but by the time i finished my lunch and went to the toilet, the bus 17 that will go to the historic core already left.  so when an uncle approached me if i want to ride a taxi, i immediately grab the opportunity.  taxi ride from bus sentral to the historic core will only cost you 15MR.  not bad.

upon arriving the historic core, i was a bit confused on where to go first. hehehe. the maps that i printed out wasn’t really helpful. it was so small and a bit blurry. i decided to just go for a stroll. look for some familiar places. places that i have seen in pictures. hehehe. luckily, all of the tourist spots were in just one place. they were all in walking distance. by the time i finished seeing almost all the tourist spots, it was still 2pm. i still got a few places that i did not see, like the oldest buddhist temple, but the sun was already shining and it was so hot so i decided to just stay in a shaded part and just sit there and read an ebook. i found the jonker walk so i decided to just stay there. i was beginning to get a bit sleepy and my head was starting to hurt because of the heat and lack of sleep so by 4pm, i decided to look for a place where i could eat and stay there for a while. i found one place who sells some ice cream and other refreshments and some food. i bought a mango flavored ice cream and a chicken puff. i stayed there for 30minutes and decided to start walking and find a new spot where i can sit and wait for the time.

i went back to dutch square and stayed there for an hour before i decided to ride bus no 17 that will take me back to bus sentral. my bus for singapore will leave at 8pm, but since the bus ride from the historical core to bus sentral will take 90minutes, i decided to take bus no 17 at around 5:30pm. i know, it was still early, but i was beginning to get bored and i was experiencing a very bad headache. even though it was still a bit early by the time i arrived in bus sentral, i still proceeded to the booth of the bus company where i bought my ticket to check-in.  after checking-in, i waited for about an hour for the bus to arrive.  it was beginning to get dark and the mosquitoes were enjoying their time flying around me.   by 8pm, the bus finally came.  good thing it did because by 8pm, the bus sentral was already so dark.  all the lights were turned off and i was really glad when we finally left the bus station.

the bus ride in going back to singapore was a very long one.  it took 5hours for us to finally arrive in our destination.  what’s worst was, i was suffering from a very bad headache and the bus was so cold that i can’t sleep.  when we finally arrived at the immigration of malaysia, i found a 7/11 store.  i decided to buy some panadols for my headache.  atleast, my problem will be lessened.  i just have to worry with the cold.

despite all the mishaps of my solo trip.  i did enjoy it.  now i know that i can really survive travelling alone.  i learned a few things that i could apply to my next travels and also to my day-to-day battle with life.  if somebody will ask me if i am going to travel alone again, my answer would be yes.  travelling alone from time to time is indeed a very nice experience.  but of course, you have to be very cautious of your surroundings for you to be safe.

lessons learned during the trip:

  1. bring a medicine kit. you might get a headache or stomachache. it’s really nice to be prepared.
  2. i should bring a jacket.
  3. i should learn to talk more to locals. ask some questions, ask them to take my pictures.
  4. prepare an itinerary to maximize the time and not to waste it. don’t just print a list of places you want to visit.
  5. bring a book that you could read to keep you company.
  6. don’t be afraid to explore the town.  don’t just limit yourself in visiting the famous tourist spots.
  7. be confident, but don’t be arrogant.(not that i was being an arrogant. i was just a bit timid as usual.)
  8. don’t be afraid and forget to try the local delicacies.
  9. don’t be too judgmental. give the locals a chance.  don’t settle with the idea of what other people are saying about them even if you haven’t experienced it.  but just be cautious.
  10. enjoy the moment.  don’t worry too much.  relax and have fun.

going around mellaca:
upon arriving in mellaca bus sentral, you have two choices in going to the historic core.

taking a taxi:
upon alighting the bus, there are already some taxi drivers who will ask you if you want a ride. a taxi ride from bus sentral to the historic core will just cost 15MR. travel time is just 15-30minutes. depending on the traffic.

taking a bus:
take the panorama bus no 17. i really don’t know the exact travel time since i did not take a bus from bus sentral to the historic core. it will just cost you 2MR. take note that it can be very crowded inside the bus. the bus route is just a loop. so if you want to go back to the bus sentral, you can just take the same bus at the same place where you alighted which is at the dutch square. but bear in mind that it will take 90minutes for you to get to bus sentral from historic core especially during peak hours.

renting a trishaw:
if you don’t want to walk around when exploring the historic core, you can rent a trishaw for 40MR for an hour. the driver will already bring you to all the tourist destinations and will discuss to you some historical facts about the places.

you can also rent some bicycles to explore the whole town. the town of mellaca is just small. you can tour around it for just one day.

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the dutch square…you can begin your tour here…

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the view above bukit saint paul…

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just a few of the old structures and means of transportation that you can see in mellaca…

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trishaws…most of the trishaws are designed with hello kitty and flowers…

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mellaca marine museum

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 mellaca sultanate palace

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some of the things you can see inside mellaca sultanate palace…

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the view from the window of  mellaca sultanate palace

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mellaca river

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aside from the chicken balls, which i haven’t tried, this refreshment here is one of the must try in mellaca…

 

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i don’t know if there are other artworks that you can find around mellaca, but this one for me is so cool…

 

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the mango ice cream that i bought…the texture of their ice cream is different from the normal ice cream…

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bought this hat for just 10MR…

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saw this couple while i was taking a rest at the dutch square…

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i wanted to try to have a cartoon caricature of myself but this whole family took so long…i opted not to and just ride the bus in going to bus sentral…

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my haggard self after the whole trip…

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sariling sikap moments…