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Malacca, Malaysia 1 Day Trip

We have been looking for a short getaway out of Sunny island for quite sometime. Instead of our usual Batam trip, this time round we have decided to try the 1 Day Malacca tour which has been quite common with deal peackages in recent years.


As such, we come across this deal package by Exlusive Tours & Travels on Deal.com.sg

We did not purchase the deal immediately as it is only available for departure every Saturday and due to our work commitments, we can't commit for all Saturdays. We tried to telephone the agency to ensure that the date we wanted is available for departure, as they requires a minimum of 40 passengers before the tour is confirmed. We called for around 2 - 3 weeks, and we provided with 2 preferred dates and they are all within the June holidays period( 1st and 2nd wkend of june holidays) however we were informed that there isnt sufficient people for departure as such the trip was cancelled. In the end, we were given only 1 departure date - 21st June. It wasn't exactly our preferred departure date however as we have since already purchased the Deal voucher as we were afraid that the deal will be out very soon after weeks of waiting, we decided to went along with this date. 

We were advised by the counter staff that we can still buy directly from the tour agency after the deal period at the same price. However we still prefer to purchase with deal.com.sg as we have a discount code of 12% which granted us with some cost savings!

After confirmation of the departure date, around 1.5 wks before 21st June, we have to head down to their branch at Square 2, Novena to pay the insurance, admin cost of $5 per pax. This is an additional fee and we have to pay before our tour is confirmed for us. Personally, we feel that this is quite troublesome since we have to personally make a trip down to their agency to make the payment. They could have just include the fee inside the deal package or allow internet fund transfer. 

Tour booking form
So, upon receipt of insurance fee, they will issue you a booking form ( receipt ) which we are supposed to present on the day of the tour. Itinerary for the day was sent to us via email.

We are supposed to gather at Newton Food Centre carpark at 6.30am and look out for bus 6. There are apparently alot of tour buses from Exclusive Tours & Travel, departing to various places like Desaru/Johor Durian tour. There was also another bus ( Bus 5) departing to Malacca with us!

We reached at 6am and our coach was already there, ready to accept passengers. The driver was on board, and there were a few ( about 3 ) agency personnels coordinating  the situation on that day as there's many tour groups departing too on the same day at same time. 

By 6.30am, everyone is already on board the tour bus to Malacca. 

So, for tour groups, always be punctual, and if possible, try to be earlier. As it is free seating on the bus and the tour will depart punctually!

We waited for the Agency's personnel to take attendance. By around 645am, we finally departed the carpark and is on our way to Tuas Checkpoint. The ride took around 40 minutes before we finally catch a glimpse of the checkpoint. However, there was a long queue of around 7-10 buses queuing to reach the entrance of the checkpoint or their passengers to alight :(

Once we passed both Singapore and Malaysia's custom successfully, we met our tour guide - Lily! 


Lily is our tour guide for the day in Malaysia. She gave us a rough overview of the day's itinerary and brief introduction of Malaysia as the coach drove along Iskandar to Yong Peng. She also distributed our "Goodie bag" !

Our goodie bag from Exclusive Tours & Travel ~

Our first stop for the day is breakfast at a local hawker place in Johor (?). It is somewhere between Iskandar and Yong Peng. We travelled around 20-30 minutes to reach. We reached there at 8.50am

Local breakfast place!
We were given 30 minutes to have a quick breakfast before we move on to Yong Peng ( Bee Farm).

First stop - Breakfast at local hawker!
We ordered 3 plates of wanton mee to share as well as 6 Siew Mais. These are ordered from different stores. The dried wanton mee costs RM $4.50 (SGD $1.80) per plate while the Siew Mai cost RM 1 (SGD 40c ) for each. The food there are indeed cheap and taste good too! There are also prawn mee, indian food and other local delicacy sold there.

hawker selling Durians.
We also see people who drive by and sell durians along the road since it is the Durians Season now.

Surroundings of the hawker centre
Our tour bus for the day
We left there for our next destination - Bee farm at around 9.25am. The journey took around 1 hour before we reach Yong Peng.

And here we are at the Stingless Bee Farm ~

Stingless Bee Farm~
First of all, upon entering, we were given sticker to stick on our shirt for easy identification. Then we were asked to help ourselves to the 2 different types of honey - Bitter Gourd Honey and Silver Honey.
Samples
The Bitter Gourd honey is known to be a good remedy to relieve heatiness. There is a slight tinge of bitterness in the Bitter Gourd Honey. We were told that the bees get their pollen from the Bitter Gourd Flower and the honey that they cultivated thus contains Bitter Gourd taste.

After sampling, we were brought to a tree bark to look at how their honey is cultivated. 

Bee hive that grows on the tree bark
We were given a sample of the honey freshly drawn out using a syringe and onto a spatula each for us to try!

freshly drawn honey from the "honey hive"? 
Don't worry! There's no stings on the bees. They are like houseflies haha!

Bees crowding around the honey combs
Surprisingly the honey tasted a bit the same like the ones we tried earlier. Since most of the time dealers might dilute the honey content, so as to produce more bottles of honey with the same quantity? But all in all, the experience was quite a good one! 

We were then asked to sit down in front of a stage and there's a demonstrator demonstrating the benefits of his honey. 


He showed us a simple experiment to prove that his honey( mixture of honey and propolis) gives people the "energetic and refreshing" feel within 2 wks of constant consumption. He has 3 different solutions on his table, first one is water, second is sugar water and third is the honey water. only the third glass of honey water allows the bulb to light up. The rest doesn't.

Following up, he recommended us to purchase the set of bitter gourd honey and silver honey. For a limited time, they give us propolis for FREE ~ Ideal as gift for family and friends too!

Hamper set 
2 bottles of honey and propolis
We bought a set of that which cost RM 186 ( SGD $73.30 ). If you were to purchase it individually, then the bitter gourd honey actually costs more expensive than the silver honey. 

Coincidentally one of us had sore throat on the morning of the trip. After we sampled the honey given at the start of the Stingless Bee Farm, around an hour later, sore throat was actually less painful. However, we weren't too sure if the honey directly contribute to the fast relieve of sore throat.

If you are interested in visiting the Stingless Bee Farm, below is their address. We went to their Yong Peng's branch. 

http://www.bee-generation.com/ 
We then left Yong Peng at around 11.10am and head over to the local Products Store (Yoyo Native Food) for a quick local products shopping. It is just a quick drive of 10-15 mins.

http://www.yoyonative.com/
Before we enter the product store, we were each given a 5% discount card.

YOYO Local products store for Malaysia souvenirs!
Personally I feel like I just entered Singapore again. The whole place seem to be a place specially created for tourists. The prices are pretty expensive too. There are a few tasting counters and we personally feel there are better food products out in Malaysia. We recommend you to get your local Malaysian's products here only if you really need to buy some Malaysia's souvenirs from here. However, the ambience for shopping here is really good!

There is also a glass window for viewing of the pineapple tart manufacturing process.

Pineapple tart baking process ~
Pineapple tart making process ~
Ta da ~ this is the end product!

Pineapple Tart sold at YOYO 
There's free sampling of the pineapple tart at the store too. We personally prefer the Pineapple Tarts that we tried in Taiwan. They also sell lots of  other Taiwan food in YOYO local product store.

Lily recommended us to try the Guava there. Each packet of slices of Guava costs RM 2 (SGD 80c ). The unique part of it is that it allows you to choose from 2 different toppings - Sour plum or Tangerine powder!

We left at around 11.50am to head straight to our main highlight of the day - Malacca ~ 
We will first have lunch at a Nonya Restaurant when we reach Malacca. 

It was very nice of our tour guide, Lily to draw up a rough sketch to show where jonker street, christ church and the Peranakan Museum is. Since that is where we will be going later and they are all around the central district.

map that Lily drew for us
We finally reached our Nonya Restaurant in Malacca at around 1.10pm. It was approx a 1hr 15 mins ride.

Lunch place - Nonya Sayang Restoran
Very antique looking design of the restaurant entrance
interior of the restaurant
My tour group was divided into 3 tables. 

table setting for our lunch
We waited not too long for our food to be served. All dishes arrived one after another.

first few dishes that arrived
1. Stir fry cabbage and glass noodle
2. Fish Otah
3. Peranakan Curry with pineapple slices and prawns
4. Stir fry Ikan Bilis and beans (Spicy)
5. Black Sauce Chicken



Lunch dishes
6. Stir fry sambal ladies finger
7. Fried Sambal fish (whole)

Chendol for dessert ~
8. Dessert - Chendol

The dishes are average however we love the Peranakan curry and fried sambal fish :) Yums.

The other Malacca tour by Exclusive Tours & Travel was also there for lunch too!

Bus 5 to Malacca by Exclusive Tours & Travel
We finished lunch at around 2pm. Then we head over to the entrance of Jonker street by the bus. They are all around at the central area so it doesn't take long to navigate around but there's quite a lot of vehicles on the road. Jam is pretty often. We reached Jonker street Entrance in around 15 minutes time.

Jonker Walk
A definite haven for antique collectors and bargain hunters. Authentic artifacts and relics, some dating as far back as 300 years, can be found among a host of interesting collectibles, each with its own history and mystery.

Stage at near entrance of Jonker Walk
It was a very very sunny day.  The sky makes it a perfect day at the beach. No clouds was seen. We could feel the heat rising up from the ground. Lily brought us through the streets to reach the Nonya and Baba museum before we are given some free & easy time around Jonker Street. Along the way we saw some of the better food places that she recommended.

Mainly( from clockwise), 
1. Aik Cheong Kopi ( preferred choice for coffee in Malacca)
2. Bibik House for good chendol and queue is not long
3. Chicken rice ball
4. 小姑 kitchen for chendol and some Nonya food ( queue is pretty long )

some of the food places that Lily recommended
We walked for around 5 minutes and we finally reached the Straits Chinese Jewellery museum. It was awarded Tripadvisor's certificate of excellence before!

Straits Chinese Jewellery Museum

It is basically a Nonya/baba museum and it was very crowded inside!

photo taken at the door area of the museum
Basically this was the actual residence of a very rich Peranakan family, and after they have passed on, this has been converted to a museum. Most of the interiors at level 1 has yet to be changed including the dividers (wooden panes ) and floor tiles, however the second story has been renovated.

the guide for our museum guided tour
The lady wearing a traditional Peranakan clothing is our guide for the museum tour. She is a Nonya herself too. She explained about the history of Nonya and baba as well as give us a brief explaination about the various designs of the house.

living room
"garden/balcony"

There is also a marble bed and well in the house!

altar
traditional card game - Cherki
Second storey of the museum mainly features the jewellery accessories owned by the owner previously.

2nd storey

Jewellery exhibition
The toilet bowl at the bottom of the photo was actually placed beside their bed. It was installed there to provide convenience for the owners of the place.

A very antique marriage certificate
There was also a jewellery making machine at the second level of the Museum. Previously, the owner will hire a jewellery maker in his house to melt and create jewellery pieces from gold, right from their own house. It is indeed a very lavish lifestyle isn't it!

Jewellery making machcine
The whole tour took around 45 minutes. At the end of the museum guided tour, we were each given a small packet of kueh and mineral water. The Nonya kueh were delicious :)

We enjoyed the museum guided tour as it certainly equip us with more information regarding the lifestyle of Peranakans. However, we thought it was a little too time consuming as we were left with only around 45 minutes to walk around the whole of Jonker Street as we have to meet at the clock tower (beside Christ church) at 4pm. By then it was already 3.15pm.
a very vintage looking car roaming along jonker street
narrow streets in Jonker
It is advised to walk single path along Jonker street as there's vehicles roaming on the road. It is quite congested.
long queue
Vendor making kueh on the spot
Due to the limited time we have, we did not managed to complete the whole of Jonker Street as theres a few lanes. The part where we saw does not have much confectionary stores, which we thought we can buy homemade pastries.

We reached San Shu Gong souvenir shop, which is known to be a popular place with tourists to get local products. It is located at the end of the street, opposite to the Cheng Ho boat exhibition and Hard Rock Cafe.

Cheng Ho Boat exhibition
Hard Rock Cafe exhibition
San Shu Gong - the red building!
三叔公
There was a lot of tourists there and it consists of a couple of storeys, with a cafe at the bottom floor.

interior of the place
In the end, we left empty handed. We did not buy any souvenirs as we couldn't find any decent confectionary stores at the part of the Jonker Street that we walk, and we thought San Shu Gong was actually overrated.

Earlier on, recapping the map that Lily kindly sketched for everyone, we were told to walk the jonker street and we will eventually reach the hard rock cafe, after which we are supposed to cross the Melaka River bridge and then we will meet at the red clock tower which is our meeting point, at 4pm.

view of Melaka river from the bridge
Stadthuys: clock tower, round about garden and christ church
We finally saw the famous landmark in Malacca!

Christ Church Malacca!
There are plenty of trishaws around the christ church area and they are beautifully decorated with cartoon themes! Maybe Singapore can learn from them! Haha

Eg. of a Hello Kitty Theme trishaw
They charge per hour for the ride @ RM$40 (SGD$15.80)/hr.


trishaw hiring rate
After everyone has gathered, Lily brought us to Megamall area for us to board our tour bus.
Along the way we saw a few other landmarks:

old KTM train
Stamp Museum
The surviving gate of the A Famosa Portugese fort
The Portuguese colonised Melaka from 1511 to 1641. The first thing they did was build a fort overlooking the river, calling it A'Famosa. As Melaka was the centre of struggles between super powers of the time, and suffered the constant threat of attack, the A'Famosa fort was critical in Portugal maintaining its colonial foothold in the Far East.


We reached the Dataran Pahlawan Megamall at around 430pm where we had a quick toilet break before we head to the taxi area of the mall to board our tour bus.

The Dataran Pahlawan Megamall is extremely huge. It has a drive through Macdonald, cinema, snooker centre, karaoke centre and the first ever coral park in Malaysia. The coral park is also known as an underwaterworld, ALL in this megamall.

Dataran Pahlawan Megamall
It is linked to the newly built Hatten Hotel.

Hatten Hotel
Opposite of the Megamall is another shopping mall - Mahkota Parade.

Mahkota Parade
Hatten hotel seems to be a good place to stay in for Malacca since its close to a huge shopping mall, and its close to the famous historical landmarks like christ church and jonker street. All within walking distance! But if you prefer an accomodation with sea view, I guess Holiday Inn is not bad! Our coach travelled past holiday inn and indeed it is so close to the sea. Lily said that they have karaoke rooms with sea view too! However, if you want something that is closest to shopping centres and historical landmarks then that have to be Hatten Hotel, from what we see.

Panoramic view of Hatten hotel, Makhota parade
Our tour in Malacca ends as we officially board the bus again at around 5pm. We will be heading to Yong Peng for our dinner, which is the last itinerary of our day trip :(

Earlier on, Lily recorded our orders for otahs. The Otahs are manufactured by this 小妹 otah company. We ordered from them before back in our Genting trip with WTS. We love their otah as:
1. It is a little cheaper than the otahs we have in Singapore ( that is sold at 3 for SGD 10 )
2. We can really see real fish meat!
3. Their fish meat seems more fresh than what we can get in singapore. It is softer and more tender.

They sell different flavours of otahs - crab/fish/non spicy/squid/prawn, etc. All at a general price of RM 6.50 (SGD $2.60). They will give 1 free packe of otah with every 10 packets of otah purchased.

At around 6.30pm, along the way to our dinner place in Yong Peng, our coach stop by at the Otah shop to pick up our orders.

小妹 Otah store! 
The store placed all of our otah orders in a styrofoam box to keep cold. In addition, the wrap each packet of Otah with newspaper to retain the coldness too!

Fish otah!
One main difference as compared to the previous time when we bought from them 2 years back is that the price has increased from RM 6 to RM 6.50.

Xiao Mei Fish Otah
But the taste and freshness is still as good! :) Do note that not every travel agency to Malaysia, provide this otah ordering service.

After travelling for another 5 minutes, we reached our dinner place! We were all famished! When we purchased the tour package, we were told that it would be a seafood dinner, however as you will see in the subsequent photographs, it turns out to be more of a chinese banquet dinner.

Dinner @ yong Peng ( Rong Cheng Restaurant )
interior of the restaurant
Looking at the setting of the restaurant, it looks like a good place for holding Chinese wedding banquet.

1. Cold dish ( clockwise from top: bak kwa, pandan chicken, quail egg, springroll )
2. herbal chicken
3. egg soup with Shark Fin
4. cereal prawn
5. Stir fry Broccoli and mushroom
6. Chinese braised pork with preserved vegetables (梅菜扣肉)
7. Steamed pomfret
Lastly, we were served with Guava as dessert too!

Generally the food served during dinner was more to my family's liking as compared to the lunch. We are overall very satisfied with the dinner. The only down point could be that the food can be served at a faster speed as we waited for close to 30 mins for the first dish to be served. As normally dinners with tour could be arranged earlier since they are pre-set meals.

There is a local products store opposite the restaurant. We also purchased sweet corn from a vendor outside the restaurant. It is actually a street vendor who sell assorted vegetables like ladies finger, sweetcorn, guava, etc. The prices and quality is good. The vendor sell 5 sweetcorns @ RM 10 (SGD $4). However as it is too many for our own consumption, we decided to just buy 2 sweetcorns @ Rm 5 (SGD $2). Though the cost savings is lesser, however it is still cheaper than in Singapore! In Singapore 1 sweetcorn cost around SGD $1. We really love and regretted buying that little of sweetcorn. The quality is really good and almost equivalent to the type of sweetcorns at Cameron Highlands.

We left the restaurant at around 8.15pm. And it was another 1 hr 30 mins ride on the expressway back to the Tuas checkpoint. We bade goodbye to our tour guide, Lily after Malaysia Custom. She has been very professional and informative throughout our day trip. Thumbs up :)

We finally cleared singapore custom around 10pm. A few of us did not take the bus back to Newton Food centre as we sstay in the west. If you happen to be joining these kind of Malaysia tours in the future and you stay in the west area, you can always board the causeway link bus. Once you exit the custom door at Tuas second link, just turn right and walk straight, you will see the causeway link bus bay. There will be 2 different queues - to Boonlay and Jurong East.

Causeway link bus
The ride is pretty fast at around 15-20minutes. However perhaps we just missed the Jurong east bus, the waiting time was pretty long. we waited till around 10.30pm (half hr waiting time) before we got to board the bus.

The price of the Causeway link bus ticket is RM 6 (SGD $2.40) or $2.50 if you are paying by SGD.

causeway link bus ticket
All in all, Malacca has been a growing commercialised area. There isn't much to wander around in Malacca as far as we know. We aren't sure when will be the next time we set foot in Malacca, but definitely, it won't be just a one day trip the next time we go. As it is too rush and travelling to and fro Singapore is very time consuming.

Side-note:
Not to worry if you are a vegetarian but would like to embark on this Malacca trip. There will be arrangements made for you. My tour consist of a Vegetarian, and there's extra side vegetarian dish provided during lunch and dinner :)

3 comments:

Bla BlaHh said...

Great Post. Thankyou
sincerely
kevin magnus
clementi

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