Thursday, November 17, 2011

Family Trip: Melaka

We went to Melaka for a 3 days / 2 nights trip.

When: 15-17 October 2011 [Saturday-Monday]

How we travelled:  We drove from Kuala Lumpur to Melaka for a few hours drive.

Where we stayed: Mahkota Hotel Melaka

About the Hotel
Mahkota Hotel Melaka is an apartment hotel.  It was a two-room apartment with a kitchenette, two bathrooms, and a living area.  The sheets and bedroom setting were comfortable although the cabinets were musty smelling and the rattan furniture in the living room could be changed into something current.

The Plus: 
  • Great swimming pool for the kids.
  • A good size swimming pool for the adults.
  • Adequate array of breakfast buffet.


The Minus:
  • The balcony was climb-able by kids.  So parents, please be cautious and try not to leave the balcony sliding door open without any adult supervision.

The Hotel Location
It was quite strategic as it is walking distance to tourist attraction area.  Opposite of it is Mahkota Parade, nearby it is Mahkota Medical Centre, where on the other side of those buildings are another row of shopping attraction and Dataran Pahlawan.

What We Did

On the first night we were there, the hotel kitchen was closed but opened for buffet.  We opted to cross over to Mahkota Parade and walloped a whole damage to the pocket having spent dinner on Sushi King.  There were plenty of retail that sold nick nacks but it did not have the shabby feeling.  There were people miling in.

I was only left with the kids that night.  So crossing the road back in the middle of the night would have been a dangerous business.  The road crossing between the mall and the hotel was a 3-lane road on both sides.  So we walked to the front and found a taxi stand.  I thought of proceeding further seeing all lights in the opposite shops but the kids were adamant on taking the taxi back to the hotel.

What was the charge for the probably less than one kilometre ride?

Was it worth it?
Yes.  Especially when it appeared to be that NONE of my children have ever been in a taxi cab before.  And of course, the safety issues to cross back at night with an 8, 5 and 2.5 year old along with a stroller and bumpy mom.

What were the other attractions?

Menara Tamingsari

We went to Menara Tamingsari.  It is a rotating tower in the centre of the town.  Getting onto it was interesting.  Airconditioned entirely.  Wasn't giving out any freaky impression out by the sight of it. 

While we were up there only we realized that we had to pay parking fees where we parked.  The enforcements one that Honda Cub and placed the ticket onto our windscreen.  And so, we were summoned while rotating in town.  So new people in town, must go look for these small huts [pondok] by parking areas.  The parking tickets that you would want to get, can be found there.

The thing that held the rotating tower together
What it looked on the outside while on the ground

Taken while waiting to board the tower

Taken inside of the 'tower' while waiting for it to ascend

Changed places to get the aircond better

The views we got to see when at the top and throughout the two rotations

Yes, double rotation.  Hence the photos go in doubles too ;)

Now back on the ground

The Menara Tamingsari
Charges: RM10.00 (Adult) / RM5.00 (Children)

The Summon

Remember about the parking summon?  That was how much the summon was imposed on us for not displaying any parking token on screen.  We reacted quite proactively on the summon.  Met with the enforcers and jointly agreed with our next decision.  We can leave the car there and go for a city tour.  I mean, we were to pay RM30.00 anyways.

And so we walked through the park.  It was shady and I loved it.  There were facilities ready for visitors i.e. musollah for men and women, and what looked clean from afar, the toilets [no stench and there were people minding them].  The kids found amusement in the aeroplane and train.  Not forgetting, the canons.

The Beca [Trishaw] 'Package'

Then we decided to get on the Beca [trishaw].  This, I don't remember how much we paid for.  All I remember was that it came in a 'package' of tour areas.  [I tell you, this Pakcik was a real marketer!]

Getting onto the Beca
I was very impressed with the Bat Mobile! LOL.

Then I was impressed with the Pakcik Beca's bonnet!

And there it goes!

My attempt to look photograph myself.  Not so smart.  It took
too many takes.  LOL.

The Package Included Photo Pit Stop

The Pakcik should have mentioned that we may come back with hats.
It was a really sunny day.

5 minutes later with hats on our heads!

The A Famosa

The final stop of package was drop off at A Famosa.  A Famosa is one of the most valuable ruins built by the Portuguese centuries ago.  This place is another sought after attraction in Melaka that you should not miss if you are visiting Melaka.  We were greeted by hand drawn pictures of the Malay heritage and drawn by one Uncle violinist.  The kids took photos with the Uncle and it was nice of him to share his violin with them.

We made through the steps of A Famosa.  I may have regretted having all that weight and lack exercise.  But I was lucky they were not the steps of Batu Caves or I may be crawling with tears running to my feet!

It had been a long time since I visited the building.  I am more appreciative of it and it was even more beautiful than I remember. 

In the A Famosa


Scrunching his face earlier on as he attempted to climb onto the cannon.
He was yelping, "Mak, it's so hot!"
Sure was...

The First Malaysian Prime Minister's Official Car
Then we went down from the A Famosa and walked towards the first Prime Minister's official car in service.  Awed by the antique-ness of it. 

Checking out the car

The first Prime Minister's vehicle

Saw this as we were moving away to another place.
And I just love the windows.

Self depiction of:
'I try to photograph myself as much as I can
and making sure I get a skinny shot of it too!'

Then we walked around a bit within the area.  I was in love with that tree but only now noticed that I caught the sight of the flag pole instead.  But no worries.  So long the Jalur Gemilang is there :)

Dataran Pahlawan

Then we went around into Dataran Pahlawan, looking for some cool air-conditioning to rest ourselves for a while, and hopefully to settle with a bit of lunch.  It is alike Kuala Lumpur's Dataran Merdeka's hidden shops underground, but semi hidden.
Dataran Pahlawan

In the Dataran Pahlawan Mall tucked beneath the city

At Johnny's for lunch

The place was huge, connecting it with several malls, apparently.  Hence it was a long walk.  In fact, a very long walk.  We attempted to watch a movie.  But getting there was so confusing.  I wonder how they planned the mall in the first place.  Long winding routes with only a few access exits and etc.
So we walked out to the park. 

I got some donuts and we got some drinks.  We found a nice spot with a huge tree above us and nice cool breeze.

The 'Good' Junk

Look at the boy on the right!  Sugar high, indefinately - LOL

Adik enjoying her donut much!

On our back to the summoned car.

The Summon

We then got our summon sorted out.

To pay the summon, go to the steps of Dataran Pahlawan again, opposite of the school.  It is on the underground side there somewhere.  My husband sorted it out so I cannot be sure where the correct location is.

As it turned out to be...

Remember the RM30 imposed summon?

The Summon

We only had to pay RM5.00 for it.  So, good for us!

What we paid

After having a long walk around the town, Adik feel soon to sleep when the air-conditioner was on in the swaying car.  Thank God for the pillow that we thought of to bring. 

Abang Long pretending to sleep with his sister.

Jonker Street / Jonker Walk

Later on we headed to Jonker Street.  It is the China Town in Melaka.  Interesting place that is full of knick-knacks and soulful food.  The food sold are however, unknown to the Halal factor.  So it is advisable for Muslims, look for Halal signages where we did come across about 2 corner shops at the end/beginning of the area.


Simple pleasures

Just around the corner away from this was an opening area to sit down for a breather.  They call this area as the Jonker Walk World Heritage Park.  Nice.

The Jonker Walk World Heritage Park
The behind of a metal elephant

I stumbled in a store that had many things.  Since initially they were all seated in the car while I browsed, I took these and BBM-ed my husband.  It wasn't until my son came in much later that he asked me why I took photos because there was this small signage that said 'No Photography'.  Oh well. 

The boys got one each

My hands were itching to grab all of these and run off from the shop! LOL

The Pit Stop at 1673 Restaurant
By the time we got from one end to another and with every other little stop, we got tired.  Thirsty and hungry.

Then we saw this lovely shop.


The entrance

The windows, that I love!

We sat in the opening garden corner of the Baba Nyonya building.

Wonderful corner it was.

But the kids were too tired, therefore quiet so... Great! LOL

Windy with red chinese lantern over.




Adik began smiling...

The Food Servings

Because then the food came.  What came first was the salad that I ordered.  Total YUM! factor.

The Salad

The Soup

The Sizzling Chicken

The, I dont remember what this was! LOL

Then we ordered something else extra.  This was absolutely wonderful, especially the Prata. 

The staff explained that Prata is finer, lighter and crispier than of Roti Canai, because somehow I was adamant on calling it Roti Canai - because it WAS Roti Canai.  Well, not until when I tasted it.  So, there is definately a difference!

The Combo Mix

The Bill
With the choices of array of food that we had
along with good service and ambiance,
this was given all at a good price!

Then Little Girl had to go to the loo.  Papa took this photo of the boys while I attended to her.  By then it was already dark and lights were up and colourful.

I was every much enthusiastic of the history and new design they were able to incorporate into these buildings, especially for this restaurant that we got to go in more than the other shops.  Well, the others were just shops whilst this was after all, a restaurant.  I even found the toilets beautiful!

The Loo

The Rest of Jonker Street

Then we found this wondeful shop of T-Shirts and art.  Beautiful stuff they have got there.  We got Adik a T-Shirt from here.  Too cute to resist!


Stumbled Upon
Photographed the boys in front of a what may be still a family home.
I would probably be living in one too!

Then we headed back to the car parked at a parking lot across the street of this beautiful hotel.  We made a note to try and come here the next time we decide to head our way to Melaka.  

As so, that was the end of DAY ONE! (phew)


We fumbled along without any plans.  They boys, however, kept surging with wanting to go to the... (wait for my cry) ...THE CROCODILE FARM!  Yes, why-lah??!

The Crocodile Farm

It was a confusing.  Well, actually as soon as we got in, there was this stuffed huge crocodile waiting for us there.  Then as we proceeded into the yard, we came to find a mini Malaysia there.  A bit more confusing because there was another facility called Mini Malaysia somewhere on the opposite side of the road from where this Crocodile Form was.

The Mini Malaysia in The Crocodile Farm

There was a train ride for RM5 that went in one big O

The Little Girl looks on with anticipation

After the round around the crocs, that I would rather not photograph because personally I think it would be creepy doing so, we decided to cool ourselves down with ice-cream.  So this was super fun with rainbow caramel and most of what we took, creamy corn ice cream on wafer cone!

After this visit, we headed on home to Kuala Lumpur.

See you another time, Melaka!  We thoroughly enjoyed you :)

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