Streetwise: Three-day Melaka highway journey itinerary with money-saving suggestions and hidden gems

In case you get pleasure from buying, there are many trinkets to purchase. Decide up ceramics from The Clay Home (, which additionally runs pottery lessons.

You may also cease by Mamee Jonker Home (, an idea retailer that showcases the well-loved noodle snack. The primary Mamee manufacturing facility was based in Melaka in 1971 and the model’s shaggy blue mascot has change into town’s unofficial icon. Households will benefit from the Noodle Doodle exercise (RM15), the place you possibly can design your individual cup noodles and watch it being made on a conveyor belt.

Head to liquor retailer Sin Hiap Hin (5 Kampung Jawa) earlier than it will get darkish – not like most bars, this one retains to workplace hours. The family-run joint dates again to the Twenties and serves an array of conventional liquor. 

Strive Malaysian-made rice wine in flavours comparable to rose, lychee, pandan and occasional, all of them aromatic and robust. Photographs are offered in pairs for RM10 and you may prime them up with ice or add a splash of tonic water for a refreshing cocktail. 

Throughout the road, craft cocktail bar Budi ( additionally opens early. Positioned above espresso roaster and cafe Sin See Tai, drinks on the speakeasy-style bar are daring and imaginative. 

The vegetable-forward menu recasts unpopular veggies comparable to bitter gourd and eggplant as cocktails. Sounds insane? Founder Phua Tai Yong admits that some drinks are polarising. 

However my group of 4 picks the velvety clean Terung (RM50) as our favorite. With charred eggplant, darkish rum, pandan and egg white, and garnished with smoky-sweet housemade eggplant chips, it goes down dangerously simple.

One other shock is the Lada (RM55), which incorporates roasted crimson peppers, tequila and chilli liqueur. It’s far mellower than one would count on a tequila cocktail to be. 

In case you have time for just one Peranakan meal in Melaka, have it at Peranakan Mansion (108 Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock), the place the shophouse’s opulent interiors are paying homage to the mahjong scene within the 2018 film, Loopy Wealthy Asians. 

We meet the pinnacle chef, who, in old-school Peranakan trend, waves away our decisions (“You will get rooster curry anyplace, no must have it right here”) and as a substitute places collectively a menu of the restaurant’s specialities. 

His choice is spot-on. Get the chilli garam pork (RM28), sambal sotong (RM35), eggplant with shrimp paste (RM18), assam fish (RM85) and pai tee (RM15) – you’ll not be dissatisfied. Our meal for 4, together with tea and dessert, involves $87, a steal for the standard and setting.

Professional tip: The roads within the Melaka metropolis centre are slender and parking is scarce. Depart your automobile on the resort and guide a Seize journey as a substitute, particularly if you’re planning to drink. Brief hops throughout the metropolis value between RM7 and RM10.

Day three: Batu Pahat stopover

Begin your day with a candy Melaka breakfast. The Each day Repair Cafe ( is thought for its pancakes and attracts a queue even earlier than it opens. 

In case you have time to spare, discover Melaka over two days at a extra leisurely tempo. Make the time to meander and be shocked. You could, as an illustration, befriend a pair of pet tortoises that their house owners take for normal walks. Or cease for ondeh-ondeh, made recent alongside the road and bursting with liquid gula melaka.

In any other case, do the two-hour drive to Batu Pahat and have lunch at Daddy Village (, a home-style family-run restaurant. Order the steamed otah (RM15), nasi lemak with blue pea rice (RM10) and kerabu ikan bilis fruit salad (RM18). 

A number of doorways down, the egg tarts (RM3) at Amore Bakery are aromatic and buttery. However skip the breads, that are dense in texture and skinny on fillings in contrast with these from widespread Malaysian chain Lavender. 

Make one final pit cease to buy at Johor Premium Retailers (, about 45 minutes from Woodlands Checkpoint. With palm timber and open plazas like those in North America, it feels a world away.

Don’t miss athleisure model Lululemon, which affords reductions of 20 to 40 per cent at its outlet. Not like the gross sales rack in lots of Singapore shops, there’s a good number of sizes and colors.

Or decide up luggage and pouches from American designer model Kate Spade – there are reductions of 45 to 65 per cent relying on the variety of gadgets bought. 

One final perk of a highway journey? You do not want to be involved about baggage limits. Simply load up your automobile boot, and make the journey dwelling. 

Professional tip: One benefit of renting a Malaysian-registered automobile is subsidised petrol costs. Throughout our journey, FuelSave 95 at Shell value an estimated RM2.05 a litre whereas V-Energy 97, obtainable to foreign-registered autos, value RM3.95 a litre. Refill the tank earlier than returning your rental automobile to keep away from hefty gasoline surcharges.

Journey suggestions

Fill up readily available sanitiser, moist wipes and tissues for the journey. If you decide up your rental automobile, wipe down high-touch factors such because the steering wheel, gearstick, hand brake and door handles.

You have to a Contact ‘n Go card to pay for tolls, although these playing cards, sometimes offered at petrol kiosks in Malaysia, are in brief provide. They normally value between $3 and $10 relying on the place they’re bought, although resellers on on-line platforms Shopee and Carousell are actually asking for $22 to $40 a card. Alternatively, borrow one from a pal, and test that it’s nonetheless legitimate earlier than your journey.

Obtain offline maps for navigation in case cellular information is patchy alongside the highway. Go to for directions.

If you don’t want to drive, rent a personal automobile and driver who can take you to and round Malaysia. A one-way switch from Singapore to Melaka begins at $400 ( and you may prime up for a half- or full-day rental inside Malaysia. 

  • Streetwise is a collection on sensible journey suggestions. For extra journey tales, go to
  • This story is partially sponsored by Klook. 

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