Note to Reader: Never take the bus to Malaysia over a holiday weekend!
Having been in Singapore for a few months, I had never planned to travel to Malaysia. With Malaysia so nearby and easily accessible, I decided that a short 3-day weekend trip would suffice, as compared to visiting other neighboring countries in Southeast Asia. Without a doubt, 3 days was more than enough time!
In my honest opinion, I was not all that fascinated by the city of KL. For our first two days, my friend and I stayed nearby Imbi Station. We spent our first day exploring and taking pictures at city attractions like Petronas Towers and Central Market, along with other historic landmarks. Then, there really wasn’t much else to do. KL to me felt somewhat like Singapore; a city with with its must-sees and must-eats, but on a less cleaner and less safer scale. Although many things in KL are far cheaper than Singapore, it wasn’t all that worth a 12 hour bus ride.
On our second day, we headed out of city centre to visit Batu Caves. There was a direct route to Batu Caves which we needed to switch from buses to trains at the cost of a one-way ticket. If there was one thing I did enjoy about KL, it would have to be visiting Batu Caves! On our climb up the steps to reach the caves that are open to the public, we came across a separate section on the left that offered a paid tour of the caves interior. I highly recommend paying for this tour! Coming so far to visit Batu Caves, this paid tour gave me the grand experience like no other. The tour guided us deep into the dark caves to explore its development, evolution, and its many cave creepers.
After what felt like eternity in KL, I was eager to leave the city and head off south to Malacca (also Melaka). Malacca is a UNESCO World Heritage site located right in between Singapore and KL, and I had absolutely no clue what I was going to expect there.
Upon our arrival in Malacca, and checking into our hotel, luck just happened to be on our side. As the previous guests had still not checked out of our room, we were granted the option to upgrade to their grand room at NO COST. We took it without hesitation, and were so thankful to have a view of the small city as well.
Malacca City, although many times smaller than KL, was truly captivating. The city was peaceful, beautiful, and culturally expressive through its people and community. Everything was within walking distance – walking around will give you opportunity to not only see the beautiful architectures, but also unexpectedly find hidden gems. Aside from the enjoyment of site seeing and stuffing myself with local cuisines, I had learned more about this history of Malaysia and its people through my visit to the Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum. The house-turned-museum, was captivating from within, and exemplified the living situations of generations before.
As if we were just getting luckier, we just happened to be in Malacca during their weekend night market (we had no idea this was occuring). The night market scene was fun and filled with local delights. From open markets to stage performances, the night market celebrated the whole Malacca community, gathered together to enjoy the each other’s company. The happiness in the air was as contagious as the smiles on the locals’ faces, and life was simply care-free in those moments.
As our weekend getaway came to an end, I have to say that I enjoyed half the time I spent in Malaysia. I doubt I would visit KL any time soon, but would definitely find time to visit small cities like Malacca that gave me an entirely new experience. Until next time, Selamat Tinggal.