24 Hours in….Malacca

IMG_3591I’ve been back in Singapore a grand total of 9 working days and hurray, it’s a Public Holiday. Course it is! Happy Birthday Buddha (Vesak Day.) And what do 3 day weekends always mean for Singapore? Answer) A mass exudes to Malaysia!

Malacca kick-started my travel buzz again. It has hints of Pai Thailand about it  in its cute craft markets & ice cream stalls, met with glimpses of Ubud Bali in its artist studios and antique shops. I say this in a ‘ramshackle Malaysian’ way however, i.e  add lots of dirt & traffic!

Top Tips for 24 Hours

IMG_3603Do: Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum
For $12RM you can take a guided tour of this  palatial Peranakan townhouse with its tiled parlous, Victorian dressers, indoor wells, peepholes and everything else gorgeous about 1800’s interior design that makes you WISH you of the era (and social class) of your typical Chinese/Malay dynasty.

 

IMG_3567Don’t miss: Jonker’s Walk Night Market (Friday and Saturday 5pm – 12am)  I saw 3RM souvenirs, 2RM durian icecream , 1RM  earrings, 15RM mice?! At the south end of Jalan Hang Jebat a crowd gathers for local celebrity; Dr Ho Eng Hui who splits open a coconut with his bare elbow and does some very elaborate things with whips!

 

IMG_3535Stay: At the Oriental Residence. The view from the back porch straight onto the twinkly Melakan river, is as lovely as the staff. Very much like a home-stay rather than a guesthouse, it’s rated top #4 on Trip Advisor for good reason. Double rooms from $55RM.

 

 

IMG_3612Eat: A lot! (Malacca is famous for foodies.) On the corner of the action in Chinatown the Geographer Cafe, serves tasty veggie curry and local sour plum juice. Other than that there is street food galore.

Drink: At Tofu Cafe (watch out for Mojo the aggressive poodle!) or Shantaram Bar (watch out for the cats!) It’s all about shared beers in short glasses talking about local elections with Malacans who are happy to mingle.

 

a IMG_3609Getting there: Just 4/5 hours from Singapore (depending on the border traffic.) Bus company Maju Express have tickets from $16 SGD one way from departing from the Textile Centre, Jalan Sultan Rd to Melaka Sentral. A taxi 4km into town then costs 20RM.

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Pic of the week: There’s no place like ‘home’

Enjoying the whirlwind weekend view ;) And the 9.30pm Singapore light show from Merlion Park.  It's nice to be back!

Enjoying the whirlwind weekend view ;) And the 9.30pm Singapore light show from Merlion Park. It’s nice to be back!

Pic of the week: Kangeroo Island, Perth

A mob of wild western grey kangaroos chill in the May rain on Heirisson Island on the Swan River, East Perth, Western Australia. Surprisingly Perth is actually one of the remotest points on earth, and is  closer to Dili, Singapore & Jakarta than it is to Sydney! Whilst we’re at it fact fans, ‘mob’ is the official collective term. Although these roos were so friendly they were practically handing out cuddles!

Uluru (Ayers Rock)

IMG_3167“Enjoy the amazing view for 10 mins. Then it won’t change for the next 3 days. Welcome to the Australian outback.”

About as far as you can get from the bright lights of any city you’ve ever known, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is an absolute must do. Yes it’s expensive, yes it’s ‘just a rock’, but somehow it’s all so much more…

#5 fantastic reasons to visit

1# To lay in the open air on the red desert earth gazing up at the southern cross stars

2# To toast marshmallows on burning firewood you’ve collected by hand at sunset

3# To cosy up in a swag with new tour friends (note the camping definition not the urban dictionary one!) ;)

4# To learn the more positive side of Australia’s indigenous culture & heritage

5# To sleep amidst the deafening sounds of silence, miles from where Iphone signals live….

It’s straight out of Waltzing Matilda. Once in a lifetime stuff.

The Rock Tour offer awesome & award winning 3day/2 night camping tours from $355.  Tiger Airways & Qantas Fly Daily to Alice Springs from Sydney & Melbourne.

And remember, it’s your decision, but for many a good point well made join the debate here on why NOT to climb.

6 spots to be a Sydney Hipster

IMG_33531) Foveaux Street, Surry Hills

Warehouse clubs that look like squats, girls with charity shop knits as matted as their hair, boys with ‘ironic’ briefcases…. Yes it’s London Dickheads, in the sun. The cute vintage shops on Crown Street and ghetto chic bars on Goulburn Street are worth checking out. Just don’t forget your faux rimmed glasses.

2) New Town
A mini version of Camden London.  Kings Road is a nice 1 hour wander, alternating arty design stores & niche magazine bookstores. For directions, follow the smell of vintage boutiques straight off the train platform.

IMG_33523) Balmain
A 20 min ride to from the city, there are a couple of nice pubs like The Exchange on Beattie Street. We made the visit on ANZAC day, but I’m pretty sure the vibe is just as good year round.

4) Shady Pines Saloon
Sign-less and hidden down a mystical alley in Darlinghurst a little like platform 9 and ¾, this is one of Sydney’s more ‘famous/secret’ underground bars. Although technically not as they have a website!  The decor is moose head 19th century America, the bar is menu-less, the bowls of macadamia nuts are free!

IMG_33575) Glebe
Hippy-ville turned yuppie-ville, Glebe is the closest of the inner-west suburbs to the city. Go on Saturday for the previously mentioned flee markets, and take the 10 min stroll down leafy Glebe Point Road to ooh and ahh at the cute matchbox houses and barista cafés.


6) ??? (Somewhere so hip it’s already yesterday’s pop up party/club/store)

Of course the flaw here is that if it’s blogged about. It’s already soo passé….

“How do hipsters take their coffee…. Before it’s already cool” :)

An.an.tas.in : The Anantasin is the name of a shipwreck just of the coast of the Sensi Parasise, Mae Haad Bay, Koh Tao, Thailand. It’s one of my many favorite places.

Lit.tle: Just because it’s cute.

Blasts From The Past…

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