There are two things the majority of Singaporeans do when they drive across the causeway into Malaysia – to shop and eat. To Europeans visiting this part of the world, there’s nothing obviously different between the two countries except perhaps when it’s time for the bill and they are wowed by the price difference. So many foreigners may wonder why bother joining the jam to drive across just for a day. But the Finns are different. Because Estonia and Finland are much like Singapore and Malaysia, and the Finns would do what Singaporeans do, go across to Estonia for cheap entertainment.
Yesterday, we took our Finnish guests to Malacca. We felt their five-day vacation in Singapore would be too boring – for them and for us. The three hour drive was smooth, as the school holiday had just ended the week before.
Our friend Zac recommended us the Hatten Hotel, situated next to two shopping malls, with a free shuttle bus to the fame Jonker Street for local landmarks, food and souvenirs. We had a good deal at $80 per night for deluxe room (35 sq.m.) including breakfast buffet,
I love the shower, with powerful pressure and instantaneous hot water.
The king bed was sagging a little. One pillow was too high and the other too flat. I am just too particular but I slept well despite these.
After dropping off our luggages, we took the four pm shuttle to Jonker Street.
The twin rows of peranakan terrace house an interesting array of shops, restaurants, clan associations, and Chinese temples.
We stopped at a supposedly famous shop to indulge in chendol, an ice dessert of coconut milk, gula meleka, red beans and green gelatin strips which is what made dessert unique.
After this refreshing break, we arrived at the end of Jonker Street to the famous Malacca landmark.
Then it was off to dinner via taxi (bargained from RM20 down to RM15 for the 5km ride and we realised we should have Grab instead) to Auntie Lee’s nonya restaurant which although they claimed this location is the only authentic one, we found another with the same auntie logo just opposite our hotel at Megamall. The good is home cooked spicy Peranakan fare, which I didn’t find anything unique, perhaps because Mom’s Indonesian helper can make such dishes of similar standard.
After dinner, it’s shopping. We wanted to chill at the roof top bar but the haze dented our plan.
This morning, we realised this is a huge hotel when we arrived at the dining hall at breakfast. During peak hour, they can sit 1500 people. Luckily the staff were efficient and service smooth despite the initial worry when I saw the queue at the entrance.
Breakfast offers local delights like nasi lemak, wanton noodles, roti prata, egg station, porridge, breads, fruits and juices. I stuffed myself full with nasi lemak and didn’t have any room left even for the kuehs.
After breakfast, it’s more shopping (cheap cheap!!) before checking out at noon to drive home.
Just another Singaporean’s typical vacation.