I had no expectations, but was rather just keen for a cheap weekend away with friends. Perhaps having no expectations was a good thing, as I was pleasantly surprised by how pretty and interesting it was.
We made a bit of a mistake by travelling up at peak hour on a Friday night. What should have been a 3 hour trip, became a 7 hour trip due to the tailback at immigration. We hired a private car for general ease, but I think getting a public bus over the border is quicker as they skip the normal queues. I would definitely recommend doing a bit of research beforehand, as holding your bladder for several hours in stationary traffic is not the one!
We arrived in the early hours to a cracking little one-floor, Air BnB house right next to Jonker Street - the city's main street.
We spent all of Saturday exploring and eating. I can't recall the names of the restaurants we went to, but Malacca is famed for it's good food, so I'm sure most places would be pretty decent.
There were a few street vendors selling coconuts, but instead of chopping the tip off and sticking a straw in, thy somehow managed to spoon out the whole inner flesh/juice and proceeded to juggle with them. Never seen anything like it.
We had a cheeky margarita (or two) at Sid's Pub, ate along the river side and checked out all the amazing street art. It reminded me a lot of Penang, but in my opinion, better.
We came across a little shop owned my an artist, selling all kinds of paintings, sculptures and sketches. Phil and I bought a beautiful little hand painted peranakan house which is now on our wall at home:
There was an old church called 'St Paul's' which was built in 1521, making it the oldest church in Southeast Asia! Inside the dilapidated ruins was a husky voiced busker and we could have stayed there for hours listening to him and letting the the sun shine through the trees and gaps in the building.
As the sun was setting, we hopped on a boat for a tour of the city. We were all a little crammed in, but we were able to see the city at dusk and the street art from a slightly different perspective.
As Malacca is so small, I wasn't expected a wild night. We had some street food on Jonker street and sat in Geographer Bar listening to live music. Before we knew it we were all dragged onto the dance floor and doing shots of tequila...
Later on we found Mixx Club which was huge, and as some of the only westerners there, were treated like little celebrities by other girls in the club. A bit strange, but hilarious.
Hungover and hungry, we could just about muster brunch and a massage the next day (it's a hard life), before heading back to Singapore.
Getting away for a weekend is great as it feels like a holiday, even if it's just a few hours drive. I'd recommend anyone in Singapore to head over the boarder for a weekend - it's cheap, refreshingly different and beautiful.