My trip to Malacca was fantastic! Yesterday was the first time that I was riding out of Singapore and it was such a memorable experience, I would love for to do it again!
The Vespa Club, an enthusiast group which I joined last year organized an outing to Malacca last Sunday. As I’ve always wanted to experience riding overseas, I jumped at the chance. Malaysia was a great place to start because of its vast natural terrain, picturesque sights as well as wonderful food along the way.
As I slept at about 3 am the previous night, I woke up groggy when the alarm clock rang at 5.30 am. I was supposed to meet the gang at 6.30 am and was still deciding whether to go or no. At length I dragged myself out of bed and stuffed my passport and other necessary items and had a quick shower.
I reached the Jurong Bird park which was the designated meet-up point and saw that the others were there already. I was late! I tried to bribe everyone with the chocolates that I bought from the chocolate factory last Friday.
Moon_star, who’s in the pink scooter, lead us to the Tuas second link immigration check point where we had our passports checked and paid S$0.60 using our cash card for our scooters to cross over. It was another RM$1.30 for the Malaysian vehicle toll later.
After the check, I took in the beautiful sights as we crossed the bridge connecting Singapore and Malaysia. It was gorgeous to see the rising sun coming out from the sea and into the blue skies. At times like these, I wished I had a helmet camera. I would love to show you the lovely sights I saw while on the road.
We stopped by Gelang Patah to meet up with the rest of the gang and have our breakfast together. In Malay, Gelang Patah translates to Broken Bracelet. I quickly exchanged my Singapore money to Malaysian money (1 SGD = 2.20 RM) and then I had Nasi Lemak and Teh Halia.
After our breakfast, Roadster, who will be leading the group later on, briefed to us about the road that we will be travelling as well as cautioned us that because the travel would be long and monotonous, it is important for us to try to keep ourselves awake and entertained.
But first, we pumped petrol at the petronas petrol kiosk that was nearby. There is no Premium, 98 or 95 (and other different types of petrol). Here there were only two choices of oil. Petrol or diesel.
Its’ very different here. You’d have to pay in advance and the meter will not reset till the person has paid for his fuel at the counter. So if the person takes his time, or worse, drive away without paying, the next person will have to wait a very long time. After a while, the meter reset and I filled my tank. I paid about ten ringgit for the fill.
And then we started our journey. It was a very long ride. I kept myself entertained by listening to my MP3 player and taking in the view of the plantations. There were no commercial or housing buildings anywhere along the highway, only trees everywhere. We stopped only for some of us to refuel and for all of us to stretch our legs.
Here is a video of us at one of our stops :
But it was really fun for me to ride in a procession with the vesporeans. We must have been a sight to behold with our colourful and eye catching scooter. Everywhere we go, there will be someone waving and shouting, “Vespa! Vespa!” at us. I saw that there were also other motorcycle group along the road. Even they were waving and giving us the thumbs up. I feel happy and proud.
After about 3 hours, we finally reached Malacca! It was already noon so it was uncomfortably hot. The gang went to have lunch at a famous Chicken Rice Ball restaurant. But as the place wasnt halal, I didn’t eat there. Roadster was really nice to accompany me for lunch as we searched for a suitable place to eat.
We stumbled upon an Indian restaurant and feasted on the delicious chicken biryani. Even though I wasn’t that hungry, I find myself polishing off the rice. It was so good!
After lunch, Roadster wanted to go shopping. So I took the chance to roam around by myself and take pictures. As Malacca was formerly colonised by the Dutch and the Portuguese, there were a number of landmarks here which had a European look.
This is the Stadhuys building. Formerly a residence of the Dutch Governor and his deputy, now it is converted into a museum.
A Gothic church was built by the French priest.
The colourful streets made me feel like I was walking back in time. There were loads of antique things and sights.
Like these clogs. These shoes are memorable as they have a very loud “click clock” sound as you walk around in these. But they can hardly be found in Singapore any more.
This man here is crafting a handmade sweet. He’d chisel off the hard candy made of sugar. You can hear him when he works and the loud sound of the clinking will attract many children.
While walking, I chanced upon a chendol shop. I love chendol! These cool dessert will surely cool you down in the warm weather and I love watching how the dessert gets prepared.
First the man will take a block of ice and puts it in the machine. The ice is then shaved into a container which is then layered with beautiful combination of coconut milk, gula melaka, red bean and jelly.
There was a river down the path that I was walking at and I admired the view. Just as I was daydreaming at how nice it would be to take a dip on this hot day, I saw something interesting …
Uh … I changed my mind.
Later on we grouped back together and rode around the Malaccan town and did a quick bout of shopping and then it was time to head back.
The way back home was easily one of the most stressful riding experience that I’ve ever had. Somewhere along the middle of the journey, traffic got congested and got heavier as we went along. And then the skies got darker and angrier and the rain poured down.
I always get nervous at times like these as visibility is low and tempers are high. Accidents always happen on the roads when there’s a heavy downpour. And true enough, there were at least 3 accidents that I saw along the way home.
Every motorist wanted to go back home so much so that they squeezed through everywhere! Even the cars and buses cut into the shoulder lane!
This journey was very physically challenging indeed. My back and legs felt sore from all the riding. It was already nightfall and the only illumination was from our vehicles. I definitely wouldn’t want to be stuck here alone!
I was wet, cold, tired and miserable. My mind started to play tricks on me.
After what seemed to be forever, I was really grateful for the quick stops at the R&R along the way so that I could get warmed up again. A warm drink and a stretch of the legs and we were off. An hour later, we were back in Gelang Patah again for our final stop and dinner.
I couldn’t decide on what to eat. In the end, I decided to have a burger. Cerealz seemed shocked when I translated the words of the banner at the burger stall :
Arnab = Rabbit
Kasawari = Ostrich
Rusa = Deer
I tried the rabbit burger just to see how it tasted like. Interestingly enough, it tasted like chicken.
After dinner, we pumped petrol for the final time and then headed back to the customs then we said our goodbyes to each other. By the time I reached home, the first thing I did was to head to the bathroom to get out of my dirty and wet clothes and have a nice warm shower and then collapsed in bed and snoozed immediately after that. I was that tired!
I realise that I didn’t buy much things in Malacca. I still had a little souvenir though.
Wow, what a tan! But now all my limbs feel stiff and my skin feels like a radiation effect. I’m sunburnt!