Just a short drive from KL, and redolent with historical and cultural heft, Malacca is a fantastic option for travellers looking to spend a weekend away.
Where to Stay: 1825 Gallery Hotel, RM128 – RM298 per night
This converted flour warehouse brims with vintage nostalgic charm. Each room is decked out with lovingly curated antique pieces and finishings that capture the heart of Malacca’s rich history. Located by the river and ten minutes away from Jonker Street on foot, it’s both scenic and convenient.
Our tip? Spend a little extra and book the River Suite for its lush bathtub and beautiful view of the Malacca River.
1825 Gallery Hotel, Malacca
A: 27,29&31, Jalan Bunga Raya, Melaka 75100.
T: +606 288 2868
Where to Eat: Makko Nyonya Restaurant
Skip the chicken rice balls and head straight for a meal of Nyonya/Peranakan cuisine. Visitors will be spoilt for choice with the number of Nyonya restaurants to choose from. Affectionately referred to as one of the very first fusion cuisines combining traditional cooking techniques and local ingredients, it’s completely Malaysian and utterly delicious. I can think of no better reminder that we are a country of immigrants, made up of different cultures and disparate identities that we’ve assimilated together for one that’s our very unique own.
What to Do:
- Take a leisurely stroll down Jonker Street and pop into the many antique shops. You’ll never know what you’ll find or learn.
- Visit the Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum for a glimpse into one of Malaysia’s most fascinating cultures. The three houses have been meticulously restored to resemble a traditional 19th-century Nyonya residence. For other history buffs, there is also the Maritime Museum, the Cheng Ho Cultural Museum, and a host of other historical sites to visit.
- 13 kilometres away from the city is the Malacca Zoo, the second largest zoo in Malaysia. It houses over 1,200 animals of 200 different species – including the endangered Malaysian Tapir, Malaysian Tiger, barking and sambar deer, and many others. As it also operates as a night zoo, it’s a fantastic way to spend the late evening.
4. CAMERON HIGHLANDS
Escape the heat and frantic city life with a drive up to Cameron Highlands. The laid-back atmosphere, pleasantly cool climate, and colonial relics will delight everyone desiring a change of pace.
Where to Stay: The Lakehouse, RM594 – RM945 per night
Starting at RM594 per night, The Lakehouse is a bit of splurge. But a night in this colonial Tudor-style mansion is well worth it. Having started operations as a traditional Bed & Breakfast in 1970, this 19-room resort is a perfectly preserved time capsule. Staying here is like stepping back in time – an experience that’s getting less and less common these days.
30th Mile Ringlet, 39200 Cameron Highlands, Pahang.
T:: +605 495 6152
Where to Eat: The Restaurant at The Lakehouse
Don’t even leave The Lakehouse! Take your dinner in the luxurious dining hall, where they serve up an array of good old English fare. After your meal, order a nice glass of wine or port and adjourn to the reading lounge to spend the night in front of the log fireplace with a good book. Bliss.
What to Do:
- In the morning, go for a refreshing trek through the greenery by The Lakehouse. The 2-kilometre hike is estimated to take about an hour, with a difficulty rating of 3 out of 5. Not a walk in the park for sure, but not too challenging that first-time trekkers won’t enjoy it. No fees required for hotel guests.
- In the afternoon, fortify yourself with a strong cup of tea and scones at one of Cameron’s famous tea plantations. The BOH Tea Plantation sprawls over a tranquil 8000 acres and their guided factory tour is a must-visit for all tea aficionados
- The Highlands, with their cool temperate climate, is renowned for its fresh and uncommon produce. (Strawberries, anyone?) Make the most of your visit and bring back your choice of fresh fruit and vegetables from the night or farmers’ markets.