Today, I arrived in Malacca after a very long day of travel that started with a 4:50am wake up call, a cab to a bus station, a bus through border customs, a 5 hour train ride, and a 40 minute taxi. Yes, the trip would have been easier by just taking a bus from Singapore straight to Malacca, but I wanted to take the train, and when I first did research, it seemed like it wouldn’t be that big of a hassle. So what was my first impression of Malacca? Well, before I arrived, I had moment that I’ve experienced before, where I think, “Oh no, why did I choose this place?” Sometimes it is because of something I read in a guidebook en route, but other times it’s just a weird feeling that comes over me. But I can thankfully say that when this has happened to me, I have ended up being pleasantly surprised. Often I end up enjoying the town so much I can’t imagine how there could ever be a bad review of the city or why I had doubted myself about choosing it as a travel destination.
As I sit on the patio at my guesthouse here in Malacca, I know this was the right choice. But a few hours ago, as I was haggling with taxi drivers over the cost to take me into town, I still wasn’t sure whether it would be worth the effort. That being said, waking up early and moving from one form of transit to the other without enough to eat is probably what caused my indecision. Fast-forward to checking into our chill guest house, finding an amazing cafe with all sorts of yummy food, drinks, and treats (more on that later) and now watching and listening to a thunderstorm rolling overhead while heavy rain starts to fall…well lets just say I am in travel heaven.
The storm is a blessing in disguise, as it allows me to just be and rest. Something I sometimes find hard to do while traveling. Sometimes, just relaxing and taking in the beauty around me seems like I am doing nothing. I often think I need to be busy all day to get the most out of traveling. But this is something I am working on, learning to balance activity with relaxation to allow for a healthy travel experience. But once the storm passes I plan to head back into town, to explore, and to eat some Indian food. I have two full days in this beautiful town that is a World Heritage sight and see what else Malacca has to offer. But for now, my first impression is that this city is definitely worth a stop if you find yourself traveling north from Singapore. It has great coffee, good people, beautiful old buildings, and so much history! The only things missing right now are a cold beer, or glass of wine and a mangosteen, the one fruit that I have been dying to eat and have missed while living in Japan. Stay tuned to learn more about what Malacca has to offer.
Have you ever had second thoughts about a destination? When have you been pleasantly surprised by a place? Have you been to Malacca? Did you enjoy your time here?