Brief Travel Guide to Malacca

Melaka / Malacca is a historic city located on south of Kuala Lumpur. Its position facing Malacca straits has made it an important city during eighteenth century and until now.

Transportations

  • From Kuala Lumpur
    Take bus from Puduraya Bus Station, there are many bus companies offer this route, so nearly half an hour you can have a bus to Melaka. Journey time is about 2 hours.
  • From Dumai or Pekan Baru
    Take boat from city port and will be arriving at Malacca port. It is quite a distance, so have a good sleep during journey
  • From KLIA / LCCT Airport
    There is a direct bus from airport to Melaka Central or Melaka Mahkota Hospital. The bus company is Transnasional, it is located on stop #6 outside LCCT. Bus fare is RM 22/adult, journey time is 1 hour 30 minutes.
  • From Singapore
    Take bus from Lavender St bus terminal and directly arrive at Melaka Central. Journey time is about 3.5-4 hours

Melaka itself has limited city transportation means. There are several bus lines serving this city. You can take city bus from Melaka Central (this is central bus terminal) to Mahkota Hotel and Hospital for only RM 1.50-2.00. Bus is not well maintained but quite reliable. But for tourist your the best bet is to catch tourist panorama bus. It is a double-deck bus (I believe imported from London), red color, and traveling across tourist spots.

A Quick Layover in citizenM Hotel Amsterdam

During my previous visit to Europe on July '09, one night was to sleep in Amsterdam. As some people may know that Amsterdam hotels tend to be expensive compared to other European cities like Paris, Rome, etc. Amsterdam hotel rates are as high as London, in short: most of them are expensive.

One hotel that I had wanted to try in Amsterdam was to stay at citizenM Hotel. If you google a bit about this hotel, the impressions would be chick and well designed. So I took my chance to try this hotel.

citizenM is a new chain hotel from Netherland, now available in 2 locations: citizenM Amsterdam Schipol Airport and citizenM Amsterdam City. If you have time for quick stopover during your flight, citizenM Schipol airport can be your option. It is located only 5 minutes walk from airport arrival hall. But if you prefer to stay in the city, citizenM Amsterdam City is the best option.

I chose citizenM Amsterdam City, located on Prinses Irenestraat, it is behind Amsterdam WTC or Zuid complex. We can take Amsterdam metro number 51 from Amsterdam Centraal Station to Zuid station then walk about 7 minutes to the hotel, or for more convenience we can take tram number 5, stop at Prinses Irenestraat, the hotel is 30 meter from tram stop. Tram journey from Centraal station is about 20 minutes.

Although it is not near Centraal Station (which many travelers prefered), but staying in this hotel was a new experience to me personally. With its minimalistic but technology concious design, affordable price (EUR 80 - 120 per night), I can summary in a short: a very nice sleep.

Hotel exterior is basic, all rectangle glasses in facade. Entering main door, I was greeted with lounge atmosphere. No receptionist because check-in process is self service. There are many computer stations in the lobby area, just find empty one then enter my reservation number in the screen. The menu is very user friendly, but you can ask for available friendly staff help if needed. Computer will ask us to take a hotel keycard from basket then tap it to the reader. This will activate the keycard and assign room number. In the end of this 3 minutes check-in process, a print-out paper will be issued. My room number and wifi password (it's free) are printed in the paper. Simple and no need to queue for this check-in!

citizenM lounge

Lobby area is design showcase for this hotel, we can find IKEA like furniture at every corner. There are iMac computers to use for free Internet access. 24-hour canteen is also available to serve food and beverages (a bit pricey!).

How to Buy Paris Metro Mobilis Card

Paris offers a lot of sighseeings, from the bronze coloured (official color name is brownish gray) Eiffel Tower, to magnificent Notre Dame Catedral, to the only Disneyland in Europe.

For tourists, the best and convenient way to explore Paris is by underground train, called as Metro and complemented by RER suburban train. 16 Metro lines, together with 5 lines of RER cover almost all part of Paris.

Paris Metro Map

You can download Paris Metro and RER map in PDF format. But for latest and official map and fare, you should consult Paris RATP website.

There are some options in paying this Metro RER fare. The common for tourists is to buy carnette (also known as T+ ticket). It is a small card (domino card size) with magnetic strip on the back. Valid for one journey in inner Paris zone 1, costs EUR 1.60 if you buy it single or a pack of 10 carnette for EUR 11.60 (EUR 5.80 for children). For moderate sighseeing in a day, we may only need 4-5 carnettes so a pack of 10 carnettes should be enough if you only have 2 days in Paris.

A Short Walk to Taman Menteng

Last week I got a chance to visit Taman Menteng (Park) located in the very heart of Menteng District. It is a nice, free and interactive park, a place you can breath fresh air in Central Jakarta.

Taman Menteng Glass
Look

It used to be a football stadium for Persija Football club, got demolished during Sutiyoso Governor era after some struggles and demonstrations. The result? You can see in my photos; a neat and clean park.

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