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  • Writer's pictureRick

West Malaysia Day 10: A Public Holiday in Malacca

I slept until 8am, having woke up in the middle of the night due to loud fireworks, other guests making noises down the corridor and also sounds of dripping water from the attached bathroom. I probably should quit budget accommodations and stay in better hotels.

Selamat Hari Raya Puasa! Melaka Old Town would be “flooded” with people this day.

The sky was cloudy and it did not feel hot and humid in the morning. I made my way to De Xing Lung Kopitiam (德兴隆咖啡店) in the old town. The coffee shop was closed for two days on Monday and Tuesday, so it was good enough reason for me to go on a Wednesday.

I had tried De Xing Lung’s mee hoon kueh soup (面粉粿汤) before, so I went for the dry-style this time and added-on a 3-piece dumplings soup. They used minced chicken in the mee hoon kueh and as filling in the dumplings. The dry-style mee hoon kueh (面粉粿干) in its dark sauce was nice and more flavourful than the soup version. I liked the dry version better.

Outside the coffee shop, Lorong Jambatan looked like a deserted alley during the day but a couple of shops were actually opened.

For some reasons, De Xing Lung did not sell coffee this day. But I needed coffee. I walked down Jonker Walk, which was starting to get crowded with public holiday crowds, in search for a coffee place.

I came to Heesan Kopi (囍叁隔壁) at a T-junction along Jonker Walk, a cafe that I had always wanted to check out. It had a very interesting Chinese name — “kopi” was translated to “next door” based on vocal pronunciations.

Heesan Kopi was a very spacious cafe with Chinese retro decorations but served western coffees, pizzas, desserts, etc, and a wide list of non-caffeine beverages. It was very quiet with few customers. I took a corner table with rattan chairs, leaned back and relaxed after ordering a long black coffee with Oreo cheesecake. I sat in Heesan Kopi for about an hour.

After leaving the cafe, I walked up and down Jonker Walk in a sea of people. Shops were flooded and there were queues outside popular restaurants. Many cars were going in circles in the old town, either looking for parking space or not knowing there were road closures around Dutch Square. It was always a bad idea to be in popular places during public holidays.

There was also a queue outside Hoe Kee Chicken Rice (和记鸡饭团), but not very long so I joined in. It was my turn in 10 minutes. The minimum serving size on their price list was for 2 pax, but they halved the size and price accordingly for single pax. I added on a stir-fried cabbage and herbal tea. The smooth and tender white chicken was what made Hoe Kee one of the popular places for chicken rice.

The sun was not the “bad guy” this day. It was the sea of people and long snakes of vehicle that made it hard to stroll leisurely around the old town without bumping into people and getting honked at by cars. Since I was already fed with food and coffee, I was glad to retreat back to my room and wasted the afternoon on my phone. Anyway, I needed to plan for my next stop — Kuala Lumpur and what next.

6pm, I had no idea what to eat for dinner when more than half the eating places were closed despite it being a public holiday. And I did not want to eat at Hang Kasturi Food Street a second time. I walked past Tú Ann Việt Nam Cafe and decided to give it a try. After glancing through the menu, I ordered their banh mi (Vietnamese sandwich) and a coconut.

I was surprised when I was served a crispy black charcoal bread with ham, egg and salad. It used a very smooth spicy-sweet sauce that made the banh mi tasty yet not too sweet or spicy. I loved it!

As night fell, I remembered that Lorong Jambatan would become lively at night and decided to go take a look and maybe a drink. At the junction to Lorong Jambatan, I came to the premise that was De Xing Lung Kopitiam in the morning and Cross Street Bar at night. Lorong Jambatan had came to life with the Tipsy Bridge Bar, Alley No. 5 Cafe and Andalus Kitchen. Two other cafes were closed for the public holiday.

After a short 10-minute peek at the nightspot, I decided not to have alcoholic drinks — I would not mind toddy or tuak though — and walked to Hygge Cafe to say hi to the two ladies and had a drink to ensure they could not close the cafe before 8pm. I tried their iced homemade honey lemon this time, which used dried lemon instead of fresh lemon. This was the best honey lemon I ever had.

I checked with the ladies on how to top-up my Touch-&-Go e-Wallet. In the exchange, I learnt about DuitNow, which the cafe was using, and they commented that some of their Singaporean customers were able to scan it to pay. A quick search online disclosed that the DBS Paylah! app was able to scan and pay via the DuitNow QR. The girls (should have asked for their names) allowed me to test with their DuitNow QR to pay for my beverage and returned the cash I paid earlier. It worked!

It was wonderful to find out about the cashless payment method, which will greatly reduce my cash depletion. But it was already 10 days into my trip and I probably could not avoid at least one withdrawal from the ATM.

I bid goodbye to the girls, left them to close the cafe at 8pm, and headed straight back to the guest house.


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