It was drizzling when we arrived at Melaka Sentral Bus Station from Penang. As much as we wanted to head straight to our guesthouse, I was informed by the owner ahead of time that they normally open after 9:00 am. Well, given that it has been more than 12 hours since we had a decent meal, we decided to have breakfast first. Disappointingly, McDonald’s was the lone establishment open at 6:00 am, so I leisurely ate my overpriced breakfast to while time away.
If I sound grumpy, it’s because for the second time, we got bumped off the bus the night before. Read about our KL-Penang bus experience here. We were in the middle of nowhere at midnight and it was raining when the bus driver conveniently decided to offload us and a couple other passengers, and transfer us to another bus. All this without voluntarily helping us to unload our bags from the trunk. I was already livid at this point that I told my friend if it happens again, Tourism Malaysia will never hear the end of it. It may sound exaggerated, but I was dead serious. So for the duration of the trip, I was half awake worrying about that or that somebody will get off somewhere and take our luggage with him/her. Yes, paranoia was sinking in.
Moving on… We hailed a cab from Melaka Sentral to our guesthouse. It was still an hour or so before 9:00 am when we arrived so we had to wait outside. My friend managed to take a nap while I marveled at the shophouses; most of which open late.
When in Melaka, I would recommend staying at one of the guesthouses along Melaka River. And while there are many to choose from, I booked a night at Oriental Residence Riverside Guesthouse based from its stellar reviews both on TripAdvisor (and a 2012 Certificate of Excellence Winner at that!) & Hostelworld as proudly posted on their door. The guesthouse is run by husband and wife, Asri and Ling Ling.
When Ling Ling finally opened the door, I handed over a printed copy of our Agoda reservation. She was apologetic that our room was still occupied which was understandable given the time of day. Asri soon welcomed us too and even offered coffee and some biscuits.
Homey receiving area
As soon as some guests checked out, Ling Ling brought out fresh linens and pillow cases stored in one of the cabinets in the receiving area. Actually, two rooms became available that they let us choose where we wanted to stay. One room was bigger and had a bigger bed, but it was facing the street. The other one, while smaller, faces the Melaka River. We chose the latter.
Melaka River as seen from our room
The room is pretty simple with just a double bed, side table, coat hanger, air conditioning unit and ceiling fan but pretty spotless.
Since this is just a small guesthouse with only six rooms, do not expect en suite toilet or a common bathroom (with cubicles of toilet and shower). What they do have, though, are two common toilet and bath both on the second floor with hot and cold water, and liquid soap.
Oriental Riverside Guesthouse’s side facing the river
I regret I didn’t spend time here with a cup of coffee/tea in the morning to soak up the sun. Must’ve been nice.
Because of Melaka’s proximity to Singapore, people often flock to this UNESCO World Heritage Site on weekends specifically for Jonker Street which they close down at night for a bazaar. When you have a chance, try to stay here on a weekend just for the experience.
The guesthouse doesn’t seem like it has much to offer. Actually, what you see is what you get. But what it lacks in facilities and amenities, it more than makes up for the accommodating husband and wife. Asri will even give you a map marking places of interest, where to eat, and which delicacies to try.