Woke up early today (as early as going to work) as many as advised that the customs to Malaysia will be jammed since many were returning to Malaysia during the weekends and especially so since it was a week before Chinese New Year. We have packed the night before though there wasn’t much, since it was just a night getaway to Port Dickson. Prepared the GPS by putting in the few stops and makan places that we were intending to make, hoping that the map was still valid, though Google maps should still help and also got the fuel tank filled to 70%. Also checked the license, the ringgit and the Touch N’ Go card that I borrowed from a Malaysian colleague a while back. A little anxious since it was my virgin drive to Malaysia, apart from one that we did a few years back with accompanied, and also due to horror stories of robberies in Malaysia though many had swore that they were isolated cases and there shouldn’t be a need to be overly scared. With that little pre-planning, that should help.
Arrived at the border at around 815 and had to wait awhile but traffic was light and in 15 mins, we were on our way to Johor border. Before at the Singapore side, a toll of $3.20 was paid using cash card. At the Johor side, it was also smooth sailing. Topped up the TNG card on the first left most lane with 100ringgit and then we were on the highway. Was initially traveling at speed limit but was quickly forgotten on the highway where everyone was moving fast.
Stopped at one of the Shell station along the way to top up. Was confused with the type of fuel, only realized that their V-power was only octane 97. Tried to DIY but no fuel came out after I squeezed off the nozzle. Utterly confused. The screen read to wait for authorization and so I read but there was nothing. Luckily, a station attendant came and authorized the machine and helped with the topped up. Took the opportunity to visit the toilet before onto to 140km/hr cruising.
The GPS suggested an unexpected exit thru the Muar bypass and suddenly we found ourselves going on small roads and at a miserably slow 80km/hr with traffic and traffic lights. By the time we arrived at Melaka, it was almost 3hrs on the road. Since the GPS brought us to 2 of the recommended restaurant, we couldn’t find Nancy and Riverine wasn’t opened. We were also chased away by roaming traffic police for stopping by the roadside and fiddling with our GPS. Ended up parking at one of manned carparks and walked towards Jonker street for lunch.
Along this famous long street, tourists were all around, shooting photos and shopping at the various shops. We too ended up shopping at a Marvel store that caught our fancy. Bought some tees and were entitled a free visit to the art museum on the 2nd floor. Also was informed that the 2 stores on the right was a popular stall selling Nyongya dishes and included the laksa, and it would be busy if we didn’t hurry.
Luckily, queue was only starting to build up. Bought Nyongya and Baba laksa each and also had the Baba chendol and mango ice kachang. The laksa wasn’t especially tasty though it was different but the toppings were quite nice. The Baba chendol was good.
Walked back toward our car and en-route purchased some goodies to bring home, such as coffee and durian flavoured tidbits. Paid 2ringgit to the attendant and proceeded to Mahkota Parade to purchase Ipad, as it was cheaper. Parking fees were managed using Touch N Go which was easy.
Went to Challenger and asked for the Ipad, and found out there were discounts for the tablet (moving out sale), making it even cheaper! Got a screen protector at the same time and left, wondering if we should get more stuff. It was a pity that the only demo MacBook Air was sold as it also had a discount.
Set the GPS to hit the NS highway first in order to take the full small roads to Port Dickson. The journey was very long due to slow moving heavy traffic and we only get to travel on the highway some 30mins of struggling with the congestion. From there onwards, it was easy drive all the way to Avillion Hotel.
Entered a manned carpark and checked in at the reception. It was done effortlessly. Following the instructions, we managed to find out over water chalet. Lazed on the day bed looking out at the dried out low tide beach and utilized the free wifi. Went to the Avi Spa to enquire on the massage services available, reserved the latest slot of 730pm and explored the resort. There weren’t really much to see and soon we were back at the spa lounge area where we were given complimentary access with cocktail and small bites. There was a sitting area in the open but was packed and so we stayed indoors to eat and chill (literally).
Went for the massage on time and was brought to a couples room, designed beautifully with a sea view. Had a foot scrub followed by a bath and then some good massage I fell asleep mid session as it was truly relaxing, especially after the drive. By the end of the 1.5hrs session, we felt good.
Proceeded to Crow’s Nest to get dinner. Food portion was large and we were really full after dinner. Went walking off the food and returned to the chalet to enjoy the room – sitting in the balcony listening to the incoming high tide and soaking in the bath tub. Found the open air rain shower a nice idea but could get a little chilly at night.
Day 2 – Home Sweet Home
Morning gloom shrouded a sunrise and the tide also low. Was wondering if we ever would have a get a balcony-over-water-feeling for the duration of our stay here.
Went for breakfast and it was crowded. Variety of choices was adequate and taste was alright. Went back to the room and sat out in the balcony, read newspaper and watch people banana boat out in the waters with the high tide building up. Fell asleep on the day bed as time slowly ticked away to check out.
Got into my car that was parked in the private carpark of the hotel and punched in the next location, Lucky King Bun, one of the popular foodstuff in PD. Unknowingly, we have input the wrong GPS coordinates and we ended up in a isolated residential area. Got onto the main road after pumping some gas and as luck would have it, we found the stall! Parked the car and ordered a curry chicken bun. Was delicious but was a little too oily and a bit too much for 2 persons. For 34Ringgit in total including 2 plum juices, we left the leftover potatoes for home.
It was easy way to NS highway as traffic was light. 120-170km/hr was the speed to negotiate the traffic and we rest at a rest point at some 110+ km from Singapore to visit the loo, bought some fruits and some Baskin Robbins smoothie to cool off the heat. The samples offered by the fruit stall boss was quite tasty but we weren’t sure of the actual ones that we bought for 10RM per pack.
Another hour or so and we arrived at the immigration. There wasn’t a clear queue on the one that I went to but we didn’t take too long, in about 20mins, we hit the Singapore checkpoint. We passed quickly and through customs and we were back home. Thought that it would be taking some time at the customs when they pulled up their socks, since the latest incident of some Malaysian woman gatecrashed into MFA having skipped the clearance at the checkpoint, luckily it wasn’t so.
Visit to Port Dickson concluded a successful virgin drive into Malaysia and at the same time, a visit to one of the beach resort of Malaysia. Though it did not match other more famous beach resort in terms of beauty, considering the costs and such, it did made a nice weekend getaway for us.