I was in Malaysia with some friends last week. The purpose of the trip was to research properties and visa requirements as we’re considering buying a house (each) there.
But as it was Chinese New Year and we got all our business done in the early part of the week, we took the opportunity to drive down to Port Dickson and Melaka and see a bit of the country.
The road network in Malaysia (particularly the Motorway network) is excellent.
Malaysia is both an oil producer and a car producer so, a bit like the US, it’s very much set up for car ownership and road travel.
Port Dickson is about an hour south of Kuala Lumpur and we were all disappointed with it.
The city centre and buildings are all very run-down. Even the gated community that we visited looked as though the developer had had some great ideas and plans but got bored half way through and left things half finished.
A real shame.
At the bottom of the article is a slide show – you’ll see what I mean!
After Port Dickson we headed on south to Melaka, another hour’s drive or so.
We took the coast road, rather than the Motorway, and went through some very poor local communities (although not as poor as many I’ve seen in the Philippines).
One thing I particularly noticed about Malaysia is that it’s generally very clean. In the Philippines there’s all sorts of rubbish beside the roads that people simply throw out of their car windows.
None of that in Malaysia.
Melaka is an historic old trading town, with Portuguese, Dutch, British and Chinese influences.
The old city is lovely, with some wonderful old (colonial) architecture, which the owners have taken care to maintain.
But Melaka has developed and expanded – unfortunately with what looks like zero planning.
There are half finished developments that haven’t been worked on for months (probably years).
Signage is not good, so much so that we struggled to find the old city even though the people I was travelling with had been there before.
But once we found it we found some wonderful architecture, an old church built in 1521 by the Portuguese, and the old market.
Melaka is definitely worth a visit, but make sure you find the old city. Port Dickson? I won’t be going back there in a rush!
Take a look at the slide show below – if you want to see a bigger version of any picture just click on it.