It is officially over
10 weeks ago, we uprooted our lives and drove our tiny little car across the causeway into the unknown. We didn't have a blueprint of what the past 10 weeks will be like. It was a step of faith and it still is. We carried with us grief that we will still carry for some time to come. If not now then when? Life is so short and unpredictable after all.
We've spent a significant amount of time in Cameron Highlands because the climate, nature and landscape was calming and healing. It brought great comfort to all of us. Almost 6 out of the 10 weeks were spent in rolling hills and clouds. We spent the other 4 weeks shuttling between Genting Highlands, Kuala Lumpur, Melaka, Ipoh, Penang and Port Dickson. You can read our entire series here.
We've spent the last leg of our trip largely homeschooling, illustrating our new book, creating our travel inspired apparel, cards and stickers. Please support our work by patronising our store!
We have been extremely blessed to find an amazing property in Melaka at a very affordable price to spend the last 3 weeks. This part of our travels, we got to really interact with locals and enjoy local food. We even made friends with our Malaysian neighbours who kindly gave us a tour of his amazing garden full of vegetables and fruits. He even gifted us a whole bunch of homegrown bananas! I've enjoyed all the conversations we've had at the gate where several neighbour uncles gather and chit chat like long lost friends.
The property is a two-story corner terrace house in the Taman Malim Jaya area of Melaka. The neighbourhood is 20 minutes away from the city centre of Melaka. It is very quiet but also felt very safe. No crazy loud exhaust of bikes and modified cars here!
It has an industrial unfinished feel to it. Much of the wall surfaces and floor are simply concrete.
We were a little apprehensive initially because it had no wifi, no washing machine and no freezer. We coped by getting an unlimited data sim for our pocket wifi device and did our laundry at the self-service laundromat nearby. This also forced us to explore the neighbourhood shops that no tourist would frequent. We visited hawkers and coffee shops a lot more often on top of the trips we made to Jonker street and the major malls.
To be really fair, ALL of us found Malaysian food a lot tastier than a lot of the food we find in Singapore. There is a lot more character in the food. Don't flak me for this first! Let me explain!
I feel that too many (not all) coffee shops, hawker stalls in Singapore and especially Food courts in malls are no longer owned by the chefs. Chef owned and operated hawker is the essence of our hawker culture in South East Asia. That was how it all started. When a chef owns the brand and operates the stall, he owns the taste and he is the master of his dish. Hired hands will never be as invested as the entrepreneur who built his brand, customer base, dish and taste. Food from a central kitchen that is reheated will never be the same as the taste of home.
We feel that food with character and proudly made by chefs who own the business is increasingly harder to find in Singapore. This is something we will miss a lot as we officially say goodbye to Malaysia.
We took our last drive to Port Dickson via the small village roads to enjoy the serenity of it all. It was blazing hot but that made the beach really beautiful!
It is also officially over because we are saying goodbye to our trusty car. We really can't afford to keep the car and it wouldn't be financially prudent to. It is a painful decision to make because it is one of the best cars we've ever had. It works perfectly fine in little Singapore because we don't drive long distances or carry much luggage. We were a little apprehensive about the smaller boot size and tiny 1.2L engine.
The Suzuki Swift Hybrid performed way beyond our expectations. (We aren't sponsored ! Just celebrating a really good machine!) We've driven more than 7000kms across the West Malaysian peninsula climbing and descending more than 60,000ft worth of mountain roads and cruising up and down the North South Highway. It still averages 17-20km/L. It is a stunning looking Super-mini (B-segment) hatchback, packed with tech we expect of a modern car.
Here are some of them:
1. Adaptive cruise control
2. Lane departure warning/prevention
3. Autonomous emergency braking (dual sensor brake support)
4. Stability control system
5. Hill hold
6. Tire pressure monitoring
7. Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
8. Paddle shifters on steering
9. Auto Led headlights with Auto high beam. (Perfect in dark mountain roads!)
10. 6 airbags
Although we can't expect the performance of a sports car or the silence of a premium continental hatchback, it is still a well made and reliable car. With the COE and fuel prices at absolutely crazy levels, you'll want something well made and fuel efficient like a Swift! The children have grown to love our "Big red car" (if you watch The Wiggles you'll know...) so much. We are all sad to say goodbye to it. So here are some pictures to pay tribute to the car that made our amazing adventures possible....
This is the official end of our road trip in Malaysia....
BUT.....it is not the end of our Grand Tour! WE ARE GOING TO.........
We hope you enjoy our content and continue to join us on this new phase of our lives that we wish to continue as much as we can! You can support our work by shopping at our store, recommending sponsorships, like and share our posts and buy us meals because we are broke! :) Click on the red button and we are happy to chat if you wish to connect with us!
Here's some motivational stuff to end off this post! Stay tuned for VIETNAM!
Vincent & Debra Kwan, Founders of Hiro & Jack and stay-at-home parents with the odd life.
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