STATE OF SPORT: Malacca with Ong Kim Swee

By 1 December 2015 115
STATE OF SPORT: Malacca with Ong Kim Swee

The first pit stop for hosts Reuben Kang and Nadia Nash is the famous night market, Jonker Walk. From knick knacks and food to street entertainment, this is Malacca’s main tourist attraction as the street lights up into a vibrant scene at night with vendors lining up left and right. Fried Oysters, Pineapple Tarts, Klebang Shake (Coconut Shake) and such are definite must-try as the hosts have pinpointed their own personal favourites. Transitioning into the day, Jonker Walk has rid itself of the night market but still have plenty to offer such as Chicken Rice Balls and various hipster cafes lining up the shoplots in the street.

Since Malacca's downtown is only about 40-50-hectares in size, the best for tourists to get around is by bicycle or trishaws and rickshaws. Reuben and Nadia embarked on their sightseeing tour via bicycles to better see iconic sights such as A’Famosa, Taming Sari Tower, Pahlawan Square and the Maritime Museum, minus the hassle of having to find parking in an already congested town.

From history to the best view of Malacca City and the best way to do so is to go up the Taming Sari Tower. Climbing to a height of 80-metres from the ground, the revolving ride offers tourists a panoramic view of Malacca UNESCO World Heritage City with sights as far as St. Paul’s Hill, Independence Memorial Building, Samudra Museum, Besar Island and Selat Mosque Island. But the stunning view does come at a cost and a pretty long wait as the lines are always packed with school groups.

To avoid the hassle and stress of having to plan sightseeing tours there’s always the trishaws and rickshaws standing by to take tourists to all the sights that’s synonym to Malacca. This, too, comes at a price but the trishaw/rickshaw riders will become a personal tour guide and tourists can dismount at any of the eight points to take pictures and soak in the atmosphere. These rides are also fun as they are creatively decorated with famous cartoon characters from major motion pictures such as anything from the Disney Animation Films belt. An added bonus is getting a trishaw/rickshaw that allows customers to sing along to the soundtrack of the chosen major motion film.

If it gets too hot, take a ride on the Malacca River Cruise instead. The speedy river tour only takes about 30-minutes and there is plenty of photo opportunity along the way. Either that or do what Reuben and Nadia did which is to enact a scene from the Titanic by standing on the bow of the boat.

Disembark the boat at the Maritime Museum and slowly make way to Pahlawan Square for exciting shopping ventures at Malacca’s biggest megamall with hundreds of brands, all under one roof before retiring for dinner at Ong’s very own restaurant, Banya, just across the road from the Square.

Offering a taste of Peranakan (or Baba Nyonya to most) heritage, Ong whips up his signature dishes such as Sour and Spicy Fish (Ikan Masak Asam Pedas), Bitter Bean Sambal Prawns (Udang Masak Sambal Petai), Grilled Fish Cakes (Otak-otak) and Belacan Water Spinach (Kangkung Belacan) that is more than meets the eye with powerful flavours that is sure to put a smile on anyone’s face. Banya is also open for lunch with a completely different menu that is worth the try.

Watch Reuben and Nadia discover Malacca at their own pace, joined by National Interim Football Coach, Datuk Ong Kim Swee and family.

State of Sport premiers on Astro SuperSport beginning January 2016

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