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Visiting Danga Bay and Malacca Town
Entry to Malaysia was via the western channel of Johor
Straight which is the waterway that divides Singapore
Both sides are similar in their flora of forest and mangroves
except the Singapore side is fenced and all along it’s
length the patrol boats pace up and down to make sure
you don’t enter their space!. Mike later described them
like dogs on a leash.
We anchored at Danga Bay where they have built a complex
complete with restaurants, both local and western, and a
good jetty for the dinghy.
Just on shore is a main road with easy access by bus to
Johor Bahru town and then to Singapore if you so wish.
Checking in should have been a piece of cake as Malaysia
welcomes tourists with a free 3 month visa but there was
a hitch of course.
We were directed to the relevant buildings but they omitted
to tell us that road works etc would hinder our progress
so we ended up scrambling over rail-lines and through
mud paddocks to find our friendly immigration, customs
JB is a bustling town with building going on everywhere
with just as many complexes under construction as there
were abandoned ones. This we have found to be a classic
pattern throughout the country.
JB in particular, as apparently it is a popular place
for Singaporeans to shop, and they come in droves. Someone
told us that they love to come and drive their cars on
the long freeways as space is limited in their little
We were fortunate enough to be there during ”Ramadan”
which is a Muslim celebration whereby they fast during the
day and then in the evening the locals hold food stalls
and offer the best in home cooked Malaysian food.
We were taken here as guests of a lovely family we met,
and the food was brought back to their home where, when
the clock struck 7, we dug in!
Fazziel was quite the entrepreneur; he ran two small charter
boats, owned lots of vehicles, paddleboats with swan heads
and had recently purchased a flying boat, the first for
his country. He was a very humble man with three girls
whom he adored.
Opposite our anchorage in Danga Bay was a creek opening
so one morning early we set off in the dinghy and met
monkeys and kingfishers and then spotted our first family
of sea otters! The tide was coming in so we had switched
off the motor and drifted along and also saw large water
monitors prowling the shores.
There was a small settlement of huts on stilts and fishing
boats moored yet so close was this ultra modern Danga
Bay lurking just around the corner.
Although Fazziel ran the tourist boats, he said he had
no idea the otters were up there. I wonder how long they
can last. We left the boat here for 48hrs and traveled
north to the town of Malacca.
This was best as the winds are not favorable in October
to anchor off the coast and the river is too shallow for
yachts. We have since heard that a marina is planned for Malacca
in the future.
We were looking forward to seeing some of the country side
but ended up on a freeway and for the whole three hours
we passed through acres and acres of palm oil plantations.
There are also rubber plantations which I had always imagined
to look like the plants Mum had in her pot at home! I am
We loved Malacca town, especially the old Chinese area where
you wander through little lanes with little shops and businesses
selling anything from antiques to hand beaten pots.
The buildings are like the terrace houses in Melbourne but
not yet renovated and trendy. Of course we found a nice
little bar with an even nicer owner who shared with us some history
of the town and its occupants.
They have built a replica of a past sultans residence complete
with the family history and clothing etc of the day.
The shape of the building was beautiful with curves and
arches everywhere and all in timber with shingle roof.
We went to a museum which housed a huge collection of kites
both large and tiny. The maritime museum is housed in a replica
of an old ship, once again filled with fascinating models and
paintings of Malacca’s history including wars and pirates of
There is the remains of a Dutch fort but it was up a steep
hill and it was too hot so we gave it a miss.
We stayed the night in a little backwater guesthouse for
about $15 Aus and it was clean, and we had our own loo and
shower! Quite special as the shower on our boat is the deck
hose, on deck of course and rather salty!
The people once again were very friendly and I highly recommend
the town of Malacca to anyone visiting these parts.
Map Of Malacca Malaysia