Bus from Singapore to PD through Melaka in April 2006.
1. The bus takes longer than expected. We left Sing at 8:30; 30 min break at around 10:30 and reached Century Mahkota Hotel in Melaka at 13:00. After some lunch, left at 13:30 to reach PD by 15:15 by taxi. We had not realized that Melaka to PD is about 85km and takes over 1.5 hrs.
2. Melaka to PD taxi cost us RM110. We think we could have hired a taxi for RM90 from outside (which is what we paid for PD to Melaka).
3. While returning, the bus left Century Mahkota at 14:00, picked up people from other hotels and left Melaka at 14:30. After a 30 min break around 16:00, reached Sing at 19:00.
4. We had chosen Konsortium Bus both ways. The bus was clean, safe, comfortable and on time. But I saw the other buses parked during the break and they didn't look too different, so I am not sure why one should pay more for Konsortium.
1. It is basically a small town with below-average beaches. The only decent ones are in the southern part (near Bayu Beach Resort) and not near the northern part (the PD town area). We took a small ride on the beach-buggy-kind of motorcycle (RM25) and went on a small speedboat ride (RM30).
2. Not much to do except eat, swim, sleep. Not much of shopping. Only one smallish shopping mall - Oceanic Mall. On the 4th floor of that mall, there is a decent and cheap bowling place - check it out.
3. Mariamman Temple is beautiful and peaceful. At specific times, there is puja for all the deities - which is sort of nice.
4. Food: Lots of seafood plus Malay style meat dishes. Since we were vegetarians, cannot comment on the quality. We tried to look for South Indian food - found that most restaurants were open and hence had lots of houseflies about. "Spices" was the cleanest, although it also had flies flying around. McDonalds and Pizza Hut available in PD Town. You can buy food items, fruits, etc. in the supermarket in the mall.
5. We went to Seremban by taxi. The guy took us from PD, spent 2-3 hours with us in Seremban and returned us to PD - all for RM70. Seremban is a bigger town, and has a couple of supermarkets and may be a diversion, but not a great one. Did not visit the Seremban museum - it looked small from outside.
6. Transport: From Corus Paradise (where we stayed - see review below) to PD Town was RM5 one way. If you arrange it through the hotel, it is much more expensive. The distance was only about 3-4 km. Wherever you are staying, step out on to the road and you will find a cab in about 10 min, except after 6 pm.
7. Money changer across the road from Oceanic Mall. Decent rates.
1. Rooms were small. In the standard room, there was just about 2 ft of moving space in each side after accommodating two queen-size beds.
2. The only difference between standard and "Laguna" rooms is a little balcony - which is of no great use anyway.
3. We were charged RM158 (Sun to Thurs with no breakfast) and RM208 (Fri and Sat with two breakfasts). We were quoted RM170 and RM250 for the Laguna rooms. We also saw the Junior Suite, which was just a small sitting room plus a smallish bedroom - no great shakes.
4. The lagoon is a big hoax. It is basically a pit into which sea water flows during higher tide. When it drains during low tide, you discover that it is sort of steep and muddy. During the five days that we stayed there, not a soul went to the lagoon, even for a walk.
5. Corus does not have a beach - at all, absolutely, clearly. Choose a resort closer to Bayu for any beach access.
6. Corus has some recreation - a v. small gym (no treadmill?); a pool table (RM5); two squash courts (RM25/hour, incl. ball and racquets); and a tennis court (RM25/hr, which we didn't try).
7. Only one coffee shop with an "okay" menu. Poor choices for vegetarians.
8. Their TV selection sucks. Only four channels (the three Malay national TV channels, I guess, plus one channel of Vision Four payTV, which was not received well). Forget any TV if you choose Corus.
9. Service okay. Not great, not bad. Hotel generally clean.
10. No shops at all outside Corus. You can't buy cigarettes, water, etc. unless you head into PD Town.
11. Pretty decent adults and kids pool. Clean.
1. This is just a town of some historical buildings and many types of museums. Not great. You can cover the important stuff in a day.
2. Do cover the palace and Stadthuys. No idea about all the other museums.
3. Definitely avoid the river boat ride (RM10 per person, 40 min). The river is nothing other than a sewage ditch. Nothing to see along the banks. Total waste of time and money.
4. We stayed in the Century Mahkota Hotel for a night. One small bedroom and an okay living room for RM228. Clean. Better TV selection than Corus in Port Dickson. If you stay there, go into the Mahkota Parade mall opposite for food and entertainment.
5. The Zoo seems to be an interesting option, although we couldn't make it.
6. Money changer in Mahkota Parade mall.
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