Character-filled friendly flashpacker
Housed in a heritage building in Melaka’s UNESCO listed area, this character-filled and charming but fairly basic guesthouse is our pick of the somewhat similar flashpacker joints in this quarter of town.
Layang Layang’s eclectic collection of bric-a-brac (some would say junk) including an old dragster bike, musical instruments, clocks and other ephemera in the open communal lounge / lobby bestows this friendly guesthouse with a welcoming, homely atmosphere.
Entering the delightful internal “secret garden” courtyard, wooden decked paths and open walkways leading to rooms surround a calming fish pond fringed with frangipani and other foliage. Retaining the character of the original building, the guesthouse has had minimal structural changes, consequently there are no ensuites and some rooms are windowless. Rooms are air-con cooled and some add a ceiling fan if you prefer.
We viewed a sweet, rather compact standard double room (with a window), but we’re informed deluxe rooms are significantly larger. High ceilings, bright natural light and lack of furniture—just a bed and a small side table, along with a colour palette of dark timber floors contrasting with pale grey and white walls and clean white and eggshell blue bed linen creates a restful mood. The particular room we saw was clean but had significant damp damage on the wall, unfortunately one of the problems with older structures. Wooden floors, thin walls and the open courtyard design of this historic building mean it’s not the quietest sleep you’ll get either (pack earplugs). Eight share bathrooms seem sufficient to cater to the 20 rooms. The combo toilet / hot-shower cubicles we viewed were smallish but clean, with a noticeable damp problem on the roof here, too.
Free-flow hot drinks, water and bickies are offered and the kitchen houses a fridge to keep your drinks cold, but no cooking facilities, which is not an issue as plenty of tempting food options are at the doorstep. The communal lounge opens to the street and is an excellent spot to watch the passing parade or kick back and mingle with other guests and perhaps tinkle the ivories on the piano or give the UNESCO-listed instrument, the angklung, a go. Hosts are warm and hospitable and provide a terrific map so you can jump on one of their bikes for hire and discover Melaka. For a cheaper option in a friendly guesthouse, though lacking in the charming architectural features, Roof Top Guesthouse is worth a look, or if you’d love a heritage stay but prefer to keep to yourself (and are aged over 30!), Cafe 1511 Guesthouse offers a good deal.
Address: 24-26 Jalan Tukang Besi, Melaka
T: (0629) 22722;
Coordinates (for GPS): 102º14'54.21" E, 2º11'45.69" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Room rates: 60 to 120 ringgit
What we were quoted as a walk-in.
|Dbl air-con share bathroom|
Weekdays. Weekends 90 ringgit. No window. Window, weekdays 90 ringgit, weekends 99 ringgit.
|80 ringgit||80 ringgit|
|Deluxe double room|
Window, share bathroom, weekdays. Weekends 110 ringgit.
|100 ringgit||100 ringgit|
Sally spent twelve years leading tourists around Indonesia and Malaysia where she collected a lot of stuff. She once carried a 40kg rug overland across Java. Her house has been described as a cross between a museum and a library. Fuelled by coffee, she can often be found riding her bike or petting stray cats. Sally believes travel is the key to world peace.
Our top 10 places to stay in and around Melaka