One of reasons why I’m comfortable in Melaka is because of the Sama-sama guesthouse. The sama-sama guesthouse could not have existed in Melaka 20 years ago, it probably couldn’t have even existed in Melaka 10 years ago. It’s run by a remarkably laid-back Melaka-born Chinese man in his late forties and his Swiss wife. The guy has a couple of dreadlocks and they both remind me very much of old hippies i’ve met at Confest.
The guesthouse common area walls are adorned with album covers of old reggae greats and there’s a huge mural of bob marley on one wall next to the laptop playing dub through an old but serviceable soundsystem. We’re setup in a large room with two windows, one over looking broken cobblestoned roofs, the other opening into an internal courtyard at the princely sum of $30 ringgit a night – roughly AUD$12. The bathroom is shared, the toilet is basic and there’s a nice table fan and the windows for ventilation but it is very clean and you can’t beat it for ex-hippy atmosphere.
It isn’t a big place but the other guests i’ve met so far include a german organic wine farmer (with dreads) who spends half his year in asia and the other half growing grapes and an extremely well-travelled asian-american retiree who spends 7 months of each year in thailand and has travelled through africa quite extensively.
In other words, not very different from many of my post-materialist crew in Melbourne.
They have a webpage – http://www.sama-sama-guesthouse.com – and i’d recommend booking if you wish to stay there. They are in the guide of mixed blessings: Lonely Planet.
PS: A note on budget, as half of a couple, for basic food, water and accomodation – it is possible to get away in Melaka for $36 ringgit a day – roughly $14 AUD. That’s not bad.
EDIT (18/8/2008) As the comment below indicates, you can book by calling (+6) 012-305 1980 or emailing email@example.com. My guess is a confirmation would be easy to get either way.
EDIT (3/9/2010) I returned to Melaka last month and found that the guesthouse has been sold. It’s still called Sama-sama but the owner and his wife has moved on taking with them the vibe that made it such an interesting and charming place. Not that there’s anything wrong with it now.