The town fills with richest of history, culture and local food which dated back to the 15 century. It served as a major port where foreign traders from around the world come together and trade mainly for golds, silks, ceramics and spices. This historical city has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 7 July 2008.
After arriving at Malacca town and check-in at the backpacker inn, it is time to take an evening walk to explore the neighborhood of heritage houses. Along the back street of where I stay are the worship sites named Kampung Kling Mosque and Cheng Hoon Teng Temple.
Kampung Kling Mosque
Kampung Kling Mosque is one of the traditional mosques in Melaka, which retains its original design. The original structure was built by wood in 1748 and later rebuilt in brick in 1872. Its architectural design is a cross between Sumatran, Chinese and the Melaka Malay. It has a ‘ minaret’, ‘pool’ and ‘entrancarch’ and were built at the same time as the mosque.
Location: Jalan Tukang Emas
Cheng Hoon Teng Temple
This temple, known as the Green Clouds Temple is used by devotees to perform prayer rites that have been handed down from many generations since the Chinese first settled here. There are stalls clustered around the entrance of the temple selling candles, joss paper and aromatic joss-sticks used by those devotees.
Location: Jalan Tokong
Jonker Street is well-known for its art galleries, antique shops, goldsmith, watch repairs, clog makers and beaded shoemakers. You can find many food outlets at every corner of the street. There will be a flea market for antique lovers on every Fridays and weekend from 6pm to midnight.
I started my Day 2 trip by having my breakfast at a local and popular chicken rice shop. Unlike any other chicken rice in any part of Malaysia, the rice is served in the ball-shaped and absolutely tasty.
Most of the tourist sites are located after walking pass Jonker Street and across the Malacca river.
The Malacca tree is located after crossing the bridge and just opposite Christ Church and the Stadthuys. Only a few trees are left to be found in Malacca.
According to the popular legend, Parameswaara (last king of Singapura) was resting under a tree near a river during a hunt, when one of his dogs cornered a mouse deer. In self-defense, the mouse deer pushed the dog into the river. Impressed by the deer’s courage, he decided there and then to found an empire on that very spot. He named it ‘Malacca’ after the tree where he was resting, the Malacca tree.
This oldest Protestant Church in the country was built by the Dutch in 1753 and took 12 years to complete. It has 8 foots long ceiling beams, which are cut in one piece and built without any joints. The handmade pews are originated back in the old days.
Location: Jalan Gereja
The town hall was built between 1641 and 1656 by the Dutch after taking over from the Portuguese and is the oldest still existing VOC building in Asia. It was used as the Governor’s residence. Currently, it is converted into a museum that exhibits many old artifacts, weaponry, arts and traditional costumes throughout Malacca’s history.
Location: Jalan Gereja
Ruins of the St Paul’s Church
Walking up the slope behind the Stadthuys is this old Catholic church began only as a chapel, built by Portuguese sea captain, Duato Coelho. The chapel was dedicated to the Virgin Mary and was named Nosa Senhora- Our Lady of the Hill.
A’ Famosa also known as Porta de Santiago is now remained a small gatehouse as part of the fortress. Afonso de Albuquerque had the fortress built after it was taken over in 1511 with the defeat of the armies of Malacca Sultanate.
A structure part of the fort believed to be the Bastion Middleburg was accidentally unearthed during a construction work in November 2006. It is located near to St Francis Xavier’s Church in Jalan Laksamana.
Location: Jalan Parameswara
Melaka Sultanate’s Palace
The museum building is a replica of the palace during the reign of Sultan Mansur Shah (1456- 1477). The palace walls are decorated with a beautiful carving of floral and faunas motifs. It displays the dioramas of the Balairong Seri, the Roal Bedchamber, the battle between Hang Tuah and Hang Jebat and other exhibition materials.
Location: Jalan Kota
Proclamation of Independence Memorial
The Proclamation of Malaya’s independence was made by Malaysia’s first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman in Padang Pahlawan.It showcases invaluable exhibits of the country’s struggle to gain independence. Those exhibits include relics, manuscripts, videotapes, films and slides.
Location: Jalan Kota
This museum was built in 1990 as a replica of Portuguese galleon, the ‘Flor de La Mar’. The history of seafaring and the spread of commercial influence from the Malay Sultanate in Melaka are displayed here.
Location: Jalan Merdeka
The Dutch Graveyard is a Dutch mausoleum at St Paul’s Hill. It was firstly used in 1670-1682 and later in 1818-1838. It became the resting place for 5 Dutch and 33 British naval personnel and wives of army officers.
Location: Jalan Kota (There is no shortcut from Malacca Sultanate Palace. You will need to walk through the back of Christ Church, turn right and walk around 200m)
Hang Li Poh’ Well
This well was built under Sultan Mansor Shah’s order in 1459 for Hang Li Poh who married the Sultan. The well was never dry up and was the only source of water supply during the dry season. The Dutch surrounded it with stout walls in 1677 to maintain its ultimate into a wishing well. It is said that those who throw coins into it will return here time and again.
Location: Jalan Puteri Hang Li Poh, Kampung Bukit Cina (next to Poh San Teng Temple and this place is quite a distance from Jonker Street. It is faster to take a Uber ride there)
This house has been converted into a private museum for visitors to experience the atmosphere of a village house. It was built in 1920 by Tuan Haji Hashim bin Dato’ Demang Haji Abdul Ghani, a pioneer of Kampung Morten. The house has exhibited the essentials and collectibles of the owners.
Admission is free, however donations are welcomed as the owner used them to maintain this living museum.
Location: Kampung Morten (This place is quite a distance from Jonker Street. It is faster to take a Uber ride)
Sri Poyyatha Vinayagar Moorthi Temple
Sri Poyyatha Vinayagar Moorthi Temple is the oldest Hindu temple in Malaysia. It was dedicated to Lord Vinayagar (Ganesha), the deity revered for his wisdom and ability to remove challenges so one could accomplish their desire or goal. The Dutch had made influence toward the architecture of the temple and is noticeable by the look of the entrance, walls, columns, vaulted domes and roof tiling.
Location: Jalan Tukang Emas
On the last day in Malacca, I manage to pass through some small alleys and found Hang Jebat’s Mausoleum at Jalan Hang Jebat.
Hang Jebat was the second most skillful among the five warriors. He was killed by Hang Tuah during a fight. Hang Jebat ran amok after suffered a fatal injury from Hang Tuah’s dagger. The exact age of the grave remains unknown but it’s Achehese design show he has given a warrior’s burial despite his murderous rampage at the palace.
The Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum
Visitors have the chance to view this unique heritage museum as this house has been preserved by the family of Babas and Nyonyas of Melaka. A guide will walk you through and explain about their fascinating artifacts and mixed lifestyle, culture and food.
Note: The museum and tour group only operate at certain hour of the day. It is advisable to arrive early. Check its website for more details: http://babanyonyamuseum.com. Photo-taking is not allowed inside the premise.
Location: 48 & 50 Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock
Traveling to Malacca by bus is the most popular and easiest mode of transportation.
Take KLIA Transit train from KL Sentral to Bandar Tasik Selatan (one stop) and walk across to Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS) using the pedestrian bridge. There are many ticketing counters, bus companies and buses that operate daily and hourly to Malacca. The journey takes approximately 2 hours and arrives at Malacca Sentral. You can also take a bus from Penang or Singapore.
While traveling during peak seasons or hours, it is best to buy the ticket online and collect them in the E-ticketing counters. Below are the two websites worth checking out:
Hop on bus 70 at Malacca Sentral and get to the town or Jonker Street across the river. Walking or cycling is the fastest way to explore the historic town. Bikes can be rent from most hostels. If you are planning to go anywhere further, using Uber will be the good option.