Malacca is a place where east meets west. It is a vibrant and culturally diverse city. It has a history of colonial rule of Dutch, British and Portuguese. Her rich heritage made her a melting pot of cultures. Hence, it is listed as UNESCO Heritage site. It is quite evident in the old buildings which still exist at present.
How to go to Malacca (Melaka in local language)
From Kuala Lumpur take the train to Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (Bus Terminal) buy the ticket at the counter. The trip is 3 hours. Kuala Lumpur has an excellent transportation system, you can download the apps to check the routes.
From KLIA, there are buses counter at the airport you can purchase the ticket there.
Places to Visit
Jonker street is the prominent street in Malacca. It is flooded with tourist. In this street, heritage houses are located. Most of the houses have Dutch and Portuguese architecture style but have a fusion of Malay and Chinese. During Friday and Saturday, there is a night market. The street is very crowded. You can buy everything here from food, souvenirs, and even antiques.
Dutch square is the most Instagrammed place in Malacca. In this area, you can see the Christ Church, the Malacca Art Gallery and Youth Museum, the Stadthuys and Queen Victoria Fountain. These places are walking distance from each other.
The Christ church being the center of the square. The church is an 18th Dutch colonial architecture style. It is laid out in a rectangular shape of 25 meters by 13 meters. The ceiling’s height is 12 meters and is spread by wooden beams, each carved from a single tree. The floors of the church are paved with granite blocks and the wall is made of Dutch bricks.
Red Clock Tower also known as Tan Beng Swee Clock Tower
The lone clock tower in the Dutch square. It is named after the billionaire Tan Being Swee. Actually, it was his son who constructed this in 1886 in remembrance of his father. He is a Chinese billionaire at the same time a philanthropist.
At first, I don’t know how to read this, so I google it and I learn something new. “Stadthuys” means “town hall” because of the obvious reason it was the civic center of Malacca and the home of the Dutch Governor at the time. It is considered as the oldest and the largest Dutch buildings in Asia.
A’Famosa Your visit in Malacca’s will not be completed without visiting this sightseeing spot. Originally constructed by Alfonso de Albuquerque (who led the Portuguese invasion on the Malacca Sultanate), the remains of the fort is now an aging whitewashed gatehouse and is located at the foothill of St. Paul’s Church.
St Paul Church
When the Dutch invaded Malacca, it was reconsecrated as St. Paul’s Church. It becomes the premier church of the Dutch population until Christ Church Melaka built in 1753. You will ask, “Why there is a statue of St Francis Xavier and the name of the church is St. Paul? The answer is here, after two and half centuries. The burial vault of church’s chancel was unearthed. It was found out that St. Francis Xavier corpse was kept here for 8 months before it was shipped to Goa. When you go up to the hill, you can see the statue of St. Francis Xavier.
Cheng Hoon Teng Temple
This temple shows the diversity of Malacca. When the Chinese immigrated in Malacca, they brought their culture and religion. This is a famous Chinese temple in Malacca.
Melaka River Cruise
The river cruise is recommendable during night time. The cruise creates a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere while traversing the river.
Baba Nyonya Museum
This museum is must to visit. You can see the old Chinese dress and artifacts. Most of the things are from Baba Nyonya. The origins of Baba Nyonya can be traced back to centuries ago when the Chinese emigrated from China to the British Straits Settlement of Melaka, Singapore, Penang and also Java of Indonesia. The Chinese then married the local females and their distinct background, cultures, and customs blended together harmoniously and became baba nyonya in “Peranakan” culture.