Visiting Malacca is my most sought after destination in Malaysia, to see the most iconic pink Christ Church has been my mission. Malacca is historical state on the west coast of the Peninsular Malaysia. It borders Negeri Sembilan to the north and Johor to the south. Rich in cultural and series of important past events influenced by the Western settlements and neighboring Asian countries made it on the list of UNESCO as world heritage in July 2008. Tourist all over the world are enticed by its multicultural architecture and distinctive local cuisines too.
Last week of November, I participated again in familiarisation tour promoting the national tourism campaign of Malaysia which is the Visit Malaysia 2014 and Celebrate 1Malaysia Truly Asia by Tourism Malaysia and in partnership with the Gaya Travel Magazine, this time, it aims to further promote the the beautiful state of Malacca. Here I came up with Melaka travel guide.
PLACES TO VISIT AND THINGS TO DO:
Christ Church. This is the first thing I saw when I entered Melaka and it was really amazing to see my dream landmark in Melaka. This church was built between 1741 and 1753. It replaced a Portuguese church, which was shattered. You'll find Dutch tombstones on the flooring of the church. It is the oldest protestant church in Malaysia. On the altar you will see sacramental silverware, still bearing the Dutch coat of arms.
Dutch Square. Elegant square around Christ Church and the Stadhuys. On this square you will find the Tang Beng Swee Clock Tower, it looks Dutch, but it is not. It was built in 1886.
Fort A Famosa. Is a Portuguese fortress located in Malacca, built in 1511 under the command of Alfonso de Albuquerque. It is among the oldest surviving European architectural remains in Asia. The Porta de Santiago, a small gate house, is the only remaining part of the fortress still standing.
Menara Taming Sari. Take a ride in a 80 meters high tower with revolving deck to have a spectacular and panoramic view of Melaka UNESCO World Heritage City.
Ride colorful trishaw. Apart from doing the standard walking Melaka tour, you can also enjoy the UNESCO World Heritage City by riding a trishaw.
Portuguese Settlement. This has been the chosen place of the descendants of the Portuguese who conquered Malacca in 1511. The settlement is located southeast of the city center, consists of tidy rows of mostly wooden houses leading up to the Portuguese Square. They looks like Malay but their customs even houses really mirror the Portuguese characteristics. You'll see altar with status of Jesus and Mary perched high on their walls. Some of the people here up to now speak Cristao (or Cristang), a Portuguese patois.
|A catholic church in the Portuguese Settlement|
|The last traditional Portuguese house.|
Melaka River. Take a relaxing stroll down the river from Jalan Munshi Abdullah. The route takes you along a boardwalk and past a number of sheek looking houses decorated with large paintings. You can also do the river cruise here.
|Houses alongside of Melaka river are painted with colorful and meaningful murals.|
Jonker Walk. The center street of Chinatown – was once renowned for its antique shops. However over the years it has turned to clothing and crafts outlets as well as restaurants. The best part of Jonker Street is the night market on Fridays and Saturdays that sells everything from tasty treats to cheap keepsakes.
Kampung Kling Mosque. Built on 1748, this mosque is considered as one of the oldest mosque in Malaysia. It is situated at Jalan Tukang Emas. The mosque is one of the traditional mosques in Melaka, which still retains its original design. The architectural design of the mosque is a cross between Sumatran, Chinese, Hindu and Melaka Malay. The Kampung Kling Mosque is named based on the place where Indian traders dwell in that place called Kampung Kling.
Mini Malaysia & ASEAN Culture Park. This cultural park is actually located few kilometers outside Melaka, near the town of Ayer Keroh. Here you can find the traditional houses of each Malaysia's states. Each of the homes represents the architectural style of the 13 states in Malaysia and is furnished with various items, arts and crafts which depict the culture of each state, inside each house, you can find a range of their trademark handicrafts. So much to explore about their culture and the tradition which can be found in one place. You'll learn many things about Malaysia here!
|Bulak Cart is considered first mode of transportation in Melaka.|
|Iban Tribe or Ibans are branch of Dayak people from Borneo. |
Most Ibans are located at Sarawak and know for being farmers and hunters.
The Malacca Straits Mosque (Majid Selat) is a modern mosque located on the man-made Malacca Island near Malacca Town. The architecture of the mosque combines the craftsmanship of t he Middle Eastern and the Malays and cost MYR 10 million. It looks like a floating structure whenever the tide is high.
WHERE TO STAY:
Hotel Puri Melaka. For those searching to enjoy the busy life of a city yet long for culture and fun during the holidays, the Hotel Puri in Melaka in the southern region of Peninsular Malaysia is a great choice and ideal for those who want to explore the city.
Hotel Hallmark Crown. Located at 170, Jalan Parameswara, Melaka Raya Malacca offers a comfortable and spacious room in a very affordable rates.
HOW TO GET HERE:
From Kuala Lumpur
Southbound buses now leave from new bus terminal Bersepadu Selatan, which is located just next to LRT station and KTM Komuter station Bandar Tasik Selatan. Easiest way to get there from Chinatown is walk to Kuala Lumpur old railway station (just opposite side of canal from LRT Pasar Seni station, use overpass) and take KTM Komuter train for RM1.10 or take LRT from Masjid Jamek station. Buses are leaving every half hour, cartel price of ticket to Melaka Sentral is RM12.50 with all bus companies, ride takes 2 hours.
(Apr 2013) Metrobus has tickets for 9 MYR and it makes the trip in less than two hours; also half hourly. Coming back, it stops at another station for 2 min but still makes it back to KL in 2 hours or less.
There are many bus companies operate from City Plaza directly to Melaka Sentral. Bus schedules vary between companies but some operates have hourly buses. Best show up and buy tickets in advance if you want to travel on Saturday morning and return Sunday afternoon as many Singaporean tourists have the same idea. The fares can vary starting from around S$18-S$50 one way depending on class of the bus.
Bus rides often take any time between 3.5-5 hours depending on how long it takes to cross the Singapore-Malaysia borders, which during peak periods can cause massive delay. You will have to get your passport stamped at each end of the border and you must bring all your luggage with you when you are making an entrance into each country. Generally, the bus will wait for you at the border but sometimes they will expect you to catch the next bus if you take too long going through custom.
Disclosure: This tour is sponsored by Tourism Malaysia and in partnership of Gaya Travel Magazine in promotion of Visit Malaysia and Celebrate 1Malaysia Truly Asia.