Melaka, also known as “Malacca” is one of the earliest civilization in Malaysia. Melaka was founded by Parameswara in 1400 and he is the first Sultanate that start off Malaysia. There are a lot of legendary stories which started in Melaka. From the story of Parameswara observed the mouse deer pushed the dog into the river, to Hang Li Po Princess that married to Sultan Manshur Shah. Also never to be missed are the stories of Hang Tuah and Hang Jebat and also the European colonization which has made Melaka rich with Legend and History.
There are places that must be visited and food that must be tried out in Melaka. If not you are not considered to have visited to Melaka.
First place to be visited:
Jonker Street, Jonker Walk or Jalan Hang Jebat. Jonker Street is part of Melaka’s old Chinatown. This place covers from the oldest temple and mosque to the priceless antique shops and delicious famous restaurants. This can be considered the heart of Melaka.
The oldest Temple in Melaka which is located at Jonker Street.
The oldest mosque in Melaka which is also located near Jonker Street
The delicious local delight – grilled squids which can be found on the road side stalls.
The Famous Chicken Rice Ball Shop (Will be covered on the next food guide in Melaka)
The Famous Dessert Stall (Will be covered on the next food guide in Melaka post as well.)
Capitol Satay Restaurant (Again, will be covered on the next food guide in Melaka post.)
St. Paul’s Hill (A Famosa), St. Paul’s Hill also known as A Famosa. The Portuguese came to Melaka in 1511 and ruled the place till 1641. When they arrived at the shores of Melaka, the first thing they did was to build a fort overlooking the river. They named it A Famosa. The A Famosa is one of the oldest European Architectures present in Southeast Asia.
St. Pauls Church was originally a small chapel built by a Portugese Captain called Duarto Coelho in 1521 A.D and was handed over to the “Society of Jesus” in 1548 and enlarged in 1556. When Dutch took over Melaka from Portuguese, they changed the name to St. Paul’s Church. Later, St. Paul’s Church lost its tower when the British took over and added a lighthouse in front.
Old tombstones found inside the ruins bear silent testimony to the final resting place of several Dutch and Portuguese nationals.
Statue of St. Francis Xavier was built in 1952 to commemorate his passing and internment at this place.
The Melaka River or Sungai Malacca can be seen as the beginning of Melaka history, when it was called ‘Venice of the East’ by the Europeans who traveled to it. Its historical importance also lies in the fact that, during the 15th century, the Prince Parameswara of Sumatra created his Sultanate at the entrance to this river.
The river has a very beautiful and colorful lighting at night which you don’t want to miss out like me, I have forgotten to bring my camera that night. 🙁
Christ Church Melaka. Exhibiting the true Dutch architecture, this Church was built in 1753. The main attraction is the jointless ceiling, a brass Bible, tombstones written in Armenian, and the ‘Last Supper’ in glazed tiles. This is one of the main attractions in Melaka where most trishaws are waiting to pickup tourists.
The trishaw is waiting in a row for business with hi-fi and speaker blasting out the latest music to attract customers.
Clock Tower in the Middle of the Dutch Square, It was donated by a millionaire in 1886 with a clock imported from England. After a while, the clock died out like colonialism and was replaced by a Seiko in 1982.
The Queen Victoria fountain which was located near to the clock tower. The fountain is funded by local Chineses to celebrate the Queen Victoria, England who was then crowned as Queen Anniversary
The Portuguese Square is a central to the Portuguese community of Melaka. The residents there are mostly the modern descendants of past Melakan colonists who settled and blended with the locale community during the last 400 years. This square is also known as ‘Mini Lisbon’ for its location within this Portuguese settlement.
The seaside which can be seen from Portuguese Square is very nice, peaceful and clean.
There is also a nice restaurant which serves traditional Portuguese food which I will be covering on my next post.
Overall, Melaka is a great place which is famous for its historical and legendary stories. However, my advice is it is best to visit during off-peak seasons like during weekdays or non-public holiday as it gets very crowded from food and accommodation to parking and toileting. You need to have the patience to queue up for basically everything.