The Historic city of Melaka is the third smallest Malaysian state, after Perlis and Penang.
Melaka is located in the southern region of the Malay Peninsula, on the Straits of Malacca. It borders Negeri Sembilan to the north and the state of Johor to the south. The capital is Malacca City, which is 148 km south east of Malaysia’s capital city Kuala Lumpur, 235 km north west to Johor’s largest city Johor Bahru and 95 km north west to Johor’s second largest city Batu Pahat. This historical city centre has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 7 July 2008.
Although it was the location of one of the earliest Malay sultanates, the monarchy was abolished when the Portuguese conquered it in 1511. The Yang di-Pertua Negeri or Governor, rather than a Sultan, acts as the head of state now.
To get to Melaka, the easiest way is to take a bus from KL, which takes about 2 hours bus ride to Melaka Sentral (Melaka Bus Station)
Here is a pictorial of the highlights of what to expect when visiting Melaka.
Melaka was declared a UNESCO world heritage site the same time as Penang. Unlike Penang, Melaka is more of a historical play ground minus the booming night life and beaches. If you are planning to travel to Melaka, make sure you expect a lot of quiet ME time with yourself, plenty of good food and of course the history.
If your visit, is during the week-end. Make sure you make time to visit the famous week-end night market – Jonker Walk.
The entire street is closed off to a carnival of senses. The road is filled with small stalls selling local cuisine, souvenirs, local delicacies and cultural shows.
What is amazing about this stall was that, the food here really looked like real food. Except some of them were actually money boxes.
Try the local deserts. This dish is called Tang Yuan, which is basically glutinous rice balls (filled or just plain balls), cooked in flavoured syrup. The balls are sometimes filled with black sesame or crushed peanuts. There are of course the modern improvisations like chocolate fillings and oreos.
Orang Utan shop here sells pretty nice designed clothes! Check them out. The building itself was pretty catchy so we decided to take a photo of it. In case you are looking for some unique souvenirs, this is a good place to come to.
Built in 1748, the Kampung Kling Mosque along Jalan Tukang Emas in Malacca is among the oldest mosques in Malaysia. The minaret was built entirely of masonry in contrast to the accompanying timber mosque. It has an appearance similar to a Chinese pagoda or stupa form, another Malacca characteristic.
Sri Poyyatha Vinayagar Moorthi Temple is the oldest Hindu temple in Malaysia. It is on Jalan Tokong, or Temple Street, in Malacca, within walking distance of the Kampung Kling Mosque and Cheng Hoon Teng Temple. Built in the 1780s by the Hindu community of Malacca, and dedicated to Vinayagar or Ganesh, the Elephant deity. In the back room is a sculpture of the deity with the head of an elephant and the body of a man with four hands. There is another altar dedicated to Lord Muraga, the younger brother of Lord Vinayagar.
The temple stand of land donated by a Malacca Kapitan (headman) by the name of Thaivanayagam Chitty.
Cheng Hoon Teng Temple is also known as the Temple of Green Cloud in direct translation from Chinese to English. The temple building is covered in intricate gold carvings and murals. The Main hall is dedicated to the Goddess Kuan Yin. Located on Jalan Tokong, this is Malaysia’s oldest Chinese Temple. For over 300 years this temple has been the main place of worship for the Melakan Chinese. The temple was founded in the 1600s by a man named Li Kup, who fled China when the Manchus toppled the Ming dynasty. For more on the temples history, please visit Temple of Green Cloud.
An interesting and unique tour which visitors must not miss while you are in Malacca, is the Malacca River Boat Tour.
Due to the tidal tide conditions, the river boat will only operate when there is high tide. So visitors interested to take this cruise are recommended to check up first on the operating times. Also, the river cruise will only operate with a minimum 8 persons per voyage. The river boat will cruise up the shallow Malacca River from her river mouth to Kampong Morten where the boat makes her return trip. The distance is about 10 km from the jetty and takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour. A tour guide will highlight interesting things to you.
The boats depart every 30-45 minutes from morning till late night (11.30 pm) on a daily basis. On this river cruise, visitors get to observe the city surroundings by the riverside, including, but not limited to, old bridges, historical landmarks, modern buildings, traditional villages, museums, piers and other curious sights. It is recommended to take the river cruise at night, which is when most of the structures and buildings along with fountains are lit with colourful neon lights and bulbs. The boats feature a narration on the various scenery by a tour guide or through radio speakers installed on the boat. On peak periods, the queues can be amazingly long.
The jetty is located just opposite the police station near the Dutch Square (Stadthuys) and tickets may be purchased at MYR10 per adult and MYR5 for children.
Satay Celup is another signature dish of Melaka. You will not find this dish anywhere else in Malaysia. Although it looks like the Lok Lok in Penang or has the same concept as the Chinese steamboat but it is slightly different.
The main difference is satay celup is cooked by dipping or dunking in sticks of raw foods into boiling pot of aromatic rich and spicy peanut sauce. What makes Satay Celup special is the peanut sauce! Workers will consistently go to each table to mix or top up the peanut sauce. The sauce has to be well stirred so that it is cooked consistently so that when you dip into it, it is fragrant enough.
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The nyonya laksa was awesome. This was taken at Jonker 88 Desserts. The laksa wasnt spicy at all, and there was a generous scoop of tune bits with half an egg in each bowl. Overall this isa good place to sit and savour Melaka’s favourite dishes. Also do try their Nyonya Chendol as well, with (durian ice cream if you dare).
We hope we did make Melaka attractive enough for you to make a visit there. (Don’t mind the edited pictures to make the food and places look nicer :p)
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