Melaka – No 3 Attraction

Stadthuys Melaka

Stadthuys Melaka

Melaka is another Unesco World Heritage Site which has a mix history quite uniquely different from Penang. It was founded by a Hindu prince from Sumatra by the name of Parameswara who rapidly developed the village into a powerful trading town in the early 1400s. Due to its strategic location Melaka attracted merchants from all over the East to become a favoured port.

Chinese influence in the region at the time was shown by the arrival of Chinese Muslim Admiral Cheng Ho in 1405 bearing gifts from the Ming emperor for protection of Melaka from Siamese intruders. Chinese settlers who came later inter married with the local Malays to become known as the Baba and Nyonya, the Peranakans or Straits Chinese.

Melaka

A Famosa

Melaka became Islamic in the mid 15th Century. In 1511, the Portuguese Alfonso de Albuquerque conquered Melaka and ruled it until the Dutch took it over in 1641. Under the Portuguese, the fortress A’Famosa was built. Melaka passed into British hands after the French occupied Holland in 1795. In 1824 Melaka was permanently ceded to the British. Melaka together with Singapore and Penang formed the British Straits Settlements. From these bases the British expanded into the peninsula.

As a result of this historical background, the buildings in Melaka reflected the architectural heritage of the conquerors and occupiers of the periods. The remnant of A’Famosa is still present by its front gate. The Portuguese built the St. Paul’s Church on Bukit St Paul.

Galleon Melaka

Galleon Melaka

The many tourist attractions in Melaka Town are Jonker’s Walk Night Market in Chinatown, Baba-Nyonya Heritage Museum, Stadthuys, A’Famosa Porta De Santiago, St Paul’s Church, Maritime Museum & Naval Museum, Sultanate Palace, Masjid Kampung Hulu, Muzium Rakyat, Bukit Cina, Poh San Teng Temple, Proclamation of Independence, Hang Kasturi Tomb, KuanYin Temple, etc. Most of these attractions are within walking distance. The historical Chinatown zone houses many old heritage shop houses which accommodate many souvenir shops, local food courts and budget hotels.

Whilst in Melaka, try a ride on the local trishaw which is decorated with flowers, baby doll heads, religious paraphernalia, decorative lights and a sound system. There is a riverboat trip up the Melaka River for a 40 minutes ride.

Melaka is famous for its Nyonya style seafood and this can be found in many of the local restaurants surrounding the tourist belt and its out skirts. However, the good Nyonya foods are a bit spicy like “kampong” fish spiced in chili belacan. So be prepared.

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