A’Famosa-– Portuguese Fortress, most photographed hallmark of Melaka.
It was built by the Portuguese in 1511.
I am back from my awesome trips of Oman and Singapore which I won through blogging contests. Both the experiences were absolutely delightful and for the next 6 months I have enough to blog about.
in August happened the Malayisa trip and I have already written a couple of posts about my visit to MALAYSIA which was superbly hosted by Malaysia Tourism. Do check out my Malaysia series. With this post I wanna travel back in time, when the Malaysian sojourn took me to Melaka for 2 days.
MELAKA: Historic City on the Straits of Malacca
Bandaraya Melaka is strategically located with its coastline into the Straits of Melaka. The Malaccan history, multicultural heritage and its majestic past is absolutely impressive. 600-year-old, Melaka town is uniquely charming with no lofty mountains or the best beaches. It is situated two hours south of Kuala Lumpur and four hours northwest of Singapore. Our road journey started at Seri Pacific Hotel in Kuala Lumpur and in next two hours we were at our next destination, Equatorial Hotel in Melaka.
Jeevan, our guide told us enough all through the road trip and made me absolutely curious about it. He told us abut the cultural cross-road of Melaka, its architecture, cuisine and how it happens to be a melting pot of cultures. The town gets its richness and architectural uniqueness from its colonization by the Portuguese, Dutch and the British as well as Chinese. The city has it all from the remnants of Portuguese fort to Dutch buildings to Chinese houses and Malay culture. Thus it was declared the Unesco World Heritage Site in 2008.
The quaintness of the place is attractive. My last post talked about Jonker Street and Harmony Street which houses the beautiful Cheng Hoon Teng Chinese temple built in the 1600s. Apart from that the Melaka city has churches, Hindu temple and mosques too. Cendol with durian, shark fin soup, nyonya laksa and pineapple tarts are a must eat. And one can’t return without hearing the historic tales of Malaccan warrior, Hang Tuah who hails from this place.
View of Melaka taken from Menara Taming Sari– ‘First Revolving Gyro Tower’ of Malaysia.
It provides panoramic 360 degree view of Melaka.
Another beautiful capture of Melaka
The Rich Trading History
The trading post of Melaka bustled with energy when ships from West and East Asia arrived all through the busy months of December and March. Spice islands traded with Melaka between May and September. Its trading entrepot led to a lucrative spice trade. Thousands of Arabs, Persians, Gujratis, and many others traded at Melaka port.
Can you beat this? At one time, a total of 84 languages were spoken in Melaka.
The models of Chinese traders that I captured in the Sultanate Palace Musuem
Melaka has lots to enrich you with history. The Malaysian independence came in 1957. Before that it was the Portuguese, then the Dutch and the British who came and left their marks in the city. If someone says Melaka is about one day, I would contradict. To get into the skin of its historical significance, one must spend 2 days to explore around. Walking around on foot is most advisable and in between, one may go for the Duck tour, the Trishaw ride and the Melaka River cruise. They all help to look around the city and absorb its culture better. I experienced all of them and the Trishaw ride remains to be my favorite.
Early morning, after breakfast, you may just get going like we did…
Start from paying a visit to the ‘Replica of Malacca’s Sultanate Palace’– It is situated at the foot of St. Paul ‘s Hill. This Malay palace talks about Malacca’s glorious past. Next to it is the building that is known as ‘Proclamation of Independence Memorial’, it exhibits country’s struggle leading to the independence. Get clicked at the Portuguese Fort, A’Famosa. Further, one can climb up to see the ruins of St.Paul′s Church that was built by the Portuguese in 1521. Next you reach the Stadthuys, the official residence of Dutch Governors. Close to it, we also visited the St. Fancis Xavier’s Church built in 1849.
Menara Taming Sari makes you enjoy the 360 degree view of the city. Even if you do not like museums, Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum and Maritime Museum are a must visit because both are unique. While Baba Nyona requires a prior booking, Maritime can be visited anytime. Baba Nyona is a Chinese museum and the visit is very fruitful because a lady takes you around the house and tells you everything about the Chinese living, culture, heritage. Maritime Museum is built inside a replica of the famous Melaka ship. In the evening, Melaka River cruise is an interesting option. The open cafes, boutique hotels, graffiti on the walls hint on the trendy European influence on the city. Along the Melaka river, one can find old villages, or kampungs, and modern day buildings.
Maritime Museum located at the Portuguese Settlement
Proclamation of Independence Memorial
You will enjoy to read around it as the exhibits talk about the country’s struggle leading to the independence.
Masjid Selat Melaka (Floating Mosque)
At high tide, the mosque appears to be floating. I captured the above shot while enjoying the Melacca Duck Tour ride.
A picture captured while enjoying the Melaka River Cruise in the late evening.
The lights, water, ambiance make it a vibrant, colorful riverside view.
Melacca’s Sultanate Palace
Trendy, Colorful and Vibrant
With colorful buildings, trendy coffee shops and boutique hotels, Melaka is alluring.
Stroll around Jonker street, look around the antique shops, artifacts, collectibles, food hawkers etc. The shops here date back as far to 300 years old. Jonker Street weekend night is sure to check out if you are there around weekend.
Melaka is as vibrant and historically multicolored as these colorful bottles.
The picture was taken while strolling around Jonker street.
An antique shop in Melaka’s China Town
The flowery decorated, beautifully decked up Trishaw in Melaka.
The stylish drivers are friendly and will entertain you by playing Bollywood songs in the music system.