Melaka is a historical state in Malaysia that is located in the Southern region of Peninsular Malaysia. It is bordered by Negeri Sembilan to the North and West, and Johor to the South. Sungai Melaka (The Malacca River) that flows through the middle of Malacca City feeds into the Straits of Malacca on its East of the state. This unique position lent Melaka its nickname as ‘The Venice of the East’.
Of course, the most direct way to get to Melaka from Kuala Lumpur is to drive there via the North-South Expressway.
Another most economical ways to arrive at Melaka Sentral from KL Sentral is by bus, the journey takes approximately 2 hour 40 minute, including a 20-minute transfer at Terminal Bersepadu Selatan, KL.
Having been colonised by the Portuguese, Dutch and British, Melaka is a state that is rich in history and culture, and as such, you will find a varied influences of these former colonial powers in its food, architecture, language and even lifestyle. The city also has a large Peranakan community, which has led to the Nyonya culture that embraces a mix of Malay and Chinese influences in their way of life, culture and especially, cuisines.
Together with George Town in the state of Penang, the historical city centre of Melaka was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since July 2008. There are many heritage sites to explore in Melaka, and much like Penang, one of the best ways to get around the city is to take a scenic trishaw ride!
Kota A’Famosa is more than just a quick photo-op stop. Beneath its Instagrammable facade, it is one of the oldest surviving European architectural remains in Asia. It was originally constructed by Alfonso de Alburqueque who led the Portuguese invasion on the Melaka Sultanate in year 1511, as the site of the entire Portuguese administration, its hospitals, churches, stockades and 4 key towers. When British fully conquered Melaka, they ordered the destruction of the Fort, and up to this day, only a lone gate (Porta de Santiago) remains.
Near the remains of the A’Famosa Fort, sits the ruins of St Paul’s Church at the summit of St Paul’s Hill. It was constructed by Portuguese captain Duerte Coelho in gratitude to the Virgin Mary. The 150-years old roofless ruins of St Paul’s Church is a beautiful, breezy sanctuary that have stood witness to the many historical incidences in the becoming of Melaka.
One of the most notable landmark that represents Melaka is Christ Church, the brick-red building with a huge white cross on top, situated along Church Street. It was built by the Dutch in 1753 to celebrate a century of Dutch occupation. You can enter the Church to have a look at its interior with high ceilings and 200-year-old handmade pews.
The Stadthuys is a massive terracotta-red riverfront building, right opposite the Christ Church of Melaka. It was built between 1641 and 1660 on the ruins of the Portuguese fort, and was once the official residence of Dutch governors and officers, and was then the focus point of several successive governments for over 300 years. Now, the renovated main building houses the Museum of History & Ethnography, showcasing Malaccan customs and traditions, as well as the city’s rich history.
Jonker Street is the centre street of Chinatown that was once renowned for its antique shops. Over the years, its focus has turned to clothing, craft and cuisine. Jonker Street is probably most popular for its weekend night market that hosts a wide array of stalls selling everything from tasty treats to cheap keepsakes!
A’Famosa Resort is one of the most famous riverfront theme parks in Malaysia, which consists of a waterpark, safari, and an old cowboy town themed attraction. Fun activities await here, you can go rock-climbing, paddle boat, try out archery, paintball and many more! It is a great spot for family travellers as there are many activities here for younger visitors as well.
Located in the popular Bandar Hilir district, Menara Taming Sari (Taming Sari Revolving Tower) is the first gyro tower in Malaysia. Standing at 110m in height, Menara Taming Sari offers guests a 360 degree panoramic birds’-eye view of the Malacca town and beyond.
Set at the base of St Paul’s Hill, the Melaka Sultanate Palace was painstakingly constructed in 1985 using traditional construction technique. It is a model of Sultan Mansur Shah’s original seven-tiered wooden palace that was built entirely without nails in the 15th century. Today, it is a three-storey Cultural Museum that houses artefacts, prints, photographs and drawings detailing the Malaccan Malay Sultanate history and heritage.
The Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum is a collection of 3 beautifully restored houses arranged to resemble a 19th-century Baba Nyonya residence. This Museum is built with intricate Peranakan architectural influences, and its interior is decked out with gorgeous period decorations. Here, you can find out more about the unique Peranakan culture in Melaka and a get a glimpse of the Peranakans’ way of life.
One of the best ways to experience ‘The Venice of the East’ is take a scenic Melaka River Cruise. In the day, you can cruise past landmarks such as Kampung Morten and enjoy the sights and life of this historical city. During the nighttime river cruises, you get the chance to enjoy the city illuminations and see how Melaka comes alive after dark.
Melaka River Cruise tickets for 2 persons (including 1-night’ hotel stay) available here!
Encore Melaka is an impressive Melaka-themed cultural song and dance performance. Housed in a building with a 2,000 seat auditorium that rotates 360º around the theatre, audiences have the chance to have a close up view of multiple stages. This show was created by a Chinese company which was involved in the Beijing Olympics opening and closing shows, thus you can expect the most stunning visual imageries from this experience.
Sunway Travel is offering various attractive tour packages in Melaka, starting from only RM168.00 per person*! What are you waiting for! Check out all the tour packages in Southern Malaysia for your Cuti-cuti Malaysia trips: https://www.sunway.travel/packages/domestic-southern-region/
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