Point of Interest

Melaka is the peacock of Malaysian cities. It’s bright, loud, and almost preens with its wealth of homegrown galleries, crimson colonial buildings and showy trishaws.
 
The city’s historic centre was awarded Unesco World Heritage status in 2008, and since then Melaka’s tourism industry has developed at break-neck pace. Old shophouses and mansions have enjoyed makeovers as galleries and hotels, and Melaka’s kaleidoscope of architectural styles – spanning Peranakan, Portuguese, Dutch and British elements – has been well preserved. Meanwhile restaurants have found a booming audience of weekend visitors, all eager to sample the varied cuisines that have spawned from Melaka’s cultural mosaic of residents.
 

Inevitably, a strong whiff of commercialism has accompanied this success. A roaring trade in cheap trinkets and risqué T-shirts unfolds alongside artisan sellers and antiques shops. Meanwhile, big-name businesses skulk awkwardly next to faded shophouses. But Chinatown’s charm still lingers, and is best represented by its resident artists, cooks and colourful trishaws.
 
The city today (as it has for centuries) exudes tolerance and welcomes cultural exchange. Locals are proud to nickname Chinatown street Jalan Tokong Besi as ‘Harmony Street’, thanks to its mosque, Chinese temple and Hindu temple, all in close proximity.
 
It’s easy to feel the town’s old magic (and get a seat at popular restaurants) on quiet weekdays. Visiting at the weekend thrills and infuriates in equal measure: you’ll experience the famed Jonker Walk Night Market, with music, shopping and street food galore, but you’ll share the experience elbow-to-elbow with other travelers.

 

There are many places of interest in Melaka to be visited. Some of them are:
 
1. Porta de Santiago
This prominent landmark almost synonymous with Melaka was a fortress built by the Portuguese admiral, Alfonso d’Albuquerque in 1511. It was badly damaged during the Dutch invasion in 1641. Timely intervention by Sir Stamford Raffles, a British official, in 1808 saved what remains of the A’Famosa today.
 
2. Stadthuys
Another major landmark in the state, the Stadthuys was built in 1650 as the official residence of Dutch governors and their officers. Originally white, it was given a striking salmon-red colour to match the nearby Christ Church.
 
3. Christ Church
Situated adjacent to the Stadthuys, this bright red structure is testimony to Dutch architectural ingenuity. Interesting features include the church’s handmade pews, ceiling beams (constructed without joints), brass bible, tombstone and ‘The Last Supper?in glazed tiles.
 
4. St. Paul’s Church
St. Francis Xavier was buried in the open grave here in 1553 before his body was transferred to Goa in India. The church has a commanding view of Melaka.
 
5. St. John’s Fort
The fort is located on St. John’s Hill and was originally a private Portuguese chapel dedicated to St. John the Baptist. The fort has an interesting feature; cannons face inland as during that time attacks on Melaka came mainly from the hinterland instead of from the sea.
 
6. Bukit Cina
As the name implies, ‘Chinese Hill?was the official settlement of the entourage that arrived with the Chinese Princess Hang Li Po. She was sent to Melaka by the Ming emperor to marry the Sultan, marking the advent of diplomatic relations between Melaka and China.
 
7. Hang Li Po’s Well
Built by the followers of Hang Li Po, the well was the only source of water during great droughts. The Dutch enclosed it with stout walls to reserve it for their exclusive use. Today, it enjoys a reputation as a wishing well.
 
8. Hang Tuah’s Mausoleum
This famous Malay warrior served as the admiral of Melaka’s naval forces and defended successfully countless attacks against Melaka. The outstanding military exploits of Hang Tuah and his four comrades, made him a legend in the history of Melaka.
 
9. Melaka Sultanate Palace (Cultural Museum)
At the foot of St. Paul’s Hill, lies the wooden replica of a 15th century Malay palace. The building has been turned into a cultural museum with main exhibits relating to Melaka culture.
 
10. Baba and Nyonya Heritage Museum
This museum was the ancestral home of three generations of a Baba-Nyonya (descendants of the Chinese who arrived in Melaka and married locals) family. An open-air courtyard is situated in the middle of the house. Furniture is made of Chinese rosewood in a mixture of Chinese, Victorian and Dutch designs.

 

11. Maritime Museum
This unique museum is housed in a replica of the Flor de la Mar, a Portuguese vessel that sank off the Melaka coast. Inside the museum are models of ships, authentic maps, old iron chests and charts.
 
12. Portuguese Square
The Portuguese Square is located within the Portuguese Settlement, 3km from the city. Built in the late 1980s, the square is inspired by the Portuguese mercado. It is the venue for local cultural shows performed every Saturday evening.
 
13. A’Famosa Resort
Located in the vicinity of Alor Gajah, is the award-winning A’Famosa Resort which boasts several themed attractions which include the A’Famosa Water World, A’Famosa Animal World Safari and A’Famosa Cowboy Town.
 
14. Traditional Melaka House
A typical traditional Melaka house stands on 12 to 16 main pillars, usually two metres high. The decorative flower-motif tiled steps are its most striking feature. Traditional Melaka houses can still be seen in rural communities with the most famous located in Bukit Paloh.
 
15. Mini Malaysia & Mini ASEAN
This themed complex showcases life-size authentic and traditional houses of Malaysia and ASEAN crafted by master builders.
 
16. Melaka Zoo
The Melaka Zoo is home to more than 200 species of animals found in Southeast Asia and Africa.
 
17. Cheng Ho Cultural Museum
This museum was set up in honour of a Chinese Ming Dynasty admiral called Cheng Ho or Zheng He. This museum located in Bandar Hilir is filled with artefacts related to Admiral Cheng Ho who sailed to Melaka from China in the 15th century. There are about 2,000 historical items related to Cheng Ho and the Ming Dynasty being displayed at the museum, including crockery, coins, the Cheng Ho Well, clothing and a replica of Cheng Ho’s ship.
 
18. Tanjung Tuan
The westernmost tip of Peninsular Malaysia, Tanjung Tuan was formerly known as Cape Rachado. The 18th century lighthouse there was built at its promontory to guide sailing ships safely to Melaka. The cape consists of a 65ha coastal forest cum recreational forest which serves as a sanctuary for migratory raptors from colder climes.
 
19. Islands
Off the Melaka coast are a cluster of islands, the largest being Pulau Besar and Pulau Upeh. Pulau Besar offers sandy beaches, beachfront chalets, beach activities and golfing. Pulau Upeh is a quiet island getaway for nature lovers and provides visitors the opportunity to see the rare Hawksbill turtle.
 
20. Antiques
Jonker Street (renamed Jalan Hang Jebat) in the older section of the city is a haven for antique collectors and bargain hunters. Authentic artefacts and relics, some dating as far back as 300 years, can be found among a host of interesting collectibles, each with its own history and mystery.
 
21. Kampung Hulu’s Mosque
The mosque, built in 1728 during the Dutch Occupancy, is the oldest mosque in the country. Its unique architectural style is a unique blend of Sumatran, Hindu and Western architecture. Within the mosque compound, you can find the grave of Sayyid Abdullah Al-Haddad, a famous religious teacher, whom many regarded as a “Wali” (Saint).
 
22. Al-Khawarizmi Astronomy Complex
Al-Khawarizmi Astronomy Complex is one of the facilities that are provided by Melaka State Government in order to study and to explore the growth and the mystery of the universe. Melaka Mufti Department has been honored to realizing the State Government’s ambition.
 
There were three main buildings in the Complex, which are the observatory, the Planetarium and the Training Centre. In the expansion of Al-Khawarizmi Astronomy Complex, Malaysian have the opportunity to study and appreciate astronomy deeper.

 
 
tourism.malaysiaClick here to know more about Melaka from Tourism Malaysia official website.
 
Lonely_PlanetClick here to know more about Melaka from Lonely Planet official website.