MALAYSIA > PENINSULAR MALAYSIA > Melaka
Malaysia has four World Heritage Sites
recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and
Cultural Organization's (Unesco) World Heritage List.
1) Archaeological Heritage of the Lenggong Valley (AHLV) in Perak.
2) Historic cities of Melaka and George Town along the Straits of Melaka.
3) Gunung Mulu National Park in Sarawak.
4) Kinabalu Park in Sabah.
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.
No.150-A Jalan Temenggong, 75000 Malacca
25-11-2006 SAT 3:26PM
Porta de Santiago
This prominent landmark 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.
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.
The 45-minute River Cruise takes
you all the way to Kampung Morten, past Malacca town and the
settlements and bridges along the riverbank.
|Melacca's rich cultural heritage comes from its
various ethnic groups who are proud of their
historical links to the past.
The Malays constitute the largest group of Melaka's population. Islam pervades their whole way of life, including their customs or adat. The social system of the Malays in Melaka is based on adat temenggong, which embraces a patriarchal tradition. This custom spread subsequently to other states in the peninsula.
The Chinese community forms the second largest ethnic group in Melaka and most of them are involved in business and trading activities. The Peranakan or Straits- born Chinese form a unique sub- group. Also known as Baba-Nyonya, they are descendants of the Chinese who arrived in Melaka and married locals. Described as 'Chinese in spirit and Malay in form', they retain many Chinese customs but Malay is their mother-tongue. They have adopted the Malay-style of dressing.
The Indians are another important group in Melaka's colorful racial mix. Within this group are the Melaka Chittys, descendants of wealthy traders from South India's Coromandel Coast who visited Melaka during the 15th century and married local women. This resulted in a unique culture where they speak and dress like the Malays but retain their religious practices. A small community, there are only about 250 of them in Gajah Berang.
The Portuguese-Eurasian community number about 10,000 in Malaysia. About 2,600 live in Melaka in the Portuguese Settlement which dates to 1930. They speak cristang, an archaic Portuguese dialect, and are Roman Catholics. The settlement is a hive of activity during the Festa San Juang and Festa San Pedro celebrations.
Festa San Juang or Feast of St. John begins with a candlelight procession at St. John's Hill. It proceeds downhill to the Portuguese Settlement where a bonfire would be lit, food served and cultural performances held. A performance to look out for is the branya, a lively Portuguese dance where performers recite poems while dancing.
Festa San Pedro or the Feast of St. Peter is a major annual celebration of the Portuguese fishing community. The event honours St. Peter, the patron saint of fishermen. The community celebrates the occasion with traditional games, cultural performances, food fairs, blessing of fishing boats and the best decorated boat contest.
Places of interest
Welcome to Melaka
| Sabah | Sarawak | Melacca | Kuala Lumpur |
Melaka is known for its historical prominence and its cultural appeal. In the 16th century, Melaka enjoyed a reputation as the foremost maritime trading center in the region. So coveted was Melaka by the European powers that it was ruled successively by the Portuguese, Dutch and the British until the Federation of Malaya was formed on 31 st August 1957.
It is the place where those who are hunting for treasures of the past will be rewarded if they look deep into its quaint shops for curios and antiques.
The rich multi-cultural heritage of Melaka's people is reflected in their unique customs and traditions, food, festivals, dances, buildings and lifestyles. Melaka cuisine is well-known for its lively flavors and aromas. The city's many restaurants, cafes, food courts, pubs and fast food restaurants offer a range of culinary options.
There is accommodation in these states to suit all tastes and budgets. Major hotels are located in the main towns. Budget accommodation, hostels and bed and breakfast inns are also available.
Places of Interest
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 color to match the nearby Christ Church.
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.
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.
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
Meiaka by the Ming emperor to marry the Sultan, marking the advent of diplomatic
relations between Meiaka and China.
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.
Hang Tuah's Mausoleum This famous Malay warrior served as the admiral of Melaka's naval forces and defended successfully countless attacks against Meiaka. The outstanding military exploits of Hang Tuah and his four comrades, made him a legend in the history of Meiaka.
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 Meiaka 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.
Meiaka 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 Meiaka culture.
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.
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.
Traditional Meiaka House A typical traditional Meiaka house stands on 12 to 16 main pillars, usually two meters high. The decorative flower-motif tiled steps are its most striking feature. Traditional Meiaka houses can still be seen in rural communities with the most famous located in Bukit Paloh.
Mini Malaysia This themed complex showcases 13 life-size authentic and
traditional houses of Malaysia crafted by master builders.
Melaka Zoo The Melaka Zoo is home to more than 200 species of animals found in Southeast Asia and Africa.
Cheng Ho Cultural Museum This museum located in Bandar Hilir is filled with artifacts 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.
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.
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.
Antiques Jonker Street (renamed Jalan Hang Jebat) in the older section of the city is a haven for antique collectors and bargain hunters. Authentic artifacts 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.
For those arriving by air at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, you can get to Melaka by taxi or air-conditioned coaches. Melaka is a 2-hour drive from Kuala Lumpur and 2 hours from Johor Bahru. Melaka is a popular stop-over destination for cruise ships. Ferries also ply between Melaka and Dumai in Sumatra. The Batu Berendam airfield also receives flights from Indonesia.
Tourist Police Tel: 606-285 4114
Immigration Office Tel: 606-282 4958
Melaka Tourist Information Center Tel: 606-281 4803
Tourism Malaysia Melaka
Tel: 606-288 3304 /1549 / 3785