Malacca

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Malacca is a small state in southern part of the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. It is located between Johor and Negeri Sembilan.

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  • Metropolis over 100 hotels
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  • Casino Casino
  • Civic property Civic property
  • Education Education
  • Entertainment Entertainment
  • Golf course Golf course
  • Green space Green space
  • Harbor Harbor
  • Historic site Historic site
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  • Medical Medical
  • Monument Monument
  • Museum Museum
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  • Sports facility Sports facility
  • Theater Theater
  • Winery Winery

Points of Interest in Malacca

Traditional Malacca Malay houses can be seen especially in the Merlimau area about 20 km south of Malacca City on the coastal road to Muar and Johor. A unique feature of the Malacca Malay kampung (village) house is its concrete and attractively-tiled front stairway. Most Malays are very house proud and you can see the effort put into up-keeping and gardening.

The Portuguese Settlement in Malacca is occupied by descendents from the Dutch colonial days. Annually, during the weeks preceding Christmas Day, the settlement is brightly decorated for Christmas. Streets and homes are brightly decorated with colourful lightings and ornaments.

During Chinese New Year which normally falls in the month of January or February, the chinese community will decorate their homes with brightly lit red lanterns and ornaments. These can be especially seen in Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock (Heeren Street), Jalan Hang Tuah (Jonker Street) and Jalan Bunga Raya.

Christ Church

The Stadthuys

St Paul\'s Church

A Famosa

Kampung Keling Mosque

Cheng Hoon Teng Temple

Red Square

Kampung Hulu Mosque

Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum

Mahkota Parade Shopping Mall

Dataran Pahlawan Melaka Megamall

Hatten Square

Poh San Teng Temple

Butterfly and Reptile Sanctuary

Masjid Selat Melaka

Hang Jebat Stadium

Bukit China

Melaka International Trade Center (MITC)

St. John\'s Fort

Gunung Ledang Johor National Park

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Popular events in Malacca in the near future

Date: Category: The event list provided by Eventful
The event list provided by Eventful

About Malacca

History

Before the arrival of the first Sultan, Malacca was a simple fishing village inhabited by local Malays. Malacca was founded by Parameswara, also called Iskandar Shah or Sri Majara, the last Raja of Singapura (now known as Singapore) following a Majapahit attack in 1377. Parameswara found his way to Malacca in 1400 where he found a port, accessible in all seasons and on the strategically located narrowest point of the Malacca Strait. This later became Malacca

There are some interesting legends surrounding the foundation and naming of Malacca. According to the 16th century Malay Annals, the city was founded by Parameswara. Some believe it more likely that he was a Hindu prince and political fugitive from nearby Java. The legend goes that Parameswara was out on a hunt in the region and had stopped to refresh himself near what is now the Malacca River. Standing near a melaka (Indian gooseberry) tree he was surprised to witness one of his hunting dogs so startled by a mouse deer that it fell into the river. Parameswara took this as a propitious sign of the weak overcoming the powerful and decided to build the capital of his new kingdom where he stood, naming it for the tree under which he had been resting. Another account says Malacca is derived from the Arabic word Malakat, meaning market. Malacca had a navigable harbor sheltered by nearby Sumatra across the narrow straits. The location was supplied with an ample quantity of fresh water, enjoyed a prime location relative to the shifting monsoon winds, and had a central location in regional trade patterns, all of which soon made it a prosperous trading town. Its fortunes increased with its official adoption of Islam in the 14th century. The Sultans of Malacca were soon attracting Arab traders from far afield. However, Malacca continued to trade with merchants of all races and religions.

After the visit of the Chinese Muslim Admiral Cheng Ho in the mid-15th century, contact between China and Malacca intensified. In exchange for protection against Siam, Malacca became a vassal state to Ming China. To ensure Malacca's safety, a new and powerful kingdom was founded by the Sultan of Samudra-Pasai.

The power of the Malays began to rise through the 15th century. In the Malay Annals,the sultan Mansur Shah was mentioned as having 6 wives and the fifth was stated to be a daughter of the Ming Emperor. However, in the Chinese chronicles, no such event was recorded.

Things started to change with the arrival of the Portuguese in 1509. They were at first welcomed, but Indian traders soon turned the sultan against the Portuguese and they had to flee. In 1511 the Portuguese returned, and at their second attempt seized the city. This marked the start of the formation of a large Eurasian community. The Portuguese turned the city into a massive walled fortress complete with a tower bristling with cannon. It was believed that such fortifications could withstand the encroachments of other European powers eager for a slice of the Asian luxury goods trade.

An alliance between the Dutch and the Sultanate of Johor Bahru saw the loss much of Malacca's power. In 1641 the Dutch navy put a blockade on Malacca and they seized the city after six months. During the siege much of the Portuguese city was destroyed.

Only after 150 years did the Dutch lose their hold on Malacca. In 1795 The Netherlands was conquered by the French, and the British were keen to take over the Dutch holdings in Malacca. By that time, Malacca had lost most of its former importance although it remained an important part of Asian trade routes.

The A Famosa gate is all that remains of the old Portuguese and Dutch forts. As the Napoleonic Wars wound down the British knew Malacca would be returned to Dutch control. In order to make the city indefensible the city walls were blown down. A last minute intervention by a British officer, the young Sir Stamford Raffles (founder of British Singapore) saved the gate. Shortly after its return to Dutch rule, the Dutch and British governments swapped colonies - British Bencoolen in Sumatra for Dutch Malacca.

Malacca is a center of Peranakan culture. When Chinese settlers originally came to Malacca as miners, traders and coolies, they took local brides (of Javanese, Batak, Achenese, etc descent) and adopted many local customs. The result of this is an interesting fusion of local and Chinese cultures. The men are addressed as Babas and the women Nonyas by their servants meaning Master and Mistress.

A small group of Eurasians of Portuguese descent continue to speak their unique creole, known as Cristão or Kristang.

Activities

Visit Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock (Heeren Street) where you will see traditional houses dating back to 17th century. These long and narrow houses were homes of rich families in Malacca. Today, they are mostly shop houses.

Jonker Walk in Jalan Hang Tuah (jonker Street) is a night market that features products and foods associated with the local chinese and Peranakan communities. Jonker Walk is only available on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings from 6.00pm onwards.

Some interesting places to see are the Zoo, and the Museum district where there is a particularly good(if small) history museum. If one wants to see a taste of modern Malacca, there is a rather modern shopping mall full of Straits Chinese.

During Chinese New Year festival, these old streets (Heeren Street,Jonker Streest, etc) are brightly lit with red lanterns.

The Portuguese Settlement in Malacca is occupied by descendents from the Dutch colonial days. Annually, during the weeks preceding Christmas Day, the settlement is brightly decorated for Christmas. Streets and homes are brightly decorated with colourful lightings and ornaments.

Food

Peranakan or Baba-Nyonya (Straits Chinese) cuisines are popular among tourists. Most of the Peranakan eateries are located in Melaka Raya and Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock (Heeren Street). Baba-Nyonya cuisines are mostly sweet and spicy. Some will serve Durian Cendol, a sweet traditional desert made from palm sugar and durian.

For eating options outside Malacca City, many head to two popular seafood eating areas, namely Umbai and Pengkalan Balak. These places only come alive in the evening.

Umbai is located about 11 km south of Malacca City on the coastal road to Muar and Johor. If coming from Malacca City, turn right when you see the signboard "Jeti Pulau Besar Pernu" just before Umbai town. A row of stalls selling seafood cooked Malay-style located at the end of the road. Catch a Merlimau- or Muar-bound bus from Melaka Sentral and tell the conductor to let you off at "Medan ikan bakar".

Pengkalan Balak is located about 35 km north of Malacca City on the road to Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan. It is located just next to Tanjung Bidara, Malacca's best stretch of beach. Getting is quite complicated - involving a drive to Masjid Tanah and then to Pengkalan Balak - and almost impossible by public transport.

"Satay Celup" is unique to Melaka. These are meats, seafood and vegetables skewered on sticks and dunked into a nutty spicy sauce to boil and cook. The "satay celup" shops are only open in the evening. The best "satay celup" are said to be located in Jalan Ong Kim Wee or Lorong Bukit Cina.

Drinks

  • Pure Bar, Taman Melaka Raya Melaka, Malaysia,  +60 6 281 4309. Open 4 days/wk from Wed-Sat and during special events.


Shopping

Malacca is famed for its antiques, with many a beautiful shophouse interior now filled to the brim with artefacts from all around the Asia Pacific region. Your chances of finding a bargain here are minimal though; prices in many of the tourist-oriented places are absurdly high by any standard, and although many items are touted as being 'more than a hundred years old', most is brand new but 'aged' at the back of the shops.

Shops

  • Beyond Treasures, 57 Jonker St. 12 noon-8PM. Woodcrafts, including Asian masks, antiques and souvenirs.
  • Dataran Pahlawan Mega Mall, is the latest landmarks in Melaka. It is also the largest mall in Southern Malaysia. Located in the heart of the historic centre and opposite Mahkota Parade.
  • Jusco store in Ayer Keroh Very popular during the weekend where even the Singaporeans come to shop.
  • The Orangutan House, ☎ +60 6 282 6872. 59 Lorong Hang Jebat., ) has cool T-shirts as well as paintings for sale.
  • No.4 Jalan Tokong, just off the jonkers walk this is a lovely art gallery of contemporary art work by Titi Kwok, the work is beautiful and the prices even better.
A dried fruit purveyors historic shopfront in Jalan Bendahara
  • J. Manik Sdn. Bhd, 23 Jalan Hang Lekir (Jonker Street, opposite Geographer Cafe). 10AM - 7PM. A shop where they sell authentic Nyonya kebaya and kasut manik-manik (beaded shoes for the ladies). Nyonya kebaya and kasut manik-manik are the tradisional attires of the Baba Nyonya and the Peranakan Heritage. J. Manik is many Singaporean tourists' favourite because they are famous for their quality and services. Not cheap, but definitely value for money.
  • Martin Wood Art Gallery, 60 Heeren Street,Malacca. Art gallery of deco and fine art by artist Martin Wood who used to paint up on St.Paul's Hill, nice colours and great prices too.
  • Nil Six Studio/Mlackeny Der, 92, Lorong hang Jebat, ☎ +60 14 928 3817. A design studio run by Stanley Chin. Good contemporary Melaka/Malaysia designs on t-shirts. 100% local design and local made. Good quality at reasonable price.
  • Raz Kashmir (Secrets of Kashmir), No. 12 Jalan Tukang Emas and No. 47 Lorong Hang Jebat Melaka and Lot 75A Mukim 17 Jalan Batu Ferringhi (opposite Batu Ferringhi Police Station). (Jonker Street Malacca and Batu Ferringhi Penang.), ☎ +60 14 328 3131. 12. Specialises in Kashmiri, Indian and Nepali crafts. Handmade textiles where no two items are the same. Good quality items. Worth a visit just to say hello to the owner and have a cup of tea.

Markets and Street market

  • Jonkers Walk A night market held every weekend evening to late night from 6PM-12AM. Have a leisure stroll along the street, observing the locals' life, catching a free performance and shop for some for antiques and some local souvenirs, make sure you bargain with the vendors. Try some unique stuff to eat, like grapes-dipped in chocolate or caramel encrusted kiwis. Kaya(a spread made from coconut) filled waffles is a must-try. Cheap chinese electronic playthings are available too if you have an appetite for them.
  • Night Market / Pasar Malam - Night Market or more known as Pasar Malam is a market that is held from evening to around 9PM at night everyday (though at different locations. Tuesday in Kampung Lapan and Friday in Malim). This is a good way to observe the life of locals. Pasar Malam sells basically almost anything, from food to clothing, small electronics to medicine.

Malls and Shopping centres

  • Mahkota Parade Shopping Centre (located in Bandar Hilir opposite Padang Pahlawan), ☎ +60 6 282 6151. 10AM-10PM. as over 200 shops and anchor tenants are Parkson Grand Departmental Store and Giant Supermarket. Shops include The Body Shop, World of Cartoons, Royal Selangor, FOS, Reject Shop, Nokia, MPH Bookstores, Sony Centre, SenQ Digital Station, Starbucks, McDonalds, KFC and Pizza Hut. The biggest food court in Melaka is also located here. Has several bureau de change including Maybank and CIMB Bank which are open 7 days a week.

Buy food and Local Delicacies

For restaurants, cafes and dining see the Eat section below.

  • Bee Bee(Lian Choo) Homemade Pineapple Tarts, 307-A Jalan Parameswara, Bandar Hilir, Melaka 75000, Malaysia (a traditional wooden house located almost at the end of the street, opposite the Bandar Hilir Jail House), ☎ +60 6-286 9735. When it's mentioned 'homemade' here,they really mean it literally. There's no other homemade delicacies in Malacca that can beat this place as both it's production and location are authentically traditional. Oven fresh, this is undoubtedly the best local Melaka Nyonya Pineapple Tarts available (there are other more touristic ones scattered in Jonker Street). RM14 a box.
  • Baba Charlie Nyonya Cake, 72 Jalan Tengkera Pantai 2, Melaka 75200, Malaysia (directly opposite to the famous Masjid Tengkera (Tranquerah Mosque), inside a narrow path beside a row shophouses with Wall's signboard), ☎ 019-666 2907. Another hidden gem where you can buy all kinds of authentic Nyonya kuihs you can ever imagined under one roof. Too many to choose from, you wish you could camp there and try it all. All are freshly made on the spot. Highly recommended is the ondeh-ondeh (green glutinous rice flour ball with coconut sugar (Gula Melaka) stuffing).
  • Choc'zz Chocolate Boutique, G-12,Jalan PM4 Plaza Mahkota Banda Hilir (near Menara Tamingsari), ☎ +60 12 248 8975. 10AM-6PM. A wide variety of fine quality locally manufactured chocolates and other products which are certified halal.
  • Tan Kim Hock Product Center 85-89 Jalan Bendahara. Sells famous food specialties from Melaka, like Dodol, Cincalok, Belacan, dried fruits, durian cake, etc. Might be a good idea as souvenirs for friends back home. Mr Tan Kim Hock, the founder of the company, occasionally still walks around with his famous white suit giving out free items.

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Malacca (state) on Wikivoyage.

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