If you are in Malaysia, be sure to take some time and visit Malacca. Malacca is a beautiful cultural state and which is about an hour and 30 minutes away from the central city – Kuala Lumpur and among my favourite destination in Malaysia! If you ever find me on a short family gateway, Malacca is always my choice!
Malacca is a famous tourist destination with a rich cultural heritage, modern lifestyle living, subsequent to the colonial rule of Portuguese, Dutch and British. The city is incredibly modern with small towns surrounding it especially Jonker street and the Portuguese settlement area that has a unique touch of the Baba Nyonya and Dutch culture. It’s unique and diversed culture is a home to well-known Nyonya cuisine. From old town coffee shops, to high-end R&B bistro till street food all corner! You will get everything in Malacca town. It is because of these cultural values that Malacca is recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. One who lives here will always remember how the history of Malacca came about in the late 14th century. Before time, Malacca was a simple fishing village and was founded by Parameswara – a fleeing prince from the nearby Sumatra country that landed on Malacca’s shores, established the city and turned it into a favoured port for passing monsoons and re-supplying ships plying the strategic Straits of Malacca. In time, due to its strategic location between China and India, Malacca came to monopolise the trading routes in this quadrant of the globe.
Places you may consider visiting in Malacca:
- Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum
- Christ Church
- Jonker Street
- Naval Museum
- Portuguese Settlements
- Fort A’Famosa
- Melaka River Cruise
- Malacca Palace and many more
I entirely love Jonker Street, Malacca’s Chinatown centre street was once renowned for its collection of antique stores. The place is a historical and architectural delight, turned gift shop. The busiest time of this place is at night, you’ll find yourself in a beautiful flea market that is ready to impress you! There’s plenty of music stages, lights everywhere, locals and tourists, foooooood! And a beautiful vibes as the sunsets, Jonker street is the busiest only during Friday – Sunday after sunset.
The Porta de’ Santiago (A’Famosa) is the Portuguese ruins, a fort that the Portuguese built in the late 16th century. Today, all that’s left of it is the Porta de Santiago, a small gate house. Just behind the A’Famosa is St Paul’s Church, a Portuguese chapel that was converted into a burial ground by the Dutch. Since it’s perched on top of a hill, you’ll have to climb up quite a few steps to get to it. This is actually an open grave where St Xavier was buried in 1553, but his body was removed and shipped to Goa soon after. People like to drop money into the open grave, perhaps to appease the saint, the souls of the dead (those big slabs are tomb stones), or they believe it will bring them luck. It’s best to visit the ruins/church in the late evening when the sun isn’t so high in the sky. Climbing to the top may not be a gruelling task, yet, given the fact that there are hardly any trees along the way, the short trip can be scorching due to the sun’s fiery rays.
One of Malacca’s must-see places, Christ Church in the Dutch Square has a long history dating back to 1752. The ruins of the church are impressive and there is a sense of history and loss glory that oozes from the scene. You will find there are a lot of tombstones that dates back to 1650’s. This old church is very well taken care off and even the statue of St Francis Xavier as had his arm chopped off.
After Malacca was attacked by the Portuguese in 1511, the invader missionaries strove to implant Catholicism within the state and Malacca’s popularity dwindled as Muslim merchants began to steer clear of the port. Malacca’s reputation increased again in 1641 when it passed into Dutch hands for 150 years and later the British assumed control for a short time, further lending to its cultural influences. Besides its striking red walls, this church is known to be the oldest Protestant church in Malaysia. It is now an Anglican functioning Church.
So if you plan of a Malaysia tour, be sure to visit Malacca. This place will make you fall in love all over again with its unique blend of ancient buildings and modern living alongside breathtaking sights. My boyfriend and I came here on our second date and we had the best time bonding, traveling & exploring together!
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