Melaka is a historical city. It was one of the greatest trading ports in Southeast Asia. This historical place is rich with the imprints of British, Portugese and Dutch forces left behind in forts, churches, museums and towers. Besides the European arts and cultures, Melaka is also a hotchpotch of Malay, Chinese, Indian, Nyonya and other more influences. Other than having delicious Nyonya cuisine, what else to do when you visit Melaka? Check out the 8 things below.
Visit The Stadthuys and Christ Church
The Stadthuys and Christ Church are two of the most famous landmarks of Melaka city center. The Stadthuys, meaning city hall, was built by the Dutch in 1650 as the office of the Dutch Governor and Deputy Governor. Located beside the Christ Church, the remaining building is now home to the History and Ethnography Museum. Christ Church Melaka is an 18th-century Anglican church and one of the oldest functioning Protestant churches in Malaysia. This red-coloured square that was built by the Dutch during the colonisation is one of the most photogenic places in Melaka.
Walk the Jonker Street (Night Market)
Jonker Street is the centre street of Chinatown. Filled with historical houses along the street, it is also a central hub of activity that serves as a heaven for antique collectors and vintage fashion enthusiasts. The best part of Jonker Street is the night market on Fri and Sat that sells everything from tasty treats to cheap keepsakes. Moreover, there are a lot of tourist attractions along and around the street, such as Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum, Cheng Ho Cultural Museum, Cheng Hoon Teng Temple and many more.
Explore the street arts
The murals in Melaka are mostly paintings and categorically more diversified. For instance, Lorong Seni Art House, The Orangutan House, Kiehl’s Mural and more. Besides, the Melaka River is home to a collection of various artworks. Thus, a walk along the river side would make you feel like you have entered an open-aired art gallery It is not that extraordinary but it is definitely a nice surprise to see the street arts in Melaka. Simply wandering around with no specific direction, there would be something that is able to catch your attention.
Walk along the Melaka River
Strolling along the river side of Melaka River especially right after the sunset is extremely beautiful with the combination of colourful buildings and artificial light. The Melaka River was once dubbed the “Venice of the East” by the European seafarers as it was a prominent part of entry for traders from Europe and Asia. It is now a popular tourist attraction with the 45-minute River Cruise. However, we would recommend you to do the Melaka River Walk on foot because there are a lot of places to explore along the way. You could find a place to sit with a nice glass of mocktail or have a delicious dinner – while enjoying the beautiful scenery of Melaka River.
Visit Cheng Hoon Teng Temple
Cheng Hoon Teng Temple is claimed to be the oldest functioning Buddhist temple in Malaysia dated from the 17th century. This temple is the main place of worship for the local Hoklo (Hokkien) community and Buddhist Chinese community in Melaka. The temple is dedicated to Kuan Yin, Goddess of Mercy hence, it is also known as the ‘Merciful Cloud Temple’. All the building materials for the temple and even the artisans were brought from China. Thus, Cheng Hoon Teng Temple features very strong Chinese architectural influences such as ornate gates, gold leafing and ruby red Chinese lanterns.
Check out A Famosa Fortress
A Famosa Fortress is another main attraction in Malacca. Built in 1511, it is one of the oldest surviving Portugese architecture in Asia. In the 16th-century, A Famosa housed the entire Portugese administration, inclusive of hospital, churches, elongated stockades and four key towers. In 1807, the British destroyed most of the fortress. The Porta de Santiago gateway, and the restored Middleburg Bastion, are the only parts of the fortress which remain until today. A Famosa is more than just quick photo stops for the tourists, it is a spot which is rich in history.
Visit St. Paul’s Church
Built in 1521, St. Paul’s Church is considered to be the oldest church building in Southeast Asia. St. Paul’s Church is part of the Malacca Museum Complex comprising the A Famosa ruins, the Stadthuys and other historical buildings. Hence, a little walk along the path behind the Stadthuys museum will take you all the way up to the fort. As a former Portugese church, it has now turned into a lighthouse. Though it has been in ruins for more than 150 years, it is still a beautiful sanctuary set in Melaka city.
Explore Padang Pasir Klebang Melaka
Padang Pasir Klebang is a hidden spot in Melaka. Also known as “Desert in Malaysia”, it is a photogenic place resulting from a land reclamation project in the Klebang area. Well, it does not matter if it does not look like the real desert, it is still a great place for photography. On a side note, you might need to do a lot of walking as there might be risks where your car ended up having tyres got sink into the sand.
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