Things To Do In Melaka
Melaka is an enchanting city with a global recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of it’s a rich barter trade history and diverse multicultural legacy. Melaka is an interesting town to discover. It is around two hours away from Kuala Lumpur the capital city. One of Malaysia's most avidly looked for holiday destination; the sate of Melaka (Malacca) draw hordes of tourists to its charms because of its proximity to the notable port city, its rich heritage, historic structures, and the tempting allure of its authentic Malay cuisine.
When To Go:
Climate wise, the months of September to November are by and large the rainy months in the city. On the other hand, the driest climate or the summer season can be appreciated during the months of October, April and May. Something else, the generally steady climate in Melaka implies you ought to have the capacity to appreciate the city whatever time of the year. Look out for neighborhood occasions and celebrations to guarantee you augment your vacation fun.
Below is a rundown of the best attractions to see and the most in-demand things to do in the glorious city of Melaka:
On the Malacca River there are several marinas where boats usually depart. The walk takes about 40 minutes, and you can see the view from the river to the building of Melaka. From this point , you will see that there are very unusual buildings and the city opens completely on the other side. The atmosphere in Malacca is quite different and like one of the old Portuguese city where you can see; the traffic of spices, houses and shops of European ancestry, Dutch, English, Portuguese, still lingers along the banks of the river, and in the old city streets. Surely you cannot compare Malacca from other "on the river" community but t is one of the most important in the world. The walk along the river is quaint and pleasant, especially in the evening, when the shores lit and small bars and restaurants open.
Do not miss the Melaka River Cruise on the River, both during the day rather than the evening, the 15 RM (Malaysian Ringgit) are really well spent. The landscape looks stunning and deserves to be seen while sailing on the river. A ride on the river lets you see nooks and corners that otherwise would not see. It is one of the few attractions or places of Melaka which is worth visiting. Perhaps only here you can catch a hint of the famous colonial atmosphere. It is cool to ride along at night! Beautifully decorated with lights and it has very romantic atmosphere! On weekends, it gets to be very busy so you better go on a weeknight. Bikes can be rented almost everywhere and watch everyone here drive on the left side.
Baba - Nonya House Museum
It is quite difficult to travel to distant countries and be able to interpret other cultures. As a good rule to visit traditional houses like the Baba-Nonya House Museum is like being able to better understand the lives of the locals. Indeed, from house-museums like this you can feel more in touch with the history and the local customs maybe even managing to satisfy some curiosity about the uses and customs of the era of private landlords. This site is very interesting and highly recommended. It is a house jewel in the center of Melaka with impressive inlaid furniture, stunning porcelain collection, and striking traditional clothes on display. Do not miss a visit to the museum that is small but very well restored / preserved that you can visit with guided tours lasting about an hour.
The tour guides are prepared and informal as they reveal interesting details on the family of the owners, their habits, ways and lifestyles. This museum houses a traditional house of nobles of Malacca and located in the central street of Melaka. The head of the guides is a woman, an ethnic Baba-Nonya descendant who can explain in detail the lifestyle and habits of the family of the twentieth century.
The woman narrates in a good-natured and singsong tone, and barefoot as she accompany guests to the rooms with explanations and anecdotes. The museum is well maintained, small but charming. It is very interesting to see an old house, with almost all the furniture and utensils used by an ancient Chinese family in Malaysia.
The guided tour is complete and equipped with many interesting information. The stories are very interesting and you have no idea that you are walking through a museum. This site must be visited together with the adjacent Straits Chinese Jewelry Museum, a smaller house and less impressive but also worth knowing for its beautiful collection of jewelry and antiques. Also recommended is the restaurant attached to the museum where we you can have lunch or dinner after the visit. The traditional dishes are tasty and reasonably priced.
Melaka Straits Mosque
The Melaka Straits Mosque is placed in the middle of an artificial island that may look a bit deserted but it’s not. From the town it is a great scenery even if it’s a bit far. When you enter the mosque, you must be dressed in a costume that covers the head comfortably (for women), long sleeves and long pants are required from men. If women are not properly attired, a long gown at the entrance lobby can be borrowed for free. Shoes must be left behind and guest must walk barefoot all around the tiled floors. The view from the mosque is also beautiful as it overlooks the distant shore.
The mosque is accessible only by tai from the central part of Melaka. The view of the Malacca Straits/River from the balcony o the mosque is good. In front of the coast is a good shooting point for a great view and image of the sunset. The call to prayer and the silent time to pray offered by the Muslims inside the mosque complements the dramatic view of the setting sun. Don’t miss a visit to this mosque if you’re in Melaka, it is a journey to knowing the faith and the devotion of its people which is truly remarkable.
Villa Sentosa (Malay Living Museum)
The Villa Sentosa (Malay Living Museum) is located within the immediate vicinity of the center of Malacca. This house museum is perfectly preserved and can be accessed by asking permission to the owners. A quick tour of the museum will reveal how it was made as a local house in the early '900. If you're ever in this side of Melaka, it is worth to drop by but do not forget to leave your shoes outside the door. In the end of the visit a donation is acceptable, but no one will make pressure on the digit!.
This villa is actually a rich kampong, which refers to the Salgariana literature. The kampong is the typical Malaysian house that is built with solid wood (ebony and teak) and raised about 80 cm from the floor (probably to make it less harmful from the frequent flooding), with wooden roof if owned by rich families and corrugated metal roof for families that are not rich. Villa Sentosa belongs to the first category and is also very large, organized on those who would define the two buildings, crafted in all wood.
A tour of the interior yields a wealth of antique and modern furniture (including the kitchen with modern fridge), abundance of prayer carpets (which is common in a Muslim country), tapestries and photos of the family of the current owner. The one who welcomes you is the heir and happy to show his house that is worthy of visit. Take a time and grab the chance to chat with this gentleman and you will learn more about the house museum. Watch out for the visiting hours (9:00 am – 6:00 pm).
Cheng Hoong Teng Temple
The Cheng Hoong Teng Temple is one of the few monuments to visit in Malacca. For those who like Chinese temples, it's flashy, colorful, and full of statues. It is a beautiful temple where many Chinese come to deposit incense and pray. It is worth seeing an accessible by a trishaw ride (a colorful, three wheeled bicycle ride with carriage that is a common mode of transportation to short distances in Melaka) for 25RM from Dutch Square. It is worth the visit to this awesome looking place of worship. The temple which is dedicated to the goddess of mercy is where the monks practice the Taoist worship, Confucian and Buddhist since 1673. It contains stunning decorations and sculptures.
From the square, you'll come across this temple that is definitely worth a visit and has an amusing array of icons to discover with thousands of details and colors, lanterns, sculptures, reliefs, dragons and so on. It gives every guest the opportunity to get closer to the ancient traditions of the Chinese people has exported to Malaysia. The view inside is absolutely magnificent! Do not miss it.
The sacred Buddhist temple definitely deserves a thorough visit because it reflects in itself a religion that for other people is difficult to understand or something that they often view as only flashy and tacky. Instead, in a thousand little details a tour of the temple leads everyone to discover the ancient traditions that the Chinese people have brought to Malaysia aside from trading. Visit the altars with the donations of the faithful or delight at the strong smell of incense burning constantly at every hour of the day, the red lanterns hanging from the ceilings, the representations of animals (zodiac signs) mythical or not, and the divinity of the personified Buddha and you will hardly leave indifferent or even critical about their faith. This temple is an eye–opening experience that everyone must see.
After a tour of the mosque, temples, and museums, find time to immerse yourself in the enchanting atmosphere of the fascinating night market in Melaka; the Jonker Street. Explore every corner and be captivated by the energy that it emanates. It is a small china town with a myriad of stalls and shops, all kinds of objects and a lot of people in turmoil or great shopping frenzy. It exudes joy and abandon, making Melaka a favorite place to spend and understand the city’s trade history and culture. On Sunday evenings everything is much quieter but there are still a bit of stalls and people in both the local shops and the street.
Visit the stalls cooking skewers of meat or fish outdoors, it is a fun and filling ride at the same time. On Monday night, by contrast, it is all closed and only a few foreigners stroll around and kind of disoriented by the empty streets closed establishments. The best advice is to plan your trip when exploring this street and to fully enjoy the atmosphere of the evenings on the days that they are open. Dozens of shops and goods of all kinds from a vibrant night market. A must in Melaka!
The Kampung Morten is the perfect example of the historical village of Malaysians. The famous village is strategically located and about half an hour away (on foot) from the city center of Melaka. It is oftentimes referred to as a the so-called living museum, because people normally live there and at the same time ensure that all details are beautifully presented when it comes to the history of the city.
Visit and experience its lively atmosphere where each house is presented differently bearing its own unique character and value. It is one fabulous place that you must not bypass while you’re in Melaka. It is a worthwhile experience to see an old village that is flourishing amidst a modern city.
Malacca Sultanate Palace
The Palace of the Sultan or the Malacca Sultanate Palace is one of the most interesting sights of Melaka. You can see how the rulers lived in the splendor of this majestic palace. Many items served its purpose at the time and now they are considered art because they are really great. The palace has a beautiful garden with many exotic trees. However, the place is not an original and stands as a reconstruction of the palace of the Sultan but still worth a visit. The construction is made entirely in wood and assembled without the use of a single nail. There are many dioramas depicting scenes from the life of the passsato, costumes, weapons, etc. There is also a nice garden that is well maintained placed in front of the palace.
Even this site (as most of the attractions you will visit in Melaka) is very well maintained. Guests are not allowed to wear boots/shoes anyway because they'll have to take them off in the building and the palace must be entered barefoot. The entrance fee and the cost of the ticket is almost symbolic, only 1 RM. The history of the palace and the story of the Sultan of Malacca as told by the guides make this site very interesting. It is a nice complex designed in Malay style. If there is not enough time, you can just view it from the outside - it is surrounded by a park. In the Palace, the earlier life of the Sultan is represented in life-like figures, including the session in court and the merchants of various countries. The upper room shows the contents of the sultan's private apartments; old furniture, antique art, his bedroom, bathroom, etc. It is well worth a visit while in Melaka.
Red Square (Dutch Square)
The Red Square(Dutch Square) is a beautiful promenade area built in the colonial style and full of colorful trishaws that are willing to take you on a tour while comfortably seated. The square is very picturesque and popular and an excellent starting point for visiting the old city. There is a central fountain and sides of an Anglican church, a museum that stands on the opposite side of the road by the river. It is always full of people and the ideal place to explore if you want to go around Melaka.
St. Paul's Hill (Bukit St. Paul)
If you are in Melaka, then you must definitely go up here at the St. Paul’s Hill (Bukit St. Paul). It is not a detour and St. Francis Church Xavier's exudes colonial and morbid charm that is worth seeing. You can also view the Dutch cemetery and the Sultan's Palace (Istana). All in all, along with a visit to the Red Square forms a great tour of the attractions that stand next to each other from the viewpoint of this hill.
The St. Paul's Church is situated in the Fort at the top of Melaka Hills. This area had many names, since both the colonial powers and the locals have now named this area always after the corresponding meaning. St. Paul’s Hill once served as a fort to protect the trade routes established by the Dutch. It was the Portuguese and ultimately the British army who developed this hill after it was completely destroyed and provided it with a church of St. Paul.
Today you can still see it after the rise of the hill by a renovated fortress gate, visit some grave stones and some parts of the destroyed church with a fountain and the bell tower. Please take note of the views of Melaka from here, it is simply breathtaking.
Melaka is one of Malaysia's most historic cities and ideal holiday destination for travelers who like a mix of cultural diversity with well preserved edifices and temples. You will be pleased with its multicultural legacy, ample historical centers and famous social attractions, Melaka is a travel territory that is second to none.
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