Call it Melacca, Malacca or Melaka as the locals commonly call it, this is one place one must never miss during their trip to Malaysia. The city has a colonial past keenly preserved in its architecture and way of life in different centres.
Crowned a UNESCO World Heritage Centre in 2008, Malacca, Malaysia offers weekend night markets, museums, among many other family-friendly attractions.
Malacca, Malaysia has visible trails of Dutch, British and Portuguese colonial which makes visiting the city feel feel as if you have stepped back in time.
St. Peters Church
This is the oldest functioning Roman Catholic Church in Malaysia. When the Dutch took over Malaysia colony after the fall of the Portuguese in 1641, they destroyed all catholic churches and Catholics were forbidden from praying in their homes or even have their own cemeteries. After years of prosecutions, a piece of land was donated to a Dutch convert and the St. Peter’s Church was built in 1710.
St Paul’s church Melaka ruin
This church, originally built by the Portuguese stopped being used when the Dutch built their own church, Christ the Church in 1590. Visitors here can see St Francis Xavier ancient tomb surrounded by a wire fence inside the church. After his death in China, his body was temporarily laid here for nine months before being transferred to Goa, India
Red Square (Dutch Square)
It is said you haven’t visited Malacca if you haven’t seen the Dutch square. This area got the name Red square from all the red colored buildings near the Malacca river built by the Dutch during the colonial times. History has it that all Dutch houses used to be painted white until the British governor ordered them to be painted red.
The Red square consists of several attractions including Christ church, Malacca art gallery, youth museum, the Queen Victoria Fountain and the Red clock tower.
Christ Church Malacca
This is an 18th century Anglican church , the oldest functioning protestant church in Malaysia. After the Dutch conqured Melacca from the Portuguese they build a new church in 1741 to replace the aging Bovenkerk and completed it in 1753. Originally painted white, te building was later repainted red in 1911, which remained to be a symbol of Dutch-era buildings in Malacca, Malaysia.
Dutch Square Clock Tower & Queen Victoria Fountain
This old clock tower that was built in the year 1886 in honor of a generous Chinese tycoon Tan Beng Swee by his son. It was imported from England This red painted tower fits in the rest of the red buildings to make it look Dutch but it’s actually not.
The Queen Victoria Fountain was built in 1901 by the British to mark a diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen’s reign.
The River Melaka
The Malacca river flows through the middle of the city. This was a major trade route in the 15th century. River cruises here last 45 minutes and can be booked online .
Also called Unity street. this small street so bears the name since it is the place that is the home to the three main religions of the place – Islam mosque, Chinese temple and Hindu. The Muslim mosque lies in between the Chinese(Buddhisim) and Hindu temple which locals see as a sign of harmony and coexistence between them.
This charming street in the heart of Malacca is popular with locals and tourists alike for it’s south east Asian street food, local antique shops, arts and crafts. One particular food that shouldn’t be missed is chicken rice ball or nyonya.
Because of the tourist numbers, Jonker street can be crowded therefore walking is highly recommended.
Getting to Malacca from Kuala Lumpur
Malacca, Malaysia is around 2 hours drive from Kuala Lumpur. We had a tour company organise the day trip to Malacca for us which made it much easier given that we had a local guide. One can also get a taxi which is around 200 ringits.
If travelling by bus, the ticket is Rm 20-50 one way depending on the company. Several bus companies also ply the KL-Melacca route including Nice executive coaches, Transnasional, Konsortium Bas Express, Delima among others.
The two main bus terminals are Bersepadu Selatan and Pudu Raya or Pudu Sentral. You will need a taxi or a light train to get from your hotel to the bus stop which may cost a little more.
Finally, as the saying goes, if you haven’t visited Malacca, you haven’t seen Malaysia.
Carolina | My Global Attitude