Friday, January 6, 2012

Malaysia (2011): Melaka (Malakka)


To Melaka, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008, we go on a one-day excursion on Thursday, November 17. It turns out a good decision because there isn't really much to do here. The center is in fact a former town hall and a church, both painted in a dark shade of pink. Rickshaws, decorated with dozens of flowers, catch the eyes, each of them seems to be in want of making sounds louder than the others.

Many bus companies operate on the route from Kuala Lumpur to Melaka. Ticket prices differ slightly so try to find the cheapest company to save a few ringgits. We paid 7.90 MYR to get there and 9.20 MYR for return. Between 9.30 am and 17.30 pm buses go every quarter. The best way to get to the new bus station Bandar Tasik Selatan is to take a train from KL Sentral.
The journey to Melaka take about two hours. Buses arrive at the Melaka Sentral and there you need to get on city bus to the center. The journey takes about 20 minutes. Note: the return trip may take up to 45 minutes because the bus goes a different, circuitous route. Tickets cost 1.00-1.20 MYR.

Tourist Information Office is located at Jl Kota, opposite the church of Christ; open 8.45-17, closed on Friday from 12.15 to 14.45. You can buy a map here, which costs 5 ringgits; it seems to be an advertising brochure but it also contains fairly detailed descriptions of the major attractions.


*Rickshaw ride – vehicles are usually decorated with lots of flowers and issuing loud sounds every now and then; 40 MYR per hour

Rickshaws in flowers in the center of Melaka
*Town Square (Dutch Square) – the main square of the town, distinctive for its dark pink painted buildings; there's a Christ church here, built in 1753, still open for service it's an Anglican temple

Dutch Square
*Stadthuys Complex – town museum in the old town hall from approx. 1660, presents typical features of Dutch colonial architecture;, open 9.00-17.30; 5 MYR

Sultanate Palace
*Melaka Sultanate Palaceat the foot of St. Paul's Hill; daily 9-17.30, MYR; renovated with great care and very well-maintained building where you can see how a sultan used to live as well as how the daily life of his court looked like.

*Maritime Museum Complex – consists of two parts, the proper maritime museum, made in a shipwreck from the XVI century and the naval museum; in my opinion the first one is more interesting as it shows the daily life of the sailors and merchants; 9.00-17.30; 3 MYR

Inside the ship-museum
*Proclamation Of Independence Memorial – in the building being a unique monument to independence there are exhibited items showing the struggle of the inhabitants with the colonizers

*Chang Hoon Tengtheoldest Chinesetemple in Malaysia

Ruins of St. Paul church
*St. Paul Church – built in 1710 on a hill overlooking the town; it was probably the oldest Catholic church in Malaysia; today there are only remains of the building but still worth a visit

Porta de Santiago
*Porta de Santiago – an old gate built by the Portuguese in 1512; today in ruins

*Boat trip on the river; 9.00-14.00; 10 MYR

*Botanical Garden, founded in 2006, the area of 92.5 ha includes bamboo, orchids and herbs gardens

*Floating Mosque

*Museums – Melaka is famous in Malaysia as a town of museums, you can find here, among others, museums of: stamp, architecture, Malay youth, literature, governor, Islam; however most of them don't have much to exhibit

Ramains of the city walls
As for the city which is known as one of the most interesting tourist destinations in Malaysia, there are not many places where you can eat cheap and well. We managed to find good and cheap dishes in the mall just opposite side of the street of Porta. For a big bowl of soup and a main course we paid around 6 MYR.

Read also:
Malaysia (2011): Kuala Lumpur

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