Monday, 14 November 2011

Malaysia Info - Places of Interest Malacca

Founded by Parameswara, the historic city of Malacca is a living museum, with both ruins and intact buildings from bygone eras right in the heart of the city. The famous ruins of A Famosa (Porta De Santiago), the Portuguese Square and the Portuguese Eurasians have their origin in 1511, when the Portuguese defeated the Malacca Sultanate. The red thick-walled Stadhuys, believed to be the oldest Dutch building in the East, and the salmon red Christ Church stem from the Dutch period which began in 1641. The lifestyle of the early rich Chinese who arrived from the mid-15th century is well displayed in the Baba and Nyonya Heritage Musuem. And In the old mosques dotted around can be seen Sumatran and Javanese influence.
Antique buyers love Malacca, which also offers other attractions such as the History Musuem, Kampung Hulu Mosque (1728), Cheng HoonTeng Temple (1646), St Peter's Church (1710) and the Malacca River Cruise. At Air Keroh are the Mini Malaysia Park and Butterfly Farm. For beach lovers, Pantai Kundor is a white sandy beach, and the islands of Besar and Upeh offer clean waters for swimming.
The Stadthuys
Built in 1650 as the official residence of Dutch Governors and their officers, the edifice is a example of Dutch architecture. Preserved in its original structure and form, it now houses the History Museum and Ethnography Museum. On display daily are traditional bridal costumes and relics from Malacca's glorious past. Closed on Monday.
Christ Church
Standing exactly as it has always been since 1753, the church is testimony to Dutch architectural ingenuity. Commenced in 1741 to commemorate a century of Dutch rule and took 12 years to complete. Take note of the church's 200 years old handmade pews, its 8 feet long ceiling beams constructed from a single tree without joins, Brass Bible rest which dates back to 1773, tombstone written in Armenian and 'Last Super' in glazed tiles.
Malaysia Youth Museum
The museum is dedicated to the contribution made by youths in the country's economic and social well-being of the country. The noble efforts evident at regional, national and international levels are displayed at the museum. Closed on Monday.
St. Fancis Xavier's Church
Built in 1849, by Reverend Farve, a Frenchman, who later became Professor of Malay in Paris. It stands on the site of an earlier Portuguese church built in 1553. The Gothic twin towered church is dedicated to St. Francis Xavier is well-remembered for his missionary work spreading Catholicism to South East Asia in the 16th Century.
St. Pual's Church
Built by a Portuguese Captain by the name of Duarte Coelho, the chapel was turned by the Dutch into a burial ground for their noble dead and renamed it 'St. Paul's Church' from the Portuguese's 'Our Lady Of The Hill'. Saint Francis Xavier was briefly enshrined in the open grave in 1553 before being shipped to Goa, India.
The hallmark of Malacca and perhaps the most photographed subject next to the Stadhuys. Built by the Portuguese in 1511 as a fortress it sustained severe structural damage during the Dutch Invasion. The British East India Company had set to destroy it but timely intervention by Sir Stamford Raffles in 1808 saved what remains of A Famosa today.
The Dutch Graveyard
This graveyard was first used at the last quarter of the 17 Century. Presently 5 Dutch and 33 British graves are sited within its compound. This cemetery was used in two stages that is between 1970-1682 and later between 1816-1838. The grave that attracts the attention of most visitors is the one that has a tall column on it which two army officers who were killed during the Naning War (1831-1832).
Muzium Rakyat (People's Museum)
Exhibits include special interest issues relating Malaysia's economic and social progress spanning from the period Melaka was known as "Sleepy Hollow" right up to the phrase more apt its dynamic outlook. 'The Vibrant Melaka.' The exhibits are segmented into tourism, agriculture, industry and other sectors.
Proclamation of Independence Memorial
Built in 1912, the former Club House of Melaka Club now houses invaluable exhibits of the country's struggle leading to the independence. Exhibits are in the form of relics, manuscripts, videotapes, film and slides.
Hang Jebat's Mausoleum
Hang Jebat was the champion of justice who died a tragic death. Hang Jebat was unceremoniously killed by Hang Tuah in a duel of honour that lasted 3 days and 3 nights. He ran amuck after suffering a fatal wound from Hang Tuah's dagger 'Keris Taming Sari.' In the name of justice to avenge the Sultan's hasty punishment against Hang Tuah for a crime he didn't commit. Hang Jebat was accused by Hang Tuah of 'derhaka' (contumacy). The duel between two of Melaka's most prominent knights has left a permanent question as to the moral behind Hang Jebat's aberrant reaction against authority and the conventions by which Hang Tuah exercised his conduct as a loyal subject of the Sultan.
Sri Poyyatha Vinayangar Moorthi Temple
One of the first Hindu temples built in the country at the turn of the century. It was built on the plot provided by the Dutch.
Kampung Kling's Mosque
The oldest Chinese temple in the country. It was built in 1646 with materials shipped out of China. Fine workmanship is evident in the ornately decorated mythological figures, carvings, and lacquer work inside the temple.
The Baba and Nyonya Heritage
"Straits Chinese" or the Baba and Nyonya are Chinese of noble descendants who have adopted much of the Malay culture into theirs. The public can now view the heirloom unique to this heritage at the private museum run by the Babas and Nyonyas of Melaka.
Jonker Street
A definite haven for antique collectors and bargain hunters. Authentic artifacts and relics, some dating as far back as 300 years, can be found among a host of interesting collectibles, each with its own history, and mystery. Jalan Hang Jebat, formerly known as Jonker Street, is known worldwide among famous antique collectors as one of the best places to hunt and bargain for antiques.
Cheng Hoon Teng Temple
The oldest Chinese temple in the country. It was built in 1646 with materials shipped out of China. Fine workmanship is evident in the ornately decorated mythological figures, carvings, and lacquer work inside the temple.
Hang Kasturi's Mausoleum
Hang Kasturi studied 'silat' (Malay martial arts) under the same tutelage as Hang Tuah, Hang Jebat, Hang Lekir and Hang Lekiu. He became one of the 'hulubalangs' (knights) that served Melaka together with Hang Tuah. With the exception of Hang Jebat, Hang Kasturi and the others remained loyal to the Sultan to their dying day.
Kampung Hulu's Mosque
Built in 1728 by Dato Shamsuddin. It is the oldest mosque in Malaysia. Its unique architectural style is not traceable to any other in the country.
Villa Sentosa
The house, built during the first quarter of the century in the style fashionable during the era, has been converted by its owner, Tuan Hj. Hashim bin Dato Demang Hj. Abdul Ghan, into a private museum. Located in Kampong Morten, which is the only Malay village in the heart of Melaka city, the house has the history that goes back to the British Land Reform Act 1920. Visitors can view intriguing collection of costumes, Malay embroidery, furniture, muskets and an array of interesting relics. As for curator, the owner would be glad to play the role from whom visitors can ask additional information.
St. Peter's Church
Built in 1710 during the Dutch occupation in Malacca. It is the oldest Roman Catholic church in Malaysia and it was built on a piece of land donated by a Dutch gentleman. Maryber Franz Amboer. Its facade and decor has a combination of Eastern and Western architecture. One of its bells was cast in Goa in 1608.
Sam Po Kong Temple
Dedicated to admiral Cheng Ho, the three-jeweled eunuch (Sam Po) of the Ming Dynasty who served under Emperor Yung Lo. He was born in Yunan, China and professed the Islamic faith, his father was a Kadi in Yunan, south west province of China. The statue of the admiral Cheng Ho was stolen from the temple in the 1970s. According to legend, a fish that miraculously saved the admiral's ship from sinking after it had been hit by a storm enroute to Melaka from China. The fish mysteriously placed itself in the damaged hull preventing the ship from taking in water.
Hang Li Poh's Well
Built in 1459 by the followers of Hang Li Po, the Chinese princess who married the Sultan of Malacca. In the olden days, the well never dried up and was the only source of water during the great droughts. The Dutch enclosed it with solid brick walls in a bid to maintain their rights to it. Later, it was turned into a wishing well, which it has remained until today. It is said that whoever throws coins into the well will return to Malacca time and again.
St. John's Fort
Rebuilt by the Dutch during the third quarter of the 18th century, the fort was once a private Portuguese chapel dedicated to St. John the Baptist. The fort has an interesting feature in that its gun embrasures face inland, for during that period, attacks on Melaka came mainly from the hinterland and not from the sea.
Bukit China
As the name implies, "Chinese Hill" was the official settlement of the Chinese Princess Hang Li Poh's entourage. She was sent to be a bride to the Sultan of Melaka to strengthen the diplomatic relationship between the two countries. It is now the biggest Chinese cemetery outside China. Many tombs are dated as far back as the 17th century Ming Dynasty of China. It was later fell to the Portugese in 1511. Today Bukit China is the largest Chinese cemetery outside China with many of the tombs dating back to Ming Dynasty.
Kampung Chitty
Chitty are Straits-born Indians and offspring's of Indian traders who came from Panai. These people embrace the Hindu faith and practice a dogmatic type of Hinduism while their yearly Mariamman Festival or "Pesta datuk Charchar" in May is a true celebration the lasts for a week. They eat the typical Indian food and practice the traditional Indian wedding ceremony.
Tranquerah Mosque
Prominent in its architectural grandeur, the mosque is unique and bears testimony to the fact that Islam has its rightful place in Melaka almost 600 years ago. The tomb of Sultan Hussain of Johore is in the compound of the mosque. He was the ruler who signed the cession of Singapore with Sir Stamford Raffles in 1819.
Portuguese Square
Perhaps the right phrase to infer strong affinity to Portugal would be 'Mini Lisbon'. Located within the Portuguese Settlement, the square is the culmination of Portuguese culture in its full splendor and color.
Light and Sound Show
The best way to learn up the history of Malacca. The Light and Sound show at Bandar Hilir, Padang Pahlawan is the first such project in South East Asia. It is equal to other projects namely the Egyptian Pyramid at Gaza, the Acropolis at Athens, and the Red Fort at Delhi. Significant events in Malacca’s history are re-enacted by means of lights, narrative, dialogue, music and relative sound effects to project real-life drama that will glue visitors to the seat. Highly educational yet entertaining, visitors to Malacca should make it a point to attend the show to understand Malacca, its culture, its people and the history of Malaysia. The shows starts at 8.30pm with narration in English and the tickets cost RM10.00 for adults and RM2.00 for children.
Maritime Museum
Perhaps the right phrase to infer strong affinity to Portugal would be 'Mini Lisbon'. Located within the Portuguese Settlement, the square is the culmination of Portuguese culture in its full splendor and color.
Malacca's Sultanate Palace
Built based on the description and reference to the palace in 'Sejarah Melayu (the Malay Annals), the wooden replica houses the Cultural Museum of Malacca. Situated at the foot of St. Paul 's Hill, it is the only Malay palace from Malacca's glorious past of the sultanate era built with such detail and refinement. Closed on Tuesday.
Peacock Paradise Bird Park
Located in 4.5 hectares of landscaped pathways the Peacock Paradise Bird Park is the world's largest walk in aviary. It contains over 3000 free flying birds from 100 species within a netted enclosure. It opens from 9.00 am to 6.00 pm with entrance fee for adults at RM5, children 7 to 12 years old RM2 and children from 5 to 6 years old RM1 . Located near Air Keroh along the way to Durian Tunggal Town.
Trishaw Ride
The best way to enjoy Malacca in a slow and laid back manner. The trishaw will take you through streets and corners of Malacca that you could easily miss out if you decide to venture on your own. The trishaw can be rented on hourly or distance covered basis at The Stadthuys.
Bullock Cart Ride
At one time the main mode of transportation for the rich of Malacca. The features that separate the bullock cart of Malacca to that of others are, the pointed roof in the shape of the hor of a bull, trappings and colours. A ride around Air Keroh near the Crocodile Farm at a minimal fee of RM1.50/person.

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