Top 5 Things To Do In Malacca, Malaysia: Filmed Entirely on the iPhone

Top 5 Things To Do In Malacca, Malaysia: Filmed Entirely on the iPhone

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The city of Malacca is dubbed the Historic City  and is a popular holiday destination, especially   for tourists from Singapore, which is just two  and a half hours drive or 240 kilometers away.   The influences of Asia and Europe have endowed  Malacca with a multi-cultural heritage with   its government buildings, churches, squares  and fortifications, starting from the 15th   century Malay Sultanate to the Portuguese  and Dutch periods in the 16th century. Malacca and her sister city, Georgetown in Penang   are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since  2008. Today Malacca is a beautiful city that is   truly a melting pot of cultures with its unique  blend of Chinese, Portuguese and Dutch influences.   Here are the top 5 things to do when you visit  Malacca. Number one, take the cruise along the  

Sungai Melaka. You can enjoy a relaxing 45-minute  river cruise along the Sungai Melaka and witness   the city's vibrant heritage. The cruise allows you  to explore Malacca's rich history and contemporary   wonders as you journey past some of its stunning  landmarks. The river cruise operates daily from 9 am  to 11.30 pm with each cruise covering around 9 kilometers. The Muara Jetty will be a great place to start the cruise. The cruise costs 25 ringgit  per adult. You can admire the city's beautiful   art murals and travel under historic bridges  like the Tan Kim Seng Bridge and Pasar Bridge.

Number two, soak in the Peranakan culture and  heritage. The origin of the Peranakans can be   traced back to centuries ago when the Chinese  came to trade in Southeast Asia. The Chinese then   married the local females and their descendants  are known as Peranakans which have their very own   distinct culture and customs. The Peranakans  retain some practices of Chinese culture   but at the same time adopt local Malay traditions  in terms of language, dressing and food.  

Nyonya usually wear baju kebaya, similar to  Malay. However, they practice Chinese customs,   especially in festival celebrations,  marriage and ancestral worship. To have a thorough understanding of  the Peranakan heritage in Malacca,   the place to go to is the Baba and Nyonya Heritage  Museum located at Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock.  

The museum, which was renovated from three  well-preserved townhouses is privately-owned   and run by a local Peranakan. As you enter the  museum, it is as if you have gone back in time   and stepped into the home of a wealthy Chinese  Peranakan family with its peached-coloured walls,   classic wooden furniture and intricately-carved  windows and doors. Indeed, this museum is the   former home of a wealthy baba, Chan Cheng  Siew and his family and showcases valuable   antiques such as hand-carved wooden furniture  and precious dinnerware made of ceramics.  

The house has no windows on the walls. Ventilation  and light come into the house through the main   courtyards. Rain would fall through the courtyards  to cool the house and also bring good luck and   prosperity into the house, as it is believed that  water signifies wealth. One of the unique features   of this house is its gold-gilded staircase.  No nails were used in creating the staircase,   lending to the superstition that the  only time a nail is used in the family   is the "final nail in a coffin". Tok  Panjang literally means "long table".   With eight children in the Chan family, it was  indeed necessary to have such a long table.

The heart of a Peranakan home is the kitchen.  This household used to have two cooks.   The main cook would buy the ingredients  from the market and do the cooking   while the assistant would clean and prepare the  ingredients for cooking. A good nyonya must know   how to pound a shrimp paste known as Belachan.  A potential mother-in-law would be able to see   if the nyonya is a suitable bride for her son  just by listening to the rhythm in the pounding.   The Baba & Nyonya Museum opens from 10 am  to 12.30 pm and then, from 2 pm to 4.30 pm.   Number 3, re-live Malacca's colonial past.

Malacca was the location of one of the earliest  Malay Sultanates but the monarchy was abolished   when the Portuguese conquered it in 1511. The  Portuguese was in turn driven out by the Dutch   in 1641. in 1824, it came under the British  rule with the signing of the Anglo-Dutch Treaty. Let's explore some of the most interesting  colonial places in Malacca. A Farmosa   or "The Famous" in Portuguese is a fortress  built in Malacca in 1512. The fort changes hands   in 1641 when the Dutch drove the Portuguese out  of Malacca and changed hands again in the late   18th century when the Dutch handed it over to the  British to prevent it from falling into the hands   of Napoleon's expansionist France. The Porta  de Santiago Gateway and the restored

Middelburg Bastion are the only parts of the fortress  that remain today. They are among the oldest   European architectural remains in Southeast  Asia and the Far East. The Dutch Square or   the Red Square is a great reflection of  Malacca's rich history and colonial past. The most prominent building in the Red Square is  the Stadthuys which used to be the administrative   centre of the Dutch governor and is believed  to be the oldest Dutch building in the East.  

The building was constructed between  1641 and 1660 on the ruins of a fort   which belonged to the Portuguese. Adjacent  to the Stadthuys is the Christ Church,   an 18th century Anglican church and the oldest  functioning Protestant church in Malaysia. The construction of the church started in  1741 in commemoration of the centenary of   the capture of Malacca from the Portuguese.  The church was completed 12 years later   in 1753. Originally white, the church and the  Stadthuys building was painted red in 1911. Also located in the Red Square  is the Queen Victoria's Fountain.   It was built in 1901 by the British to  commemorate the diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria.  

It is still standing as elegant  as ever until this very day   and is probably the only functioning  colonial water fountain in Malaysia. Lastly, the Tan Beng Swee Clock  Tower, in honour of a generous   Chinese tycoon. Tan Beng Swee was a  Chinese community leader in Malacca.   As a public service, he presented a large clock to  the people of Malacca to allow for more accurate   time-keeping. This clock was eventually  housed in the Tan Beng Swee Clock Tower,   which was erected by his son, Tan Jiak Kim in  1886.

The Maritime Museum or the "Flora de La Mar" is a replica of the Portuguese ship which sank in  the coast of Malacca while on its way to Portugal.   The replica is a staggering 34 meters  in height and 8 meters in width. The main focus of the museum is the maritime  history of Malacca and the golden ages of   Malacca's Sultanate as the Emporium of the East.  There are also paintings which display how the   Straits of Malacca was a strategic location for  traders from both the east and the west who stop   by in Malacca and conduct their businesses while  waiting for the monsoon winds to change direction.  

The museum showcases the different  eras that Malacca has gone through.   Right at the top of St Paul's Hill is the ruins  of St Paul's Church, which was originally built   in 1521, making it the oldest church building  in Southeast Asia. The church was originally   a chapel known to the Portuguese in Malacca as  "Our Lady of the Hill", Nossa Senhora do Oiteiro.   With the conquest of Malacca by the Dutch in 1641,  the church was re-consecrated as a Dutch Reformed   Church and used as the main church by the Dutch  community until the new Bovenkerk, better known   today as Christ Church was completed in 1753. The  old church was then subsequently deconsecrated   and the structure modified and strengthened  as part of the fortifications of Malacca. In 1924, the old Portuguese burial vault in the  chancel of the church was partially uncovered.  

Further excavation was done in 1930 by the Malacca  Historical Society and it was in this period that   the tombstones that were scattered around in the  vicinity of the church were affixed to the walls.   In 1952, a statue of St Francis Xavier was  erected in front of the ruins of the church   in commemoration of the 400th anniversary of  his sojourn in Malacca. A day after the statue   was consecrated, a large casuarina tree  fell on it, breaking off its right arm.  

Incidentally, the right forearm of  Xavier was detached in 1614 as a relic.   Number four, enjoy the sights  and sounds of Jonker Walk. Jonker Street or Jonker Walk is not  really a single street but rather an   area right in the heart of the city's historical   Chinatown and is in the core zone of  the Malacca UNESCO World Heritage Site.   The streets of Jonker Walk are lined with heritage  houses that date back to the 17th century.  

It was during this time that the Peranakan baba  and nyonya lived and conducted their businesses.   Today the shop houses are re-purposed for  business and sell a range of things from antiques,   textiles, handicrafts to souvenirs. Others  have been restored to their former glory   and turned into beautiful boutique  hotels, museums, galleries and cafes. Jonker Street is also where the different  Chinese clans formed their clan associations.   Among them, the Hokkiens established theirs  in 1837, along with clan associations of the   Hainanese and Leizhou community. The Lui  Chiew Huay Kuan was established in 1899,  

with the purpose of uniting and safeguarding  the interests of the Leizhou immigrants in   Malacca. As you enter the guild house, you will  notice the traditional Leizhou tile flooring,   leading to the main Guan Gong altar, flanked  by two gigantic statues of the God of Fortune. Another notable guild house is  the Hainan Association Building   that was set up in 1868.  It features a spacious hall  

decorated with Chinese couplets with an altar  honoring the Heavenly Empress as a centerpiece. The area turns into a night market  every weekend from 6 pm to 12 midnight.   The Jonker Walk Night Market is a sight to behold.  

The dizzying colours of the iconic trishaws, the  strong aroma of street food and the hustling and   bustling of stall vendors and visitors, all  make the night market an awesome experience.   Here you can find hundreds of stalls  from mouth-watering street food,   toys, souvenirs, apparels to accessories. Besides the night market stalls,   you can also enjoy the live music  in the pubs around Jonker Walk.

Other interesting attractions at Jonker Walk  include the Jonker Walk World Heritage Park   which has a very prominent  bust of Dr Gan Boon Leong,   widely regarded as the father  of Malaysia bodybuilding;   and the Mamee Jonker House, where the famous  snack sets up its first concept store.   There is a workshop that teach  you how to make noodle snacks   and a Mamee Cafe that serves  a wide array of noodles. Last but not least, your visit to Jonker Walk is   not complete without trying out  street food like Tok Tok Candy, Muah Chee and Putu Piring.

Number five, indulge in  Malacca's never-ending gastronomic delight. I don't even know how to begin when we talk  about food in Malacca. With its diverse range   of culinary heritage, you will no doubt, be blown  away by the quality and variety of food that you   can find here in this historical city. Let me start  by introducing a new generation of hipster cafes. What's interesting about these cafes are that  they are housed in refurbished historical shop houses which are definitely instagram-worthy. Each  of them has their own characteristics and charm, coupled with their own  specialty coffee, food or dessert.   Here are three of my favorites. The Stolen cup is  one of the must-visit cafe along Jonker Street.

It is a cosy local cafe with a rustic interior  filled with wooden tables and vintage furniture.   The walls are filled with colorful posters  with inspirational quotes and pictures.   Conveniently located near the entrance of Jonker Street, it is the perfect place to start your day   with their breakfast menu. The cafe serves  up a great range of beverages and pastries  

and our favourite is the pistachio croissant. Next  on the list is The Daily Fix. It is definitely one   of Malacca's most loved cafes considering the  long and perpetual queue leading to the cafe. Nostalgic green blinds greet  you as you enter the cafe. The interior deco gives it a very retro  feel with wooden tables and chairs.   You can see potted plants everywhere  and colourfully painted plates adorn   the walls. Old antiques such as tingkat and wooden  cabinets are part of the display that give you   the feeling that you have gone back in time.

The Daily Fix is best known for their pandan pancakes and their dark olio olio is really delicious. Lastly, Calanthe Cafe, which is known for being the   only place where you can find specialty coffee  from all 13 states of Malaysia. The interior of   the cafe is filled with all kinds of stuff  from pots and pans to posters of yesteryears.   Another part of the cafe makes you feel like you're  seated in your old home 40 years ago. One of my   favourite food here is the Nyonya Laksa. In fact, it  is so good that you have to buy their Laksa paste   back home in case you don't have enough. For the  restaurants here, these are two of my favourites.  

Whenever you ask friends for recommendations  for restaurants in Malacca, the name Tong Sheng   Seafood Restaurant often pops up and they  are famous for their Cheesy Prawn Bee Hoon   which was inspired by Hong Kong's Lobster Cheese  Noodles. The restaurant started in 2008 by Chef   Lee Swee Meng and his son and it has become one  of Malacca's most popular Zi Char restaurants.   Tong Sheng is notorious for  their ridiculous long queue.   For weekends, walking-in is almost  an impossible. You will have to make   reservations before making a trip there. When you are there, the Cheesy Prawn Bee Hoon,

Butter Milk Crabs, Black Pepper Crabs and the Salted Egg Yolk Beancurd are must-haves. The Kam Cheng is a relatively  new restaurant in Malacca   and offers a modern and fusion  Peranakan dining experience   prepared by Chef Paul, a former executive chef  of Violet Oon Peranakan Restaurant in Singapore.   This is probably my favorite restaurant in  all of Malacca. The Chicken Rendang is best   served with the blue coconut steamed jasmine  rice with Bunga Telang (Bluepea) infusion. The Kam Cheng   Sio Bak is pork belly marinated with spices,  air-dried and woodfire grilled to perfection.   Other great selections include  Paul's Dry Laksa, Tau Hu Goreng   and their desserts, Sago Gula Melaka and Buah Keluak  ice cream. So, that wraps up the top 5 things to  

do in Malacca. Thanks for watching and wishing  you a great vacation in Historical Malacca!

2022-07-25 03:01

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