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Destination Guide |
Melaka Destination Guide
The city of Melaka is divided into the new and old sections.
The older part of the city is fairly compact and has many
historical attractions tucked into the nooks and crannies
of its narrow streets.
Much of the remnants of Melaka's glorious past lie within
the Town Square and waterfront area near the river.
Just above the Town Square is St. Paul's Hill (Bukit St.
Paul) which is the site of the original Portuguese fort
of A'Famosa and St. Paul's Church.
There is a sign-posted heritage trail which visitors can
follow to visit all the historical places in the older section
of town. The new section of Melaka lies across the Melaka
River and is mostly built on land reclaimed from the sea.
It contains modern shopping centres like the Mahkota Parade
and is a food and entertainment district.
Outside Melaka town, there are a few beaches, offshore
islands and the Air Keroh district. This area is close to
the North-South Expressway and has many recreational theme
Places of Interest
Built in 1650 as the official residence of the Dutch Governor
and his officers, The Stadthuys is a fine example of Dutch
architecture of that period.
Preserved in its original structure and form, the edifice
now houses the History Museum and Ethnography Museum.
On display daily are traditional bridal costumes and relics
from Melaka's glorious past.
St. Paul's Church
Originally named Our Lady of the Hill, this fine church
was built by a Portuguese captain named Duarte Coelho. Years
later, the Dutch turned the chapel into a burial ground
for their noble dead and renamed it St. Paul's Church.
St. Francis Xavier's remains were briefly enshrined in the
open grave in 1553 before being brought back to Goa, India.
The hallmark of Melaka and perhaps the most photographed
colonial building here next to the Stadhuys.
Built by the Portuguese in 1511 as a fortress, it sustained
severe structural damage during the Dutch invasion.
The Dutch had set to destroy it, but timely intervention
by Sir Stamford Raffles in 1808 saved what remains of A'Famosa
Muzium Rakyat (People's Museum)
Here, there are exhibits on Melaka's economic and social
progress spanning from after the independence of Malaya
in 1957 till the end of the 20th century. The exhibits are
segmented into tourism, agriculture, industry and other
The Baba and Nyonya Heritage
'Straits Chinese' or the Baba and Nyonya, are Chinese who
have adopted much of the Malay culture. The public can now
view this unique heritage at the private museum run by the
Babas and Nyonyas of Melaka.
A definite haven for antique collectors and bargain hunters.
Authentic artefacts 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.
St. Peter's Church
Built in 1710 during the Dutch occupation in Melaka. It
is the oldest Roman Catholic church in Malaysia and sits
on a piece of land donated by a Dutch gentleman, Maryber
Its façade and décor have a combination of
Eastern and Western architecture. One of its bells was cast
in Goa in 1608.
Poh San Teng Temple
The temple is located at the foot of Bukit China. This handsome
place of worship was built in 1795 by Kapitan Tsai Shih
Chang. Within the temple is the famous well, San Pao Ching
or Perigi Raja, subject of many legends and stories.
Hang Li Poh's Well
Built in 1459 by the followers of Hang Li Poh, the Chinese
princess who married the Sultan of Melaka.
The well never dried up during the days of old and was the
only source of water during great droughts. The Dutch enclosed
it with stout walls in 1677 to maintain ultimate right to
It has been turned into a wishing well and it is said that
those who throw coins into it will return to Melaka time
St. John's Fort
Rebuilt by the Dutch during the third quarter of the 18th
century, St. John's Fort was once a private Portuguese chapel
dedicated to St. John the Baptist.
The fort has an interesting feature - cannons face inland
as, during that time, attacks on Melaka came mainly from
the hinterland instead of from the sea.
Perhaps the right phrase to infer strong affinity to Portugal
would be 'Mini Lisbon'. Located within the Portuguese Settlement,
the square is the centre of Portuguese culture in Melaka
Getting to Melaka
Melaka is 149 km from Kuala Lumpur, 216 km from Johor Bahru
and 90 km from Port Dickson. The Kuala Lumpur to Melaka
trip by road takes about two hours, while the trip to Johor
Bharu further south takes about three hours. Several tour
agents and hotels in Kuala Lumpur offer packages to Melaka
for weekend or day trips. Taxi and express bus services
are easily available.
You can get around Melaka by taxi or bus. The local bus
station, express bus terminal and taxi stations are all
located around the same area on Jalan Hang Tuah
There are a number of bus companies that service the Kuala
Lumpur/Melaka route daily, as well as between Melaka and
other towns and cities. To get to Melaka from Kuala Lumpur,
you can take an express bus at the Puduraya Bus Terminal
in Kuala Lumpur. Tickets can be purchased at the terminal,
but during festive seasons it is advisable to book ahead.
Outstation taxi offices are also located in the terminal.
Taxis normally wait for a full passenger load before they
Taxis leave from the taxi station just opposite the local
bus station and operate to Kuala Lumpur, Port Dickson, Johor
Bahru, Seremban and Mersing. Rates are between RM30-RM50
Public City Buses
A useful service is the No.17 town bus from the local bus
station which runs to Taman Melaka Raya and on to Portuguese
Square and back.
To get to Tanjung Kling take PATT HUP bus No.51 from the
Bus no.19 goes to Air Keroh. To get to the airport at Batu
Berendam, board Batang Bus No.65.
Express Bus Lines
Melaka-Kuala Lumpur Express - Phone: 06-282 2503/238 1578
Melaka-Seremban Transnasional Express - Phone: 06-282 0687
Melaka-Port Dickson-Klang Barat Express - Phone: 06-283
Melaka-Ipoh-Butterworth-Penang S.E.Express - Phone: 06-282
Melaka-Kuala Terengganu-Kota Bharu Budaya Express - Phone:
Melaka-Ipoh-Lumut S.E.Express - Phone: 06-282 4327
Melaka-Johor Bahru/Singapore - Phone: 06-282 4470
Melaka-Tampin - Phone: 06-283 1667
Melaka-Muar - Phone: 06-283 1667