Yellow taxis and wide streets; hot dog stands on every corner; Central Park covered in a blanket of snow; the Statue of liberty and all of its glamour; the bright lights of Times Square; world’s famous designers shops on 5th Avenue and last, but not least ice skating on a central park – this is what comes to mind when I picture New York City….. I haven’t traveled to a city that can even come close to comparing to Manhattan. I haven’t travelled to manhattan to, but this is the only place in the world i would like to visit.
I would no hesitate to choose Britain. The main reason why I would choose Britain as my destination is that I want to visit London and Cambridge. After all that travelling you must be wondering about the kind of food that is unique to Melaka. A good Malaysian hostess like me is bound to tell you about those delicious desserts that Melaka has to offer.
Walking along Jonker Street in the heat, you will certainly enjoy the tasty dessert of cendol. This is a green colored jelly (made from rice flour) in the shape of worms and served with shaved ice, coconut milk and palm sugar. The cendol can be served in a bowl or sometimes in a glass. This one shop I went to served it in a specially paper container shaped like a durian. The cendol may look a bit strange to you but believe me, it tastes great! Nyonya kuih as the name suggests originated from the Nyonyas, the descendants of the Chinese Immigrants who came with Admiral Zheng He. The Nyonya kuih are bite sized desserts made from ground rice flour and usually steamed and can be sweet or savory. A Famosa or “The Famous” in Portuguese is a fortress located in Melaka. It is among the oldest surviving architectural remains in Asia.
All that is left of the mighty fortress is this tiny gate. In 1511, the Portuguese fleet under the command of Alfonso De Alberquerque attacked and defeated the native ruler of Melaka. He had a fortress built around a natural hill near the sea. The fortress is one of the places to visit in Melaka that every visitor must not miss. To have a better understanding of the Chinese influence, one of the best places to visit in Melaka is the Admiral Cheng Ho’s museum. The museum displays the life and times of the historic Ming dynaasty admiral whose voyage to this part of the world played an important role in the Melaka sultanate. The rooms like Tea House and Treasure Ship Living Cabin will offer you a glimpse of his life.
The museum located in Jalan Hang Jebat is in a central location and easy to get to from wherever you are staying. Admission fee is RM 10 for adults and RM 5 for students and children. This is one of the best places to visit for a bit of history lesson on Melaka and should be included for your family vacation. Another attraction of Jonker Street are the rickshaws. The are almost extinct now as modes of transport with highways, air-conditioned taxis and buses. Tourists are game to try a ride in these colorfully decorated trishaws equipped with stereo systems and loudly blaring the latest pop songs. A ride in a a trishaw is one of the things to do in Melaka that will be remembered for a long time. A family vacation would not be complete without a trishaw ride.
This is your once-in-a-lifetime ride on this outdated mode of transport to get around the places to visit in Melaka. After all it may not be around forever as less and less people are taking up this trade.
Don’t be too shocked when you hear Beyonce providing you the musical accompaniment as you sit in your trishaw, lol.
Jonker Street, a narrow street located in Chinatown is one of the top ten places to visit in Melaka. It has some of the oldest houses dating to the 17th century. This street is famous for its antique goods with its past associations with Portuguese, Dutch, Chinese and British. You can find Chinese porcelain pieces, old coins, unusual lamps and various Buddha statues.
The history of Melaka began with a simple fishing village inhabited by local Malays. In the fourteenth century, a Hindu prince, Parameswara was driven from his home in Palembang by Javanese enemies and found himself in this small village.
According to legend, he was resting under a gray tree while hunting when one of his dogs cornered a mouse deer. In self defense, the mouse deer pushed the dog into the river. Impressed by the courage of the mouse deer and feeling it was the sign of a good omen, Parameswara decided to build an empire at that very spot. He could see it was strategically located to be an excellent trading port.
He named the place after the tree he was sheltering under, the Melaka tree.
Another version of the story tells of Parameswara choosing the name Malacca from the Tamil word “mallakka” which means upside down. Old illustrations of the dog and mouse deer shows the dog falling on its back into the river which gave him the idea of the name Malacca. Some of the best places to visit in Melaka, Malaysia recounts the influence of the rule of the Portuguese, Dutch and British colonial powers. Besides the European colonial powers, the Chinese came to trade and settle down with the local Malays. It is one of the top historical places in Malaysia not to be missed.
After all, at the height of its prominence, Bandar Melaka or Melaka City was an important port along the Straits of Malacca This historical city has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 7 July 2008 and listed among45 “must visit” places by the New York Times. A World Heritage Site is a place that is of special cultural or physical significance.
Melaka gained fame mainly because of its strategic location as a good port accessible in all seasons and situated at the narrowest point of the Malacca Straits. It was formerly named Malacca and some still refer to this popular name.
Allow me to be your guide on this tour of the ten best places to see in Melaka. I am sure you will be fascinated by its rich historical background.
For those who want to experience the traditional way of life in a Malaysian village, you can be a guest at a Melaka Homestay. For those who prefer to rent an apartment in Melaka, there is the Malacca Homestay Apartment which is near the city center.
The strategic location of Malacca meant that it was an important stop for Chinese admiral Zheng Ho’s fleet during the Ming dynasty.
In order to enhance better relationships, a delegation was led by the Princess Hang Li Po to marry Sultan Mansur Shah who reigned from 1456 until 1477.
This resulted in a mass settlement of Chinese people which led to a community of Peranakan or Baba-Nyonya. Nyonya are for the ladies while Baba are for the men. This community identify themselves as descendants of the late 15th and 16th century Chinese immigrants. Some have intermarried with the local Malays and are usually traders.
Most of those descended from the early settlers speak two or more languages and towards later generations have assimilated to the Malay culture with their own particular way of dressing as well as cooking style.
Why not stay at The Baba House Hotel Malacca Town which is traditionally designed based on the culture of Baba-Nyonya.