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Malacca (Malay: Melaka) is the capital of the state of Malacca in southern Malaysia.
Things to see
The older part of the city proper has, in addition to the old palace and the large buildings left by the Europeans, many private houses and shops from nearly a century or more ago, put up by Chinese traders. Many of these have beautiful details such as moulded porcelain tiles and painted plaster reliefs on the front. Unfortunately, they tend to be not well preserved and the city government decided to paint all the buildings in the historical district a bright brick red some years ago, which detracts from their aesthetic value.
• Stadhuys - completed in 1660. Nowadays, it houses the historical museum. This is one of the oldest Dutch buildings in the east.
• Christ Church - this church was built between 1741 and 1753. It replaced a Portuguese church, which was shattered. Bricks were shipped from Zeeland in the Netherlands. On the floor of the church you will find Dutch tombstones. It is the oldest protestant church in Malaysia. On the altar you will see sacramental silverware, still bearing the Dutch coat of arms. Open: Thursday - Tuesday.
• Red Square - Beautiful square around Christ Church and the Stadhuys. On this square you will find the Tang Beng Swee Clock Tower, it looks Dutch, but it is not. It was built in 1886.
• Porta de Santiago - You will find this remains of the old Portuguese fort A Famosa on Jalan Kota, around St Paul's Hill. What you can see nowadays is a mostly Dutch reconstruction, bearing the VOC coat of arms.
• St Paul's Church - take a path up the hill and it will lead you to this church. It was originally built in 1521, by the Portuguese. It became a fortress in 1567, until 1596. After the Dutch siege it became St Paul's, before it was known as Nossa Senhora da Annunciada (Our Lady of Annunciation). It has been used as a burial ground for the Dutch. You can still see the tombstones, along the walls of ruins of the church.
• Muzium Budaya - Below the hill you will find this museum (Melaka Cultural Museum). It is a reconstruction of the istana of the sultan. It was built in 1985. It is open daily from 9AM to 6PM except on Tuesdays, and on Fridays from 1215-1445. Entrance fee: RM1.50.
• Portuguese Settlement.
• Cheng Hoon Teng Temple - oldest Chinese temple in Malaysia and has an inscription dating 1685 commemorating the deeds of by Kapitan China Li Wei King.
• Poh San Teng Temple. This temple is located at the foot of Bukit China and was founded in 1795 by Kapitan China Chua Su Cheong as a graveyard temple. The main deity is Fu-te Zhen Shen. the temple was built to allow the descendants of those buried on Bukit China to conduct prayers to their ancestors away from the heavy rain and strong winds.
• Kampung Morten - a village of traditional houses, it is located on the west bank
• Bukit China (Chinese Cemetery) - Bukit China is the one of the largest Chinese cemetery outside of mainland China. Graves can be found here that go back to the late Ming dynasty (mid 17th century). The earliest grave found so far dates to 1622, but unfortunately many graves were exhumed during the British occupation of Malaysia. Bukit China is a famous jogging spot for the locals and jogging tracks are available all over the hill. When you climb on top of the hill, you will have a nice view of the town.
• Recreational Forest Ayer Keroh - The 359 ha (887 acre) Ayer Keroh Recreational Forest was opened on April 17, 1984 and offers visitors peace and tranquility within its cool green surroundings.
• Baba and Nonya Peranakan Musuem - Step back in time with a visit to this musuem which is an actual Peranakan heritage town house and is a great example of Peranakan culture. It is located on Heeren Street (now known as Tun Cheng Lock Street). The entry fee is RM8 per person.
• Melaka Zoo - Located in Ayer Keroh, along the main road from the Ayer Keroh toll plaza to Melaka town. One of the best, if not the best, zoo in Malaysia. Even better than the National Zoo. The zoo is located in a reserved forest where the animal enclosures more resemble the animals' natural habitat. The trees within the zoo compound provide ample shades for visitors during hot and sunny days.
Notice that on Tuesday most museums, shops, restaurant are closed. No events are planned on that day. If you have only one day to spend in Malacca, do not go on Tuesday!
Things to do
• Go fly a kite, literally - Go to Klebang Beach and buy a cheap kite (fighter-style, but nowhere near that well-constructed) with Japanese cartoon characters on it for RM 1.50, or a styrofoam airplane for RM 5 if you don't have the necessary kite-flying mad skills.
• Jonker Walk - Jonker Walk is an open air night market held every weekend (and recently extended to eve of public holidays) evening to late night. Have a leisure stroll along the street, observing the locals' life, catching a free performance and shop for some local sourvenirs can be a wonderful and unforgettable experience.