Top things to do in Malacca (Melaka)
Malacca City, the capital of the Coastal state of Malaysia is a relatively unknown tourist destination but one that has huge potential ion in the tourism sector. Over the last three decades, the tourist population has consistently seen a growth that is impressive, making Malacca one of the fastest-growing tourism destinations in Asia and in the world.
While admittedly most tourists are yet to visit the city, there is every possibility that that would happen very soon or later in the near future. While that trip has not yet happened, it’s still very much important to know some of the major attractions in Malacca and the things a tourist could do in the city to make his or her stay memorable. In this article, we take you through some of the attractions you could visit and things you can do when you are in Malacca.
Visit to Studthuys
The Stadthuys is a famous colonial building in the heart of Malacca city, the coastal state’s administrative capital. The red looking building was built in the mid-1600 by the Dutch to serve as the official residential office of the Dutch governor residing in the city. The Dutch later handed over the building to the British in the 19th century and was used as a school by the British colonial administers. Today, the historical building serves as a national museum where the colonial and contemporary history of Malaysia can be learned by tourists visiting Malacca for the first time.
Trip to Famosa
The Famosa is among the last remaining European Fortresses in Asia, and also one of the oldest on the continent. The fort was built by the Portuguese in 1511 as an important trading post for Portugal as the Portuguese believed Malacca could become a major trade linking Portugal to China. The Fort was also built to protect the Portuguese traders and administrators in Malacca as they occasionally had clashes with the indigenes of the town. The Fort later came under the control of the Netherlands in the 1600s and later under the control of the British in the 17 and 1800s. Even though a huge part of the Fort has been destroyed over the decades, the Fort still remains a major tourist attraction in Malacca and is a place worth visiting for the lovers of history.
Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum
The Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum is a historical ethnic related museum in Malacca that highlights the history and tradition of the Chinese-Malays ethnic group that migrated from China and settled in Malaysia in the 1400s. The museum was established in 1986 by Chan Kim Lay, a descendant of a wealthy Chinese family that resided in the house that was converted into the Museum. The Museum is also noted for hosting some of Asia’s most powerful leaders including the president of China, Hu Jintao who visited the Museum in 2009 as part of his visit to Malaysia. On exhibition inside the facility are Chinese porcelain and woodworks some of which dates back to the 19th and 20th century.
The Christ Church
This church building falls into the category of Malaysia’s most historic structures with a storied past that. The church was built by the Dutch in the 1600s after they had victoriously defeated the Portuguese and driven then out of Malacca. The building is found at the Church Street are of Malacca is arguably one of the most visited attractions in Malacca. Once in the building, tourists are shown some historical artefacts and monuments as old as 200 years. Some of the artefacts are religious stuff like the cross and cups used by the priests of the church. It also houses some plaques which were dedicated to Dutch soldiers who lost their lives during their battle with the Portuguese for the control of Malacca.
The Butterfly and Reptile Sanctuary
The Butterfly and Reptile Sanctuary is found some 15km north of the main Malacca city and houses over thirty species of reptiles including snakes, crocodiles, and lizards while also serving as home to more than 100 species of butterflies. The sanctuary is regarded as a safe haven for these animals due to its distance from the main city and strict laws protecting the research from harmful human activities like bush burning and hunting. The sanctuary is known to receive thousands of tourists annually with the visiting population increasing each year. For any tourist visiting Malacca, a trip to the Butterfly and Reptile Sanctuary is a good idea.
Melaka Sultanate Palace
The Melaka Sultanate Palace is a wooden structure replica of the Sultan Mansur palace of the 15th century. The replica palace is located in the St. Pauls Hills area and was constructed in 1985 with only wooden materials using traditional methods of building. The original palace is generally regarded as the greatest palace ever built in the history of Malaysia and was made up of seven floors. According to the traditional account of the people, the palace was however destroyed a few years after its construction by a thunderbolt lightning.
Taming Sari Tower
The Taming Sari Tower known locally as Menara Taming Sari is the only gyro tower in Malaysia with a height of 110 metres. The tower was officially opened in 2008, after which it became the most famous tourist destinations especially for the brave and adventurous ones who want to experience something more daring and breathtaking. Tourists who visit the facility are taken up to the summit of the tower by around 80 seater elevator constructed around the tower. This 360 rounded elevator carries the tourists to the very top of the tower where they can view the whole of Malacca as one big picture, making it a sight to behold. The elevator-like structure once at the top moves in a circular form, around the tower enabling tourists to see all parts of Malacca from the top.
Jonker Street Night Market
If you are in Malacca and looking for a place to spend the evening outside of your hotel or guesthouse then Jonker Street is the place to do so. Jonker Street is another iconic night market in Malacca, famous for its vibrant night market and surprisingly cheap products. The area is usually quiet in daytime and sprung into life at night with commercial and trading activities taking over as shops, restaurants, boutiques, stall and so many commercial outlets opening up for business. One major feature about the Jonker street night market is the fact that products sold there come at extraordinarily low prices compared to that of the normal daytime market, making it the favourite marketplace for most people living in Malacca. Aside from its commercial activities, Jonker Street night market usually witnesses a street performance of music by bands and occasionally performances by dancers and acrobats.