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Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum

Best 10 Malacca Tourist Attractions you should NOT miss

Malacca Tourist Attractions - Jonker Walk


There are plenty of Malacca tourist attractions to visit on your trip and the fact that Melaka is a UNESCO heritage site, every street and corner became an attraction for the visitors. People that have visited Malacca would tell you why it is one of the best places to visit in South East Asia. Whether you want to go for fun, foodie venture, historical tour or natural beauty, Malacca is one of the best tourist destination in Malaysia.

Best 10 Malacca Tourist Attractions

We have compiled list of the best 10 Malacca tourist attractions, which should not be miss. For the activities you can do in Melaka, please checkout top things to do in Melaka.

1. Melaka Wonderland Theme Park

For fun lovers, Melaka Wonderland Theme Park is among the best Malacca tourist attractions. You would find one of the best theme park of Asia in here. It is located in the area of Ayer Keroh. You would not feel any less entertained than any of other theme parks. The clean blue water in the ponds and pools will wash away your worries and you would never regret putting Melaka Wonderland on the top of your list. Slide, twirl, jump and get thrilled in Melaka and be a cheery child again!


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2. The Stadthuys

When back from Malaysia, you will surely like to tell your buddies that you actually visited a seventeenth century building; The Stadthuys in Melaka. It is one of the Malacca tourist attractions for history lovers while not the only one. It is said that it is the oldest structure of Dutch architecture that survived in Melaka. The colonial time structure lives in the shape of gigantic walls, wide windows and heavy doors. The reddish brown, wooden-iron structure is the place to visit if you want to see oldest Malacca buildings.

Among all Malacca tourist attractions, this one should not be missed. The picture of The Stadthuys can be seen in plenty of postcards in Melaka as well.

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3. A Famosa Fort

Can’t tell if your picture with A Famosa Fort where a cannon on your right will be most liked or the one with the cannon on your left. But a trip the famous, A Famosa Fort is going to be fun and your buddies will love to comment on your pictures at A Famosa Fort. Reason? The fort got history, sight, location and architecture. It is sixteenth century building that survived only enough to tell you where the fort stood. A Famosa Fort reminds of the Portuguese rule in the country. The only thing the fort misses till today is; A picture with you. A Famosa Fort is also among the recommended heritage places to visit in Melaka.

4. Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum

Probably among the first Chinese to enter Malacca, and introduced a culture that will mix with Malay’s to give birth to a unique and celebrated culture of Chinese-Malays or the Baba Nyonya. The Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum is one of the finest depiction of culture of the Chinese Malay people. You would love to see the art, architecture, furniture, style and bridal rooms of the culture that are still saved in the museum.

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5. Melaka Zoo

I love the way my Chinese friend calls it an animal garden. The Malacca Zoo offers same species of animals you would not find anywhere else in the world. There are no two headed dogs or four headed snakes. What makes Melaka Zoo Ayer Keroh specialty is to offer an environment where animal moves freely and yet providing safe environment to the visitors as well. Seriously, I don’t like talking to animals with them behind the bars. Animals are no prisoners! You would love the stalls in the zoo too and will certainly appreciate a guided tour.

A unique feature of the Zoo is the Night Safari, which is also known as Melaka Zoo Night Safari. If you’re looking for some nighttime fun then a visit to the night safari is must. There are plenty of Malacca tourist attractions and Melaka Zoo is always favorite among families.

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6. Bukit Cina

The China Hill in Melaka, also known as Bukit Cina is home to a number of graves of Chinese ancestors in Malaysia. At first sight, you won’t believe that it is a graveyard. The reason is that the graves are spread at an area and the graves are not simply pile of rocks. They hold memorials of the ancestors. There are around 12,500 graves. People jog here since the scenery is good and the area is green and fresh.

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7. Malacca Butterfly Reptile Sanctuary

Malacca Butterfly Reptile Sanctuary is a serious endeavor. You will find here the cutest parrots, the most colorful big size butterflies and the haunting thick snakes. The sanctuary also called Taman Rama Rama, offers you view of the best crocodiles in the town! A Must visit if you doubt it and again a must visit Malacca tourist attractions if you believe it.

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8. Jonker Walk

If you have been to Malacca before then you probably took a walk in the famous Jonker Street once or twice. You also bought something from the street or ate from one of the local restaurants. The street is so popular among the tourists that the local authorities have made an attraction by the name of Jonker Walk. If you are visiting Malacca then you should experience Jonker Walk in the famous Jonker Street.

The street became live mostly past sunset and that’s the best time to visit this local attraction. There are plenty of stalls on both side of the street selling various stuff. You will find a lot of souvenirs as well and the local food.

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9. Menara Taming Sari

One hundred and ten (110) meters tall tower, the Menara Taming Sari Melaka is a great Malacca tourist attractions for those that love to see how the city looks at a glance. The Tower offers a 360 degree view allowing you to see different places, their locations and distances. Operational since 2008, the tower is visited by most of tourists at night because the city turns into a very mystical place at night as seen from above. If you’re not afraid of heights, this Malacca tourist attraction should be in your to-do list.

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10. Maritime Museum Melaka

You would find another Melaka attraction a little ahead of the Stadthuys. It is the Maritime Museum that offers you model of ship that does not belong to this century. You have probably seen such ships in movies but here you will come to know that this model is Portuguese and the ship is replica of ship that sank in the coast of Malacca. This model is 34 meters high and 8 meters wide. The Museum preserves the history of Malacca, particularly its maritime history.

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Please let us know what do you think of best 10 Malacca tourist attractions list. Share your experience by adding comments below. If you’re traveling across Malaysia and want to know tourist attractions in other destinations, below are some of the recommended guides:

Photo Credit: Phalinn Ooi

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Melaka Culture

Overview
culture1

In the month of July of 2008, Melaka got included in World Heritage List along with Penang’s capital, George Town. Even though the multi-racial population of the place consists mainly of Chinese, Indians and Malays, the Portuguese and Peranakan culture which is still practiced by a few descendant communities gains the major attention from tourists. Peranakans or Baba Nyonya are believed to be descendants as a result of intermarriage between Chinese and Malay. The male Peranakans are referred to as ‘Babas’ whereas the females are referred to as ‘Nyonya’.

The language spoken by the Peranakans is known as ‘Baba Malay’ which consists of a few elements of Hokkien language. There are quite a few museums present in the city of Melaka but the most important are Malacca Sultanate Palace Museum and Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum. Melaka is also the place where the Sikh community is available in large numbers. The gurdwara located in Jalan Temenggong is the place where the Sikh community offers their prayers.

Descendants of Portuguese colonists from sixteenth and seventeenth century are present till this day in Melaka. Portuguese Creole is generally the language spoken by them and most of the traditions which originated from Portuguese occupation are being practised still today. Portuguese dishes like Ikan Bakar, Alai, Serkam and Umbai are quite popular in some of the restaurants of Melaka.


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TOURISTS DRAW TO MALACCA ATTRACTIONS

Thursday March 21, 2013

Attractions in Malacca a major tourist draw

Historical landmark: The Stadthuys and Christ Church are two popular landmarks in Malacca town.
MALACCA, a Unesco world heritage site, must have among the most number of places to visit in the country.

Travel portal Trip Advisor has recommended 51 attractions in Malacca, including the Baba-Nyonya Heritage Museum, No. 8 Heeren Street Heritage Centre, Jonker Street, Cheng Hoong Teng Temple, Cheng Ho Cultural Museum, Sri Poyatha Vinayagar Moorthi Temple, Malacca River and Stadthuys.

It is also a common sight to see streets in the city and the famed Portuguese Square brimming with foreign visitors. World-class hotels and entertainment outlets have also mushroomed in Malacca over the last two decades.

Chinese, Portuguese, Arab, Indian, Dutch and English influences have made the city more fascinating. Visitors are also enthralled by the unique culture of the Peranakan and Chitty communities.

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MALACCA STRIVES ON HER HISTORY

Originally published Monday, March 26, 2012 at 9:09 AM

Malaysia’s Malacca thrives with history
The hub of Malacca’s civic colonial sites is Dutch Square — also called Red Square because of the color of its buildings.

By NAOMI LINDT The New York Times

On the tranquil grounds of the Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, Malaysia’s oldest Taoist house of worship, late afternoon visitors bowed and offered burning wands of incense to a gilded statue of the Goddess of Mercy, the deity for whom the temple was founded in the 1600s. Tourists quietly watched or focused cameras on the structure’s ornate, figurine-covered roof.

The placidity was interrupted by the muezzin’s call from the nearby Kampung Kling Mosque, an amalgam of Corinthian columns, Portuguese tiles and Hindu carvings, built by Indian Muslims in 1748. And down the street at the 230-year-old Sri Poyyatha Vinayagar Moorthi Temple, the country’s oldest Hindu temple, bare-chested and barefoot men in pastel-hued sarongs and garlands made of yellow blooms gathered to pray.

It was another seemingly sleepy afternoon in Malacca, Malaysia’s oldest city, just two hours south of Kuala Lumpur and about four hours northwest of Singapore. But underneath that sleepiness, its foundation of vibrant multiculturalism, which dates back centuries, is very much alive and increasingly accessible, as it welcomes a handful of hotels and millions of international visitors a year.

“I just love Malacca — its laid-back, slow pace of life and the history in the buildings, the people, the culture,” said a local resident, Colin Goh, 66, at Cheng Hoon, surrounded by a pair of red-and-gold sedan chairs and black-and-white photos that chronicled decades of the temple’s religious festivals. “Everything you touch that is not new is old.”

With his mix of Portuguese, Dutch, Chinese and “God only knows what else” heritage, Goh, a retired civil servant who now manages 8 Heeren Street, a restored 18th-century Dutch shophouse, embodies the city’s colonial past. Founded around 1400 by a Malay-Hindu prince, Malacca, within a century, became Southeast Asia’s most important trading port, luring an international cast of colonialists and merchants seeking a piece of the region’s lucrative spice trade.

The hub of Malacca’s civic colonial sites is Dutch Square — also called Red Square because of the color of its buildings — where tourists pose in front of the century-old Queen Victoria Fountain and trishaws festooned with plastic flowers gather. Nearby are the ruins of the A’Famosa fort, one of Asia’s oldest European-built structures, erected by the Portuguese 500 years ago, and the imposing Stadthuys, or town hall, built by the Dutch in 1650 and later painted salmon red by the British, Malacca’s last foreign rulers, whose reign lasted until 1957.

On the west side of the Malacca River, which flanks the square, along the old center’s narrow, atmospheric streets, are hundreds of lantern-hung shophouses, some distinctly Chinese in style, others bearing geometric Art Deco trademarks, and grand residences with ornately tiled stoops built by wealthy families of the past. For centuries, these streets served as the town’s commercial and residential center.

Malacca’s eclectic charm, with some help from a UNESCO World Heritage designation in 2008 and its reputation as one of Malaysia’s most exciting culinary destinations, has resulted in a steady growth in tourism. Last year 12 million visitors came, an increase of over 17 percent from 2010, according to a state tourism committee.

While some heritage buildings are still occupied by generations-old family businesses — silversmiths, watchmakers, dim sum purveyors — others have newer identities. At Temple Street, a shop run by a local artist, watercolors and hand-painted tiles depict idyllic street scenes. In another building, Nancy’s Kitchen, a no-frills restaurant known for its local Nyonya cuisine, sells addictive delicacies like buttery pineapple tarts and onde-onde, glutinous rice balls filled with Malacca’s famous palm sugar, known as gula Melaka, and covered in fresh coconut.

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The Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum, in a grand, preserved residence on Heeren Street (officially known as Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock), pays tribute to Peranakans, a group of wealthy, sophisticated families that arose from the intermarrying of Babas, or Chinese traders, and Nyonyas, or local residents.

The Peranakans forged a distinct East-meets-West culture that represents much of what makes Malacca so fascinating: A racial and religious multiculturalism that’s been cultivated and honored for centuries.This rich cultural heritage is also being celebrated in new lodging options. In 2009, a 100-year-old residential property down the street was converted into the 14-room Courtyard (AT) Heeren hotel, which blends era-appropriate furnishings with modern amenities. At the Snail House nearby, a charming French-Malaccan couple, Serge and K.C. Jardin, rent rooms in their carefully restored century-old home, with an open courtyard, a grand spiral staircase and high ceilings, offering travelers the chance to appreciate the nuances of Peranakan architecture.

“When you’re inside, you feel as if you’re in the presence of a wealthy Baba,” Jardin said. “And though you’re in the city center, it’s so quiet you forget where you are.”

Josephine Chua, a self-described “busybody housewife,” history buff and proponent of Malacca’s historic preservation, agreed.

“This place has been built on harmony since the 15th century,” she said.

Chua, 55, traces her local roots back nine generations, to 1765, when one of her paternal ancestors migrated from Fujian, China.

“The religions have coexisted side by side for centuries — that’s what makes us so unique and the town so great to live in,” she said. This is a particularly telling statement in modern-day Malaysia, whose Muslim, Malay-majority government has been criticized for exploiting ethnic divisions for the sake of political gain. “We don’t ask each other about one’s race and religion, but what we do always ask each other is,’Have you eaten?”‘

Where one has dined is not a question to be taken lightly in a city of restaurants serving home-cooked dishes, many of which have been passed down through generations. At Aunty Lee, a grandmotherly spot with lace curtains and pastel walls just a short drive from the historic center, septuagenarian chefs cook mouthwatering renditions of classic Nyonya dishes — chicken stewed with earthy, smoky keluak nuts; a fluffy omelet flavored with dried shrimp and chili; and cendol, a shaved ice dessert topped with coconut milk and gula Melaka.

Though authentic culture is easy to find in the city, residents like Chua and Goh worry about its future. The old center is now home to a recently opened Hard Rock Cafe, and many historic buildings have fallen into disrepair or been transformed into conventional souvenir shops and hostels, with no government financing to protect them.

Perhaps the most glaring example is Jonker Street, officially called Jalan Hang Jebat. Once known for its antiques shops, the strip now draws tour groups trawling stores stocked with Birkenstock knockoffs, batik linens and cheeky T-shirts with sayings like, “If YouTube MySpace, I’ll Google Your Yahoo.” It’s particularly raucous on weekends, when a food and retail night market takes over.

Still, what captivated explorers and entrepreneurs centuries ago never seems far away, whether it’s during a contemplative moment in a crumbling church or a stroll along the old town’s back streets and its fragrant Chinese medicine shops. Or while you are sipping a steaming cup of tea during a downpour at Zheng He Tea House, a hidden spot two blocks from Jonker Street. “Once you step into Malacca, you can feel the positive energy,” said Pak Siew Yong, the teahouse’s friendly owner. “Foreigners, once they come here, they don’t want to go home.”

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