Travel to Melaka

Top 10 Historical Places to Visit in Melaka (Malacca)

A Famosa Fort Melaka

Melaka is a small state of Malaysia that covers not more than 1,664 km² area. This small state with population of around 800,000 in 2010 offers great hospitality to the visitors. You will find plenty of tourist attractions, best restaurants and shopping places here, but let us now introduce you to the aspect of Melaka that made it one of the world heritage sites of UNESCO. There are plenty of places to visit in Melaka that attract tourists, especially those interested in heritage history.

Top 10 Historical places to visit in Melaka

Melaka has been ruled by Portuguese, Dutch, British Japanese and every ruler has left their mark in the city. It is also strategically located on the straits of Malacca, which is the third largest strait in the world.

Here is our hand picked top 10 places to visit in Melaka with historical background. Read on as you will find it handy when in Melaka.

1. St Paul’s Hill

The St Paul’s Hill is surrounded by a lot of historical places and restaurants. You have to climb up the hill to see the St Paul’s Church which is one of the great historical places of the city and country. The Church was first constructed in 1521. The Church is today part of Malacca Museum Complex. The building was just a chapel in 1521, which the Christians of that time dedicated to the Virgin Mary. In the end of the sixteenth century the Church was renamed Igreja de Madre de Deus.

Due to rich heritage St Paul’s Hill is on the top among 10 best places to visit in Melaka.

2. St Peter’s Church

The St Peter’s Church was built in 1710 by the Portuguese Catholics. The building was completed in the Dutch reign. Being a world heritage site, it is the oldest Catholic Church in the country. People still visit the Church and attend sermons in the big halls. There is a bell in the Church that mentions that the building was erected in early seventeenth century. Do visit this historical place, you will also find an alabaster statue of the Christ.

3. Christ Church Melaka

A little younger than the other historical Churches in Melaka, the Christ Church was built in 1753. It is the Protestant Church located just near the St. Paul Hill. Captain of the Malacca Burghers, Abraham de Wind laid the foundation stone of the Church. It took around 12 years to complete the Church. After the completion of this Church, it became the primary Dutch Converted Church google in Dutch Malacca replacing the Bovenkerk. The Red building adds to the elegance of the environment around even today.

Christ Church Melaka is in the city center which is best known as red square. You will not miss this among other places to visit in Melaka.

Read more about Christ Church Melaka

Places to visit in Melaka

4. Syed Al Attas Mansion

This building reminds of the Muslim rule in Malacca. The Syed Al Attas Mansion was the building owned by Syed Mohammad Al Attas who was a Muslim opponent of the Dutch in late 1800. Today, the place serves as the Penang Islamic Museum. You may visit the museum between 9:30 am to 6:00 pm any day other than Tuesday. The place reflects the lifestyle of the Muslim rules of that time.

5. Heeren Street

The Heeren Street is located just near the Jonker Street in Melaka but it’s importance still stand. This place is one of the most important roads. The visitors to the Jonker Walk also visit this place and visitors especially come here to see how some of the residential use buildings were converted to the finest restaurants and historical places. The place was once inhabited by the richest Malaccan families. Thus, it was famous as the “Millionaires’ Row”. Walk in the Heeren Street and be glad since you are lucky enough to visit the place that once welcomed only the richest.

The simplicty of Heeren street is unique so keep this among your places to visit in Melaka list.

Read more about Heeren Street Melaka

6. The Stadthuys

In the cluster of historical places in Malacca, the Stadthuys is also counted. The name of the place is a Dutch word that means a city hall. The buildings in the place are painted red, thus it is also known as the Red Square. This is the place connected to almost all parts of the city and you can call it the heart of Malacca Town. The Dutch Governor of Malacca built it in 1650. The Stadthuys is reserved as a Museum of History and Ethnography today. The place stores some of traditional costumes and artifacts that remind you of history of Malacca.

Read more about Stadthuys Melaka

7. Cheng Hoon Teng Chinese Temple

The Cheng Hoon Teng temple or “Temple of Green Cloud” reminds of the Chinese architecture in Malacca. The Chinese used to practice three Doctrines here including Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism. The Cheng Hoon Teng Temple is one of oldest functioning temple in Malaysia. Just near the Harmony Street, the Temple covers 4,600 m² area which is beautifully decorated. There is also a 7 meter pole that has a red flag with names of three captains.

For a unique experience, keep this temple among the list of places to visit in Melaka.

Read more about Cheng Hoon Teng Chinese Temple

8. Queen Victoria Memorial Fountain

In the Stadthuys, there is a Queen Victoria Memorial Fountain that serves as a central place from where you can visit almost all the historical places of the city. The Queen Victoria Regina date mentioned on the fountain is 1837 to 1901. Almost every tourist to Melaka likes to have a photo by this fountain since it is both beautiful and historical. Getting here early is the key else you might have to get in a queue to take a picture in front of the fountain.

9. Dutch Square

The Dutch Square and Queen Victoria Memorial Fountain are located at a same place. The Dutch Square or the Malacca Town Square is monument of the British administration that was built in the mid of 17th century , and the Dutch lined it with the main townhouse, or Stadthuys, along with the Dutch Reformed Church, now called Christ Church.The red buildings in the square look great in the night lights.

Read more about Dutch Square

10. Tan Kim Seng Bridge Melaka

On the River Melaka, the Tan Kim Seng Bridge is most famous as well as important. There was a rich Chinese trader and philanthropist in 19th century after whom the bridge is named. He donated the bridge to the town. Tan Kim donated bridge as well as land for Chinese cemetery to the town. You can find the bridge near Clock tower.

The unique aspect of Melaka is preservance of heritage sites to date. I hope you find top 10 historical places to visit in Melaka list handy. If you want to suggest a place then please feel free to add below in comments. If you’re traveling in Malaysia and would like to know best places to visit, below are some of the recommended guides:

Wonderful Malaysia

Zong Chinese dumpling festival in Malaysia

Good ole Zong (Bak Chang) – The Traditional Food of Chinese Dumpling Festival

Triangle shaped, round or square “Yuk Zong” (?? in Cantonese), my favorite pork meat glutinous rice dumplings are filled with various fillings, wrapped in bamboo or lotus leaves. Zongs come in various shapes, sizes and tastes (sweet, savoury, spicy and a mixture of it all) according to regions or states in Malaysia.
Whenever someone ask what Zong is, I would always happily explain what ingredients are required to make this truly authentic and traditional recipe.

Welcome to Malaysia, a land where everything is of a mixture (Malaysians refer to this as Rojak): the people, the language, the newspapers and the food culture all mix naturally. Though the origins of Zong, points to Southern China, this heritage food is also well acclaimed across the Malaysian Chinese communities; the Kuala Lumpur (Cantonese speaking KL-ites) refer to it as Zong, the Northern Penang name it Bak Chang in the local Hokkien dialect and the Baba-Nyonya Peranakan call this dish Chang.

zong simplyenak 3

Important and interesting, it is the meaning and story or Chinese folklore behind Zong that leave an impression. The Zong / Dumpling Festival (Cantonese: Tuen Ng Jit / ???) is celebrated on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, June 23 this year 2012. It honours a famous and successful scholar-poet Qu Yuan who took his life by jumping into a river after the fall of the Qin Dynasty to the Zhou Dynasty. He was greatly saddened when the king refused to take his advice, leading to a great war. It is said that the local people, who admired Qu Yuan, dropped sticky rice triangles wrapped in bamboo leaves into the river to feed Qu Yuan in the afterlife. The paddling of the boats in those days apparently were meant to scare the fishes away (in modern today we have the famous Dragon boat racing).

Another, equally convincing, folklore explained: fearing that fishes would eat Qu Yuan’s body, friends and supporters had made dumplings and threw them into the river so that the fishes would eat them instead of the body. Hence the dumplings Zong was given birth.

Some of the various types of Zong available are:

– Ham Yuk Zong / Yuk Zong ( ??): Salty Meat Dumpling typically filled with fatty pork belly, yellow mung beans, salted egg yolks, mushrooms and my favorite chestnut.

– Nyonya Zong (???): A specialty of Peranakan cuisine, the fillings are minced pork with candied winter melon, ground roasted peanuts and taucheo (Chinese soy bean paste made from yellow soy beans). Traditionally the dumpling has a bit of blue rice coloured from the butterfly pea flower.

– Kan Sui Zong (???): Literally translated as “alkaline water Zong”, this is a dessert item or a snack for tea time. The glutinous rice is treated with lye water hence the distinctive yellow color. It is usually plain, with no filling and if there are it is a sweet stuffing, for example red bean paste. It is often complimented with sugar, gula melaka (Malay for palm sugar) or a delicious local coconut spread named kaya.

zong simplyenak 1

Zong today, in my view is considered a forgotten food and recipe in Kuala Lumpur. Through my observations there are many chicken rice stalls but very few Zong stalls around. And how many Zong stalls serve a decent Zong? To be honest not many in KL.
The most delicious Zong sold around KL would be freshly homemade from generation old family recipes, which have been passed on from moms or grandmas. That was indeed how I acquired and learnt how to appreciate Zong: through a traditional family secret recipe and ritual since I was 11 years old. It was really satisfying, as i recalled back to those days, the family’s team spirit and hard effort making Zong. Every bite of the Zong was simply delicious, flavorful with all the pork meat and fat melting away and simply filled with lots of love.

The process of making it is truly an art and takes many cumbersome steps, from purchasing various ingredients, preparation to frying, folding and steaming/boiling them. There were always a lot of fun, jokes, laughter and gossips with and about the entire family. Never was there a quiet moment in a Chinese household especially as aunties gathered who all possessed the family trait of high sopranos voices, which were probably even evident miles down the road.
There was a lot of sharing and family members’ participation involved as each had their own role and individual strength or skill, for instance folding the bamboo leaves with stuffing and tying a cluster of them to strings. We appreciated and respected each others’ roles even the children, like myself back then were delighted eating after witnessing the hours of making Zong.
I am proud of my family and have realized that preserving the food heritage is vital in creating one’s identity and shaping the next future generations’ love for the family’s traditions.

zong simplyenak 2

So what is my favorite Zong? And who makes the best Zong in Malaysia?
My favorite is: the “Ham Yok Zong” (savoury version).
In my heart the best Zong recipe by far comes from my late grandma, no one has and probably will be able to surpass that level of standard on the ‘delicious-Zong meter.’
Determined, I attempted to re-make Zong according to my grandma’s recipe some months ago. I pulled some family members together and took a few quick decisions to speed things up. The outcome was a disaster the taste, texture, everything fell short of what I was used to.
There are no shortcuts to traditional recipes and there are some things in life that are irreplaceable.

Every traditional food has its story and listening to it takes you a step closer to a deeper understanding of its culture. True meaning makes every bite unique in its taste and even more pleasantly delicious to savor till the very last bite. So I urge all to continue this tradition! Head out and buy some Zongs to eat in this time of the year. Happy Tuen Ng Jit (Zong / Dumpling Festival).

Curious to find out where to buy the best Zongs around Kuala Lumpur? Visit to find out more.

This article was written by Pauline Lee. Pauline is a food enthusiast and has a great passion for Malaysian Food. Her mission is to preserve local food traditions and recipes to allow next generations to enjoy what she knows to be some of the world’s best food. Pauline is a Food Experience Captain and owner of Simply Enak – Food Experiences. Her company aims to give foreign guests the best experience of Malaysian Food. Simply Enak provides food walks, food drives, dinners at local homes and more exciting Food Experiences. Visit for more information.

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Tourism Malaysia

The Miracle of Shipwreck Treasures @ National Museum

October 3, 2011 at 2:00 pm

Captain Jack Sparrow and his antics in Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean have renewed interest in maritime activities, especially during the time when the seas were filled with galleons, galleys, and of course, pirates. The Straits of Malacca was an important trade route between the West and China at that time, and the Malacca Sultanate was envied by many foreign powers as it controlled this important seaway.

Shipwreck Treasures at National Museum

A blue and white Chinese plate with a coral growing on the rim of the plate. The plate was found from a sunken ship named Desaru

Many ships made the journey between the East and West, but not every ship managed to complete it. Some were lost due to bad weather, others due to accidents while the rest became victims of attacks. All eventually ended up at the bottom of the sea. And what the sea takes, the sea keeps. That is till enterprising men in scuba gear and submersibles find the shipwrecks again. Then the sea gives up what it has held for centuries, returning a treasure trove of precious cargo and artifacts, as well as common items of that glorious era to mankind once again.

Shipwreck Treasures at National Museum

Sunflower seeds were also found buried under the sea together with other precious treasures

If you wish to feast your eyes on some sunken treasure, then you should pay a visit to the National Museum in Kuala Lumpur. The National Museum is currently hosting an exhibition entitled The Miracle of Shipwreck Treasures that feature an assortment of items recovered from 13 shipwrecks off the seas of Malaysia. Items include Chinese artifacts like porcelain items, herbs and glass beads, as well as Portuguese cannons made from bronze.

Shipwreck Treasures at National Museum

A Portuguese cannon made from bronze is also one of the treasures that are on display at the National Museum

The exhibition is open to the public daily from 9 am to 6 pm and will end at the end of this year. Admission is RM3 each.

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