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Cuisine in Melaka

THE KAHAANI MALACCA

Stately charm of The Kahaani Malacca

By ROBIN AUGUSTIN | [email protected]

MAGICAL: A stay at The Kahaani is an experience to treasure

MALACCA: THE Kahaani Malacca gets its name from the Hindi word which means story, but spending a night in the lavish mansion is nothing short of a fairytale.

Formerly an official residence of the Malacca state governor, The Kahaani sits on a 0.6ha of land in Taman Tasik Utama, a mere five minutes from the Ayer Keroh Tol Plaza.

The mansion exudes prestige and class with its massive gates, driveway and lawn. The state’s emblem at the entrance serves as a reminder of the mansion’s past status.

Residence Hotels Resorts took over the reins of management last year and spent three months restoring the mansion to its former glory.

The interior decor of the The Kahaani is a tasteful blend of colonial and Peranakan furnishings, antiques, lighting as well as a red-carpet lined spiral staircase.
The management has also brought in new furniture and bathroom fixtures that compliment the mansion’s character.

The Kahaani has six suites under three categories. Each suite is named after a traditional musical instrument. There is Rebana, Angklung, Serunai and Kenong suites. The creme de la creme is the Nafiri and the Japanese styled Tsuzumi, which have their own living rooms.

The largest of the suites is the Nafiri, in which Bollywood superstar, Datuk Shah Rukh Khan has stayed in.

Aside from the Rebana, the other suites each come with an extra king-sized bed and a hot tub. All rooms are large enough to accommodate up to four persons, with extra beds available upon request.
Inside, the rooms are the epitome of luxury. The sheer size and furnishings of the rooms are astounding and are equipped with high speed wireless Internet, an LED television, Astro and a DVD player.

The hallmark of the Kahaani is its personalised butler service, which explains the omission of a mini-bar, coffee making facilities and ironing board from the rooms.

Like the magical cartoon servants that look after the castle in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, operations manager Kamal Mohd Zani and his staff of nine, work around the clock, happily serving guests and ensuring the mansion remains spotless.

“Here, guests get to enjoy a first-class colonial experience. Our butlers pamper guests, doing everything for them,” said Kamal, adding that The Kahaani is the only place in Malacca with a personal butler service.

Dining at the mansion is a privilege exclusive to guests staying at The Kahaani. From breakfast to dinner, all meals are served in sets. There are also colonial styled and Nyonya tea sets featuring cakes, scones, authentic Nyonya kuih and, of course, a selection of fine tea.

The quality of food served is immaculate and the portions are generous. For breakfast, which is complimentary, guests have a choice of either continental or American breakfast sets, complete with a selection of eggs, juice, breads, cereals, sausages and more.

Lunch and dinner is a Western affair complete with an appetiser, soup, main course and dessert.
Local delicacies are also available upon request.

Aside from lunch and dinner, light snacks can also be prepared to satisfy those late-night cravings.
The delectable meals can be enjoyed in the cosy setting of the Nyonya Room, outside by the pool, or common balcony. Guests can even have their meals served to them in the comfort of their suites.

If you manage to resist the urge to stay in bed, then head to the mansion’s stunning pool which is surrounded by a wading area with hydro massage jets, a mini-island and water features.

A popular feature of a colonial mansion is a library. The Kahaani has a spacious library and games room with a selection of books, traditional games like congkak and popular board games for adults and children alike.

There are two function rooms in the mansion. The Batik is a board room styled meeting room, equipped with a projector, laptop and audio-visual facilities.

The Batik can accommodate 10 people and also function as a dining avenue.
The Sutera function room is suitable for small dinners or events to the tune of a 100 guests. It is encased by glass walls, giving guests a great view of the pool.

Naturally, the uniqueness and charm of The Kahaani makes it a popular venue for weddings and private functions, which can be organised on the mansion’s vast lawn.

Guests who wish to enjoy Malacca’s many tourist spots can do so as a limousine service can be arranged. Airport transfers to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport and Low Cost Carrier Terminal are also available.

Rates at The Kahaani start from RM1,500+ per night, but promotional rates are available.
For reservations, call 06-231 3712 or email [email protected]

For more details, visit www.thekahaani.com/

Read more: Stately charm of The Kahaani Malacca – Central – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/streets/central/stately-charm-of-the-kahaani-malacca-1.333796#ixzz2dnhUhfGI

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Cuisine in Melaka

MELAKA PLANS YACHTING HUB

YACHTING HUB: State plans to build marinas to attract 20pc of seafarers who pass by straits every year

MALACCA: THE Malacca government is hoping to attract 20 per cent of more than 3,000 yachts passing through the Straits of Malacca each year with the construction of marinas along the coasts of Klebang and Tanjung Kling.

The building of the marinas would be a private sector initiative with the support of the state government in terms of land, basic infrastructure and policies.

Chief Minister Datuk Idris Haron said the state, once a famed port of call for sailors from all corners of the world, had the potential to see its glorious past resurrected.

“I was told that at least 3,000 yachts pass through the Straits of Malacca annually and if we can get 500 of them to stop here, it would not only boost tourism but also create an economic spin off for the local economy.

“The sailors travelling in their own yachts are in a league of their own and they will definitely contribute to our economy.

“With the marinas, we would also provide services such as maintenance for their vessels, medical attention, food and beverages and also other facilities to attract them,” he said after launching two new Catamarans, a 50-footer and a 33-footer, built by local boat manufacturer, Boat Explorer Sdn Bhd, at the Seafarer Restaurant in Klebang here yesterday.

Idris said Klebang and Tanjung Kling could be the next “Gold Coast” in southeast Asia.

“In Malacca, there are many areas which could be turned into marinas but we have to be selective and make it happen. Just look at Sungai Melaka, once an eyesore, it is now the most visited tourist attraction in the state.

“However, before implementing the marina projects, we have to conduct a proper study.”

Asked if the new state administration had any plans to salvage sunken treasures believed to lie off the coast of Malacca, Idris said no proper and credible research had been done on the possible locations.

“If there are pictures of these treasures and proper research done on the vessels, then we do not mind embarking on an exploration to look for them.”

Idris also thanked Boat Explorer, a branded recreational boat builder, for helping to promote the state among its customers.

Read more: CM: Malacca can be the next Gold Coast – General – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/nation/general/cm-malacca-can-be-the-next-gold-coast-1.298497#ixzz2W1RBkIvC

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Cuisine in Melaka

MELAKA RIVER PROJECT NOW A MODEL FOR OTHERS

14 June 2013| last updated at 11:38PM

Sungai Melaka project a model for others

By Jason Gerald | [email protected]

REHABILITATION: The once lifeless waterway has been turned into Malacca’s most lucrative tourism product

THE phrase “Everything began in Malacca” is not something which was just coined to attract tourism, but is in actual fact what this state has to offer to other states in Malaysia.

The birth of the nation is attributed to the glory of the Malacca sultanate in the 15th century, and Malacca is where the independence of Malaysia was first announced by the country’s founding father, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al Haj at the Dataran Pahlawan in Banda Hilir.

Malacca has been a benchmark for many developments in the country after the state was steered into becoming a developed state — recognised by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) — and is now spearheading the nation’s green technology initiatives.

And now, what was once famed as one of the busiest ports in the world, the Melaka River, is becoming a benchmark for the rehabilitation and beautification of rivers throughout the country.

Known as the Venice of the East in the 15th century, the waterway had slowly deteriorated and became one of the dirtiest rivers in the country till some 12 years ago.

In 2001, the state government, with assistance from the Federal Government, had embarked on the first phase of the Melaka River beautification project costing some RM200 million.

The first phase of the Melaka River rehabilitation project started at the tip of the river mouth to the Hang Tuah bridge which included the construction of two new jetties and an archway across the river.

The restoration and beautification project paid off handsomely, as now the once lifeless river has not only been revived but it has been turned into the most lucrative tourism product that Malacca has to offer.

The recent Sungai Melaka International River Festival created history when the Drainage and Irrigation Department director-general, Datuk Ahmad Husaini Sulaiman, said the State administration’s success in turning the river into one of the finest in the country, region and also the world would be the main point of reference for the revival and beautification of all rivers in the country.

The effort taken by the Malacca government in beautifying the Melaka River has not only managed to turn the river into a commodity for tourism but also helped in mitigating floods.

Under the 10th Malaysia Plan all rivers in the country were allocated RM3.47 billion for flood mitigation works, rehabilitation and beautification exercise. Melaka alone was allocated RM285 million.

In Malacca’s case, this money was not only used for flood mitigation works but also for the cleaning, beautification, and upgrading of the river system from the Sungai Melaka estuary right up to Malim.

This success of making Sungai Melaka into a living river is proposed to be replicated across the country.

Sungai Melaka is flanked by several delightful structures such as the Dutch or Red Square, traditional villages and other tourist attractions. In the second phase of its rehabilitation would start at the Hang Jebat bridge up to Batu Hampar, covering 5.2km.

The second phase would be divided into three main work packages; first would cover a 2.4km waterway from the Hang Jebat bridge to the Tun Razak bridge, followed by 1.2km from the Tun Razak bridge to the Melaka Sentral bridge, and the final package from the Melaka Sentral bridge to the Tidal Control Gate that stretches for 1.6km.

This would also include deepening the depth of the river, constructing walls and walkways along the river, landscapes, three water taxi stations at Taman Rempah and Jusco AEON, building unique bridges and beautifying the banks of the river.

Once the project is completed, the water quality of Sungai Melaka is expected to improve from class 111 barometer to class 11B by the year 2015.

The current success of the Melaka River rehabilitation and beautification project could also be seen through the Melaka River Cruise.

When the cruise started in 2006 there were only 56 visitors, but last year alone it attracted some 1.1 million passengers, and this year it is targeted that the Melaka River Cruise would attract some 1.4 million visitors.

Besides being a benchmark for rivers in Malaysia, the Malacca government is also aiming to work towards getting this event listed on the World Tourism Calendar of Events, similar to the San Antonio River festival in Texas, United States.

Read more: Sungai Melaka project a model for others – Columnist – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/opinion/columnist/sungai-melaka-project-a-model-for-others-1.299900#ixzz2WE8IVouO

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OLD MALACCA SCENT

20 October 2012 | last updated at 12:14AM

Old Malacca on St Paul’s Hill

By PHILIP LIM | [email protected] 0 comments

MALACCA: THERE’S an old scent of history on St Paul’s Hill in Malacca that draws tens of thousands of visitors there every month.

There are about 10 old Portuguese tombstones inside the church.
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Even though the roof is missing, with only the walls left standing, visitors who walk on its grounds can’t help but feel that history has left a long trail of invisible footprints left behind by forgotten Christian missionaries.

The original building on the hill was built in 1521 as a chapel dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The chapel was named Nossa Senhora da Annunciada or Our Lady of the Hill. In 1548, the Bishop of Goa handed over control of the chapel to the Jesuits and a missionary named Francis Xavier took over the deed.

Renovations to the chapel took place in 1556, 1590 and 1592. In due course, the chapel was renamed Igreja de Madre de Deus or Church of the Mother of God.
When the Dutch took over Malacca in 1641, the church was renamed St Paul’s Church. One hundred eighty-three years later in 1824, the British gained control of Malacca but the name of the hill remained.

On any given day, one will find on St Paul’s Hill souvenir pedlars and artists who seem to be drawn there more by the place’s serenity than by anything else.
Foo is one of them. He is on the lighter side of his 50s, but looks like someone who has emerged unscathed by the Flower Power of the 1960s.

His greying moustache and his lean frame give the impression that he is a bohemian seeking his fortunes amid 400-year-old ancient ruins. Sporting shoulder-length hair, a red jockey cap and cropped pyjama-style pants, Foo has that enigmatic smile that reveals he has seen far more of life than he is willing to share with strangers.

But once he warms up to you, Foo, who is sometimes called Patrick, is quick to recount tales of those early years when he was a fisherman. He weathered the storms on the high seas for two or three years before he realised that it was not his true path in life.

“During those fishing years, I was out at sea for two or three days at a time. Occasionally, it was about one to two weeks,” said Foo.
The weather was unforgiving and life sometimes seemed to hang in the balance, added Foo with a whimsical smile.

About 10 years ago, Foo decided he had had enough of the rough seas, scorching sun and vacillating fortunes. He returned to being a landlubber on terra firma where his feet did not have to sway.

With the help of some business friends, he obtained an ample supply of prints of old Malacca. The prints, popular among tourists, are given sepia tones to lend an old charm to the historical city.

Among the 20-odd pictures of old Malacca are scenes of Jonker Street in 1890, Heeren Street in 1910, Malacca River in 1880 and Kwee Meng Kuang footbridge in 1890.
A batch of five prints is sold at RM20. For a KL resident, the price seemed immensely reasonable. In Jonker Street, where some photo shops are located, a similar old print which is framed is priced at RM45 each.

Foo readily admits that he is not an artist and that the items spread on the floor are not his work. Sitting on a stool in the corner of the interior of the church, the congenial individual seems to like life as it is right now.

His “work station” is in the rear of roofless church, which houses an old burial vault and Portuguese tombstones removed from the grounds in the 1930s.
The Portuguese tombstones, which number about 10, form a boundary of sorts around Foo’s “exhibition area”.

A few feet from Foo is a sign in three languages (Bahasa Malaysia, English and Dutch) that says “laid to rest here is Ioanna six who was born in Tayoan, wife of Jacobus Pedel, a merchant and harbour master for Malacca town. Departed this life on 1 January 1696 at the age of 40 years, 9 months, 15 days also, before her on 21 May, 1695, their son Jacobus Pedel Junior passed away at age less 2 days to 7 months”.
With these centuries-old tombstones and relics on St Paul’s Hill, the old Malacca that Foo somehow seems to personify, has come alive with its ancient walls and tombstones speaking in whispered tones about lives come and gone.

This former holy ground, like many others, is not without its own tale and mystery. The story lies in a statue of St Francis Xavier, erected in 1952, that has a broken right arm, at the front of the church.

The statue was to mark the 400th anniversary of the saint’s stay in Malacca. One day after the statue was put up, a large tree fell and broke the arm.

It would not have been an unusual occurrence if not for the fact that in 1614, the right forearm of St Francis Xavier was removed from his body as a relic.

Today on St Paul’s Hill, if you care to listen in silence to the whispers of the slow, incoming sea breeze, you, too, may hear something.

Read more: Old Malacca on St Paul’s Hill – Central – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/streets/central/old-malacca-on-st-paul-s-hill-1.159199#ixzz2A0Y2BVki

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WANGKANG FESTIVAL 2012

Email    Print 02 February 2012 | last updated at 12:51am
Sending a boatload of evil spirits back to hell

By KELLY KOH LING MIN
MALACCA
[email protected] | 0 comments

Rare procession to rid Malacca of misfortune

A Wangkang organising committee member preparing the wooden boat that will be paraded around the streets of Malacca on Feb 6 to collect evil spirits and negative elements. Pic by Mohd Khairul Helmy
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  IT is not an annual event like  Chinese New Year or  Chap Goh Mei, but the Wangkang Festival is nevertheless important in the Chinese  calendar, especially for the Hokkien community.

  Wangkang is a festival which is believed to have its beginnings 150 years ago and it comes around once in several decades. This is only the fifth time that it is held in Malacca in the form of a boat procession.

  The last three Wangkang festivals took place in 1919, 1933 and 2001, and there are no records on when the first was held in the country.

  The event is aimed at ridding evil spirits in the state and country. It may be a once in a lifetime experience  as it is only held when the medium at the temple gets the command from the heavens.

  The 2012 Wangkang organising committee chairman, Lai Poon Pen, 55, said instructions from the “Heaven God” stated that this year is an unfortunate year as Malacca would be struck by disasters.

  “It was last year when we got this important message, and I was chosen to  carry out the festival.”  

   It is also known as the King Barge Festival and it is a tradition of the Chinese Peranakan, whose ancestors migrated to Malacca from the Hokkien-speaking provinces of China during the colonial era.

   “The idea of having the Wangkang boat procession around  town is to collect evil spirits, wandering souls and other negative elements on the road, and send them away to bring in  health, peace and happiness  to the people of Malacca.

   “The festival starts with the rising of the koh teng, an oil lamp on a 12m bamboo pole,  to send a message to heaven  that an important event will be held soon.

   “As for the boat, we have different names for it each year. In 1919, it was called Lian An, meaning united peace while in 1933, the boat was named Ming An, which means people’s peace. It was Jia An in 2001, meaning Malacca peace, and this year, it is Chuan An which means total peace,” said Lai  at the Yong Chuan Tian Temple in Banda Hilir yesterday.

  He said  the 5.8m-long, 2.5m-wide and 2m-high boat was made of wood by five committee members.

  “The RM80,000 boat will be loaded with rice, water, wine, joss paper, herbs, pots, pans, stoves, and  supplies for the evil spirits  as we believe there should be an equilibrium between heaven, earth and hell.”

  Lai said the Tourism Ministry gave RM10,000 and the state government provided RM15,000 towards the cost of building the boat.

  The rest of the money was collected from the people.

  The Wangkang will be paraded in the streets here on Feb 6 —  the last day of  Chinese New Year which is also Chap Goh Mei —  before being  set ablaze in a bonfire.

Read more: Sending a boatload of evil spirits back to hell – General – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/local/general/sending-a-boatload-of-evil-spirits-back-to-hell-1.40726#ixzz1lDxA289x

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