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Cuisine in Melaka

MELAKA MILLIONAIRES’ ROW

Malacca’s Millionaires’ Row
Posted on June 7, 2013 – Featured, Property News.
OUR STREET HERITAGE
By M. Veera Pandiyan
[email protected]

Looking around: Tourists soaking in the sights in Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock.

JONKER Street, or Jalan Hang Jebat, is possibly the most famous road in Malacca, thanks to Jonker Walk which attracts hordes of tourists from all over the world.

But the road running parallel to it – Heeren Street – has a more interesting history and richer architectural charms.

Heeren Street, or Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, was once the place to live for those who made it to the top.

Originally called “Kampung Belanda” (Dutch Village), it ended up with the nickname of “Millionaires’ Row” because of its well-heeled residents.

The narrow street with houses adorned with ornately decorated façades was the choice neighbourhood for the prosperous Straits-born Chinese (Peranakan or Babas and Nyonyas) in the mid-19th and early 20th century.

These affluent folks competed with each other to build the most flamboyant of houses, many of which stand to this day.

Quite a number have been fully restored to their former glory and turned into highly popular boutique hotels, museums, galleries, restaurants and cafes.

Walking into these places is like going back in time to the era of Malacca’s occupation by the Dutch.

A classic example to visit is Number 8, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, a shophouse built in the 1700s.

It has been painstakingly renovated by Badan Warisan (Malaysia’s National Trust) with a grant from the US Embassy.

Entry is free but donations are welcome.

The grandest of them all: The Chee Mansion was built by the first chairman of the OCBC.

While Jonker Street (from the Dutch Jonghheer) was named after a place for “young noblemen” who had not quite made it to the upper level of nobility.

Heeren Street (originally Heeren straat), was for the “gentlemen” or “masters” in the upper crust of society.

The characteristic features of most buildings are high roofs, floors and corridors lined with intricate tiles, teak front doors carved with family names or mottos in gold calligraphy.

Most windows are also beautifully decorated with motifs while some homes even have decorated roofs with image of dragons, birds and flowers.

The houses on the street are rather narrow and small when viewed from the outside but are long and spacious inside.

This is because the houseowners then were taxed on the width of the buildings instead of the total area.

Most of them have open courtyards to provide ventilation and light. Some even have small wells to draw water or ponds to collect rainwater from the roof.

The street was home to famous Malacca Babas, including Tan Kim Seng, one of the pioneers in the development of Singapore, and Tan Chay Yan, who was Malaya’s first rubber planter in 1896.

Tan Kim Seng or Baba Kim Seng, who amassed a great fortune in Singapore, built a bridge across the Singapore River which is now named after him.

He also donated money for a bridge, named after him in Malacca, and for the famous Clocktower in front of Christ Church in the Dutch Square.

Tan Kim Seng’s stately ancestral home, built in 1822, is the present Hotel Puri.

When it was the home of Kim Seng, there was a menagerie behind with many animals, including a tiger.

The grandest house in “Millionaires’ Row” is the Chee Mansion, which stands majestically directly opposite Hotel Puri.

The breathtaking building is a Dutch era architectural gem, complete with a fairy-tale inspired watchtower.

It was built by tycoon and philanthropist Chee Swee Cheng, the first chairman of the Overseas Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC).

As it was run almost entirely by the Baba’s in the old days, OCBC was jokingly referred to as Orang China Bukan China.

Chee Swee Cheng built the mansion at 117 Heeren Street as a dedication to his father, Chee Yam Chuan.

The Chee Mansion, also known as the Chee Yam Chuan Temple, is used as the family’s ancestral home.

But “Millionaires’ Row” bears the name of an outstanding fifth-generation Baba and one of the country’s illustrious early leaders.

Tun Tan Cheng Lock, who co-founded the MCA in 1949, was born at house number 111.

The dignified family home was where the country’s first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tan held many discussions before Merdeka.

His son, Tun Tan Siew Sin, was Malaya’s first Commerce and Indus try Minister before being the longest serving Finance Minister for 15 years.

He was also the third president of the MCA after his father and Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu.

It may not be as hectic as Jonker Street where the tourists to Malacca throng but Heeren Street oozes more history, old-world charm and provides amazing sights and stories.

Article source: http://tourism-melaka.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default

Categories
Cuisine in Melaka

CRUISING DOWN VENICE OF THE EAST

Go: Cruising down Venice of the East
2011/11/09
PHILIP LIM
[email protected].com.my

The history of Malacca is about 700 years, perhaps older. PHILIP LIM goes on a river cruise and enjoys vistas of the ancient and modern

IF you are new to Malacca, one of the most pleasant ways of getting acquainted with the Unesco World Heritage Site (since 2008) is to take a river cruise.

I have been an absentee local visitor for the past 11 years. So a revisit to the city was long overdue. A friend told me that one of the nicest attractions in Malacca at present is to board a boat from the Quayside Heritage Centre and take a 45-minute cruise of Malacca River.

Much has happened in the years between the time when the river was an eyesore and it’s in fairly pristine condition now.

It has been about six years since the Malacca River was given a makeover and its murky waters had been treated and rendered visually presentable. The river boat jetty took about two years to complete.

A la Venice

The time spent on the boat is equivalent to a cruise along any of the big rivers in Europe. It is not a coincidence that Malacca in its golden era was nicknamed the Venice of the East.

The only difference is the temperature. The Malaysian weather on the day of our river boat trip is almost perfect.

The sky is a clear blue with only traces of clouds drifting above. There’s a gentle wind which caresses our cheeks as the boat skims the surface of the calm waters.

At last count, there are 26 river boats cruising the Malacca River ferrying passengers across a distance of about nine kilometres. These fibreglass boats are capable of sailing beneath the numerous bridges even at high tides.

At its lowest, the tide is still 0.8 metres which is manageable by the river boats.

A visual count during the river cruise reveals the presence of eight bridges.

They are Tan Kim Seng, Chan Koon Cheng (Ghostbridge of Malacca), Hang Tuah, Hang Jebat, Kampung Jawa, Kampung Morten, Old Bus Station and Pasar.

The river route has been deliberately designed and engineered for visitors to catch glimpses of river bank flower gardens, a Malay kampung, a windmill, a fort and the Christ Church of Malacca.

Excited cruisers
With us on the boat tour is a family of 10 tourists. They are quite enthusiastic and animated vocally at the novelty of seeing so many unfamiliar scenes outside their country.

Their loud conversations in Cantonese only add to the merriment of the occasion. At one stage of the cruise, the boatman spots a 150cm long monitor lizard lazing on a mangrove branch near the water edge.

One woman loudly exclaims in Cantonese: “This is so big, not even a family of 10 can finish it on the dining table!”

Those of us who understand her can only smile nervously. There are two young Caucasian women on board the boat as well. It would have been interesting to watch their reaction if they had understood the comment.

As far as I am concerned, it is the monitor lizard’s lucky day. It could have been born in another country, lived on another river and might have suffered the unfortunate fate of being the main course on a distant family’s evening menu.

A therapy of sort
The last boat ride ends around 11.30pm. A night cruise along the river is an exhilarating experience altogether because passengers can soak in the sights and sounds of a nocturnal Malacca.

Many of the trees lining the river cruise route are decorated with lights and the old buildings and ancient structures exude an aura that tell of bygone days that once made the city one of the busiest trading ports for hundreds of years.

The human body is susceptible to the lull of lapping waves and the concrete attractions by the river side at every turn and corner give your entire being a sense of high.

The Malacca River cruise is scheduled at a 30-minute interval beginning from 9.30am. Adult fare is RM10 and for children below 12 years, it is RM5. If you are organising a group tour, the Malacca River Cruise office can make arrangements for RM100 per boat.

Call 06-281 7322.

Fast Facts
Before the 15th Century, Malacca was just an ordinary fishing village. It began to flourish under the reign of Iskandar Shah (Parameswara). Before long, Arab traders began to call on the port city.

In the mid-15th Century, Chinese Muslim Admiral Cheng Ho paid a courtesy call on Malacca. According to historical records, Malacca soon became a vassal State of Ming China.

In 1511, the Portuguese seized Malacca and brought it under their control. One hundred thirty years would pass before the Dutch mounted an attack on Malacca and ousted the Portuguese. The year 1641 marked the beginning of the Dutch rule.

For the next 150 years, the Dutch presence in Malacca was supreme. In 1795, Holland (Netherlands) was conquered by the French and consequently the Dutch lost control of Malacca.

The Dutch absence was soon replaced by the British who took over after the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824.

Malacca was first governed by the British East India Company. It was only later that it became a British Crown Colony. Together with Singapore and Penang, Malacca became part of the British Straits Settlements.

Read more: Go: Cruising down Venice of the East http://www.nst.com.my/nst/articles/Go_CruisingdownVeniceoftheEast/Article#ixzz1dGni1IT6

Article source: http://tourism-melaka.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default