Part 1 Introduction.
An authentic traditional Malay house in an urban heritage village
The front view of No. 134, Kampung Morten, Jalan Tun Ali, Melaka.
The side view of the house with the immaculate grounds.
Urban villages located in town centres can be found in most cities. However, picture perfect villages with well-preserved and maintained buildings, beautiful landscaping and neat layouts are extremely rare. Kampung Morten started out as a Malay village in early 1920s and takes its name after Joseph Frederick Morten, then Commissioner of Land in Malacca. Over the years, it has evolved into a model village which attracts tourists, both local and foreign, all year round. Strategically located along the historic Melaka River, it is one of the must-see tourist attractions in Melaka. Now, for the very first time, the Melaka State Government is offering tourists a chance to stay in this historic village in an authentic refurbished traditional Malay house. Operated by a government linked company, Taming Sari Sdn Bhd, the house is named Taming Sari Guest House and visitors can be assured of the best amenities, modern facilities and old fashioned furnishings.
A view of the wooden “anjung” or verandah.
The steep wooden staircase leading to the loft. The loft is directly under the zinc roof.
For visitors who have never stayed in a traditional wooden house, the experience can be quite unforgettable. This is because a house built with wood emits “sounds”. It responds to the movement of its inhabitants. For example, when you walk on the wooden verandah, it will creak. It is also not possible to climb a wooden staircase silently. Some people may say this is unnerving but others may relish the experience especially when this is an antique building with its own heritage and history.
The view in front of the house. The bridge over the Melaka River is in the foreground.
A closer view of the bridge. Notice the intricate artwork.
The whole package of staying in this house isn’t just the building itself. Kampung Morten is a heritage village and it is a chance to experience first-hand, the living heritage and traditional culture of the Malays in Melaka. The location of the village is also perfect for tourists. Located at the buffer of the core heritage zone (Melaka is a UNESCO World Heritage City), it is literally a stone’s throw from many historic sites and attractions. Visitors can also walk along the Melaka River which is famous for its own history and the iconic Melaka River Cruise. A walk at night is highly recommended as the river is beautifully lighted up. Many quaint cafes, souvenir shops and art galleries can be accessed by a walk along the river promenade. Within the village itself, the house of one of founders of Kampung Morten, Othman Haji Muhammad Nor, has been converted into a living museum and named Villa Sentosa. The house was built in 1920 and has on display household items, pictures, memorabilia and furniture which hark back to a bygone era.
Retro iron grills on a window. They don’t make grills like this anymore!
One of the neighbouring houses. Almost all the houses in Kg Morten are well-preserved and in immaculate condition.
So, don’t wait any longer. Seek adventure in Melaka and chart your own travel course. Coming up in the near future are articles on the history of the house, Kampung Morten and retro photographs. Perhaps even an interview with the original owner. Also, what to see and do in Melaka when you book a stay at Kampung Morten Taming Sari Guest House. Stay tuned!
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