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Melaka

Ben van Wijnen

 

Malacca in 2017 is not only a city, which lives in his Portuguese, Dutch and British history. It's a modern city with a lot of old colonial Dutch buildings, like the "Stadthuys", which was former residence of the governor. 
You can reach Malacca by car by driving the North-South Expressway. It's a very good road and it takes only two hours to take you from Kuala Lumpur to Malacca (look also at the site of the North-South Expressway).  Malacca has also a very up to date harbour with duty-free shops. 
Although Kuala Lumpur International Airport is not far away. Malacca has his own Airport (airstrip):    Batu Berendam Airport. That's the home of the Malaysian Flying Academie and is approximately seven kilometres from the city centre.
Malacca became an industrious port in which the old Malacca river doesn't play a part in it anymore. That was in the old days. The ships are now going for the big port outside the city.
There are tall buildings nowadays. The old houses did make place for modern apartments. There are air-conditioned shopping malls. Just outside the city are luxury resort and hotels along the coastline of the Malacca Straits.
There's a lot to do in and near Malacca. There's a crocodile farm, Mini Asean, the Malacca Zoo, the Maritime Museum, Monorail, River Cruise (beautiful by night), Geographer Cafe, St. John's Fort, Jonker Walk and many other attractions.  A special hotel is the Puri Hotel.
The Cheng Hoon Teng temple ("Temple of Green Cloud") is a Taoist temple, located at No. 25 Jalan Tokong. It is the oldest functioning temple in Malaysia. The temple, with its curved roof ridge, cut-and-paste chien nien decoration, and gable design, reflects the architectural style of South China, of craftsmen from Fujian and Guangdong. It has recently been restored, and in the process garnered a prestigious Unesco award for outstanding architectural restoration
"A'Famosa Water World" is truly a tropical  paradise to swim for the young and the old ones. The A' Famosa Resort and Theme Park has a Golf Course, a Water World, a Cowboy Town, a Mini Safari. It also organises light shows and parades on special occasions (Christmas, New Year, Chinese New Year). The resort is popular with Singaporeans and locals. Probably because it is convenient drive that takes only 2.5 hours on the North-South Highway from either Kuala Lumpur or Singapore.

We went several times to Malacca and every time it was very hot. We always had one overnight stay, because there is much to see in Malacca. The colonial part of Malacca, with its terracotta painted buildings, gives an impression of the Dutch colonial period. The square in front of the "Stadthuys" is the favourite spot of the just married couples. A lot of wedding pictures are made here.
Jalan Hang Jebat (formerly known as Jonker Walk) is one of the best places to hunt and bargain for antiques. Here you can find beautifully carved cupboards and sideboards, the well-known hanging kerosene lamps and chandeliers, which are left behind by the Dutch. Walking through Jonker Street is sheer joy even if you do not buy anything. The shop fronts themselves are interesting.
After our visits to Malacca we always drove by car to Kuantan at the east coast, the
Genting Highlands or we returned to Kuala Lumpur.
We were interested in the colonial history of Malacca. That's the reason why we visited this town.   The colonial buildings have been kept perfectly in the original state. We walked a lot in the city and we climbed St. Paul's Hill in the very hot sun, which is worth a visit.
You can stay in one of the hotels in the centre of the city. Mostly they have an interesting special room rate, which is shown on a signboard outside the hotel.
We had very convenient double room with breakfast, refrigerator and TV for  RM 100,- (all taxes included) in the Grand Continental.
The Grand Continental has a swimming pool on the roof.

Malacca is one of the thirteen States of Malaysia. It's ruled by a sultan. The sultans of these 13 States choose among them every five years a new king. So once upon a time....... there will be a sultan of Malacca, who becomes king of Malaysia. The "Sultanate Palace" is a nice place to visit.


The "Stadthuys"

 


"Tourists in a colourful trishaw"


Christ Church

 

     

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  Ben van Wijnen

 

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