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Malacca: colonial treasure of Malaysia


  Marica&Sonia   |     27/01/2018

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Malacca (Malay Melaka) is a state of Malaysia, with 733,000 inhabitants, located in the south-west area of Peninsular Malaysia.

The capital is the city of Malacca. It extends over a flat region and overlooks the Straits of Malacca.

The main economic resources of this state are the production of rubber and tin, as well as agriculture.

We arrive in Melaka on the afternoon of January 23th and we stay at the hostel Yote Flashpackers paying 25 RM - Ringgit Malaysian - about 5 euros (1 euro = 4.8 MYR). We share the room with 2 other French girls. The room is without windows but luckily there is air conditioning given the high humidity levels.

During this period monsoon rains are very frequent, that is heavy rains that can last up to several hours. In fact, during these days we are forced to go out always with raincoat and umbrella.

On July 7th, 2008, Melaka was listed by UNESCO as a world heritage site.
Moreover, the centuries of Portuguese, Dutch and British colonization, as well as the strong Chinese presence, have definitely influenced the city's architecture.

The first evening, as soon as we arrive, we head towards the historic centre. We immediately notice the Church of  St. Francis, built in honour of St. Francis Xavier, an eminent Jesuit Catholic missionary. The church is still consecrated and celebrates masses of Catholic rites for the Christian community of Malacca. We go then to the Red Square, the main square dominated by the Stadhuys, seat of the Town Hall, in the past of Dutch domination.

Then we glimpse the Church of Christ, the oldest Anglican church in Malaysia. We continue to Jonker Street, the central street of China Town, full of restaurants and bars where you can have a drink. We stopped at Geographer and The Daily Fix (very expensive prices: an alcoholic drink costs about 4-5 euros). In this street, every Friday and Saturday night there is a market where you can find a bit of everything.

The next day we visit the ruins of the San Paul's Church, where we have fun taking pictures with some local guys while we wait until it stops raining. Then we head towards A Famosa, a Portuguese fortress of which the only remaining part is the Port of Santiago.

In Malacca you can also visit the Kampung Klingu Mosque. It was built in 1748 by Indian Muslim traders who inhabited the port of Malacca during the Dutch period. It is one of the oldest mosques in Malaysia to date still existing and completely intact. We also admire the ancient Chinese temple Sam Po Kong.

The next day we begin a pleasant walk along the river that runs through the city. During the walk, we stop to admire the many beautiful and interesting graffiti. We follow the river for about 1.5 km until you reach Kampung Morten where Villa Sentosa is located.

The latter it is a traditional Malay house, now used as a museum, but still inhabited by a local family. As soon as we arrive, the owner kindly welcomes us and takes us for a ride around the house explaining the functions of the different rooms.
The house contains many ancient documents and objects such as a Koran and several cameras, part of the family collection. The owner also tells us that this house has even hosted a local wedding. We put our name in a register and the gentleman takes a photo to insert in his album. At the exit, there is a box where you can leave a free donation.

After this interesting visit, we return to the hostel in order take our backpacks and head to the bus station with the new German friend Bernt. We take UBER at a cost of 1.30 euros (about 15/20 min) to reach the bus station. Here we buy tickets for Kuala Lumpur. The trip lasts only 2 hours for a cost of about 3 euros (KKKL company).

We really enjoyed visiting this town, especially because it is not at all common to meet a mix of European and Asian architecture around here. It's definitely a must-do if you decide to travel to western Malaysia.

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Marica&Sonia

Two tireless travellers, with the look and the thoughts wandering beyond the borders of the world.

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