Melaka Travel Guide

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Destinations of Melaka
A Famosa
The Porta de Santiago is part of a fortress of the A Famosa, built by the Portuguese in 1511. It was damaged by the Dutch during an attack. Timely intervention by Sir Stamford Raffles in 1808 saved the fort from destruction and its gateway still stands today.

The Stadthuys is believed to be the oldest Dutch building in the East. It was built in 1641 to serve as the official residence of the Dutch Governors. The Stadthuys is situated right in the center of Melaka City. It is a fine example of Dutch masonry and woodwork skills. Today, it houses the Melaka Museum, which has a special History Department and a section on Ethnography. Visitors can find excellent artifacts on display such as traditional bridal costumes and authentic relics from Melaka's past. The nearby clock tower and fountain which was dedicated to Queen Victoria in 1904 are popular subjects for photography.

St. John's Fort
St. John's Fort is strategically located atop St. John's Hill, 3 km from the city center. Built by the Dutch in the 18th century, it was once a Portuguese chapel dedicated to John, the Baptist. It is interesting to note that the gun embrasures of the fort face inland and not towards the sea. This was to counter-attacks by the enemy from the hinterland and not from the sea.

St. Paul's Church
Located on a hillock behind the A Famosa, St. Paul's Church was built by Duerte Coelho, a Portuguese captain. After the Dutch conquest of Melaka, the church was converted into a burial ground and renamed St. Paul's Church. The tombstones found here have Latin and Dutch inscriptions. The body of St. Francis Xavier was laid in the open grave here in 1553 before being shipped to Goa, India.

St. Francis Xavier's Church
This church was built by Father Farve, a priest of the French Foreign Mission. Based on Gothic-style architecture, it was built in dedication to St. Francis Xavier also known as Apostle of the East, who spread Catholicism in South East Asia during the 16th century.

St. Peter's Church
This is the only church in Malaysia with a life-size alabaster statue of the Dead Lord Before The Resurrection. The church was built by the Portuguese in 1710 with its architectural style blending to that of Oriental and Occidental.

Christ Church
It is another fine example of Dutch architecture using timber. The exquisite craftsmanship of this church dating back to 1153 is best seen in the hand made pews as well as in the ceiling beams which were constructed without joints.

Hang Tuah's Mausoleum
This place is located at Jalan Klebang. Hang Tuah was Melaka's greatest warrior during the reign of Sultan Mansor Shah. As the commander of Melaka's naval forces, he defended the thriving port from being attacked by the Siamese and Achinese. Hang Tuah's outstanding loyalty and his prowess as a warrior earned him a popular place in the history of Melaka.

Hang Tuah's well is located in Kampong Duyung, the birth place of the legendary warrior where he spent his childhood among four of his good friends who would later become the famous knights of Melaka. Mausoleums have also been erected in memory of two of his comrades, Hang Jebat and Hang Kasturi.

un Teja's Mausoleum
This is the gravesite of a noble man's daughter from Pahang who was convinced by Hang Tuah to marry Sultan Mahmud Shah of Melaka. She died a queen in Merlimau about 24 km from Melaka town, while retreating with members of the Melaka royal family from the Portuguese attack in 1511.

Bukit China
Literally meaning 'Chinese Hill', Bukit China is the largest Chinese cemetery outside China with tombs dating back to the Ming Dynasty. This hill was presented to the followers of Hang Li Po, who had been given in marriage by the Emperor of China to the Sultan of Melaka.

Hang Li Po's well
It was built in 1459, located at the foot of Bukit China served as the only source of water during great droughts. The Dutch enclosed it with stout walls in 1677 to maintain their ultimate right to the well.

Melaka Sultanate Palace
This palace is an impressive reconstruction of the original palace of the former Malay rulers of Melaka. Located at the foot of St. Paul's Hill, its architecture is based on the description of the palace given in the Malay annals written by Munshi Abdullah. It presently serves as the Melaka Cultural Museum providing interesting glimpses in to the glorious era of the Melaka Sultanate.

Baba and Nyonya Heritage Museum
It is the ancestral home of 3 generations of a Baba Nyonya family which is located along Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock. These straits-born Chinese have adopted much of the Malay culture into theirs. The museum provides interesting insights into the priceless heirloom unique to the Baba Nyonya heritage.

The Proclamation of Independence Memorial Building
This was constructed in 1912 and is significant as the place where the first Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, who read the historical document proclaiming independence for the country in 1956. Among the historical exhibits on display is the car that the former Prime Minister used for his journey to Melaka after his successful negotiation in London for the nation's independence.

Kampong Hulu
The place boasts of some of the oldest mosques in the country. The Kampong Hulu mosque was built in 1728 by Dato' Shamsuddin as well as the 600 year old Tranquerah Mosque and the Kampong Keling Mosque feature a unique architectural style, consisting of a three-tiered pyramid structure instead of a dome. Instead of the usual minarets, these mosques have pagoda-like structures. The tomb of Sultan Hussain of Johor, the ruler who signed the agreement ceding Singapore to the British, is located within the compound of the Tranquerah Mosque.

Cheng Hoon Teng
This temple was built in 1646 and is the oldest Chinese temple in the country. The building was constructed with materials totally imported from China, with ornate carvings and excellent lacquer work.

Sam Po Kong
Another temple that is dedicated to Admiral Cheng Ho, the great Chinese mariner and is named after a fish believed to have miraculously saved the admiral's ship from sinking during a storm.

Air Keroh
Air Keroh, an easy 15-minute drive north-east of the city, is a popular tourist recreational enclave situated in a vast forest reserve. Attractions here include Mini Malaysia, Mini ASEAN Village, Melaka Zoo, a butterfly farm and a scenic lake, an ideal spot for picnics and boating activities. Mini Malaysia, a theme village made up of authentic traditional houses of the various Malaysian states set within a rural setting, provides a glimpse into the local way of life. Located within the same area is the Mini ASEAN Village consisting of the traditional houses of the ASEAN countries of Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Brunei and Thailand.

Golfing buffs will have a great time driving the ball at the 18-hole Air Keroh Country Club reputed to have the longest golf course in Malaysia.

Within Air Keroh, there are several resort hotels providing excellent facilities for visitors intending to spend an extended holiday in Air Keroh as well as to visit other tourist spots in Melaka. Alternatively, take on the challenge of the superb greens and fairways of the magnificent A Famosa Golf Resort located just beside the North South Expressway at nearby Alor Gajah. Situated within the A Famosa Golf Resort is the A Famosa Water World promising hours of fun-filled excitement for the family.

More than a historical state, Melaka boasts of 2 charming island resorts, Pulau Besar and Pulau Upeh. Pulau Besar, 10 km south of Melaka town, abounds in legends about mermaids and princesses as well as sacred graves and shrines. It is a haven of tranquility for those in search of fresh air and silky white beaches. The 121-room Pandanusa Island Resort is an international class hotel offering an 18-hole golf course and a host of sea sports facilities.

Covering some 7 acres, Pulau Upeh is another island gem. It offers opportunities to observe the conservation efforts of the endangered Hawks-beak turtle, historical sites and spectacular sunsets. The resort on the island provides a relaxing weekend getaway far from the maddening crowd.

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