Saturday, 1 March 2014

Melaka Attraction: A Walking Tour Of Melaka (Malacca)

This is a map featuring some tourist attractions of Melaka which I got from the hotel I was staying. The best way to see some of these places (which I circled red) is to do a walking tour.
We started our walk from Jonker Street (the side nearer to Jalan Kubu) as that was near where we stayed.

I) Jonker Street (Jonker Walk)
Jonker Street aka Jalan Hang Jebat is probably the most popular street in Melaka. It is narrow and the traffic is usually slow here. During the weekends, this street is closed to traffic after 6pm to make way for the night market where small stalls are set up on either side.
Many shop houses along this street have been renovated but you can still catch glimpses of some heritage charm. 

The Hokkien Associating Building along Jonker Street looks very much like a Chinese temple.
Jonker Street was once renowned for its antique shops but what're left are just a couple of them. Many have given way for food and other souvenir businesses.
A souvenir shop in Jonker Street
Traditional clogs on display
Fanciful pencils
Colorful magnets
Drawings and paintings for sale
There are many shops selling jam tarts and other Melaka delicacies.
Mouth watering snacks.
Melaka is also famous for its Portuguese tarts
One of the night market stalls.
Walking slightly off Jonker Street you can see Kampong Keling mosque, an old mosque with an oriental-looking roof. 
There are many restaurants along Jonker Street and the smaller lanes off Jonker Street. The eateries are often crowded but it's hard to find one that really suit our palate.
We had chicken rice at Restaurant Famosa (pic above) but the rice was soggy and the chicken too salty.
The chendol durian here was fragrant but the chendol was hard as they were still in a frozen state when served.
We also tried the food at Mam Jonker 88 where business was brisk but were a little let down as the food was just average.
Assam laksa and Baba Nyonya Laksa at Mam Jonker 88
This is the other end of Jonker Street, a busy intersection where you can find the famous chicken rice shop and a cafe selling lip-smacking chendol durian.
Kedai Kopi Chung Wah's chicken rice is so popular that you will have to queue under the hot sun for a vacant table. (We were not willing to queue - that was how we ended up in the earlier restaurants, but the chicken rice here is really good)
A peep inside the famous chicken rice shop.
We didn't get to eat the famous chicken rice but the chendol durian at Lao Qian Ice Cafe [ just adjacent to Kedai Kopi Chung Wah] kind of made up for our disappointment.
This is something we'll never miss whenever we are in Melaka. The chendol durian at Lao Qian Cafe is a must-try.

II) The Dutch Square
From the chicken rice shop, just cross a bridge nearby and you'll be at the Dutch Square.
The Dutch Square is one of the most attractive places to take photographs and it is a must-see if you are visiting Melaka for the first time.  Because all the buildings here are painted red, this place is also known as the Red Square. Tourists flock here by the thousands and it often gets too congested for comfort. It would be better to plan a visit during the Malaysian off peak season. [Avoid coming here during Malaysian school holidays, and Malaysian festive season like the Hari Raya holidays, Chinese New Year holidays etc].
The two most prominent buildings in the Dutch Square are Christ Church and The Stadthuys. Both were built during the Dutch occupation in the 17th century. Christ Church  functions as a church till today but The Stadthuys which used to be an administrative center for a few consecutive governments is now a museum. It was closed for refurbishment during my visit. 
The Dutch Square is landscaped with pretty flower plants in well-manicured little gardens. Against the backdrop of the vibrant maroon buildings, this place is simply superb for taking photos.

While hanging out in this area, you can watch out for Queen Victoria Memorial Fountain which was erected in 1904  [during the British occupation].

Also watch out for Tan Beng Swee Clock Tower which was built in honour of a Chinese tycoon.
In the vicinity are many stalls selling a variety of goods and souvenirs but don't buy without bargaining first.
There is also a charming windmill nearby.
The Information Center stood in a visible spot from the Dutch Square.
Something you cannot miss are the well-adorned trishaws which are ever ready to take you for short rides for a fare of  RM10 per ride.

III) St Paul's Hill and the ruins of St Paul's Church
Just adjacent to the Dutch Square is a small hill with steps leading to the peak.
If you are interested to know the history of St Paul's Church, do read the write-up below.
View of Melaka from St Paul's Hill. 

III) Museums Are Everywhere!
There are many museums around this area, all within walking distance of each other. Museum entusiasts can visit any of these museums namely, The Stamp Museum, The Arts Museum, Cheng Ho Cultural Museum, Malaysian Architecture Museum, The Malay And Islamic World Museum, etc, etc.
The Matitime Museum located near the Melaka River bank (also nearby) is a replica of Flor de la Mar, a Portuguese ship which sank in a shipwreck in 1511.

IV) Fort A Famosa
Not too far away from the Dutch Square stood the remnants of a Fort A Famosa, a historical structure with an interesting history. (read to know more)
Beyond this area there isn't other spectacular monuments (except for a couple of shopping malls) so we made a detour to Jalan Laksamana (where the Dutch Square is located)

V) St Francis Xavier Church
At Jalan Laksamana, you can also watch out for an old church nearby. St Francis Xavier Church was built in honour of a Catholic missionary, St Francis Xavier in 1856.

VI) Malacca Fort
In the vicinity you can also see the remnant of Malacca Fort which was built in the 15th century.

VII) The Streets Nearby
Walking around, you'll be able to spot a corner with fountains and pigeons. Beyond this corner is Little India of Melaka - a street selling Indian merchandise.

VII) A Stroll Along Melaka River Bank
If you are not too exhausted, you can proceed to walk along the river bank. Taking this stroll you can see riverside motels, cafes,  interesting murals and boats cruising the river.
There are pedestrian walkways on both sides of the river bank which are inter-connected by bridges.
This is one of the bridges linking the opposite banks.

Some interesting murals
A riverside cafeteria
You can spend 2 hours, half a day or the full day touring all these places. 
To visit other tourist spots (not circled on the map above), you may need to take a cab or drive yourselves. 


Brendon said...

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Lily... said...

Hi Brendon, thanks for the recommendation. May come in useful when I make a trip there.

Hotels in delhi said...

Great piece of writing, I really liked the way you highlighted some really important and significant points. Thanks so much, I appreciate your work.

Lily... said...

Thanks for the compliment.

君子之风 said...

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Tom said...

Great post! Do check out our post on the Top Attractions and Things to do in Melaka!

Happy Travels Everyone!


Lily... said...

Hi there Tom, I've checked out your blog and loved some of your posts. I also do this "Eat, Play , Sleep, Repeat" but with lots other things in between.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lily, your article is great! I do write similar blog on the Top 10 Activities in Melaka. Feel free to check it out.

Unknown said...

Good share...thank you

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