Malacca/Melaka Journals

Traveller in Melaka

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An August 2004 trip to Malacca/Melaka by Marianne

Christ Church Melaka Photo, Malacca/Melaka, Malaysia More Photos
Quote: Melaka is a melting pot of people. Strategically situated on Malaysia’s west coast, halfway between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, it attracted adventurous seafarers: Indians, Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch, and British.

Traveller in Melaka

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Overview

Christ Church Melaka Photo, Malacca/Melaka, Malaysia
Quote:
The first thing we headed for was the Dutch Square, as we wanted to find out if it was truly Dutch. The first two buildings we see are: the Christ Church and Stadthuys, which is the old-fashioned Dutch spelling and means: town hall. Both buildings are painted darkish red. I read in a guidebook that they are painted red in keeping with Dutch tradition. I can tell you there are no wine-red painted houses in the Netherlands. Dutch houses are built of red brick. The Stadthuys has thick brick walls. Nobody, not even the friendly person at the information centre across the Dutch Square could tell me why it had been painted dark red. The bricks are truly Dutch and really old because t...Read More

Hollitel Hotel Melaka

Hotel | "Hollitel"

Hollitel Hotel Melaka Photo, Malacca/Melaka, Malaysia
Quote:
There is a large choice of hotels in Melaka, and their descriptions in Lonely Planet all sounded equally as good. We decided on Hollitel, Jalan PM 5, which is a 10-minute walk from the city centre. PM 5 stands for Plaza Mahkota, street # 5. Plaza Mahkota is a residential area, built some ten years ago on reclaimed land. The houses are of identical architecture, and there is hardly any traffic, which makes this part of the city very quiet. We were amazed at the great number of restaurants in this neighbourhood, and wondered if they attracted enough clients. They do, because it is customary for Malay people to eat out three times a day. Prices for meals are very reasonable...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 24, 2004

Hollitel Hotel Melaka
Jalan Plaza Mahkota 5, Plaza Mahkota
Melaka, Malaysia 75000
(06) 286-0608

Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum

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Attraction

Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum Photo, Malacca/Melaka, Malaysia
Quote:
The big attraction for me of the Baba Nyonya Museum is that it is housed in a traditional, fully furnished Pernakan townhouse. Babas and Nyonyas are Chinese descendants who have adopted Malay culture. They are also known as Straits-born Chinese or Pernakans, and practice both Chinese and Malay customs. They are known for their unique furniture, dress style, and food, a marriage of Chinese and Malay cuisine. The museum is a spacious two-storey home built around open courtyards. The entrance hall is divided into two by an intricately carved wooden screen that provides both privacy and ventilation. The open courtyard, or sky well, is the main centre of activity as it is the airies...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 24, 2004

Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum
48, 50 Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock
Melaka, Malaysia 75200
+60 6 283 1233

Feet as Small as Lotus Flowers

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Story/Tip

Melaka Photo, Malacca/Melaka, Malaysia
Quote:
Imagine this: feet as small as lotus flowers. Today there is still one old lady in Melaka who has lotus feet. Her feet are only 3 inches long; she has bound feet. When she needs a new pair of shoes she buys them from Wah Aik, the only shoemaker in Melaka who can still make these tiny shoes. Doll’s shoes was what I thought when I saw them in the shop window. They are made of silk and lined with red velvet and fastened with gold-threaded laces. They have leather soles, which never wear out. Women with bound feet cannot walk. Women with small feet were desirable brides. The smaller the feet the higher the dowry. They often married men of means and thus were sure of a prosperous ...Read More

Cheng Hoon Teng Temple

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Story/Tip

Melaka Photo, Malacca/Melaka, Malaysia
Quote:
"Welcome to the temple of the Evergreen Clouds," said a friendly, middle-aged man, "Cheng Hoon Teng in Chinese." And he invited me to go inside. A statue of a dragon and a lion stood guard at the entrance. I entered an open courtyard; from here I could examine more closely the dragons on the green tiles roof with its up-turned eaves. The walls were decorated with clay figurines and more dragons. There were tortoises intertwined with snakes, elephants, lions. "Symbols of Taoism," my host told me. I was a bit hesitant to step inside, as there were many people; some were arranging offerings on large tables, while others were burning incense. Two men were sitting on the floor, throwing w...Read More

Bukit China

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Story/Tip

Melaka Photo, Malacca/Melaka, Malaysia
Quote:
Bukit China, Melaka's Chinese cemetry, is situated on a hill just outside the city centre. Chinese cemeteries are always built on higher grounds, so the deceased are closer to heaven. As Melaka's climate is hot and humid, it was too far to go on foot to Bukit China. Therefore, we hired a trishsaw. They congregate near Stadthuys right in the centre of the city. We haggled over the price, and paid RM4, which was money well spent, as our driver proved to be an excellent tourist guide. "The graves are very much neglected," he began. "There are some 12,000 of them, and the oldest date back to the 17th century." We bumped along trying not to inhale exhaust fumes. At the foot of ...Read More