Saturday, February 12, 2011

Malaysia - Melaka (Malacca)

Chinese New Year trip 2011 to Malacca (Melaka) Malaysia

This year Malacca has spruce up its tourist attraction and though I have been there a zillion times as its my mother's hometown - this state is truly a pleasure to be at - for its food especially.

How to get there
Driving there from Singapore takes around 3 hours or less. You can also take a travel bus from Singapore.
In Malacca, I havent seen many taxis (though they say there are) and the buses ain't frequent so many often either rent a car or they rent a bicycle to get their way around.

For my family and I, we are foodies - so upon arrival in Malacca, we always make our way to our fav stores .
1. Long Tau Hu
- It sells amazing fried crispy fish cakes-like ingredients. And I like its kway Tiao, a little sticky yet fresh. I like to eat it without any sauce. Personal preference.

2. The fresh sugarcane juice and coconuts (Kelapa Muda) along the road
- We always go to the same way opposite a secondary school

2. Gula Meleka Brown sugar donuts (Kuih Keria)
Its sold in a small hut along the roadside near the beach. Especially when its hot, Oh my! Drooling! The mixture of the tapioca inside and the sugar outside is just delicious. When its cold, Its still nice though it turns a little hard.
# Note: Its only open after 3pm

Here's the directions I got it from another blog
Kuih Keria Antarabangsa, Jalan Tengkera
(follow Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock till it turns into Jalan Tengkera)

3. Roti Chanai and Nasi Lemak for breakfast
Very crispy and light (where you dont feel bloated or oily)Roti Chanai and still have stomach space for the Nasi Lemak with its amazing smelling rice and sambal blachan.

4. Chendol
A must eat in Malacca. With the brown/black sugar(Gula Melaka) and lots of coconut milk and freshly grated pandan made ingredients, yummy! (Last time near Taka Singapore had one stall that used brown sugar, but now they have swop back to syrup sugar, saying too costly - Sigh) - Well, thankfully I go back to Malaysia quite often :)

5. Kutu Piring (Putu Piring)
Its like Singapore Kueh Tutu, just that its much bigger , close to the size of my palm, and inside it is gula melaka ( brown/black sugar)and below it is grated coconut
- Awesome! Can't eat too much though- its a little sweet. But a MUST-EAT.
Jalan Tengkera
Open at evening till late night.
# Note: Have to queue. So park your car at the side of the road and get someone to wait inside, while you queue.

6. Wantan Mee for breakfast

7. Tai Bak
I like this. Very refreshing. Some of the stalls also put grass jelly in it.

8. Black Mee

9. Rojak - Fishcakes, Fried crispy snacks with sweet sauce and Chilli - Yummy.
Its sold on the streets

10. The famous big meat paus (Dua Baos) and the glutinous rice and danxin

Very crowded but the juice from the meat and the fluffy bao skin - can't stop eating!
My family bought back 15 of them this time.

11. Celup Celup - Satay sauce gravy dipping

To buy home for friends:
- Tau Siar Piah - There is sweet, salty versions

- Chicken Rice Balls - I find it a little oily but many seem to like it.

And some of the things tourists always buy back

The beaded peranakan shoes - My mother loves them

The Nonya Sarong Kebaya - worn by the Babas of the community (Chinese of noble descendants who have adopted much of the Malay culture) - I love them! Its a beautiful, translucent, figure-hugging embroidered blouse worn with a batik sarong by Peranakan ladies.

Below is a list of places that normally the tourists and locals go for -
These are those places that I have gone to.

Jonker Walk
- On certain days (I think its friday, saturday and Sunday from 6pm to 12 midnight) the government/police closes up the whole huge street for peddlers to sell local things (such as souvenirs, antique copper coins, along with unique arts and crafts)and food (local ethnic food and traditional dishes)

This is Melaka’s best shopping paradise where you can find great bargains and interesting items.

On Special occasions like CNY, There's also performance on the stages. Till Midnight.

The Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum

"This museum exhibits the beautiful and uniqueness of the Baba and Nyonya heritage, Chinese of noble descendants who have adopted much of the Malay culture into theirs."
'Straits Chinese' or the Baba and Nyonya are Chinese of noble descendants who have adopted much of the Malay culture into theirs. The public can now view the heirloom unique to this heritage at a private museum run by the Babas and Nyonyas of Melaka.
Intermarriage between early Chinese settlers and local Malays resulted in the unique Baba-Nyonya culture. Within the walls of this heritage building, visitors can learn more about the culture. This is a private museum run by the Babas and Nyonyas of Melaka.

Guided tour (by appointment), research facilities, audio visuals.
Opening Hours
Daily: 10am - 12.30pm, 2pm - 4.30pm
Admission Fee

The River Cruise

Except taken from online
Once dubbed ‘Venice of the East’ by European seafarers back in those days when the state has yet to be formed, Melaka River is the point where the history of Malacca began. A Prince from Sumatra, Parameswara – also the founder of Malacca – had established his sultanate near the mouth of this river in the early 1400s, and his palace was built on the east-bank of the river at the foot of St. Paul’s Hill, then known as Malacca Hill.

Heading towards the sea, the river passes through the town of Malacca and the many settlements situated along the riverbanks. From a place where major trade and commerce activities used to take place, it is now a major tourist attraction, a remnant from Malacca’s past left behind to tell the tale. A 45-minute cruise down the river via boat enables visitors to recall Malacca’s history while enjoying the rustic scene of leftovers from Malacca’s past. Covering a distance of 10 kilometres, the boat ride takes you all the way down to the infamous Kampung Morten.

Starting from Dutch Square, the first lesson in history starts at the Malacca Bridge, otherwise known as Tan Boon Seng bridge. One could imagine the importance of this bridge back in those days, as the Portuguese had used the bridge as a means to capture the state by seizing it, cutting all communications from the left and right side of the river, dividing Malacca into two parts. Right after the Malacca Bridge is the Chan Boon Cheng bridge. Replaced by a concrete structure in 1963 as what is seen today, the bridge was originally a steel construction built in the early 20th century linking the old quarters of Chinatown (then known as ‘Kampung Pantai’) on the west side of the riverbank to the new quarters of Chinatown via Jalan Bunga Raya on the east side. This bridge has a gruesome history; during the Japanese occupation, it was said that the Japanese soldiers had placed the beheaded heads of their victims at the foot of the bridge as a not-so-gentle reminder to the locals not to toe the line.

After the Chan Boon Cheng Bridge, one will pass a pedestrian bridge called ‘Ghostbridge of Malacca’, which links Kampung Pantai to Kampung Jawa. It is not known whether the bridge’s name has got anything to do with anything supernatural; it remains a mystery to this day. Further down the river is another foot bridge, the Old Market bridge, which links Kampung Hulu to Jalan Kee Ann and the old Central Market. A picturesque scene of fishing boats berthed along the riverbank used to grace this area once upon a time ago, where they unload their catches to be sold in the market. Now, they are populated by a row of restaurants serving mainly Chinese cuisine, including a particular eatery which had been featured in the Hollywood blockbuster ‘Entrapment’.

Not far from the place where Central Market used to reside is the Jalan Hang Tuah bridge, which links Jalan Munshi Abdullah to Jalan Hang Tuah. On the right side of the riverbank, the now-closed Cathay Cinema can be seen, while on the left side of the riverbank is Jalan Kilang, which used to be one of the liveliest, most bustling areas in Malacca, what with its vital role as the Express Bus Terminal back then. Rows of old shophouses can be seen lining the now-quiet street.

The boat cruise’s last destination is the well-known Kampung Morten, an old local settlement. Classified as a national heritage site, this typical Malay village is widely-recognised as a living museum with its well-preserved traditional Malay architecture and charming age-old culture and lifestyle unaffected by the passing of time. Just before Kampung Morten, the ruins of Church of Rosario can be seen on the right side of the river.

The red prominent hertiage place of Melaka - it is filled with the historical buildings etc of Malacca
1. St Peter Church
Built in 1710, the church is currently the oldest functioning Catholic Church in the country. There is also a bell tower which dates all the way back to 1608 and was made in Goa, India. The church itself was built through the donations of a Dutchman who presented it to the Portuguese builders. Every year, the church becomes alive with activity during Catholic celebrations.

2. Portuguese ship Martime Museum
True to its nature, the museum is built in a replica of a Portuguese ship, the 'Flo De La Mar' that sank off the coast of Malacca while on the way to Portugal.
Here, visitors can view dioramas and intricately crafted models of ships on board. There are detailed descriptions of Malacca history and a map that features actual charts used by Portuguese sailors centuries ago.
Located near the tourist office, the Maritime Muzeum is a great place t visit to learn Malacca history.

Location: 9am - 5:30pm (Monday to Friday) 9am - 9:00pm (Saturday and Sunday)
Address: Jalan Quayside, 75000, Melaka
Tel: (606) 283 0926‎

3. A Famosa
After the Portuguese captured Melaka, they built a fortress to defend themselves. The fortress, called A'Famosa suffered severe destruction during the Dutch invasion. What's left today is just the entrance walls, still well preserved till today

Ending off with the cute Malaysia-Malacca Bus

And the question: What happen to the dinosaur park that I always went to when I was in Malacca as a child. Has it disappear?

1 comment:

  1. Dinosaur park?? was it located in a forest?? well, good news! It's still there.. It's located in Hutan Rekreasi or currently known as Botanical Garden.


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