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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

—  State  —


Coat of arms
Motto: Bersatu Teguh
Anthem: Melaka Maju Jaya
Location of Malacca
Coordinates: 2°12′N 102°15′E / 2.2°N 102.25°E / 2.2; 102.25Coordinates: 2°12′N 102°15′E / 2.2°N 102.25°E / 2.2; 102.25
Capital Bandaraya Melaka
 - Ruling party Barisan Nasional
 - Yang di-Pertua Negeri Mohd Khalil Yaakob
 - Ketua Menteri Mohd Ali Mohd Rustam
 - Total 1,650 km2 (637.1 sq mi)
Population (2007 est.)
 - Total 770,000
 Density 466.7/km2 (1,208.7/sq mi)
Human Development Index
 - HDI (2003) 0.810 (high)
Postal code 75xxx to 78xxx
Calling code 06
Vehicle registration M
Malacca Sultanate 15th century
Portuguese control 24 August 1511
Dutch control 14 January 1641
British control 17 March 1824
Japanese occupation 1942-1946
Accession into Federation of Malaya 1948

Malacca (Malay: Melaka, dubbed The Historical State or Negeri Bersejarah amongst locals) is the third smallest Malaysian state, after Perlis and Penang. It is located in the southern region of the Malay Peninsula, on the Straits of Malacca. It borders Negeri Sembilan to the north and the state of Johor to the south. The capital is Malacca Town. This historical city centre has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 7 July 2008.

Although one of the oldest Malay sultanates, the Yang di-Pertua Negeri or Governor, rather than a Sultan, acts as the head of state.



The state of Malacca covers an area of 1,650-km2, or 0.5 percent of the whole area of Malaysia. The state is divided into 3 districts: Central Melaka (Melaka Tengah) (314 km²), Alor Gajah (660 km²), and Jasin (676 km²). Malacca sits upon the southwestern coast of Malay Peninsula opposite Sumatra, with the state of Negeri Sembilan to the north and Johor to the east. Malacca is also situated roughly two-thirds of the way down the West coast, 148 km south of Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia and 245 km north of Singapore and commands a central position on the Straits of Malacca. The state capital Malacca Town is strategically located between the two national capitals (of Malaysia and Singapore, respectively) and connected with excellent roads and highways. Malacca still harbors no train station, though the terminal at Tampin, Negeri Sembilan is easily accessible. However, a domestic airport terminal rests in Batu Berendam.

The offshore Pulau Besar, Pulau Upeh and Tanjung Tuan are also parts of Malacca.


City of Malacca
Canals in Malacca

Malacca has a population of 759,000 as of 2007, being composed of:

  • Malays: 57%;
  • Chinese: 32%, including the Peranakan community;
  • Indians, including the Chitty people: a sizeable minority;
  • Kristang, people with partial Portuguese ancestry: a small community;
  • Dutch Eurasians, Eurasians with Dutch ancestry: a minority within the Malacca Eurasian community.

Major Malacca towns are Malacca Town, Alor Gajah, Masjid Tanah, Jasin, Merlimau, Batu Berendam and Ayer Keroh.


1630 map of the Portuguese fort and the city of Malacca
1854 map of the "British Territory of Malacca"

Sultanate of Malacca

Before the arrival of the first Sultan, Malacca was a simple fishing village inhabited by local Malays. Malacca was founded by Parameswara, a Srivijayan prince of Palembang who fled Sumatra following a Majapahit attack in 1377. He found his way to Malacca c. 1400 where he found a good port accessible in all seasons and on the strategically located narrowest point of the Malacca Straits.[1]

According to a popular legend, Parameswara was resting under a gray tree near a river while hunting, when one of his dogs cornered a mouse deer. In self-defence, the mouse deer pushed the dog into the river. Impressed by the courage of the deer, and taking it as a propitious omen of the weak overcoming the powerful, Parameswara decided on the spot to found an empire on the very place that he was sitting. He named it 'Melaka' after the tree under which he had taken shelter. Another version of the story says that Parameswara chose the name 'Malacca' from the Tamil word 'mallakka' which means upside down or on ones back. Old illustrations of the scene where the mousedeer kicks the dog shows the dog falling on its back into the river, hence the inspiration. Parameswara converted to Islam in 1414 and changed his name to 'Raja Iskandar Shah'. In collaboration with allies from the sea-people (orang laut) the wandering proto-Malay privateers of the Straits, he established Malacca as major international port by compelling passing ships to call there, and establishing fair and reliable facilities for warehousing and trade.[1] Mass settlement of Chinese, mostly from the imperial and merchant fleet occurred during the reign of Parameswara, occurred in the vicinity of the Bukit China ("Chinese Hill") area, which was perceived as having excellent Feng Shui (geomancy) in Malacca then. Sultan Iskandar Shah died in 1424, and was succeeded by his son, Sri Maharaja also called Sultan Muhammad Shah.

Palace of Malacca's Malay Sultanate

The prosperity of Malacca attracted the invasion of the Siamese. Attempts in 1446 and 1456, however, were warded off by Tun Perak, the then Bendahara (a position similar to Prime Minister). The development of relations between Malacca and China was then a strategic decision to ward off further Siamese attacks.

Because of its strategic location, Malacca was an important stopping point for Zheng He's fleet. To enhance relations, Hang Li Po, allegedly a princess of the Ming Emperor of China, arrived in Malacca, accompanied by 500 attendants, to marry Sultan Manshur Shah who reigned from 1456 until 1477. Her attendants married the locals and settled mostly in Bukit China (Bukit Cina).(See Zheng He in Malacca). Scholars have disputed Hang Li Po's status in China as because she was never recorded as a princess in the Chinese court of the Ming Dynasty in the Ming Chronicles. At the time of the arrival of the Sultan's envoy, the reigning Ming Emperor was Jingtai Emperor. Records of his reign was expunged following the ascension of Tianshun in 1457. It is likely that if she were a princess in the Ming court, records of her might not exist. In many historical text, she was said to have been a princess in the court of the Yongle Emperor(1402-1424).

A cultural result of the vibrant trade was the expansion of the Peranakan people, who spread to other major settlements in the region.

During its prime, Malacca was a powerful Sultanate which extended its rule over the southern Malay Peninsula and much of Sumatra. Its rise helped to hold off the Thai's southwards encroachment and arguably hasten the decline of the rival Majapahit Empire of Java which was in decline as Malacca was rising. Malacca was also central in the spread of Islam in the Malay Archipelago.

Malacca Harbor in 1831

European colonization

In April 1511, Afonso de Albuquerque set sail from Goa to Malacca with a force of some 1200 men and seventeen or eighteen ships.[2] They conquered the city on August 24, 1511. It became a strategic base for Portuguese expansion in the East Indies. Sultan Mahmud Shah, the last Sultan of Malacca took refuge in the hinterland, and made intermittent raids both by land and sea, causing considerable hardship for the Portuguese. In the meantime the Portuguese built the fort named A Famosa to defend Malacca (its gate is all that remains of the ruins at present). "In order to appease the King of Ayudhya" (Siam, whom had always intended in invading Malacca if not due to the latter's good relationship with the Ming Emperor, China) "the Portuguese sent up an ambassador, Duarte Fernandes, who was well received by Ramathibodi." in 1511.Finally in 1526, a large force of Portuguese ships, under the command of Pedro Mascarenhas, was sent to destroy Bintan, where Sultan Mahmud was based. Sultan Mahmud fled with his family across the Straits to Kampar in Sumatra, where he died two years later.

Maritime Museum, replica of the Frol de la mar ship, Malacca
Stadthuys Square

It soon became clear that Portuguese control of Malacca did not mean they now controlled Asian trade that centred around it. Their Malaccan rule was severely hampered by administrative and economic difficulties.[3] Rather than achieving their ambition of dominating Asian trade, the Portuguese had fundamentally disrupted the organisation of the network. The centralised port of exchange of Asian wealth exchange had now gone, as was a Malay state to police the Straits of Malacca that made it safe for commercial traffic. Trade was now scattered over a number of ports amongst bitter warfare in the Straits.[3]

Ruins of Fort A Famosa attracted millions of tourists to Malacca every year

The Jesuit missionary Francis Xavier spent several months in Malacca in 1545, 1546 and 1549. In 1641 the Dutch defeated the Portuguese to capture Malacca with the help of the Sultan of Johore. The Dutch ruled Malacca from 1641 to 1795 but they were not interested in developing it as a trading centre, placing greater importance to Batavia (Jakarta) in Indonesia as their administrative centre. However they still built their landmark better known as the Stadthuys or Red Building.

Malacca was ceded to the British in the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824 in exchange for Bencoolen on Sumatra. From 1826 to 1946 Malacca was governed, first by the British East India Company and then as a Crown Colony. It formed part of the Straits Settlements, together with Singapore and Penang. After the dissolution of this crown colony, Malacca and Penang became part of the Malayan Union, which later became Malaysia.

State government

Malacca is administered by its State Assembly and Executive Committee (EXCO). The State Assembly represents the highest authority in the state and decides on policy matters. The EXCO is responsible to the State Assembly and comprises members who are appointed every five years by the political party in power. It is headed by the Governor (Yang Di-Pertua Negeri) who is appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia.

The Chief Minister's Department is the administrative pillar of the State Government, and is responsible for the overall administration of the State, as well as its political interest. The administrative complex houses the Chief Minister's office, as well as the office of the State Secretariat. For administrative purposes, Malacca is divided into three districts under separate jurisdiction:

  • Malacca Central District & Land Office
  • Alor Gajah District & Land Office
  • Jasin District & Land Office

These offices render various services and facilities to the people in their daily lives.


The tourism and manufacturing sectors are the two most important sectors in the state economy. Malacca has adopted as its slogan, "Visiting Malacca Means Visiting Malaysia" ("Melawat Melaka Bererti Melawati Malaysia"). It is rich in cultural heritage and bears several places of historical interest.

Malacca is home to several modern shopping complexes to attract more visitors to the state. Examples include Mahkota Parade Shopping Centre at Plaza Mahkota (City Centre), Dataran Pahlawan Melaka Megamall (which is situated on the historical field of Padang Pahlawan, where Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al Haj announced the independence day of the Federation Of Malaya), Melaka Mall Shopping Complex (formerly known as Kotamas Shopping Complexe), A'Famosa Safari and Theme Park and Plaza Melaka Raya at the Taman Melaka Raya.

Malacca also has its very own hypermarket and departmental store. A few examples include Parkson Departmental Store (Mahkota Parade and Melaka Mall), Jusco Supermarket and Departmental Store (Ayer Keroh and coming soon near Melaka Sentral), Tesco Hypermarket and Giant Hypermarket at Bachang Utama; also a Supermarket at (Mahkota Parade).

Apart from tourism, Malacca is also a manufacturing centre for products ranging from food and consumer products, through high-tech weaponry and automotive components to electronic and computer parts. There are at least 23 industrial estates that houses some 500 factories from the United States, Germany, Japan, Taiwan, and Singapore.


Malacca has given birth to numerous successful Malaysians who have achieved immense success in Malaysia and abroad[citation needed].

The state is much sought after for medical education with the establishment of the Melaka Manipal Medical College in Bukit Baru. It has produced many doctors who are serving the country or working abroad since its inception in 1997.

The state also has a twin campus of Multimedia University The university is located in Bukit Beruang. The campus currently attracts many foreign students, especially from the Middle East and Africa, through its computer and engineering programmes. The university also features degree programmes in fields like robotics, bio-instrumentation and law. Most of the student population of Multimedia University is drawn from its foundation programmes, also known as the Alpha Programmes.

Malacca also has several public universities and colleges such as Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) in Lendu, Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka, UTeM (previously known as Kolej Universiti Teknikal Kebangsaan Malaysia, KUTKM) located in Ayer Keroh, Kolej Yayasan Melaka (KYM), Bukit Baru and Kolej Universiti Islam Melaka (KUIM).

Malacca has its own boarding school called Sekolah Berasrama Penuh Integrasi Selandar (SBPIS). The intake of students to this school is based on the Ministry of Education of Malaysia which enrole students based oh their Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) and Penilaian Menengah Rendah(PMR). Usually students with great achievement will be chosen to enter this school. Students normally come from Malacca itself, Negeri Sembilan, Johor or from the Klang Valley.

Also in Malacca,there is the infamous school for crime convicting juveniles, School of Henry Gurney.This is where young criminals stay until they are old enough to sent to normal prison.Here,the students learn living skills such as sewing, cooking and learning mechanical repairing.[citation needed]

Health care

Hospitals in Malacca state are listed below:

  • Government hospitals
    • Melaka General Hospital
    • Jasin District Hospital

Currently, both these government hospitals serve as teaching hospitals for Melaka Manipal Medical College.

  • Private Hospitals
    • Putra Hospital (formerly known as Southern Hospital, owned by the state government)
    • Pantai Ayer Keroh
    • Mahkota Hospital (opposite Mahkota Parade)


Baba Nyonya house in Malacca

The historic centre of Malacca was inscribed on the World Heritage List on 7 July 2008 together with George Town, the capital of Penang.

The Malays who are the original settlers of Malacca since 1400, form the largest community. The Malaccan Malays are rich in culture from their daily life to the building arts. The famous Malacca Steps or Tangga Melaka are common in front of many Malay houses in Malacca.

Two of the most important museums in Malacca are the Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum and the Melaka Sultanate Palace Museum.

Malacca is well-known for its food. Most notable of all is the traditional Malay dishes like ikan asam pedas, sambal belacan and cencaluk.

Belacan, a Malay variety of shrimp paste, is prepared from fresh tiny shrimp of a species known as keragu in Malay. These are mashed into a paste and dried in little mashed lumps, pounded and formed into large balls, dried again for a week or so, wrapped in plastic and stored for future use. It is in this form that most of these blachan balls are sold. Belacan is used as an ingredient in many dishes, or eaten on its own with rice. A common preparation is sambal belacan, made by mixing belacan with chili peppers, minced garlic, shallot paste and sugar and then fried. The aroma from the frying mixture can be unpalatable to Westerners who have not become accustomed to it, but is an absolute delight to the Asian connoisseur.

Malacca is also famous for satay celup. Raw fish and meat are skewered onto sticks which is then cooked in a peanut sauce. The satay celup is often self-service where you pay for individual sticks.

There is also Nyonya-Baba cuisine which is a mixture of Chinese (mostly southern Hokkien or Fujian influence), Portuguese, Dutch, Indian, British and Malay cooking with most dishes being spicy in nature. Interesting dishes of the Peranakan include Itik Tim (a soup containing duck and salted vegetables), Ayam Pong Teh (chicken casserole with salted brown-bean sauce which is usually served with potatoes) as well as the famous Nyonya Laksa. Chicken Rice Ball is another dish popular with domestic Chinese tourists.

Heavily decorated bicycle rickshaw in Malacca

Malacca's ethnic Portuguese population are the descendants of Portuguese colonists from the 16th and 17th centuries. Even to this day, many of the ancient traditions passed down since the Portuguese occupation are still practised, i.e. "Intrudu" from Portuguese word "Entrudo" (a water festival that marks the beginning of Lent, the Catholic fasting period), "branyu" (traditional dance), "Santa Cruz" (a yearly Festival of street celebrations).

The Portuguese colonists contributed dishes like Devil's Curry and Portuguese egg tarts to the town's already rich cuisine. Ikan Bakar (roasted fish) restaurants in Umbai, Serkam and Alai are also popular.

There is also a sizeable amount of Sikhs residing in Malacca. Devotees of Sikhism from all over Malaysia and the world congregate each year at the well-maintained gurdwara (Sikh temple) situated in Jalan Temenggong during the last weekend of May. The occasion marks the commemoration of the death of its former priest, Sant Baba Sohan Singh Ji, who was elevated to a saint upon passing away. Visitors are welcome but are advised to follow rules and common practices within the premises. Typical vegetarian punjabi cuisine will be served to everyone visiting the gurdwara.


Pulau Sebang at Alor Gajah district, a town 30 km north of Malacca town, is the nearest train station that serves Malacca. There were railway tracks from Pulau Sebang to Malacca before World War II but were dismantled by the Japanese during the war for the construction of the infamous Burmese Death Railway. It was never rebuilt after the war though traces of the line remain.

Malacca has a bus station, Melaka Sentral which has air-conditioned waiting areas and separate areas for buses plying the town routes and for buses plying the intertown routes with regular bus services to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru, and other places in Malaysia. Batu Berendam Airport in Batu Berendam mainly serves chartered flights from around the region. It also serves as a flight school for Malaysia Flying Academy. It is now refurbished into a brand new international airport for the state of Melaka.

The Ayer Keroh exit at the North-South highway is the main entry to Malacca. There are two additional exits along the North-South highway, namely the Simpang Ampat and Jasin exits

Popular historical attractions

St. John's Fort in Malacca
Christ Church, Malacca
Example of a gravestone from St. Francis Xavier Church.
  • Fort A Famosa: Constructed by the Portuguese in 1511, it suffered severe structural damage during the Dutch invasion. The plan by the British to destroy it was aborted as a result of the intervention of Sir Stamford Raffles in 1808.
  • St. John's Fort: Reconstructed by the Dutch in the third quarter of the 18th century, the cannons in this fort point inwards towards the mainland because at that time, the threat to Malacca was mainly from inland rather than the sea.
  • St. Peter's Church: Constructed in 1710 under the Dutch administration, the church is the oldest Catholic church in Malaysia. Its facade and decorative embellishment is a mix of both eastern and western architecture. Its bell was delivered from Goa in 1608.
  • St. Paul's Church: Constructed by the Portuguese captain, Duarte Coelho, this church was named "Our Lady of The Hill", but was later turned into a burial ground by the Dutch for their noble dead, and renamed "St. Paul's Church". Currently the church is part of the Malaccan Museums Complex. The body of St. Francis Xavier was interred here temporarily before it was taken to Goa, India.
  • Christ Church: Constructed in 1753, the structure reflects original Dutch architecture. The building houses hand-crafted church benches, jointless ceiling skylights, a copper replica of the Bible, a headstone written in the Armenian language, and a replica of "The Last Supper".
  • Francis Xavier Church: This Gothic church was built by a French priest, Rev. Fabre, in 1849, to commemorate St. Francis Xavier who is also known as the "Apostle of the East". St. Francis Xavier is credited for his Catholic missionary work in Southeast Asia during the 16th century.
  • Stadthuys: Constructed in 1650 as the residence of the Dutch Governor and his deputy, the structure reflects Dutch architecture. It is today the "Museum of History and Ethnography". The museum exhibits traditional wedding clothes and artifacts of Melaka, dating back to its days of glory.
  • Jonker Street (Jalan Hang Jebat): This street is famous for its antique goods. It is also famous for its carnival-like atmosphere during weekend nights.
  • Portuguese Square: Located within the Portuguese Settlement, the square is the culmination of Portuguese culture in its full splendour and colours.
  • Tranquerah Mosque: The oldest mosque in Malacca.

In order to attract more tourists to Malacca, the State government has built a number of museums to house its rich cultural heritage.

Key people from Malacca

The following is a list of historically significant as well as well-known contemporary personages who are either born in Malacca, or otherwise, significantly linked to the history of Malacca:

Image gallery

See also


  • De Witt, Dennis (2007). History of the Dutch in Malaysia. Malaysia: Nutmeg Publishing. ISBN 9789834351908. 
  • "Popular History of Thailand" by M.L. Manich Jumsai, C.B.E., M.A.


  1. ^ a b Ricklefs, M.C. (1991). A History of Modern Indonesia Since c.1300, 2nd Edition. London: MacMillan. pp. 19. ISBN 0-333-57689-6. 
  2. ^ Ricklefs, M.C. (1991). A History of Modern Indonesia Since c.1300, 2nd Edition. London: MacMillan. pp. 23. ISBN 0-333-57689-6. 
  3. ^ a b Ricklefs, M.C. (1991). A History of Modern Indonesia Since c.1300, 2nd Edition. London: MacMillan. pp. 23–24. ISBN 0-333-57689-6. 

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Christ Church, Melaka
Christ Church, Melaka

Malacca (Malay: Melaka) [1] is the capital of the state of Malacca, on the west coast of peninsular Malaysia.


Modern-day Malacca is a vibrant old city that belies its wealth of history. Visiting Malacca is a unique experience; its rich historical background earned it a World Heritage Site designation in July 2008.


There are some interesting legends surrounding the foundation and naming of Malacca. According to the 16th century Malay Annals, the city was founded by Parameswara. More likely, he was a Hindu prince and political fugitive from nearby Java. The legend goes that Parameswara was out on a hunt in the region and had stopped to refresh himself near what is now the Malacca River. Standing near a melaka (Indian gooseberry) tree he was surprised to witness one of his hunting dogs so startled by a mouse deer that it fell into the river. Parameswara took this as a propitious sign of the weak overcoming the powerful and decided to build the capital of his new kingdom where he stood, naming it for the tree under which he had been resting. Another account says Malacca is derived from the Arabic word Malakat, meaning market. Malacca had a navigable harbor sheltered by nearby Sumatra across the narrow straits, ample supply of fresh water, enjoyed a prime location relative to the shifting monsoon winds, and had a central location in regional trade patterns, all of which soon made it a prosperous trading town. Its fortunes increased with its official adoption of Islam in the 14th century. The Sultans of Malacca were soon attracting Arab traders from far afield. However, Malacca continued to trade with merchants of all races and religions.

After the visit of the Chinese Muslim Admiral Cheng Ho in the mid-15th century, contact between China and Malacca intensified. In exchange for protection against Siam, Malacca became a vassal state to Ming China. To ensure Malacca's safety, a new powerful kingdom was founded by the Sultan of Samudra-Pasai.

The power of the Malays began to rise through the 15th century. In the Malay Annals,the sultan Mansur Shah was mentioned as having 6 wives and the fifth was stated to be a daughter of the Ming Emperor. However, in the Chinese chronicles, no such event was recorded.

Things started to change with the arrival of the Portuguese in 1509. They were at first welcomed, but Indian traders soon turned the sultan against the Portuguese and they had to flee. In 1511 the Portuguese returned, and at their second attempt seized the city. This marked the start of the formation of a large Eurasian community. The Portuguese turned the city into a massive walled fortress complete with a tower bristling with cannon. It was believed that such fortifications could withstand the encroachments of other European powers eager for a slice of the Asian luxury goods trade.

An alliance between the Dutch and the Sultanate of Johor Bahru saw the loss much of Malacca's power. In 1641 the Dutch navy put a blockade on Malacca and they seized the city after six months. During the siege much of the Portuguese city was destroyed.

Only after 150 years did the Dutch lose their hold on Malacca. In 1795 The Netherlands was conquered by the French, and the British were keen to take over the Dutch holdings in Malacca. By that time, Malacca had lost most of its former importance although it remained an important part of Asian trade routes.

The A Famosa gate is all that remains of the old Portuguese and Dutch forts. As the Napoleonic Wars wound down the British knew Malacca would be returned to Dutch control. In order to make the city indefensible the city walls were blown down. A last minute intervention by a British officer, the young Sir Stamford Raffles (founder of British Singapore) saved the gate. Shortly after its return to Dutch rule, the Dutch and British governments swapped colonies - British Bencoolen in Sumatra for Dutch Malacca.

Malacca is a center of Peranakan culture. When Chinese settlers originally came to Malacca as miners, traders and coolies, they took local brides (of Javanese, Batak, Achenese, etc descent) and adopted many local customs. The result of this is an interesting mix of local and Chinese cultures. The men are addressed as Babas and the women Nonyas by their servants meaning Master and Mistress.

A small group of Eurasians of Portuguese descent continue to speak their unique creole, known as Cristão or Kristang.

Get in

By plane

Batu Berendam Airport (IATA: MKZ) (ICAO: WMKM) is located about 10km from Malacca city and in 2006-7 is being upgraded to accommodate larger planes. Malaysian domestic flights operating from this airport just started in Sept 2009. You can check with local Airlines for more details.

Riau Airlines [2] (Office at airport. Tel: +60-6-3174577) flies five times weekly (no flights on Wednesdays and Fridays) at 1005AM to Pekanbaru in Sumatra, Indonesia. The flight from Pekanbaru departs at 0730 and comes in at 0920. RM247 one way before taxes.

To get there/away: Any Batang Bus (yellow, cream and red) from Melaka Sentral will go past Batu Berendam Airport. Buses will stop by the main road about 200m from the airport building. Tuahbas No. 65 (blue and white) to Taman Merdeka also goes from Melaka Sentral past the airport via Bachang.

Although Malaysia Airlines [3] does not fly to Malacca, it maintains an office at Lot 1&2, Block A, Ground Floor, Century Mahkota Hotel, Jalan Merdeka, 75000 Melaka. Tel: +60-6-2829597.

By car

Malacca can be accessed from the North South Expressway. When coming from the south, drive along E2 and leave the expressway at the Ayer Keroh exit. Alternatively, one can leave the highway at the Simpang Empat exit and proceed through normal road to Melaka. This route will pass through the town of Alor Gajah and now with the new highway (ring road) completed, the trip from Simpang Empat to Melaka will take approximately 20 - 30 minutes by car.

Malacca city is on the Coastal Trunk Road (Federal Route 5), and can be accessed from the Main Trunk Road (Federal Route 1) by turning off at Simpang Kendong or Tampin, Negeri Sembilan. Malacca is 150 km (93 mi) from Kuala Lumpur, 216 km (134 mi) from Johor Bahru, and 90 km (56 mi) from Port Dickson.

By bus

Many long-distance express buses connect Malacca with both Kuala Lumpur, Seremban, Johor Bahru, Singapore and other parts of Peninsular Malaysia.

All long-distance and local buses now operate from the Melaka Sentral bus terminal, a good 4.5 km from the historic core of the city.


Transnasional busses departs KLIA and LCCT to Melaka - 9.30AM, 11.00AM, 5.30PM and 10PM. Adult - RM 21.90 and Children - RM10.90

From Singapore

Many bus companies operate from Lavender St. bus terminal directly to Melaka Sentral . Bus schedules vary between companies but some operates have hourly buses. Best show up and buy tickets in advance if you want to travel on Saturday morning and return Sunday afternoon as many Singaporean tourists have the same idea. The fares can vary starting from around S$14 up to S$50 one way depending on class of the bus.

Bus rides often take any time between 3.5-5 hours depending on how long it takes to cross the Singapore-Malaysia borders, which during peak periods can cause massive delay. You will have to get your passport stamped at each end of the border and you must bring all your luggage with you when you are making an entrance into each country. Generally, the bus will wait for you at the border but sometimes they will expect you to catch the next bus if you take too long going through custom. Make sure you remember what you bus looks like (the number plate is quite a handy thing to remember). The buses will also have a half an hour rest stop along the way where you can purchase food and use the toilet facilities (whose cleanliness can be questionable). The Singapore custom has decent toilet facilities, if required.

Some of the companies operating to/from Malacca are:

  • Transnasional [4] is the largest long-distance bus operator in Malaysia. It links the state with a host of destinations in Peninsular Malaysia like Kuala Lumpur, Seremban, Singapore and further afield. Transnasional buses depart from Malacca City (Melaka Sentral), Alor Gajah, A'Famosa Resort and Masjid Tanah.
  • Malacca-Kuala Lumpur Express: Hourly buses between Malacca City and Kuala Lumpur from 0530 to 1900. Tickets cost RM12.50.
  • Jebat Ekspres: Buses to Kuala Lumpur via Masjid Tanah and Alor Gajah.
  • Malacca-Singapore Express: Hourly buses between Malacca City and Johor Bahru and Singapore from 0800 to 1900. Tickets cost RM19.00 to/from Johor Baru, and RM22.00 to Singapore.
  • Mayang Sari Express: Buses to/from Johor Baru. Tickets cost RM19.00.
  • MCW Express: Frequent express services to Muar, Johor

By taxi

There are also chartered taxi services available at end of Jalan Kee Ann. These chartered taxis travel within Melaka state and outside Melaka such as to KLIA International Airport, Kuala Lumpur and even Singapore. They carry up to 4 passengers at a time. See Tourism Melaka [5] for the official fare chart. Malacca has a really lousy public transportation system, so be ready to get your money ripped off by taxi drivers, even for a 5 minute drive, they sometimes charge you RM15. Most of the taxis in Malacca don't have a metered system, and they often charge according to their likes.

By train

Malacca Town is not served by any railway lines. The nearest railway station is at Alor Gajah District /Pulau Sebang(Former known Tampin)]] (Railway station Tel: +60-6-3411034), about 30 km (18 mi) away.

To get there/away: Tai Lye No 26 (red, blue and white) goes from Melaka Sentral to Pulau Sebang/Tampin via Alor Gajah. Stop along the main road near the level crossing just before entering Pulau Sebang/Tampin town. The station is about 400 m (437 yd) from the main road. Salira (light blue and yellow) also goes from Melaka Sentral to Tampin via Ayer Keroh and Durian Tunggal. Get off bus at same spot as Tai Lye.

By boat

Daily ferries run to and from Bengkalis, Dumai and Pekanbaru in Sumatra, Indonesia. All ferries arrive and depart from the Harbour Master's jetty (Jeti Shahbandar) at Taman Melaka Raya near the Maritime Museum. To get to/away from Jetty: Malacca Town Bus No. 17 (Green) goes near the Harbour Master's jetty which is just down the road from the Red Square.

  • To/From Dumai:
    • Tunas Rupat Follow Me Express [6] (Malacca ticketing booth at Jln PM10 Melaka Raya. Tel: +60-6-2816766, office Tel: +60-6-2832506, +60-6-2832516; Dumai agent: Jl. Jend. Sudirman 4. Tel: +62-765-31398) operates two ferries daily. They depart Malacca for Dumai at 0900 and 1500. Journey time is just under two hours. Tickets cost RM110/170 one-way/return.
  • To/From Pekanbaru:
    • Tunas Rupat Follow Me Express (Malacca ticketing booth at Jln PM10 Melaka Raya. Tel: +60-6-2816766, office Tel: +60-6-2832506, +60-6-2832516; Pekanbaru agent: Jl. Tanjung Datuk No 153, Pekanbaru. Tel: +62-761-858777) has ferries from Pekanbaru to Malacca on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 0900. From Malacca to Pekanbaru, they depart on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 0930. The journey takes about six and a half hours. Tickets cost RM120/210 one-way/return from Malacca to Pekanbaru.
    • NNH Ferry Services (Malacca ticketing booth G-15, Jln PM10, Plaza Mahkota Melaka Raya. Tel: +60-6-2881334) runs the Pelita Jaya ferry from Malacca to Pekanbaru on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 0900.
  • To/From Bengkalis:
    • Laksamana Group (Malacca ticketing office stalls on Jln PM10, Plaza Mahkota Melaka Raya) has ferries from Malacca to Bengkalis in Riau Province, Sumatra, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays departing at 1100. Ferries connect to Selat Panjang where there are onward ferries to Batam and the other Riau Islands. From Bengkalis, ferries depart on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 0930.
    • Mulia Kencana (Malacca ticketing office Stall No. 5, Jln PM10, Plaza Mahkota Melaka Raya. Mobile tel: +60-13-3733545, +60-16-6826896, +60-12-3398428) operates three ferries a week from Malacca to Bengkalis. Ferries connect to the town of Pakning. From Malacca, ferries depart on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays at 1300. Tickets cost RM50/80 one-way/return. Tickets from Bengkalis to Pakning cost a further Rp10,000.

Note that Bengkalis is not listed as a visa-free or visa-on-arrival point of entry into Indonesia. However, those entitled to visa-free entry, or at least Malaysian passport holders, do not seem to face any problems.

Get around

Malacca is by no means a small city, but exploring on foot is a good idea. You could rent a bike. Be mindful not to hold up traffic while taking pictures of buildings! The locals have generally good driving sense and adhere to traffic laws.

By car

Streets in the older/historical part of the city are very narrow, so they quickly become clogged during rush hours.

  • Malacca Town Bus No 17 (green bus): Melaka Sentral Terminal to the historic core, Mahkota Parade, Melaka Raya and the Portuguese Settlement. The fare from Mahkota Parade to Melaka Sentral is RM 1.50. The last bus from Melaka Sentral leaves at 830 pm, after which you would have to take a taxi which costs 20 RM to Mahkota Parade.
  • Malacca Town Bus No 18: Melaka Sentral Terminal to Tengkera and onwards to Pokok Mangga
  • Malacca Town Bus No 19: Melaka Sentral Terminal to Ayer Keroh (Melaka Zoo and Taman Asean/Malaysia). The fare from Melaka Sentral to Ayer Keroh (Melaka Zoo and Taman Asean/Malaysia) is around RM 3
  • Malacca Town Bus No. 50: Melaka Sentral Terminal to the Mahkota Parade shopping centre and nearby seafood restaurants
  • Kenderaan Aziz (red and white): Buses from Melaka Sentral to Muar via Padang Temu also go past the historic core, Mahkota Parade and Melaka Raya
  • Panorama Melaka (red and blue) [7]: This hop-on-hop-off bus brings tourists to the attractions in town for a flat fee of RM5/day (red bus) and RM2/day (blue bus). Among its fleet are 2 double-decker buses, one with an open top. The bus service runs at 10 minute intervals from 7AM - 12PM.

By taxi

Metered Taxis are just about everywhere. Chartered taxis on Jalan Kee Ann also travel within the city and should not cost more than RM15 per ride. Taxi Drivers are quite tourist friendly though not all taxi drivers will speak English. A few taxi drivers also maintain their business cards for more business from tourists. SS.Kumar is one such taxi driver who could speak both Malay & English very fluently and was very friendly. SS Kumar is reachable at 013-6006636 and can be reserved over a phone call if you are looking for a fluent English & Malay speaking taxi driver.


Trishaws, complete with blaring pop music and fake flowers are available as well for short trips between tourist spots or circular tours. The drivers are very cheerful and friendly. The going rate is RM 40 per hour, but settle any price in advance.

The Stadhuys and clock tower at the heart of the historic quarter of Malacca
The Stadhuys and clock tower at the heart of the historic quarter of Malacca
Malacca River at dusk
Malacca River at dusk
The Baba Nyonya Museum in Malacca which is in a typical Peranakan house
The Baba Nyonya Museum in Malacca which is in a typical Peranakan house

The older part of the city proper has, in addition to the old palace and the large buildings left by the Europeans, many private houses and shops from nearly a century or more ago, put up by Chinese traders. Many of these have beautiful details such as moulded porcelain tiles and painted plaster reliefs on the front. Unfortunately, they tend to be not well preserved and the city government decided to paint all the buildings in the historical district a bright brick red some years ago, as the constant spitting by passers-by was proving a nuisance, which detracts from their aesthetic value.

Note that on Tuesdays, many museums, shops, restaurant are closed, especially in the Jonker Street area. If you have only one day to spend in Malacca, do not go on Tuesday!

  • Stadthuys - completed in 1660. Nowadays, it houses the historical museum. This is one of the oldest Dutch buildings in the east.
  • Christ Church - this church was built between 1741 and 1753. It replaced a Portuguese church, which was shattered. Bricks were shipped from Zeeland in the Netherlands. On the floor of the church you will find Dutch tombstones. It is the oldest protestant church in Malaysia. On the altar you will see sacramental silverware, still bearing the Dutch coat of arms. Open: 0830-1700 Mon-Sat, free admission; photography is forbidden
  • Dutch Square - Beautiful square around Christ Church and the Stadhuys. On this square you will find the Tang Beng Swee Clock Tower, it looks Dutch, but it is not. It was built in 1886.
  • Porta de Santiago - You will find this remains of the old Portuguese fort A Famosa on Jalan Kota, around St Paul's Hill. What you can see nowadays is a mostly Dutch reconstruction, bearing the VOC coat of arms.
  • St Paul's Church - take a path up the hill and it will lead you to this church. It was originally built in 1521, by the Portuguese. It became a fortress in 1567, until 1596. After the Dutch siege it became St Paul's, before it was known as Nossa Senhora da Annunciada (Our Lady of Annunciation). It has been used as a burial ground for the Dutch. You can still see the tombstones, along the walls of ruins of the church.
  • Muzium Budaya/Sultanate Palace - Below the hill you will find this museum (Melaka Cultural Museum). It is a reconstruction of the istana of the sultan Mansur Shah. It was built in 1985. It is open daily from 9AM to 6PM except on Tuesdays, and on Fridays from 1215-1445. Entrance fee: RM 2
  • UMNO Museum, Jalan Kota (between the Islamic Museum and the Muzium Rakyat) - museum about the United Malays National Organisation.
  • Malay and Islamic World Museum, Jalan Kota (beside the Porta de Santiago) - it also currently houses a Museum of Torture (European medieval period) for a limited duration on the ground floor.
  • Stamp Museum, Jalan Kota (sandwiched between the Muzium Rakyat and the Malay and Islamic World Museum)
  • Youth Museum/Melaka Art Gallery, Jalan Laksamana, beisde the Christ Church. The Youth Museum is on the ground floor, the Art Gallery on the second level. You can have a bird's eye view of Dutch Square from a window on the second level. Open Wed to Sun 9 am - 5.30 pm; combined admission for adults - 2RM
  • Malaysian Navy Museum, across the road from the Maritime Museum
  • Baba and Nyonya Peranakan Museum. Tel: +60-6-2831233. Opening hours: 10:00-12:30, 14:30-16:30. Closed on Tuesdays - Step back in time with a visit to this museum which is an actual Peranakan heritage town house and is a great example of Peranakan culture. It is on Heeren Street (now known as Tun Cheng Lock Street). The entry fee is RM8 per person and everyone has to follow a guide-led group. Photography is forbidden. Open Wed to Mon 1000-1230 1400-1630
  • Jonker, Heeren and adjacent streets - This is the residential heart of Old Malacca just west of the Malacca River, with its narrow winding streets, beautifully decorated houses, tiny shops, temples and mosques. The whole area is undergoing a renaissance with new shops, restaurants and hotels catering to tourists mushrooming everywhere. However, the area still has a lot of atmosphere and is worth having a look around. One of the streets in this area is Harmony Street (officially Temple street or Jalan Tokong), so called because it contains the prayer houses of Malaysia's three main faiths - the Cheng Hoon Teng Chinese temple, the Sri Poyatha Vinayagar Moorthi Hindu Temple, and the Kampung Kling Mosque.
  • Cheng Hoon Teng Temple. [8] 25, Jalan Tokong. Tel: +60-6-2829343. Opening hours: Morning to 7PM - Oldest Chinese temple in Malaysia and has an inscription dating 1685 commemorating the deeds of by Kapitan China Li Wei King.
  • Masjid Kampung Hulu - built in 1728, it's one of the oldest functioning mosques in Melaka together with Masjid Kampung Kling and Masjid Tengkera (Tranquerah), Jln Tengkera see the mixed architecture of Chinese, Javanese and Arab on the minarets and the roofs.
  • Yeetea house - 22 Jalan Laksamana, Famous Local tea shop selling a range of tea from China and Taiwan as well as offering tea ceremony classes.
  • Portuguese Settlement - Here is where the descendants of the Portuguese who conquered Malacca in 1511 live today. The settlement, located just southeast of the city centre, consists of tidy rows of mostly wooden houses leading up to the Portuguese Square (Malay Medan Portugis) and Hotel Lisboa (sorry, unlike its Macau namesake, there is no casino here) on the waterfront. The people here may look Malay but peer into their houses and you'll see the characteristic altar with status of Jesus and Mary perched high on their walls. Quite a few still speak Cristao (or Cristang), a Portuguese patois. There are also many restaurants for you to sample Portuguese fare. The most interesting times to visit is during Intrudu - usually in February - when the you'll get a Songkran-like drenching with buckets of water thrown at you; Festa San Pedro to commemorate the Feast of Saint Peter in June, where there are processions, cultural shows and general merry-making; and Christmas when the whole settlement is decked in decorative lights. Getting there/away: Malacca Town Bus (green) No. 17 (destination "Ujong Pasir and Bandar Hilir") from Melaka Sentral will bring you right into the Settlement.
  • St John's Hill and Fort. Malacca's other fortress located on top of St John's Hill in Bandar Hilir, south of the city. Pretty views of the surroundings from the top. Malacca Town Bus (green) No. 17 passes by this fort.
  • King's Well - Legends have it that Hang Liu was a Chinese princess from the Ming dynasty who was sent to Malacca to wed Sultan Mansor Shah in the 15th century when the Malacca Sultanate was at its zenith. She had 500 followers who were all settled on Bukit China, which means Chinese Hill, and this well, at the foot of the hill, was where they got their water.
  • Poh San Teng Temple - This temple is located at the foot of Bukit China and next to the King's Well, was founded in 1795 by Kapitan China Chua Su Cheong as a graveyard temple. The main deity is Fu-te Zhen Shen. the temple was built to allow the descendants of those buried on Bukit China to conduct prayers to their ancestors away from the heavy rain and strong winds.
  • Bukit China - Bukit China is the one of the largest Chinese cemetery outside of mainland China. Graves can be found here that go back to the late Ming dynasty (mid 17th century). The earliest grave found so far dates to 1622, but unfortunately many graves were exhumed during the British occupation of Malaysia. Bukit China is a famous jogging spot for the locals and jogging tracks are available all over the hill. When you climb on top of the hill, you will have a nice view of the town.
  • Geok Hu Keng Temple - Located at the junction of Klebang and Jalan Pokok Mangga, about 3km from town centre. This temple has a history of 130 years. Managed by local communities, the temple was incorporated under the management of Cheng Hoon Teng in 2000. Major celebrations - 3rd day of Chinese New Year, Hien Tian Siong Teh's birthday on 3rd day of 3rd lunar month and the birthday of Geok Hu Tai Chong on 29th day of 6th Lunar Month. To get to the temple, you may hop in any of the Patt Hup Buses and stop slightly opposite the temple or you may take Town Bus No 18 which stop beside the temple.
  • Kampung Morten - a village of traditional houses, it is on the west bank of the Malacca River.
  • Recreational Forest Ayer Keroh - The 359 ha (887 acre) Ayer Keroh Recreational Forest was opened on April 17, 1984 and offers visitors peace and tranquility within its cool green surroundings.
  • Melaka Zoo - Located in Ayer Keroh, along the main road from the Ayer Keroh toll plaza to Melaka town. The second biggest, one of the best, if not the best, zoo in Malaysia. Even better than the National Zoo. The zoo is in a reserved forest where the animal enclosures more resemble the animals' natural habitat. The trees within the zoo compound provide ample shades for visitors during hot and sunny days. There is a lake in the zoo. Admission for adults RM 7 (daytime 9am - 6pm), RM 10 (nighttime 8pm - 11pm)
  • Taman Mini Malaysia and Mini ASEAN - Located in Ayer Keroh, along the main road from the Ayer Keroh toll plaza to Melaka town, about 1 km from Melaka Zoo between the Zoo and toll plaza. It has full-size reconstructions of typical houses from all 13 Malaysian states and all the members of ASEAN. There are daily cultural shows at 11 am and 2 pm. Admission for adults - RM 12, open daily 9am to 6 pm.
  • Padang Kemunting Sea-Turtle Sanctuary - Located in Pantai Padang Kemunting beach, about 28 km from Melaka Sentral. You can see the most beautiful sea-turtle in the world, The HAWKSBILL TURTLE. Relax to the sound of the Straits of Malacca as the are lots of kampong type of resorts (budget) for you to choose. Admission for adults - FREE, open daily 10am to 4pm. Close on Monday and Malaysia Public Holidays.
  • See Malacca from the Taming Sari Revolving Tower. Jalan Merdeka, 75000 Melaka. The 110m-tower seats 66 people at a time, taking them on a 7-minute ride (1 min for the ascent, 5 minutes on top and 1 min for the descent) offering breathtaking 360-degree views of the historic city and the coastline. Do it after taking a stroll of the town, and it will give you a whole new perspective of Malacca.Admission Fees for MyKad Holders: RM10 for adults, RM5 for children below 12 years old, and RM7 for senior citizens above 55 years old. Admission Fees for Visitors without MyKad: RM20 for adults, RM10 for children below 12 years old, and RM17 for senior citizens above 55 years old. Operating hours: every 30 min on the hour and half-hour, 10AM to 11PM daily
  • Melaka River Cruise - a 45 minute cruise along Melaka river where once it was a main trade area of Melaka during its Golden era. It takes passengers from the jetty beside the Maritime Museum to just beyond Kampung Morten and then back. Night cruise is more interesting as we can see lights lit on the riverbank's buildings, water fountain show and bridges. Tickets: Adult RM 10, Child RM 5. hourly cruise 10am to 11pm daily
  • Eye on Malaysia - Ferris wheel on the west bank of the Melaka River just beside the modern vehicular bridge that continues from Jln Syed Abdul Aziz (this is the major coastal road that runs past the Mahkkota Parade). Tickets: Adult RM 20
  • Eye on Melaka - a smaller Ferris wheel than the Eye on Malaysia on the west bank of the Melaka River 200m due west of the Immigration Office or 100m north of Jln Munshi Abdullah.
  • Pirates of Melaka - located beside the Eye on Melaka, this consists of a pirate ship that you can ride on.
  • Take a ride on Panorama Melaka bus. It will sure bring a whole new experience to tourists. These imported ever popular London double-decker red buses will show you Melaka City London style. Sit on the open air upper deck, feel the city air and watch Melaka lights in the night. You can hop on and off at any of the stops. RM 5 per day.
  • Sound and Light Show - this one-hour show is about the history of Malacca. It is held in the big field between the Sultanate Palace and the Proclamation of Independence Memorial Museum. Daily shows are in English at 830 pm (10 RM). Buy your tickets at either end of the field. As of Nov 2009, the show has been suspended due to renovation works.
  • Jonker Walk - Jonker Walk [9] is an open air night market held every weekend (and recently extended to eve of public holidays) evening to late night. Have a leisure stroll along the street, observing the locals' life, catching a free performance and shop for some local souvenirs can be a wonderful and unforgettable experience. Do bargain, and try some unique stuff to eat, like grapes-dipped in chocolate or caramel encrusted kiwis. Kaya(a spread made from coconut) filled waffles is a must-try. Cheap chinese electroni playthings are available too if you have an appetite for them.
  • Go fly a kite, literally - Go to Klebang Beach and buy a cheap kite (fighter-style, but nowhere near that well-constructed) with Japanese cartoon characters on it for RM 1.50, or a styrofoam airplane for RM 5 if you don't have the necessary kite-flying mad skills.
  • Night Market / Pasar Malam - Night Market or more known as Pasar Malam is a market that is held from evening to around 9PM at night everyday(though at different locations, eg. Tuesday in Kampung Lapan and Friday in Malim). This is a good way to observe the life of locals. Pasar Malam sells basically almost anything, from food to clothing, small electronics to medicine.


Malacca is famed for its antiques, with many a beautiful shophouse interior now filled to the brim with artefacts from all around the Asia Pacific region. Your chances of finding a bargain here are minimal though; prices in many of the tourist-oriented places are insultingly high even by Western standards

  • Jonkers Walk (6PM -12AM every weekend) is a night market for antiques.
  • The Orangutan House (59 Lorong Hang Jebat, +606 282 6872, [10]) has cool T-shirts as well as paintings for sale.
  • JUSCO store in Ayer Keroh Very popular during the weekend where even the Singaporeans come to shop.
  • Tan Kim Hock Product Center (85, 87, 89 Jalan Bendahara [11]) sells famous food specialties from Melaka, like Dodol, Cincalok, Belacan, dried fruits, durian cake, etc. Might be a good idea as souvenirs for friends back home. Mr Tan Kim Hock, the founder of the company, occasionally still walks around with his famous white suit giving out free stuffs.
    Tan Kim Hock product center
    Tan Kim Hock product center
  • No.4 Jalan Tokong, just off the jonkers walk this is a lovely art gallery of contemporary art work by Titi Kwok, the work is beautiful and the prices even better.
  • Raz Kashmir Crafts, No. 12 Jalan Tukang Emas and No. 47 lorong Hang Jebat. (Near Jonker Street), 014-3283131. 12. Owned by Khalid Chapri. They specialize in Kashmiri, Indian, and Nepali crafts. Beautiful handmade textiles. Not cheap, but totally worth a visit if you're looking for original gifts (not tourist junk).  edit
  • Dataran Pahlawan Mega Mall, is the latest landmarks in Melaka. It is also the largest mall in Southern Malaysia. Located in the heart of the historic centre and opposite Mahkota Parade.
  • Mahkota Parade Shopping Centre, (located in Bandar Hilir opposite Padang Pahlawan), 06.2826151, [12]. 10AM-10PM. as over 200 shops and anchor tenants are Parkson Grand Departmental Store and Giant Supermarket. Shops include The Body Shop, World of Cartoons, Royal Selangor, FOS, Reject Shop, Nokia, MPH Bookstores, Sony Centre, SenQ Digital Station, Starbucks, McDonalds, KFC and Pizza Hut. The biggest food court in Melaka is also located here. Has several bureau de change including Maybank and CIMB Bank which are open 7 days a week.  edit
  • J. Manik Sdn. Bhd, 23, Jalan Hang Lekir (Jonker Street, opposite Geographer Cafe). 10AM - 7PM. A shop where they sell authentic Nyonya kebaya and kasut manik-manik (beaded shoes for the ladies). Nyonya kebaya and kasut manik-manik are the tradisional attires of the Baba Nyonya and the Peranakan Heritage. J. Manik is many Singaporean tourists' favourite because they are famous for their quality and services. Not cheap, but definitely value for money.  edit
  • Martin Wood Art Gallery, 60,Heeren Street,Malacca. strolling along heeren street came across an art gallery of deco and fine art by artist Martin Wood who used to paint up on St.Paul's Hill,nice colours and great prices too.  edit
  • Nil Six Studio/Mlackeny Der, 71,Jalan Tokong, 014- 928 3817, [13]. A design studio run by Stanley Chin, making good contemporary designs on Melaka/Malaysia on the t-shirt. They are indeed good for souvenir purposes and at very reasonable price too.Entering this shop is like walking in a museum, where you ought to find out more about history of Melaka,in a modern and some in the humor way. It is a studio that presenting contemporary designs on Melaka, and at the same time, preserving and recalling the history and culture of Melaka that some had long been forgotten.  edit


Besides the usual Malaysian fare, you'll be able to sample some rather peculiar Malaccan food. On top of the list is of course Peranakan or Baba-Nyonya food, which until recently was totally uncommercialised and confined to the kitchens of old grandmothers. Now, there are a string of restaurants claiming to serve Peranakan food, most unfortunately seem to be on the tour bus circuit. The dishes are slightly different from that of the Penang Peranakan. Usual ones include ayam pongteh (chicken in bean sauce, originally cooked with pork) and ayam buah keluak (chicken cooked with a bitter fruit) and a whole array of desserts. Another famous Malacca dish is what is commonly called "chicken rice ball". Although it is called Hainanese chicken rice, it is not from Hainan, China, but invented by the Hainanese immigrants to Malaysia a long time ago. The chicken for this dish is very much the same as the boiled chicken offered throughout Malaysia; what is unique is the rice - it comes in ping-pong sized balls. Yet another Malaccan speciality is satay celup. It is like lok-lok found in other parts of the country but instead of dipping your skewered foodstuff (fishballs, crabsticks, meat, prawns and etc) into boiling water, you dip them into a boiling vat of satay sauce. The sight of boiling satay sauce may not appeal to you but the crowds at the satay celup outlets seem to suggest that many have overcome their phobias.

Of course, Malacca is where you'll find Portuguese-Eurasian food. The greatest concentration of outlets will be at the Portuguese Settlement. Seafood is popular, as is the fiery "devil curries".

For local Malay delicacies, worth trying:

  • Asam Pedas, the signature dish of the state. A very hot and mild sour curry which accompanying white rice. Normally eaten during lunch and dinner.
  • Sambal Belacan, a side dish, super hot.
  • Cencaluk, can be found sold along the roads near Klebang Beach. Made of fermented krills. A bit weird tasting for those who are not used to it.
  • Lemang, glutinous rice cooked in bamboo, sold on the side of the road to Teluk Mas
  • Ikan Bakar, head to Umbai, Pernu or Serkam for a dinner of fresh caught grilled fish and crustaceans.
  • Kuih Udang, you can find this popular tea time dish in Alor Gajah town. The sauce is nice too.
  • Kuih-muih, traditional cakes and deserts like dodol, wajik, lempok, inang-inang, gula melaka and many more are sold in shopping mall at Bandar Hilir, Klebang Beach and kampung area throughout the state.

Other local but not typically Malay food:

  • Roti John, an invented omelette sandwich, very popular among the Malays. For a good one, look for the restaurant in Tanjung Kling.
  • Local burger, the street stall vendors, generally local Malay men serve quite tasty and satisfying burgers and hotdogs and it's cheaper than ordinary fast food restaurants too.

The recent tourism boom has seen many new food and beverage outlets open in Malacca, and especially in the heritage area of Jonker and Heeren Street. However, competition is great and some outlets fail to survive. Places you discover on your first visit may not be around anymore on your second.

  • Restoran Peranakan. 107, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock (Heeren Street). Enjoy the experience of eating good Peranakan food in the airy courtyard of a huge Peranakan house. Standard dishes available. Count on about RM10-15 per person.
  • Cafe 1511. Serves local specialities at attactive prices in the same beautifully restored building as the Baba Nonya heritage museum  edit
  • Restoran Ole Sayang. 198, Jalan Melaka Raya. One of the original Peranakan restaurants in town.
  • Restoran Makko. 123, Jalan Melaka Raya. A few doors down from Ole Sayang. Closed on Tuesdays.
  • Jonker Walk has many food and drinks outlets which serve Nyonya laksa (laksa with coconut milk) and desserts like cendol, including the sinful durian cendol.
  • Kapitan House. No. 71 & 73, Jalan Merdeka, Tmn Melaka Raya, 75000, Melaka (in between Eon Bank and Classic Bridal Studio). Tel: 606-2826525. The main chef of this restaurant is Kenny Chan, the celebrity chef also known for his stint on RTM, Nyonya Baba. He also has his own line of sauces known as Kenny's Delights. The food here is truly authentic dishes cooked by Nyonya families. This is a new joint venture, but coming here will keep you coming back for more for sure. On weekends, they serve an array of homemade "Nyonya Kueh" for lunch, amongst them are very traditional apam berkuah and kueh bongkong etc.
The popular Malacca chicken rice ball dish.
The popular Malacca chicken rice ball dish.
  • Chicken rice balls
    • Famosa Chicken Rice Ball 28 and 30, Jalan Hang Kasturi, corner of Jln Hang Kasturi and Jalan Hang Jebat (Jonker Walk). A huge restaurant serving the dish in an alluringly bright red building. It also has branches in Jalan Bendahara, Mahkota Parade Shopping Mall, Tesco Malacca and Jaya Jusco Malacca in Ayer Keroh. Very efficient service even when overflowing with people. However, some hardcore connoisseur of the dish regard this as a tourist trap and its quality not up to mark. Open daily until 10 pm
    • Hoe Kee Chicken Rice 4, Jalan Hang Jebat (Jonker Walk). A few steps nearer to Malacca River from Famosa is this chicken rice ball outlet. You should get here early or you'll end up in a queue to get a table. This is the original Chicken Rice Ball shop, and for most, the taste here is simply incomparable to the newer competitors. This outlet has been operating in this small corner for decades, but still attracts lots of customers, both locals and tourists alike. Open daily 0830-1500, closed last Wednesday of the month
  • Satay celup
    • Capitol Satay Celup, 41, Lorong Bukit Cina. Located a little distance away from the hustle and bustle of the historic centre of town. This is one of Malacca's most popular satay celup outlets and the crowds tend to confirm this. You pay for what you eat and at the end of the meal, the skewers are counted. The price per skewer is between RM0.50 and RM1.
  • Noodles
    • Hing Loong Taiwanese Noodle, 11-J, Jalan Bachang. Located out of the town center but have been discovered by many non-Malaccans. Tasty beef, fried pork chop or pig trotter noodles in soup or in sauce. About RM4 a bowl.

The Newton hawkers court has a dozen different vendors and is licensed. I had a great bowl of nyonya laksa for only RM4. this was 20/03/2009

  • Coconut House Studio, 128, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock (Heeren Street). Popular for its wood-fired, thin-crust pizzas, which you can eat in a renovated Peranakan house complete with a courtyard. Service may be a bit slow when there are crowds. The same people run a similar outlet in Kuala Lumpur.
  • Wok and Pan:East Meets West Cuisine , 22G PM4, Plaza Makhota, 75000 Malacca. Popular for its Pork Ribs and Pork Chop. It also serve Chinese and Local Cuisines. The boss is the former head chef for Renaissance Hotel
  • Portuguese Settlement, Popular for its Fried Squid, Portuguese baked Fish. Local favorite stalls are numbered 1 and 7.
  • Geographér Cafe [14], 63 Jalan Hang Jebat (Jonker Walk). Tel: +60-6-2816813. The restaurant/bar occupied a renovated old Malacca shophouse. Comfortable and lively/noisy restaurant/bar serving Malaccan standards. Occasional live music.
  • Sibaraku, level 2, Mahkota Parade, no. 1 Jalan Merdeka. Tel 06-282-4869; 2 branches of the same restaurant side by side; one branch serves only Japanese cuisine a la carte; the other branch serves eat-as much-as-you-like Chinese and Japanese cuisine (mostly sushi - about a dozen types to choose from, okonomiyaki, etc.); some of the dishes are buffet style (they are already cooked; you help yourself with them), other dishes the cook will cook them in front of you; soups, salads, cakes, other desserts (custard, mousse, etc) free flow cold and hot drinks also available; unlimited buffet dinner 25.90 RM plus 10% on weekdays; limited buffet dinner (9-10 pm only, choose only from about 15 dishes, only one serving per dish but free flow cold and hot drinks) 15.80 RM plus 10% on weekdays
  • Jalan Kee Ann Night Open Air Eating Stalls, Jalan Kee Ann. Hours 18:00 to 23:00 every day. Open air eating stalls for locals and visitors. It is a good place to eat and see the world go by while eating in the open air. Local cuisines include won ton mee, popiah, yew keow, sugar cane water, sup kambing, satay,etc.
  • Tengkera Mee Soup, Located along Jalan Tengkera near the famous Tengkera Mosque. Noodles (many varieties) served Chinese style but by a Malay/Muslim vendor and are therefore Halal. Open from mid-afternoon until when the noodles are sold out.


When in Malacca, don't miss the cendol ("chen-dul"), a sweet dessert of coconut milk, lurid green noodles and gula Melaka (Malacca sugar), made from palm sap.

  • Clocktower cendol,Jalan Laksamana. Located by the Malacca River opposite the Red Square clock tower. Another Malacca legend, the cendol served by this Indian-Muslim hawker is superb. You can have it plain or with red bean and is a wonderful thirst-quencher when doing the historical sights circuit. There is also Indian rojak. It used to operate out of a mangosteen-shaped stall (hence he's also known as "Mangosteen cendol") but now has a more conventional-looking stall.
  • Limau Limau Cafe, 49 Jonker Street. Wide selections of fresh juices, milkshakes and lassi, with no water or sugar added. They sell Lavazza Coffee too.
  • Libra Restaurant and Cocktail House, Jonker St, [15]. Wide selection of beers and cocktails.

Melaka Raya is where Malacca's relatively limited nightlife is to be found, with pubs, discos and KTV located in this area.

  • Honky Tonk Haven Cafe - Nice little pub at Jalan Lorong Hang Jebat (1st cross street, i.e. turn left off Jonker Walk) also with a view onto the Melaka river, run by a musician New Zealander and his wife. Live music (specialising in jazz and also other type of music on request). As of 9PM every night, good pub food.


Malacca city offers a range of accommodation options to suit all budgets. Most backpackers/budget accommodation are found in two areas, namely in the old heritage heart where you will find atmospheric hotels and guesthouses in old typical Malacca terraces, and in Taman Melaka Raya, the new business centre built on reclaimed land only several minutes walking distnce to the east of the old heart of town. Hotels are found throughout the city.


Heritage area

  • Chong Hoe Hotel (忠和旅店) 26 Jalan Tukang Emas (Goldsmith Street, opposite of Masjid Kampung Kling), Tel: +60-6-2826102 : It situated at a strategic location (at the centre of the historical places).It offers good value with air-con and TV room for RM30 which is without bathroom and air-con singles/doubles with TV and bathroom for RM45 onwards. The rooms are nice and clean.
  • Holitel This place has standard rooms with aircon and a private bathroom. It costs 50 RM and the rooms are really clean. Friendly and helpfull staff. Better than most places in China Town.
  • Sama-Sama Guest House [16] 26 Jalan Tukang Besi (or Blacksmith Street, one block north and parallel to Jalan Hang Jebat or Jonker Walk). Tel (mobile): +60-12-3051980 [17]. A laid-back guesthouse with 8 rooms. Rooms are basic, with no air-con. Large, friendly hang-out area with "no TV, just sweet reggae music" and occasional live music, and a nice back courtyard with burbling fountain. Laundry available. RM20-35.
  • River View Guest House 94&96 Jalan Kampung Pantai. In the heritage district of Chinatown, back terrace overlooking the river. Delightful, recently converted Chinese shop house, spacious spotless fan rooms, shared shower rooms, high quality beds and bedding. All rooms have windows. Use of kitchen, interned & wifi. No children. Charming owners. Twins (fan)only @ RM 45 / King airconditioned only @ RM60. Reservation : or only. Please read terms before making reservation.

Melaka Raya

  • City Park Hotel Melaka [18]. No. 1 Jalan Melaka Raya 26, Taman Melaka Raya, Melaka, Malaysia. Tel: +60-6-2839833.
  • Shirah's Guest House [19]. No.207B, 2nd floor, Taman Melaka Raya, Bandar Hilir, 75000 Melaka. Tel: +60-6 286 1041. 10 MYR dorms in a triple room; 15 MYR for a single room with fan; max double-room with AC & bathroom 35-40 MYR. Clean and nice with many in-house facilities.
  • Samudra Inn 348b, Jln Melaka Raya 3 (beside the 7-11 store at the bottom of this street). Tel: +60-6 2827441. The hotel is on the second level, you have to use the staircase to go up to the locked gate of the hotel; you have to leave your shoes at the staircase after you enter the gate; dorms with shared hot shower and toilet (3 beds per room) - 15 RM; singles rooms - from 20 RM for one with shared hot shower and toilet; all rooms with fans, more expensive rooms have attached shower; the room rates are posted clearly on a white board at the reception; there is a lounge with television and refrigerator; laundry service available, piecemeal rate e.g. 1.50 RM per shirt; guests will be given a key to the locked gate.
  • Travellers' Lodge 214b Jalan Melaka Raya 1, Tel: +60-6-2265709. Large, friendly hostel in a convenient location near several attractions. Rooms are clean with fan or aircon and en suite bathrooms available. The hostel also features a kitchen, laundry, roof terrace and cafe with internet access. Movies are shown every night. Good value. Fan room from 18 RM.
  • The Trend Hotel [20]. 216-220 Jalan Melaka Raya 1, Tel: +60-6-2861199. friendly, helpful hostel staff. Rooms are clean with bathroom, big windows and TV and the aircon is very strong for the small-sized rooms.

Other areas

  • ISMAH Beach Resort [21] Located next to the Turtle Sanctuary Of Malacca, the best place to relax and unwind yourself, Budget resort with a PREMIUM service. ISMAH Beach Resort, Pantai Padang Kemunting, Pengkalan Balak, 78300 Masjid Tanah, Melaka. Tel: +60-6-3848141, +60126505852. [22] Room rates from RM80 - RM160
  • Kancil Guesthouse [23] 177 Jalan Parameswara, 75300 Melaka. (Located in the Bandar Hilir area just east of the Heritage Zone and adjacent to the Melaka Raya commercial area). Tel/Fax: +60-6-2814044. Located in a 2-storey shophouse. Friendly staff, quiet place. Fan room from 18 RM. Laundry and Internet available
  • Discovery Cafe & Guesthouse No. 3 Jalan Bunga Raya, Melaka 75100. Cool guesthouse/hostel located only a 3 min walk from the central historic area. The rooms are quite simple, but they have AC. Shared bathrooms. Owner was extremely friendly and set up taxis and bus service for us. The downstairs cafe area turns into a fairly lively nightspot after dark with live music and cheap beers. Rooms were cheap. Contact Teng Kim Sia at tel: +6012-683-5606 or email at
  • Metropole Hotel Avoid. This hotel advertises a lot in the Malacca Central bus stop. Simply avoid. One of the worst hotel you can ever find at RM75.


Heritage area

  • Aldy Hotel [24]. 27 Jalan Kota, 75000 Melaka. Tel: +60-6-2833232. [25]. Boutique hotel strategically located in the heart of the historic Melaka town. 3 stars. RM110-RM500.
  • Baba House [26]. 125-127, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lok, 75200 Melaka. Fax: +60-6-2811217. RM95 doubles including breakfast. In an old terrace.
  • Malacca Straits Hotel [27]. 37A Jalan Chan Koon Cheng, Off Jalan Parameswara. Tel: +60-6-2861888. The intimate boutique-style Malacca Straits Hotel captures the city’s rich history and its people’s good nature for a memorable experience for those who choose the pleasure of staying awhile. Room rates start from RM128++.
  • Heeren House [28]. 1, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, 75200 Melaka. Tel: +60-6-2814241. Fax: +60-6-2814239 [29]. Nice guesthouse at the start of Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock or Heeren Street. Rooms with all facilities face the Malacca River. Cafe and craftshop downstairs. RM139 nett double/twins, RM239 nett family. American breakfast included. Best English breakfast in town.
  • Heeren Inn. 23, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, 75200 Melaka. Tel: +60-6-2883600 (Located nearer the Malacca River end of Heeren Street). RM78 standard, RM88 delux, RM118 superior and RM148 Heeren (two double beds) room. Reported [30] to have bed bugs in February 2008.
  • Hotel Puri [31]. 118 Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, 75200 Melaka. Tel: +60-6-2825588. Highly recommended by homeliving magazine in Malaysia - Living Taste. RM110-RM500.
  • Twenty Melaka Guesthouse [32]. 20, Jalan Hang Jebat (Jonker Walk). Tel: +60-6-2819761 (Located along the popular Jonker Walk near the Malacca River end. This guesthouse occupies the former Atlas Ice building, one of the oldest concrete buildings in Malaysia). New, clean, air con, continental breakfast included, internet, located in the heart of the tourist area. From RM95. Please note that all bathrooms here are on sharing basis.

Melaka Raya

  • Fenix Inn [33]. 156, Jalan Merdeka, Taman Melaka Raya, 75000 Melaka (Next to 2 major shopping complex in Melaka & Historical Attraction). Rooms are equipped with wired broadband internet access, ASTRO Cable TV, Attached bathroom, air-conditioned room etc. Room Rate from 98 nett onwards; it has an Internet cafe on the ground floor that may be used by non-guests, 4 RM per hour
  • Hotel Tropicaville Malacca [34]. 7,9,11, Jalan PM15, Plaza Mahkota, 75000 Melaka (in the Taman Melaka Raya area near the jetty for ferries to Dumai, Indonesia). 3 stars. RM88-RM198
  • Queenspark Hotel Melaka[35].43,45,47 Jalan Melaka Raya 24,Taman Melaka Raya, 75000 Melaka. Tel: +60-6-281 1188 Fax: +60-6-281 1187 [36]. Rooms with all facilities with Astro satellite channel, internet broadband access, air-conditioned room. coffee/tea making facility, own hot/cold shower bathroom, near to shopping havel, food court and commercial and banking centre.

RM88.00 nett for Superior Twin/Double. Deluxe Room RM118.00 nett,Family Room RM148.00 nett.


  • Hotel Hallmark, 06-281 3409, [37]. Hotel Hallmark is a two star budget hotel. There are 78 furnished rooms that include standard, deluxe and family suites. Private bathrooms, air conditioning, 20" colour TVs and IDD are some of the hotel's facilities including spa service. Modern card-access locking system is provided to room doors. Hotel Hallmark is centrally situated in the heart of Malacca's historical sites and antiques shops. Chinatown, The Stadhuys, A'Famosa, Jonker Street and other delightful attractions are a few walks from the hotel.  edit
  • Straits Meridian Hotel, No.1, Jalan Malinja, Taman Malinja, Bukit Baru, 75150 Melaka, Malaysia, +60(6)2841166, [38]. Straits Meridian Hotel is in the historic town of Melaka, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It faces the Jalan Tun Razak Expressway, which connects Jasin District and Alor Gajah District, and is just 10 km from Melaka Airport. The 81 air-conditioned rooms and suites are furnished with a coffee/ tea maker, refrigerator, and IDD phone. Each accommodation is also fitted with a private toilet and bath. Other in-room features include a digital safe, prayer mat, and bottled mineral water.  edit
  • ISMAH Beach Resort [39] Located next to the Turtle Sanctuary Of Malacca, the best place to relax and unwind yourself, Budget resort with a PREMIUM service. ISMAH Beach Resort, Pantai Padang Kemunting, Pengkalan Balak, 78300 Masjid Tanah, Melaka. Tel: +60-6-3848141, +60126505852. [40] Room rates from RM80 - RM160
  • Accordian Hotel, Malacca [41] 114 Jalan Bendahara, 75100, Melaka. Phone: +60-6-2821911 Fax: +60-6-2821333 [42]. 3 Stars. RM75-RM200.
  • Atlantic Park Hotel, 9830 Bukit Baru 75150 Melaka, Malaysia, +60-6-2810989 (, fax: +60-6-2815894), [43]. checkin: 2PM; checkout: 11AM. from Rm68.  edit
  • Eastern Heritage
  • Hotel Grand Continental, 20, Jalan Tun Sri Lanang, 75100 Melaka room rates RM125-200.

Phone: (60 6) 2840 088

  • Kancil Hotel, Malacca [44] 9833 Bukit Baru 75150 Melaka, Malaysia. Phone: +60-6-2843848 Fax: +60-6-2815894 [45]. 1 Star. RM48-RM100.
  • Mimosa Hotel [46] 108 Jalan Bunga Raya, 75100 Melaka, Tel: +60-6-2821113. [47] RM98-232
  • Putra Sayang Resort [48] Putra Sayang Resort, Pantai Padang Kemunting, Pengkalan Balak, 78300 Masjid Tanah, Melaka. Tel: +60-6-3848946, +60193894196. [49] Room rates from RM60 - RM200


Heritage area and Melaka Raya

  • Holiday Inn Melaka [50]. Jalan Syed Abdul Aziz, 75000 Melaka. Tel: +60-6-2859000. 4 stars. RM240-RM685
  • Hotel Equatorial Melaka [51]. Jalan Parameswara, 75000 Melaka. Tel: +60-6-2828333 [52]. 5 stars. RM410-RM3300.
  • Mahkota Hotel Melaka [53]. Mahkota Hotel Melaka, Jalan Merdeka, 75000 Melaka. Tel: +60-6-2812828. 4 stars. RM158-RM448
  • D-Paradise Park and Resort, 603 - 4256 0381, [54]. D-Paradise is in Malaysia's most historic State - Melaka allowing easy access by car. Only a one and a half hour drive from Kuala Lumpur and a three and half hour drive from Singapore. The "Village Restaurants" will provide you with a selection of the best in international cuisine. Created with our tropical fruits in mind and inco-operating the flair of their well known head chef. D-Paradise Tropical Fruit World and Aboriginal Native Village - A "must see" when visiting either Singapore or Malaysia. 63, Jalan Solok Uban, Kampung Brisu, Lubok, China, Melaka 78100, Malaysia. Rates start at RM 550.  edit

Other areas

  • "'INB Resort"' [55] Lot 3169 Simpang Padang Keladi Lebuh Ayer Keroh. Tel: "+6065533024" [56]. very friendly, family-run resort style accommodation in Ayer Keroh town. RM120- 200
  • Avillion Legacy Hotel [57]. 146, Jalan Hang Tuah, 75300 Melaka. Tel: +60-6-2816868 [58]. 5 stars. RM165-RM1080.
  • Renaissance Melaka Hotel [59]. Jalan Bendahara, 75100 Melaka. Tel: +60-6-2848888. 5 stars.
  • The Emperor Hotel [60]. 123, Jalan Munshi Abdullah, 75100 Melaka. Tel: +60-6-2840777 [61]. 3 stars. RM90-RM500.
  • The City Bayview Hotel. Jalan Bendahara, 75100 Melaka. Tel: +60-6-2839888 [62]. 4 stars.
  • MITC Hotel Melaka [63]. Lot 15232 & 15233, Jalan Food City, Melaka International Trade Centre, Ayer Keroh.
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

MALACCA, a town on the west coast of the Malay Peninsula, in 2° 14' N., 102° 12' E., which, with the territory lying immediately around and behind it forms one of the Straits Settlements, and gives its name to the Straits which divide Sumatra from the Malay Peninsula. Its name, which is more correctly transliterated melaka, is that of a species of jungle fruit, and is also borne by the small river on the right bank of which the old Dutch town stands. The Dutch town is connected by a bridge with the business quarter on the left bank, which is inhabited almost exclusively by Chinese, Eurasians and Malays.

Malacca, now a somnolent little town, a favourite resort of rich Chinese who have retired from business, is visited by few ships and is the least important of the three British settlements on the Straits which give their name to the colony. It has, however, a remarkable history. The precise date of its foundation cannot be ascertained, but there is strong reason to believe that this event took place at the earliest in the 14th century. The Roman youth Ludovigo Barthema is believed to have been the first European to visit it, some time before 1503; and in 1509 Diogo Lopez de Siqueira sailed from Portugal for the express purpose of exploiting Malacca. At first he was hospitably received, but disagreements with the natives ensued and word was brought to Siqueira by Magellan, who was one of his company, that a treacherous attack was about to be made upon his ships. Siqueira then sent a native man and woman ashore "with an arrow passed through their skulls" to the sultan, "who was thus informed," says de Barros, "through his subjects that unless he kept a good watch the treason which he had perpetrated would be punished with fire and sword." The sultan retaliated by arresting Ruy de Araujo, the factor, and twenty other men who were ashore with him collecting cargo for the ships. Siqueira immediately burned one of his vessels and sailed direct for Portugal. In 1510 Mendez de Vasconcellos with a fleet of four ships set out from Portugal "to go and conquer Malacca," but d'Alboquerque detained him at Goa, and it was not until 1511 that d'Alboquerque himself found time to visit Malacca and seek to rescue the Portuguese prisoners who all this time had remained in the hands of the sultan. An attack was delivered by d'Alboquerque on the 25th of July 1511, but it was only partially successful, and it was not until the 4th of August, when the assault was repeated, that the place finally fell. Since that time Malacca has continued to be the possession of one or another of the European Powers. It was a Portuguese possession for 130 years, and was the headquarters of their trade and the base of their commercial explorations in south-eastern Asia while they enjoyed, and later while they sought to hold, their monopoly in the East. It was from Malacca, immediately after its conquest, that d'Alboquerque sent d'Abreu on his voyage of discovery to the Moluccas, or Spice Islands, which later were the objective of Magellan's voyage of circumnavigation. During the Portuguese tenure of Malacca the place was attacked at least twice by the Achinese; its shipping was harried by Lancaster in 1592, when the first British fleet made its way into these seas; it was besieged by the Dutch in 1606, and finally fell to a joint attack of the Dutch and the Achinese in 1641. It was under the Portuguese government that St Francis Xavier started a mission in Malacca, the first Christian mission in Malayan lands.

The Dutch held Malacca till 1795, when it was taken from them by Great Britain, and the Dutch system of monopoly in the straits was forthwith abolished. The colony was restored to the Dutch, however, in 1818, but six years later it came finally into the hands of Great Britain, being exchanged by a treaty with Holland for the East India Company's settlement of Benkulen and a few other unimportant places on the western coast of Sumatra. By this treaty the Dutch were precluded from interference in the affairs of the Malay Peninsula, and Great Britain from similar action in regard to the States of Sumatra, with the sole exception of Achin, the right to protect that state being maintained by Great Britain until 1872 when it was finally abandoned by a treaty concluded with Holland in that year. The Dutch took advantage of this immediately to invade Achin, and the strife begun in 1873 still continues and is now a mere war of extermination. It was not until 1833 that the whole territory lying at the back of Malacca was finally brought under British control, and as late as 1887 the Negri Sembilan, or Nine States, which adjoin Malacca territory on the east and north-east, were completely independent. They to-day form part of the Federated Malay States, which are under the protection of Great Britain, and are governed with the assistance and by the advice of British officers.

Malacca, in -common with the rest of the Straits Settlements, was administered by the government of India until 1867, when it became a crown colony under the control of the Colonial Office. It is to-day administered by a resident councillor, who is responsible to the governor of the Straits Settlements, and by a number of district officers and other officials under his direction. The population of the town and territory of Malacca in 1901 was 94,487, of whom 74 were Europeans and Americans, 1598 were Eurasians, the rest being Asiatics (chiefly Malays with a considerable sprinkling of Chinese). The population in 1891 was 9 2,170, and the estimated population for 1905 was 97,000. The birth-rate is about 35 per thousand, and the death-rate about 29 per thousand. The trade of this once flourishing port has declined, most of the vessels being merely coasting craft, and no large line of steamers holding any communication with the place. This is due partly to the shallowness of the harbour, and partly to the fact that the ports of Penang and Singapore, at either entrance to the straits, draw all the trade and shipping to themselves. The total area of the settlement is about 700 sq. m. The colony is wholly agricultural, and the land is almost entirely in the hands of the natives. About 50,000 acres are under tapioca, and about 9000 acres are under rubber (hevea) . This cultivation is rapidly extending. There are still considerable areas unoccupied which are suitable for rubber and for coco-nuts. The settlement is well opened up by roads; and a railway, which is part of the Federated Malay States railway system, has been constructed from the town of Malacca to Tampin in the Negri Sembilan. There is a good rest-house at Malacca and a comfortable seaside bungalow at Tanjong Kling, seven miles from the town. Malacca is 118 m. by sea from Singapore and 50 m. by rail from Seremban, the capital of the Negri Sembilan. There is excellent snipe-shooting to be had in the vicinity of Malacca.

See The Commentaries of d'Alboquerque (Hakluyt Society) The Voyages and Adventures of Fernand Mendez Pinto (London, 1653) An Account of the East Indies, by Captain Alexander Hamilton (Edinburgh, 1727); Valentyn's History of Malacca, translated by Dudley Hervey; Journal of the Straits Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society; " Our Tropical Possessions in Malayan India," by the same author, ibid.; Further India, by Hugh Clifford (London, 1904); British Malaya, by Sir Frank Swettenham (London, 1906).

(H. CL.)

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary




Malay Melaka, probably after melaka, a kind of tree that grows in the region.

Proper noun


  1. State in western Malaysia.
  2. Capital of Malacca state.


Simple English

Malacca (also known in Malay as Melaka) is a state in Malaysia that is located on the southern part of Peninsular Malaysia. The capital city of Malacca is Malacca Town.[1]


Other websites

States and Federal Territories of Malaysia
States: Johor | Kedah | Kelantan | Malacca | Negeri Sembilan | Pahang | Perak | Perlis | Penang | Sabah | Sarawak | Selangor | Terengganu
Federal Territories: Kuala Lumpur | Labuan | Putrajaya


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