|— State —|
|Motto: Bersatu Teguh|
|Anthem: Melaka Maju Jaya|
Location of Malacca
|- 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.)|
|- Density||466.7/km2 (1,208.7/sq mi)|
|Human Development Index|
|- HDI (2003)||0.810 (high)|
|Postal code||75xxx to 78xxx|
|Malacca Sultanate||15th century|
|Portuguese control||24 August 1511|
|Dutch control||14 January 1641|
|British control||17 March 1824|
|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.
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.
Malacca has a population of 759,000 as of 2007, being composed of:
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.
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. 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.
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.
In April 1511, Afonso de Albuquerque set sail from Goa to Malacca with a force of some 1200 men and seventeen or eighteen ships. 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.
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. 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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
Hospitals in Malacca state are listed below:
Currently, both these government hospitals serve as teaching hospitals for Melaka Manipal Medical College.
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.
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.
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
In order to attract more tourists to Malacca, the State government has built a number of museums to house its rich cultural heritage.
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:
Christ Church Malacca
Statue of St. Francis Xavier
Tan Beng Swee Clocktower
Kampong Kling's Mosque
Orang Utan House
Cheng Hoon Teng Temple
Malacca Big Market
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.
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  (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  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.
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.
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
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:
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  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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Streets in the older/historical part of the city are very narrow, so they quickly become clogged during rush hours.
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 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!
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
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:
Other local but not typically Malay food:
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.
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
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.
Melaka Raya is where Malacca's relatively limited nightlife is to be found, with pubs, discos and KTV located in this area.
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.
RM88.00 nett for Superior Twin/Double. Deluxe Room RM118.00 nett,Family Room RM148.00 nett.
Phone: (60 6) 2840 088
Heritage area and Melaka Raya
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