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This article is about the Malaysian state. For other uses, see Malacca (disambiguation).

Malacca, (Malay: Melaka; Tamil: மலாக்கா, simplified Chinese: 马六甲; traditional Chinese: 馬六甲), dubbed "The Historic State"[citation needed], is a state in Malaysia located in the southern region of the Malay Peninsula, next to the Strait of Malacca.

The state is bordered by Negeri Sembilan to the north and west and Johor to the south. The exclave of Cape Rachado also borders Negeri Sembilan to the north. Its capital is Malacca City, which is 148 kilometres (92 miles) south east of Malaysia's capital city Kuala Lumpur, 235 kilometres (146 miles) north west of Johor's largest city Johor Bahru, and 95 km (59 miles) north west of Johor's second largest city, Batu Pahat. This historical city centre has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 7 July 2008.

Although it was the location of one of the earliest Malay sultanates, the local monarchy was abolished when the Portuguese conquered it in 1511. The head of state is the Yang di-Pertua Negeri or Governor, rather than a Sultan.

History[edit]

Sultanate of Malacca[edit]

Main article: Malacca Sultanate

Before the arrival of the first Sultan, Malacca was a fishing village inhabited by local known as Orang Laut. Malacca was founded by Parameswara, also known as Iskandar Shah, the last Raja of Temasek (present day Singapore) following a Majapahit attack in 1377. He found his way to Malacca around 1400 where he found a good port—it was accessible in all seasons and on the strategically located narrowest point of the Malacca Straits.[3]

According to a popular legend, Parameswara was resting under a tree near a river during a hunt, 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 then and there to found an empire on that very spot. He named it 'Malacca' after the tree where he had just taken shelter at, the Malacca tree (Malay: Pokok Melaka).[4]

Prominent Malaysian artist Syed Thajudeen visually depicted the epic tale of the founding of Malacca on canvas. The Beginning, a 4 panel painting measuring 183 x 512 cm is now a permanent collection at Galeri Petronas.

In collaboration with allies from the sea-people (orang laut), the wandering proto-Malay privateers of the Straits, he established Malacca as an international port by compelling passing ships to call there, and establishing fair and reliable facilities for warehousing and trade.[3]

Because of its strategic location, Malacca was an important stopping point for Zheng He's fleet. To enhance relations, Hang Li Po, according to local folklore, a daughter 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 locals and settled mostly in Bukit Cina.[5]

"In the 9th month of the year 1481 envoys arrived with the [......] Malacca again sent envoys to China in 1481 to inform the Chinese that, while Malaccan envoys were returning to Malacca from China in 1469, the Vietnamese attacked the Malaccans, killing some of them while castrating the young and enslaving them. The Malaccans reported that Vietnam was in control of Champa and also sought to conquer Malacca, but the Malaccans did not fight back, because they did not want to fight against another state that was a tributary to China without permission from the Chinese. They requested to confront the Vietnamese delegation to China which was in China at the time, but the Chinese informed them since the incident was years old, they could do nothing about it, and the Emperor sent a letter to the Vietnamese ruler reproaching him for the incident. The Chinese Emperor also ordered the Malaccans to raise soldiers and fight back with violent force if the Vietnamese attacked them again.[6][7]

Colonial era[edit]

See also: Portuguese Malacca, Dutch Malacca, Straits Settlement, and Crown Colony of Malacca

In April 1511, Alfonso de Albuquerque set sail from Goa to Malacca with a force of some 1200 men and seventeen or eighteen ships.[8] They conquered the city on 24 August 1511. After seizing the city Afonso de Albuquerque spared the Hindu, Chinese and Burmese inhabitants but had the Muslim inhabitants massacred or sold into slavery.[9]

It soon became clear that Portuguese control of Malacca did not also mean they controlled Asian trade centred there. Their Malaccan rule was severely hampered by administrative and economic difficulties.[10] Rather than achieving their ambition of dominating Asian trade, the Portuguese had disrupted the organisation of the network. The centralised port of exchange of Asian wealth 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 among bitter warfare in the Straits.[10]

The JesuitmissionaryFrancis Xavier spent several months in Malacca in 1545, 1546, and 1549. The Dutch launched several attacks on the Portuguese colony during the first four decades of the seventeenth century. The first attack took place in 1606 under the command of Dutch Admiral Cornelis Matelief de Jonge who laid siege to the town with the help of his Johor allies. He engaged the Portuguese armada which had been sent from Goa to offer armed relief to the besieged port.[11] In 1641, the Dutch defeated the Portuguese in an effort to capture Malacca, with the help of the Sultan of Johore.[12] The Dutch ruled Malacca from 1641 to 1798 but they were not interested in developing it as a trading centre, placing greater importance on Batavia (Jakarta) on Java 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 under the rule of the British, first by the British East India Company and then as a Crown Colony. Due to dissatisfaction with British jurisdiction over Naning, Dol Said, a local chief and the East India Company had a war from 1831 to 1832, which resulted in a decisive British victory. It formed part of the Straits Settlements, together with Singapore and Penang. Malacca went briefly under the rule of Empire of Japan in 1942–1945 during World War II.

Post colonial era[edit]

After the dissolution of this crown colony, Malacca and Penang became part of the Malayan Union in 1946, which later became the Federation of Malaya in 1948. The declaration of independence was made by the first Prime Minister of Malaya, Tunku Abdul Rahman, at Padang Pahlawan on 20 February 1956, which eventually led to the independence of Malaya on 31 August 1957. In 1963, Malaysia was formed with the merger of Malaya with Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore, and Malacca became part of it. On 15 April 1989, Malacca was declared a historical city. It was then also listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site since 7 July 2008.[13]

Geography[edit]

The state of Malacca covers an area of 1,664 km2 (642 sq mi).[1] It sits upon the southwestern coast of the Malay Peninsula opposite Sumatra, with the state of Negeri Sembilan to the north and west and Johor to the east. Malacca is situated roughly two-thirds of the way down the west coast, 148 km (92 mi) south of Kuala Lumpur and commands a central position on the Straits of Malacca. With the exception of some of its small hills, Malacca is generally a lowland area with average elevation below 50 meters above sea level.[14]

The Malacca River roughly runs through the center line of the state from north to south. Kesang River acts as the eastern border of Melaka with Johor. The offshore Besar Island, Upeh Island and Undan Island are part of Malacca which are accessible by jetty from Malacca mainland. The peninsula of Tanjung Tuan(Cape Rachado) is an exclave of the state, situated on the coast of Negeri Sembilan which it borders to the north. Malacca has several beaches edged with palm trees which has brought a number of resorts along the coast. Famous beaches are Tanjung Bidara Beach, Klebang Beach, Puteri Beach and Pengkalan Balak Beach.[15]

The man-made Malacca Island is connected to the mainland and it is the first phase of the development of Malacca Gateway offshore development, expected to be completed by 2025.

Climate[edit]

The climate of Malacca is hot and humid throughout the year with rainfall occurring mostly between October and March. Temperature ranges generally between 30-35 °C during daytime and between 27-29 °C during night time.[16]

Climate data for Malacca (1961–1990)
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Average high °C (°F)31.4
(88.5)
32.6
(90.7)
32.6
(90.7)
32.4
(90.3)
31.8
(89.2)
31.4
(88.5)
31.0
(87.8)
30.9
(87.6)
31.0
(87.8)
31.3
(88.3)
31.0
(87.8)
30.9
(87.6)
31.5
(88.7)
Average low °C (°F)22.5
(72.5)
22.9
(73.2)
23.1
(73.6)
23.4
(74.1)
23.4
(74.1)
23.0
(73.4)
22.7
(72.9)
22.7
(72.9)
22.7
(72.9)
22.9
(73.2)
22.9
(73.2)
22.6
(72.7)
22.9
(73.2)
Average rainfall mm (inches)73.3
(2.886)
90.9
(3.579)
144.1
(5.673)
197.5
(7.776)
172.0
(6.772)
165.8
(6.528)
164.2
(6.465)
164.1
(6.461)
210.2
(8.276)
212.9
(8.382)
231.5
(9.114)
123.8
(4.874)
1,950.3
(76.783)
Average rainy days (≥ 1.0 mm)7710131210121213141711138
Mean monthly sunshine hours193.0202.5214.8207.5210.5193.9201.3191.2171.5179.6156.9166.82,289.5
Source: NOAA[17]

Government[edit]

See also: Malaysian State Assembly Representatives (2013–) § Malacca

Malacca's state parliament is called the State Legislative Assembly and the party in power forms the Executive Committee. The assembly represents the highest authority in the state and decides on policy matters. The State Executive Council is responsible to the assembly and comprises members who are appointed every five years by the political party in power. It is headed by the Yang di-Pertua Negeri who is appointed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia. The current Yang di-Pertua Negeri is Mohd Khalil Yaakob.

The State Government is headed by the Chief Minister. The minister is appointed by Yang di-Pertua Negeri from among the State Legislative Assembly members. The Chief Minister presides over a meeting of State Executive Council ministers weekly at the Chief Minister's office. The Chief Minister's Department is responsible for the overall administration of the state, as well as its political interest. The current Chief Minister is Idris Haron of United Malays National Organisation.

The administrative complex is located at Seri Negeri complex in Ayer Keroh. It houses the Chief Minister's office, State Legislative Assembly and State Secretariat office. For administrative purposes, Malacca is divided into three districts under separate jurisdiction:

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

Districts and Local Authorities[edit]

Malacca is divided into 3 districts and 4 local authorities.

Towns[edit]

Besides Malacca City, other major Malacca townships include Alor Gajah, Asahan, Ayer Keroh, Batang Melaka, Batu Berendam, Bemban, Bukit Katil, Cheng, Durian Tunggal, Hang Tuah Jaya, Jasin, Klebang, Kuala Sungai Baru, Lendu, Lubuk China, Machap Baru, Malacca Pindah, Masjid Tanah, Merlimau, Naning, Nyalas, Pulau Sebang, Ramuan China, Selandar, Serkam, Simpang Ampat, Sungai Rambai, Sungai Udang, Tampin, Tanjung Kling, Telok Mas and Umbai.

Economy[edit]

Despite being located in a land without any significant natural resources, the economy of Malacca dates back more than 500 years, due to its strategic location. As the center of the all important spice trade, Malacca attracted many colonial powers to engage wars to control it.[19]

Malacca has successfully opened itself up to foreign investors since the early 1970s. By 1997, the state has registered a total investment of over MYR16 billion. In 2014, the state achieved a total MYR4.4 billion worth of investment, in which MYR1.8 billion came from foreign investors.[20]

In 2013, Malacca had a GDP of MYR22,646 million with GDP per capita of MYR34,109. It had 3.2% GDP growth in 2013. Inflation rate in 2012 was 1.6%. As of 2015[update], the Malacca State Government has an outstanding MYR861.7 million of loan to the federal government. In 2014, the state government's reserve amounted to MYR206.61 million.[21] The unemployment rate in 2014 was 0.9% or around 3,500 people.[22]

As of 2012[update], service sector contributes to the largest share of economy in Malacca accounted for 46.9%, followed by manufacturing (43.5%), agriculture (6.5%), construction (2.9%) and mining (0.1%).[23] In terms of number of workforce, as of 2013[update], there were 275,000 people working in the industrial sectors, 225,000 people working in the service sectors, 35,000 people working in the entrepreneurship sectors and 12,300 people working in the agricultural sectors.[24]

On 21 October 2010 an event was held to announce that Malacca had met the benchmark of 'Developed State' as set out by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and a declaration of "Melaka Maju 2010" was made by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Abd Razak.[25]

Currently there are 23 industrial areas which are centered along the edges of the city proper in suburbs which include Ayer Keroh, Batu Berendam, Cheng, Taman Tasik Utama and Tanjung Kling. While outside Malacca City, industrial areas include Alor Gajah and Sungai Udang. There are around 500 factories in the state which come from Germany, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, United States etc. For small and medium-sized enterprises, a number of estates have been established by the state government.[26][27]

The Malacca International Trade Centre in Ayer Keroh which was opened on June 2003 is the leading commercial center and the center for meetings, incentives, convention and exhibitions which plays an important role in the development of trade in Malacca.[28]

Sungai Udang houses the PETRONAS Malacca Refinery Complex consisting two refining trains, established in 1994 and 1999 and owned by PETRONAS Penapisan (Melaka) Sdn. Bhd. and Malaysian Refining Company Sdn. Bhd. respectively. The total capacity of the refinery is 270,000 barrels of oil per day.[29][30]

Culture[edit]

Culture in Malacca began around 15th century in which various ethnic customs and traditions blended perfectly. Each group upholds their tradition and it is reflected in their food, religion customs, festivals, culture, design, application, jewellery and handicrafts.[31]

Demographics[edit]

Malacca has an estimated population of 931,210 as of 2016[update] with an average annual population growth of 2%.[22][32] As of 2016[update], 27% of the population aged below 15 years old and 8% aged above 60 years old.[24] The ethnic composition of Malacca as of 2015 is 66.8% Malays (552,700), 1.4% other Bumiputras (11,500), 26.0% Chinese (215,000), 6.2% Indians and Chitty (51.400) and 0.6% others (4,800).[2] Malacca has small communities of Kristang, Dutch Eurasian and Temuan people.

Malay community in Malacca is generally divided into two, which are the Temenggong custom and the Pepatih custom. The remaining traditional Malay village in Malacca City is the Morten Village.[33]

Jonker Walk is the Chinatown area of Malacca. The Peranakan people in Malacca show unique features, such as furniture, porcelain, crockery, style and food. Their culture is showcased at the Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum.

Indians in Malacca are the Tamil people in which many of them used to work at the rubber plantation.[citation needed]However, many of them now work in the jewellery, fabrics, retailers, merchants and money lender sectors.[citation needed] Many of them reside in Little India. There is also Chitty Village for the minority Chitty people which houses the Chitty Museum.

A sizable number of Sikhs residing in Malacca, and Sikhs from Malacca and abroad congregate in the gurdwara (Sikh temple) situated in Jalan Temenggong.[citation needed] They celebrate the Guru Nanak's birthday and Vasakhi new year annually.

A population of Portuguese descent, who speak a Portuguese creole, are the descendants of colonists from the 16th and 17th centuries.[34] Even to this day, many of the traditions originating with 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). Many of them settle down around the Portuguese Settlement area, which has a population of about 6,510 residents.[35]

The indigenous people, mostly ethnic Temuan is relatively small. They generally reside in rural settlements, the edge of the woods and along the coast facing Malacca Strait. Malacca houses the Aborigines Museum in Ayer Keroh.[31]

Language[edit]

Malacca is a multi-linguistic state. Malaysian is the official language of Malacca and is used in the government and public sectors. English is widely used in the business and tourism sectors. A local Malay, known as Malaccan Malay is a unique variety of Malay spoken within the state of Malacca, it has its own distinct pronunciation and vocabulary compared to the rest of Malaysia. Other minority languages such as Chinese and its varieties, Tamil, Kristang (Portuguese creole) and various Malay-based creoles such as Baba Malay and Malaccan Creole Malay are also spoken.[36] The Orang Asli languages spoken within Malacca are mostly speakers of the Temuan language.

Religion[edit]

According to the 2010 census, the population of Malacca is 66.1% Muslim, 24.2% Buddhist, 5.7% Hindu, 3.0% Christian, 0.4% of unknown affiliation, 0.2% non-religious, 0.2% Taoist or Chinese religion follower, and 0.2% of followers of other religions.[37]

Statistics from the 2010 Census indicate that 91.6% of the Chinese population in Malacca are identified as Buddhists, with significant minorities of adherents identifying as Christians (6.7%), Chinese folk religions (0.7%) and Muslims (0.4%). The majority of the Indian population are Hindus (86.3%), with a significant minorities of numbers identifying as Christians (6.6%), Muslims (3.4%) and Buddhists (2.8%). The non-Malay bumiputera community are predominantly Christians (46.8%), with significant minorities identifying as Muslims (24.2%) and Buddhists (12.0%).[38]

As the definition of a "Malay" in the Malaysian constitution requires that the person professes the religion of Islam, all Malays are necessarily Muslims.[38][39]

Sports[edit]

Sports-related affairs of Malacca are governed by the Malacca State Sports Council (Malay: Majlis Sukan Negeri Melaka) under the Malacca State Government.[40] Another governing body of sports in Malacca is the Department of Youth and Sports (Malay: Jabatan Belia dan Sukan Negeri Melaka).

Malacca is home to several football stadiums, such as Hang Jebat Stadium, Hang Tuah Stadium and Tun Fatimah Stadium. Built in 1954, Hang Tuah Stadium is the oldest stadium in Malacca.[41] Established under the Malacca Stadium Corporation Enactment of 2004, the Malacca Stadium Corporation is the entity that manages stadiums in Malacca which started its operation on 16 September 2004.[42]

There is also a motorsport racetrack in Ayer Keroh, the Malacca International Motorsport Circuit. Ayer Keroh also houses the Malacca International Bowling Centre. With 52 lanes, it is the largest bowling center in Malaysia.[43]

There are four golf courses in Malacca, namely Ayer Keroh Golf and Country Club, Orna Golf and Country Club and Tiara Malacca Golf and Country Club in Ayer Keroh and A'Famosa Golf Resort in Simpang Ampat.[44] Golf-related paraphernalia in Malacca is showcased at the Malacca Golf Gallery.

Malacca was the host venue for the 2010 Sukma Games held on 10–19 June 2010.

Malacca also has a football team known as Melaka United representing Malacca in the Malaysian football league. The Melaka football team won the first Malaysia Premier League title in 1983, in addition they were the champion of the third division of the Malaysia football league, FAM League Cup, in 2015 before won the second Premier League title a year after it. Melaka United uses the Hang Jebat Stadium in Krubong as their home ground with a capacity of 40,000 spectators.

Education[edit]

Secondary education[edit]

The Malacca High School is one of the premier schools in Malaysia and is the second oldest recorded school in the country after Penang Free School in Penang.

Malacca has two boarding schools, Sekolah Menengah Sains Muzaffar Syah (MOZAC) and Sekolah Berasrama Penuh Integrasi Selandar (SBPIS). The Ministry of Education of Malaysia enrolls students based on their Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) and Pentaksiran Tingkatan 3 (PT3). A centre for juvenile convicts, Henry Gurney Prisoners School, is in Telok Mas, Malacca. Established in 1949 as High Moral School, it was renamed to the School of Henry Gurney on May 15, 1950. This centre runs rehabilitation programs for male juvenile offenders.

1630 map of the Portuguese fort and the city of Melaka
Beautiful Rickshaws are available in Melaka
Ayer Keroh National High School

Malacca

Malacca (also called Melaka in Bahasa Malaysia) is a wonderful city for nice daytime activities or for a stay of more than one day. There are quite a few hotels and hostels available, but there are also many homeowners who are willing to put their house in Malacca up for rent. The city has many beautiful attractions, all clearly representing the great history of the city. From Kuala Lumpur you can easily access Malacca by bus, taxi or rental car. Residents of the capital often travel to Malacca during weekends to have a good rest and to enjoy the delicious food which the city is famous for.

Opposite St. Francis Xavier's Church you will also find a large car park where you can park your car (secured) at the price of RM10. This is especially useful if you travel to Malacca by car. There are many trishaw drivers in the city, who will drive you trough the town for only a few ringgit. This used to be a fun means of transportation, but in the last few years it has gotten a little out of hand. The drivers started to install large sound systems onto their trishaws and now they drive through the streets of Malacca making a lot of noise. I cannot imagine that this is what UNESCO had in mind when they decided to make it a World Heritage Site. A ride from Porta de Santiago to Jonker Street for example will cost you RM10.

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Attractions in and around Malacca

Fun attractions in Malacca are for example a visit to St. Paul's Church, formerly a church for the Portuguese and later a cemetery during the Dutch occupation. The nearby sight Porta de Santiago was once built by the Portuguese as a fortress to protect against attacks by the Dutch. There is not much left after several wars, but the entrance is still upright and in place. The Dutch governor had the Stadthuys built, a beautiful building with some obvious Dutch traits. Next to the Stadthuys you will be able to find Christ Church, in which you can recognize the Dutch architecture of that time more clearly. Other famous places in Malacca are Jonker Street, Bukit China, Kampung Keling Mosque, Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, the Portuguese settlements and the crooked St. Francis Xavier's Church.

Another great attraction is a boat trip on the small river that runs through the city. The take-off point is near St. Francis Xavier's Church. There is also a boarding location near the bridge leading to Jonker Street. A boat trip along the canals costs RM10 per person (RM5 for children). The tour takes about 30/40 minutes. The tour is fun during the daytime, but also pleasant to do in the dark at night. When it is dark, all of Malacca lights up (which is occasionally a bit too touristy).

Malacca can also be explored by bus as tourists can visit the historical sites of Malacca by traveling in a red double decker bus for only RM5 per person per day. The great thing about this 'Malacca City Tour' is that you can hop off at a historical site and hop on again on the next bus to visit another historical site. There is also the 'Panorama Melaka' single decker bus that takes passengers to numermous other interesting places within and around Malacca. The fare for this bus is RM2 per person per day; you can go to Malacca Sentral, Malacca library, Malacca Hospital and many other places (this bus also does the 'less touristic route'). There are numerous places where you can start the tour; offical start for Panorama Melaka is at the Malacca Sentral Bus Station. Check this map for more information on routes of the busses. Operating hours are between 7am and 10pm daily. The double decker bus will depart every 45 minutes from a particular stop along the route, the panorama bus every 20 minutes.

 

History of Malacca

Malacca was founded around 1400 by a former prince from Sumatra (who ended up in Malacca during an escape attempt in that area). Malacca turned out to have a very good strategic position, and not long after the foundation the influx of merchant ships from India and China started. During that time Malacca grew into one of the major ports in South-East Asia today. In 1511 the Portuguese traders first set foot on the Malaccan soil. In 1641 the Portuguese gave up their power struggle (and war) with the Dutch and from that time onwards Malacca was under Dutch reign. Only a few years later, the English gained control over the area (after the Netherlands traded this region with the English for parts of Indonesia). The British rule lasted until 1957, when Malaysia was formed and Malacca continued as a semi autonomous province.

 

Jonker Street Night Market Malacca

Jonker Street is the artistic center of Malacca. Here you will find a large number of art galleries, antique stores and shops where you can buy various ornaments. Along Temple Street (parallel to Jonker Street) there are many nice small shops. One shop in particular sells very nice traditional plaques with illustrations of ancient buildings of Malacca. The small ones sell for around RM40, the bigger ones for over RM200 (there are handcrafted and very beautiful). Each night Jonker Street is transformed into a great evening market. You can buy anything and everything here and there are also several places where you can sit down and eat or drink (especially many local snacks). Jonker Street is also filled to the brim with small restaurants and other eateries where you can eat well for a small price. Especially the Chicken Rice Ball restaurants are very popular among the locals. The evening market will start daily at 18.00 and closes at midnight. Popular snacks are Popiah, Potato Twisters and local sweet kajang cakes.

 

Tips when visiting Malacca

  • Take the boat trip down the river when it is already dark; the city will be illuminated.
  • A delicious breakfast or lunch you can get at Limau Limau 5 near Jonker Street (a bystreet of Jonker Street). Especially the upper floor is very pleasant and cozy.
  • A local delicacy are Kajang Cupcakes, delicious little cakes with sauce in them.
  • At the aforementioned dessert restaurant Jonker Desert 88, you can also eat delicious laksa.
  • From Porta de Santiago it is an easy walk to Dataran Pahlawan Mega Mall (in a 1 minute walk you're at the northern entrance).
  • Each Sunday morning there is a flea market with antiques along Jalan Hang Lekir. Mostly you will find ancient coins and medals here.
  • The best time of day to visit the beautiful Dutch tombstones at the top of Porta de Santiago is around 8 o’clock in the morning. It is still cool and very quiet. Especially in the weekend from 10 o’clock in the morning onwards it will be extremely busy and crowded at this attraction. It is also best to visit the rest of the UNESCO World Heritage Site early in the morning.
  • At the seaside near the Portuguese Settlements you can enjoy dinner at one of the many local seafood restaurants.
 

Shopping malls in Malacca

Not far from the cultural attractions you will find a nice shopping mall called Dataran Pahlawan Megamall. You can find several popular international brands, but also many small shops with local brands. There is also a huge F.O.S with many different brands. There are also several restaurants and a large covered market. Other well-known malls are: Malacca Mall and Mahkota Parade Shopping Mall.

 

Videos of Malacca

Check out all the videos we made in Malacca here! (opens a new YouTube page)

 

How to get to Malacca

By rental car

Another way to get to Malacca is by rental car. It is easy to rent a car in Malaysia. Numerous car rental companies have special pick up locations throughout the country. Hawk Malaysia for example has a pick up & drop off point at KLIA (airport) and in the city center, so you can easily pick up the car at an Hawk office in Kuala Lumpur and drive with it to Malacca. From Kuala Lumpur it is only a 2,5 hour drive to Malacca.

By bus

The cheapest way to reach Malacca is by coach. There are quite some bus operators that have daily busses driving between Malacca and many other locations within Peninsular Malaysia. From the main bus terminal Puduraya in Kuala Lumpur many busses a day leave towards Malacca. The trip from Kuala Lumpur to Malacca by bus will take around 2,5 hours. Tickets from Kuala Lumpur to Malacca only cost around RM12.50 (one way). You will arrive in Malacca at the Malacca Sentral Bus Station. From here you can easily take a local bus to the center of the town; or you can take a taxi to your hotel.

By air

Malacca International Airport has been renovated in 2009 to be able to cater for international flights. Currently it can handle up to 1.5 million passengers annually. The airport however stays behind many other smaller airports in Malaysia in terms of traffic; as not many airlines flies to Malacca. This is also due to the fact that the international airport of Kuala Lumpur (KLIA) is only 1,5 hours away. From the airport you can easily take a bus to Malacca; many busses depart from KLIA to Malacca on a daily basis. Currently only 3 airlines fly from Malacca Airport to Indonesia.

By train

Though Malacca has no train station, the main train(s) between Singapore in the south and Bangkok in the north (with Kuala Lumpur as one of the main stops) do stop nearby Malacca at Tampin station. From there you can either take the bus or a taxi to Malacca.

 

Travel between Malacca and Singapore

Malacca is very popular among citizens of Singapore. Many Singaporeans travel to Malacca in the weekends as it is only a 3,5 hour drive. As driving a car into Malaysia can sometimes be a bit of a hassle; many Singaporeans rely on busses to take them to Malacca. Many busses leave on a daily basis to Malacca (and to Singapore from Malacca). Fares are only a couple of ringgits. There also are a couple of luxurious bus operators; where you travel in a huge seat with movies and even internet onboard.

 

Dinner places in Malacca

Most people come to Malacca either because of history or because of the delicious cuisine. Pork is served in many restaurants, which is an exception compared to many other places in Malaysia (as most of the inhabitants are Muslims). There are also many delicious dessert restaurants, such as the very popular Desert Jonker 88. Here you can get the best Cendol and Ais Kacang (both famous local desserts in Malaysia). Along the popular street Jonker Street there are many more good restaurants to be found. During the evening market along Jonker Street you will also be able to buy many different snacks.

Another popular concept in Malacca is Sateh Celup. This is quite similar to fondue, but instead of cheese, peanut sauce is used. In the middle of each table there is a hole in which a pan is heated from below. You can get all kinds of skewered satay from various freezers and then put them in the pan with heated sauce. There are various types of satay with standard meat, but also squid, fish, vegetables, bacon and various other sorts; delicious and a lot of fun to do, especially because you are eating among the natives. The place where we usually go to is called Ban Lee Siang, but there are more places where you can enjoy Sateh Celup.

 

Popular restaurants in Malacca

  • New Heritage Cafe
  • Calanthe Art Cafe
  • Limau Limau Cafe
  • Jonker Dessert 88
  • Geographer Cafe
  • Chung Wah Chicken Rice Ball
  • Capitol Satay
  • Restoran Ban Lee Siang
  • Pak Putra Tandoori Restaurant
  • Orang Belanda Art Cafe
  • Donald and Lily's
  • Taragon Nyonya Bistro

Popular hawker centers in Malacca are: Newton Hawker Center, Plaza Pandan Hawker Center, Padang Pahlawan Hawker Stalls, Jalan Kee Ann Open-Air Food Stalls, Wang Food Court, Pitt Street Food Court and Tengkera Foodcourt.

 

Accommodation in Malacca

Malacca is immensely popular among the inhabitants of the city of Kuala Lumpur. Just like Port Dickson, which is located a bit more up north, Malacca is also a destination where people go off to flee from the hustle and bustle of the city. Especially around national holidays the rush is enormous. It can be so busy that is hardly possible to find available accommodation. There are numerous hotels and resorts in and around Malacca (see below); but there is also more then enough choice in basic accommodation. Around Jonker Street you can find many small hostels and lodges, where you can stay for prices below RM50 per night.

Da Som Inn can be recommended, which is a small hostel where you can stay for less than RM100 per night. A more luxurious room with aircon is available for RM138. Rooms are decent and the owner and staff are very friendly. Da Som Inn is located in the middle of Jonker Street, a minute's walk from the market and the famous eateries. Another good hotel is Hotel Puri Malacca. This is hotel a bit more expensive in a neighborhood with mostly basic accommodation. There is a pleasant atmosphere in the hotel, and you can also get a very good massage at their spa.

 

Popular hotels in Malacca

Below a list with some of the better hotels in and directly around Malacca (view all hotels here in a new page).

Budget travelers will be glad to hear that there is enough budget accommodation available in and around Malacca; especially around the Jonker Street area.

 

Map of Malacca

Below you can see a map of Malacca. You can simply scroll through the map with your mouse. Use the markers on the left to zoom in or out of the city map.

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