Malacca, sometimes spelt Melaka, is located on the west coast of Malaysia along the Straits of Malacca. Malacca is two hours by bus, 150km south of Kuala Lumpur or 3 hours by bus, 250km north of Singapore. Malacca is a UNESCO World Heritage City.
Malacca was a powerful trading port controlling the Malacca straights for hundreds of years. The history is an interesting one with many colonial powers ruling this major sea port. There are still historical sites in Malacca dating back to the 1500s. The Portuguese ruled Malacca for over a century and then it was taken under control by the Dutch in 1641 and then came under control of the British in 1795. There are still many colonial buildings kept in good condition around the city.
The Christ Church in Malacca was built by the Dutch in 1753, the oldest Protestant church in Malaysia. The 8 foot long ceiling beams are cut in one piece and constructed without joints. The handmade pews are original and date back over 200 years.
The Clock Tower in front of the Christ Church was built in 1886 by Mr Tan Jiak Kim to fulfill the promise from his father Tan Beng Swee to build the tower for Malacca town. In 1982 a Japanese company, Seiko-K Hattori donated a new clock for the tower and the original clock is on display within the Malacca Museum.
St Pauls Church was originally a small chapel built by the Portuguese in 1521 by Captain Duarto Coelho, originally called ‘Nosa Senhora – Our Lady of the Hill’. The chapel was given to the ‘Society of Jesus’ in 1548 who added a second level and then a tower in 1590. When the Dutch took control of Malacca they completed the building and renamed it to St Pauls Church in 1753. There are old tombstones inside the ruins of the church of the original Portuguese and Dutch settlers.
The Church of St Francis Xavier found in the centre of Malacca was built in 1849.
Jonker Walk is Malacca’s Chinatown. The street which is located in the centre of Malacca is lined with antique stores, art shops and Chinese restaurants. There are night markets along Jonker Walk on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. There are a number of Chinese temples located in the streets around Jonker Walk.
Chen Hoon Teng Temple is one of the oldest Chinese Taoist temples in south east Asia built in the 1673. Cheng Hoon Teng or Green Clouds Temple is the oldest functioning Chinese temple in Malaysia.
Kampung Kling Mosque is situated on Jalan Tukang Emas, just down from Chen Hoon Teng Temple and 1 block from Jonker Street in Chinatown. The mosque was originally built in 1748 with wood then rebuilt in 1872 with brick. The architectural design of the mosque is a mixture of Sumatran, Chinese and the Malacca Malay.
Getting around Malacca
Malacca is mostly flat so easy to walk around the old historical town. There is a mono-rail that travels very slowly along the river.
There are river cruises along the Malacca River during the day and at night time.
Getting to and from Malacca Malaysia
Firefly Air have direct flights from Malacca airport to Singapore.
There are ferry services from Malacca across to Dumai in Sumatra Indonesia. The ferry takes around 2 hours depending on sea conditions.
There are regular buses from Malacca to and from Kuala Lumpur, travel time is around 2 hours. Cost is RM13. The bus terminal is called Malacca Central and a taxi will cost around RM15 to get there.
You can also get to Malacca from Johor Bahru in the south. Travel time by bus is around 2.5 hours.
There is a train station at , around 30km from Malacca. The trains travel south to Johor Baru and Singapore or north to Kuala Lumpur, Butterworth and Thailand.