If you are from Singapore you would know that we keep looking for short weekend getaways to relax and cheer ourselves up for the hectic weeks at work. Melaka in Malaysia is perfect for one such short trip. Melaka is a small coastal city with wonderful spots around the Dutch square which is worth a visit.
Melaka is “The Historic State” in the southern region next to the Strait of Malacca. It is one of the Heritage sites declared By UNESCO. It is a port town and has been under Portuguese, Dutch and British rule. It was earlier a fishing village. There are beautiful heritage buildings and amazing food joints to satisfy a traveller’s curiosity and appetite.
It is almost four hours driving distance from Singapore. Add another one hour for immigration. It is not as busy as Johor Bahru or Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. We Indians do need visa for travelling, but staying in Singapore we always have the Malaysian visa handy.
Melaka has amazing places to see, good food to eat, a happening night life well and good shopping malls to shop. The Jonker Street is full of antiques and you would love to explore. It is very fanous for its day and night markets.
A’fomosa currently just has a few remains and white washed building which provides a good photo opportunity. But you do get the feel that it was a grand fort which has seen a lot of years. Actually it was due to Sir Stamford Raffles founder of Singapore who saved the fort from complete destruction. Crumbling remains of Porta de Santiago, a small gate house is what remains but worth a visit.
Located near the Chinatown centre of Melaka, this church was built by the Dutch. It is rd in colour and stands out. The entry to the church is free and one you enter you would realize it is quite small. There is the Main altar and 10 pews leading up to it.Old lights, fixtures and well maintained tiles complete the structure. The weathercock and the bell which you see in the Christ church were added by the Bruisers. This is the place where there are a lot of shops selling souvenirs and local food. You will also see a lot of colourful trishaws with amazing cartoon characters like Doremon and hello kitty which you could ride. Vish and I took a ride through the city in one of these and quite enjoyed it. They also have a music box playing music.
Melaka river has many other nick names It is called the River of bridges and it is said the Portuguese seized the bridge to cut off communication between two sides of river resulting in its defeat. The Europeans also called it ‘Venice of the eats’ as it was one of the trading ports. The River winds its way from Dutch Square and goes past Tan Boon Seng Bridge. There are cruise rides which are beautiful especially in the evening. They are cheap and are 45 minutes long and worth it. There are a lot of street arts also present around the river and it is beautiful to see. You have a lot of cafes and even hotels to stay around the river.
St. Paul’s Church:
There is a long flight of stairs leading to the church remains. You have a lot of people selling small things on the way. We had a wonderful experience in this church. The place is quite breezy and covered with ferns etc. When we were visiting the place there was an old man with his guitar who was playing amazing chords. The feel of the place with the guitar, the remains and the breeze was a memorable one.
Melaka Sultante palace:
We did not have enough time to visit this but have heard that it a beautiful place to visit. It is wooden replica of Sultan Mansur Shah’s 15th-century palace. It has no nails in its construction and supported with carved, wooden pillars and featured a copper and zinc roof. It is museum and one should definitely visit.
After touring around and walking and visiting the place, we were quite thirsty. It was quite a hot day. We went to hard rock cafe and had one of the most amazing times. The staff was very helpful and people were discussing amazing plans for the night. Because of some miscommunication, and weird tasting beer, we got some free glasses and were quite happily high. The end was perfect to this wonderful day trip to Melaka in Malaysia.