09:20 28/4/2012 After we’d lost and survived the crazy road trip. We halted at Jalan Bendahara to savor the moment of arriving safely and can’t wait to explore Historical Sites and Museums of Melaka. The sun had shown up in the sky and day had just started for locals. We saw them dragging their trolleys going to market while others enjoying their cups of coffee and tea at the sidewalk. It was really a laid back town, mostly sought by city dwellers for a weekend escaped. We had been greeted by the colourful banner that would surely entice tourist attention.
The banner got our sight and it was much alike in Brickfields, KL. Bound for two will not pass this opportunity for a photo souvenir ( cam whoring).
Since the sun was already high, we look for a temporary shade to continue our arrival appreciation of the historical city. Our eyes glued on this old building much like of a museum. But it’s actually a financial house, owned by CIMB Bank. The Lower ground was occupied by Old Town Coffee House. Our travel friend Manju needs cash so we’re in the right spot. He withdrew some moolah from ATM to fund his day meandering with us.
All of us can’t wait to see the red structured buildings so we hastily proceed to Jalan Laksamana. Then parked near the famous landmark, Christ Church of Melaka. This commenced our Historical Sites, Landmarks and Museum wandering in Melaka.
We stood there for a moment and stared these magnificent red buildings in its full glory. Seeing it from historical books, TV or travel blog was already fascinating and much more when you saw it with your two eyes.
This building was one of the remnants of Dutch Colonization in Melaka, considered as the oldest functioning Protestant Church in Malaysia up to this date. Built in 1841 and finished the construction on 1853.
|Stolen shot, Inside Christ Church Melaka.
It followed the Dutch architecture style using wooden beams, roof made of original Dutch tiles and walls were Dutch bricks. Out of curiosity, we went inside to checked its antiquity. It was really old, aging but still functional. There was a reminder “taking pictures inside is prohibited” but Sky switched on his “Pasaway Mode” and grab a single image. We can’t blame him for his love of history.
Just in front of the old protestant church, The Old Victoria Regina fountain was something to behold. Over a century of its existence, the fountain was still working perfectly.Unfortunately, we’re unable to witness its magic sprinkling 🙁
Just beside the old fountain, the Red Clock Tower known as Tan Beng Swee Clock Tower was another attraction in the Dutch Square built around 1886. Adjacent to the tower is the Stadhuys which was the official residence of the Dutch Governor and its Deputy when Melaka was still under the Dutch rule.
The Stadhuys served as an administrative office until it was converted into Museum in 1982. The Christ Church, Red Clock Tower, and The Stadhuys makes up the Dutch Square.
You might be wondering why there is windmill opposite to the Stadhuys? We’re also asking the same until we had connected the dots. Dutch was famous for its windmills so it was erected to commemorate the Dutch Occupation. Don’t try to look for Dutch Lady because there’s none. lol, We stayed a bit in the garden that surrounded the windmill before we crossed to Jonker Street.
When we walk along the bridge, Sky keeps on looking the Melaka River and can’t help to take a snap. He imagined himself returned to the past and visualized it like what he saw on History books. Then we pat him on the back to proceed walking. The placid river was hailed as the Venice of the East but minus the gondolas and the boatmen.
We had been surprised that Jonker Street in Chinatown was quiescent during day time. The passive street will only come alive when night sets in. Nothing much we can do in this place so we continue our gallivanting. We stopped by an on very old structure which we believed it was defence tower in the old times.
Our assumptions were right, it was the part of Portuguese Fort built to protect Melaka. The cannons and the old bricks were the witnessed how Portuguese protect this highly sought land. After we took some rest at the old Fort we haven’t expected to climb up to reach St. Paul’s Church. It was bit tiring but you’ll be rewarded by a picturesque view of Melaka once you reached the top.
St. Paul’s church has been a chapel built around 1521. It passed many renovations until it was named Church of the Mother of God. It was also temporary burial ground of the famous Saint Francis Xavier before his remain shipped to Goa, India.
Other than St. Francis Xavier, it was also served as burial ground for people with distinctions. You’ll find tombstones with Dutch inscriptions affixed to the walls. After sightseeing the panoramic view of Melaka at St. Paul’s Hill. We decided to go back to the car to chill down or checked if it’s still there.
Along our way was the Democratic Government Museum which was closed at that time. We went back on a different route and passed at the back of Stadhuys. There we found the old fire truck and a small bulldozer. We never knew that mini bulldozers exist until we met Oliver. Oliver was primarily used to make pathways in the rubber plantation, cool isn’t it?
The Stadhuys had been long converted into History, Ethnography and Literature Museum. We’d skipped entering the museum since we’re worried if the car gets clamped.
We’re a little bit alarmed as Polis Officer had approached us. Yes, we committed a parking violation and it was worst than we expected. He said we parked on the Polis reserved parking space. It scared us to hell but we’d never apprehended or ticketed. Polis officer gave us a leeway since we’re a tourist. He advise us to park in the designated places. It was really a sigh of relief. We burst into laughter after we left that area. It could spoil our day if that guy was not lenient. We found a public parking space and paid 2RM for the whole day parking. You can park your car anywhere in a public place as long you place that ticket card on the front windshield visibly.
We continue our historical meandering without worrying about the car. Along Jalan Kota, we passed by to different museums. But we opted not to visit since it would consume the time of our day tour. We bravely took some photo snaps defying mid noon heat of the sun.
|Museum Islam Melaka
|Museum UMNO Melaka
|Melaka Stamp Museum
|Malay Islam Museum
We directly headed to the old Portuguese fortress in Malaysia, the A’ Famosa. This is one of the most visited tourist attraction in Melaka. Only the small gate house was remaining part of the old fortress still standing.
Since we could not take the dry humid and scorching heat of the sun, we look for a shade and found this old luxurious car. The Chevrolet was used by Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra, the first Prime Minister of Malaysia. While another one was the armoured car of Royal Malaysia Police used during the emergency period.
After taking some rest, we proceed to Melaka Sultanate Palace. Though it’s a Museum but we didn’t bypass this one. We paid 2RM each for the entrance. It was one of the places that Sky wouldn’t like to miss. We’ll cover what we saw, learned and experienced in this museum on the different entry.
Since the museum was bit crowded because of some students having their educational trip. We left the Sultanate Palace and visited its forbidden garden. The gazebo in the garden was the perfect spot for pre-nuptial pictorials.
We deserted the Sultanate Palace replica and passed by at Melaka Memorial Independence. It was an old British colonial building before it was converted into Museum.
It had been past 45 minutes of 12 noon and we’re just halfway of our historical meandering. We took our lunch at Pahlawan Mega Mall Foodcourt before we left for Bukit Cina.
We successfully reached Bukit Cina ( China Hill) after winding up the road. We acknowledged the San Poh Teng Temple with its distinctive Chinese symbols. It’s Adjacent to the temple is Hang Li Po Well which was an important source of water during the Sultan Mansur Shah’s time.
The memorial tower at the Bukit Cina foothill honors the local Chinese residents who lost their lives during World War II. Within the hill was the Chinese graveyard dated from Ming dynasty. We never felt any creepy things when we climbed up to the hill passing the old graveyard.
It’s about past 2PM when we left Bukit Cina.Just in time to check into our guesthouse. It was located at Jalan Kampung Hulu and love the old town setting when we walked down the street. We saw uncle/auntie still riding with their antique bicycles. Almost everything was preserved and that makes Melaka frequently visited by tourists.
We made a quick stop to took a glance on the Giant Water Wheel. It was actually a replica of Melaka Malay Sultanate Water Wheel located at the mouth of Melaka River. The replica of Flor de la Mar is another must visit in Melaka. It also houses Samudera Museum. We’re enthralled from what we saw outside and inside the copycat ship. We waited until sunset and enjoy the pictorial session with less harsh light.
We enjoyed our day tour historical meandering and learned a lot of things about Melaka. We’ll cover our detailed experienced at St. Paul Church, A Famosa, Melaka Sultanate Palace, Bukit Cina and Samudera Museum ( Flor De La Mar) on the succeeding entries.
Historical City Wanderers,
Summer and Sky
This is part of our Melaka Trip Series
01 Restrospecting Melaka an Overview
What to Do
02 Finding road to Melaka
03 Historical Sites and Museums
04 St. Paul Hill and Church
05 A Famosa
06 Melaka Sultanate Palace
07 Jonker Walk
08 Vibrant Night of Historical Melaka
09 Flor de la Mar
10 St. Francis Xavier Church
11 Bukit Cina and Poh San Teng Temple
12 Melaka Zoo
13 Melaka River Cruise
Where to Eat
14 Foodie Trail
15 Jonker 88
Where to Stay
16 Temporary Abode: L’Armada Guesthouse