Modern-day Malacca is a small and fairly sleepy city. but nowdays the government take this seriously and make it more close to tourists. there are lots of fascinating views and improvement that were made, so it is really an interesting place to know the malaysian as well.
DIRECTIONS TO MALACCA
Batu Berendam Airport (IATA: MKZ) WMKM) is located about 10km from Malacca city and in 2006-7 is being upgraded to accomodate larger planes. There are no Malaysian domestic flights operating from this airport.
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. 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) Johor Bahru, 90 km (56 mi) from Port Dickson.
Many long-distance express buses connect Malacca with both Kuala Lumpur, Seremban, Johor Bahru, Singapore and other parts of Peninsular Malaysia.
All long-distance and local buses now operate from the Melaka Sentral bus terminal, a good 3km from the historic core of the city.
Some of the companies operating to/from Malacca are:
- Transnasional is the largest long-distance bus operator in Malaysia. It links the state with a host of destinations in Peninsular Malaysia like Kuala Lumpur, Seremban, Singapore and further afield. Transnasional buses depart from Malacca City (Melaka Sentral), Alor Gajah, A'Famosa Resort and Masjid Tanah.
- Malacca-Kuala Lumpur Express: Hourly buses between Malacca City and Kuala Lumpur from 0530 to 1900. Tickets cost RM9.40.
- Jebat Ekspres: Buses to Kuala Lumpur via Masjid Tanah and Alor Gajah.
- Malacca-Singapore Express: Hourly buses between Malacca City and Johor Bahru and Singapore from 0800 to 1900. Tickets cost RM14.60 to/from Johor Baru, and RM17 to Singapore.
- Mayang Sari Express: Buses to/from Johor Baru. Tickets cost RM14.60.
- MCW Express: Frequent express services to Muar, Johor
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 is not served by any railway lines. The closest railway station is at Tampin (Railway station Tel: +60-6-3411034), about 40 km (25 mi) away.
To get there/away: Tai Lye No 26 (red, blue and white) goes from Melaka Sentral to Tampin via Alor Gajah. Stop along the main road near the level crossing just before entering 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.
GETTING AROUND MALACCA
Malacca is by no means a small city, but exploring on foot is a good idea. You could rent a bike. Don't be ignorant and stand in the middle of the road holding up traffic in order to take pictures of buildings, for heaven's sake. (This happens!)
Streets in the older/historical part of the city are very narrow, so they quickly become clogged during rush hours.
- Malacca Town Bus No 17 (green bus): Melaka Sentral Terminal to the historic core, Mahkota Parade, Melaka Raya and the Portuguese Settlement
- Malacca Town Bus No 18: Melaka Sentral Terminal to Tengkera and onwards to Pokok Mangga
- Malacca Town Bus No 19: Melaka Sentral Terminal to Ayer Keroh
- Malacca Town Bus No. 50: Melaka Sentral Terminal to the Mahkota Parade shopping centre and nearby seafood restaurants
- Kenderaan Aziz (red and white): Buses from Melaka Sentral to Muar via Padang Temu also go past the historic core, Mahkota Parade and Melaka Raya
Metered Taxis are just about everywhere. Chartered taxis on Jalan Kee Ann also travel within the city and should not cost more than RM10 per ride.
THINGS TO DO
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, which detracts from their aesthetic value.
- Stadhuys - completed in 1660. Nowadays, it houses the historical museum. This is one of the oldest Dutch buildings in the east.
- Christ Church - this church was built between 1741 and 1753. It replaced a Portuguese church, which was shattered. Bricks were shipped from Zeeland in the Netherlands. On the floor of the church you will find Dutch tombstones. It is the oldest protestant church in Malaysia. On the altar you will see sacramental silverware, still bearing the Dutch coat of arms. Open: Thursday - Tuesday.
- Red Square - Beautiful square around Christ Church and the Stadhuys. On this square you will find the Tang Beng Swee Clock Tower, it looks Dutch, but it is not. It was built in 1886.
- Porta de Santiago - You will find this remains of the old Portuguese fort A Famosa on Jalan Kota, around St Paul's Hill. What you can see nowadays is a mostly Dutch reconstruction, bearing the VOC coat of arms.
- St Paul's Church - take a path up the hill and it will lead you to this church. It was originally built in 1521, by the Portuguese. It became a fortress in 1567, until 1596. After the Dutch siege it became St Paul's, before it was known as Nossa Senhora da Annunciada (Our Lady of Annunciation). It has been used as a burial ground for the Dutch. You can still see the tombstones, along the walls of ruins of the church.
- Muzium Budaya - Below the hill you will find this museum (Melaka Cultural Museum). It is a reconstruction of the istana of the sultan. It was built in 1985. It is open daily from 9AM to 6PM except on Tuesdays, and on Fridays from 1215-1445. Entrance fee: RM1.50.
- Portuguese Settlement.
- Cheng Hoon Teng Temple - oldest Chinese temple in Malaysia and has an inscription dating 1685 commemorating the deeds of by Kapitan China Li Wei King.
- Poh San Teng Temple. This temple is located at the foot of Bukit China and was founded in 1795 by Kapitan China Chua Su Cheong as a graveyard temple. The main deity is Fu-te Zhen Shen. the temple was built to allow the descendants of those buried on Bukit China to conduct prayers to their ancestors away from the heavy rain and strong winds.
- Kampung Morten - a village of traditional houses, it is located on the west bank
- Bukit China(Chinese Cemetery) - Bukit China is the one of the largest Chinese cemetery outside of mainland China. Graves can be found here that go back to the late Ming dynasty (mid 17th century). The earliest grave found so far dates to 1622, but unfortunately many graves were exhumed during the British occupation of Malaysia. Bukit China is a famous jogging spot for the locals and jogging tracks are available all over the hill. When you climb on top of the hill, you will have a nice view of the town.
- Recreational Forest Ayer Keroh - The 359 ha (887 acre) Ayer Keroh Recreational Forest was opened on April 17, 1984 and offers visitors peace and tranquility within its cool green surroundings.
- Baba and Nonya Peranakan Musuem - Step back in time with a visit to this musuem which is an actual Peranakan heritage town house and is a great example of Peranakan culture. It is located on Heeren Street (now known as Tun Cheng Lock Street). The entry fee is RM8 per person.
- Melaka Zoo - Located in Ayer Keroh, along the main road from the Ayer Keroh toll plaza to Melaka town. One of the best, if not the best, zoo in Malaysia. Even better than the National Zoo. The zoo is located in a reserved forest where the animal enclosures more resemble the animals' natural habitat. The trees within the zoo compound provide ample shades for visitors during hot and sunny days.
Notice that on Tuesday most museums, shops, restaurant are closed. No events are planned on that day. If you have only one day to spend in Malacca, do not go on Tuesday!
- Go fly a kite, literally - Go to Klebang Beach and buy a cheap kite (fighter-style, but nowhere near that well-constructed) with Japanese cartoon characters on it for RM 1.50, or a styrofoam airplane for RM 5 if you don't have the necessary kite-flying mad skills.
- Jonker Walk - Jonker Walk is an open air night market held every weekend (and recently extended to eve of public holidays) evening to late night. Have a leisure stroll along the street, observing the locals' life, catching a free performance and shop for some local sourvenirs can be a wonderful and unforgettable experience.
- Jonkers Walk (6PM -12AM every weekend).
- The Orangutan House (59 Lorong Hang Jebat, +606 282 6872,) has cool T-shirts as well as paintings for sale.
- Jalan Kee Ann Night Open Air Eating Stalls, Jalan Kee Ann (Chinatown). 6.00PM to 11.00PM every day. Open air eating stalls for locals and visitors. It is a good place to eat and see the world go by while eating in the open air. Local cuisines include won ton mee, popiah, yew keow, sugar cane water, sup kambing, satay,etc.
- Geographér Cafe, 63 Jalan Hang Jebat (Chinatown), 606-2816813, Comfortable and lively restaurant/bar serving Malaccan standards. Occasional live music.
- Jonkers Melaka, 17 Jalan Hang Jebat (Chinatown). 10AM-5PM every day. Beautiful cool Chinatown courtyard with a few scattered tables; promises "light western Nyonya food".
- Hainanese Chicken Rice Ball, in the area near Jonker there are a few famous shops selling Chicken Rice Ball. Although it is called Hainanese, its origin is not Hainan China, but invented by the Hainanese Immigrants long time ago. You can find Hainanese Chicken Rice throughout Malaysia, but Melaka is the only place that serves Chicken Rice in balls. When in Chinatown, you won't miss the shop screaming FAMOSA CHICKEN RICE BALL. It is an alluringly bright red building. However, DO NOT eat there. It is a tourist trap, the waiters are pushy, the food is awful, and you pay much more than what it's worth. You're better off walking down another 50 meters and go to another shop for a much more pleasant experience of a wonderful dish.
- Satay Celup, similiar to Satay, different varieties of food like fishballs, crabsticks, meat, prawns and etc are put on a bamboo stick, but instead of grilling it like normal Satay, Satay Celups are dip in boiling sauce. Price ranges from RM0.30 to RM0.80 per stick depend on the type and shop.
- Tengkera Mee Soup, noodles (many varieties) served Chinese style but by a Malay/Muslim vendor and are therefore Halal. Located along Jalan Tengkera near the famous Tengkera Mosque. Open from mid-afternoon until when the noodles are sold out.
- Melaka Raya - Melaka Raya is the nightlife area of Melaka. Countless Pubs, Discos, Cafes and Restaurants are located in this area. If you want to enjoy some Clubbing experience in Melaka, this is the place to go.
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 to the east of the old heart of town. Hotels are found throughout the city.