Visiting Malacca or Melaka

I recently took what might be my last trip to Malacca. I’ve visited there eight times (I think), and I’ve enjoyed it each time. It’s a great place to take in some history, learn about the Portuguese, Dutch, British and how they elbowed their way into the spice trade. They’ve done a fantastic job developing the river area in the old section, plus you get to visit the vibrant and fun Jonker Street. Here’s a few shots from my trip. Yes, I bought some gula Melaka.

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Malacca River. Great for night time walks or a river cruise.
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Dutch built church in Dutch square. You can attend a service on Sunday morning.
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Here’s my crazy students touring the replica Portuguese ship.
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Up close.
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The tomb of famous Malay folk legend Hang Jebat.
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A typical Malacca building.
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From the rooftop of Hangout Hotel. Jonker Street in full mode.
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St. Paul’s church, built by the Portuguese in 1511. This is a statue of St. Francis Xavier, who was interred her for a time.
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Inside St. Paul’s.
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Malacca city from St. Paul’s hill. The lone standing gate of the old fort, Afamosa, is in the foreground.

Back to Malacca or Melaka

I recently returned from my annual  road trip to Malacca to take in the sites. I suppose each year it brings about another post on the blog with similar photos and such. But, oh well, it’s just a cool place to visit, and the transformation that has taken place along the river is quite remarkable.

(Of course, rumors have it that the Malaysian government development funds from Penang to Malacca because the opposition won the elections in Penang, but I can’t speak to that.)

Whatever the case, Malacca (English spelling) or Melaka (Malaysian spelling) is a charming step back into time with the enchanting old Chinese quarter centered around Jonker Street and the preserved architecture from the time of the Portuguese (16th century), Dutch (17th-18th centuries), and British (19th & 20th centuries).

Malacca River at Night
Malacca River at Night

2015-03-19 19.46.59Malacca was an ideal site for traders throughout the 16-19th centuries because of its location hidden within the Strait of Malacca. It was well protected from typhoons and traders could settle down for months at a time waiting for the trade winds to move so they could travel home.

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The saying goes like this: “Whoever controls Malacca, has its foot on the throat of Venice.” A clear reference to Malacca’s importance as a trading port – everyone wanted to control Malacca, and over the years almost everyone did.

Dutch influence, perhaps?
Dutch influence, perhaps?
Chinatown
Chinatown
Newly developed river walk. Some great little cafes along the river.
Newly developed river walk. Some great little cafes along the river.
My crew in front of Christ Church.
My crew in front of Christ Church.

If you ever get a chance to come to Malaysia, Malacca or Melaka is a must visit.

 

 

So you haven’t visited Malacca? Here’s a few photos from my trip.

Dutch Square - Stadthuys Ethnographic Museum on the right. Christ Church in the background.
Dutch Square – Stadthuys Ethnographic Museum on the right. Christ Church in the background.
Jonker Street. Wonderful night street market with Chinese delicacies, art, antiques, and lots more.
Jonker Street. Wonderful night street market with Chinese delicacies, art, antiques, and lots more.

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Colonial era homes of the Straits Chinese
Colonial era homes of the Straits Chinese
Statue of St. Francis Xavier outside St. Paul's church.
Statue of St. Francis Xavier outside St. Paul’s church. After he died, his body remained here for a few months until it was returned to Goa in India.
Malacca River. Enjoy a night cruise.
Malacca River. Enjoy a night cruise.

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Inside St. Paul's church - built by the Portuguese in 1511.
Inside St. Paul’s church – built by the Portuguese in 1511.

Tomorrow I’ll show you some of the food!

In Malacca

I am spending a couple days with my students in Malacca (Melaka) Malaysia enjoying the sights, sounds, and food of one of Southeast Asia’s more colorful cities.  I planned to post a few photos but my technology is not cooperating.

Malacca played a front and center place in the spice trade of yesteryear. The Portuguese established a trading post here in the early 16th century only to be overrun by the Dutch in the early 17th century.  The Dutch built the famous fort A’fomosa which in turn was destroyed nearly entirely by the British in the early 19th century.

Narrow streets filled with colonial era Straits Chinese houses. Churches dating back hundreds of years. A colorful river and vibrant night market street with delicacies and art. Ancient ruins and beautiful replicas of treasured architecture.

Malacca is a wonderful place to visit.

Pictures to follow.