World Heritage Historical Site ~ Malacca Part 1Posted on Apr 26 in Malacca, Malaysia Explorationby ShelynPrint
Don went for meeting in Malacca so I decided to tag along. It was just a half day trip as his meeting started at noon time and finished at 7pm.
I packed an extra cloth for the dinner with friends in KL right after the Malacca trip and my laptop for blogging. The first rule to slowly transform myself from an amateur blogger to a pro blogger – always bring the laptop and broadband device.
No time for breakfast in the morning, so I quickly grabbed some breads, cheese, pears and a piece of leftover sausage from the fridge to go. I prefer enjoying my meal in the car while admiring the scenery through the window.
Malacca is about 150 kilometer south of Kuala Lumpur. Across the North-South expressway, it shall take no more than two hours to reach Malacca with normal speed. The highway was decorated with shrubby plants and flowers to add cheer to our road trip. Not sure if it’s a compliment or an insult:
Don: “Malaysia highway is the only thing in the country that reminds me of United States.”
With the speed of 120km/hrs, we reached Malacca in 1 hour 15 minutes. It then took us another 15 minutes to reach Malacca town and to look for Holiday Inn hotel. Don had a meeting in Holiday Inn.
Holiday Inn in Malacca
After dropping Don off, it was already 12pm. I decided to drive around Malacca town before deciding what to do. It wasn’t a good idea to drive around the town during noon time, the time when all the school kids swarming out from the school and filling up the roads.
The traffic was so congested as there were several schools concentrated in the town center. Nonetheless, it was fun looking at the kids running around the school and swarming across the road. It reminded me of my school time. We were prohibited to run in the school especially when the school bell rang, the headmistress would be holding a cane waiting at the school compound to hunt for the naughty lamb. My younger cousin was always caught by the headmistress and was punished to stand at one spot with crying face. My cousin definitely had no gut to do anything ‘illegal’ in the school. He was just unfortunate to be too skinny with the chicken legs that always looked like hopping when walking fast.
Pahlwan Megamall on the left linked to Hatten Square on the right by a bridge
After driving around the town, I decided to visit Dataran Pahlawan (Pahlawan Square) which is only 1km away from Holiday Inn. Dataran Pahlawan is situated in the heart of Malacca, surrounded by historical sites like A’Famosa, Museums, Heritage Houses, Churches, Buddhist Temples, Mosques, Memorials and Palaces.
A unique thing about it is that there is no high-rise buildings to mar the view of the fortress and other historical structures. Even the newly built Hatten Square is only 22-storey tall. Hatten Square is ideally located in the midst of many mixed developments such as hotels, shopping complexes, medical centre, shop houses, shop offices, hotels and blocks of apartments and condominiums. Situated adjacent to Dataran Pahlawan Melaka Megamall, these two developments will be linked via another landmark – first in Melaka, a 2-tiered fully air-conditioned pedestrian bridge. Hatten Square will be fully completed by December 2011. If you’re interested in investing a unit there, kindly visit http://www.hattensquare.com/home/index.aspx?page=fact-sheet.
Dataran Pahlawan Map
I covered all the attractions surrounded Dataran Pahlawan. You can actually park your car at Dataran Pahlawan and walk to all the places of interest depicted in the map. They are all within the walking distance of each other. I didn’t park my car at Dataran Pahlawan though, as the parking fee there was counted by hour. Instead, I parked my car at the open-air car park opposite Church of St. Francis Xavier, which was only RM2 per entry.
Church of St. Francis Xavier – No, it wasn’t my intention to capture the man in bike into my picture
This twin-spired neo-gothic structure was built on the site of an old Portuguese church by a French priest, Father Farvé, in 1856, in honour of St. Francis Xavier, a prominent 16th-century Catholic missionary also known as ‘Apostle of the East’. To this day, St Francis Xavier’s Church still serves its function as a Catholic church, with regular mass services being held from time to time. Having been around for more than a century, the church’s building now leans slightly to the left.
A Brief History about Malacca (Excerpted from www.melaka.net) before introducing you to the historical sites:
Malacca was founded by a fleeing prince from Sumatra in 14th century, it developed into a major trading port for ships from India and China. As the Melaka Sultanate flourished, the Portuguese conquered Malacca in 1511. Later the Dutch took over in 1641 until much later the British empire ruled Malacca. The state finally obtained independence with the name “Malaya States” in 1957.
Under the hot sun with long jeans, I walked in profuse sweat until the dark red buildings presented before my eyes.
When you see a dark red Clock Tower…
When you were attracted by the sound of the water from a small but unique fountain…
When a long line of happily-decorated trishaws caught your attention…
It’s a sign that you have reached the foot hill of St. Paul’s Hill, where everything (well, it’s everything to me) is situated around here. The highlights are the Stadthuys, Bell Tower, Christ Church, St. Paul Church, and several museums. The colour of these buildings are deeply red symbolizes the characteristic of the Dutch architecture in that period.
Queen Victoria’s fountain built in 1901
Queen Victoria Fountain is one of the last traces of the British colonial era in Malaysia. This monument represents the glorious days of the British people in Malaysia.
Similar to other structures in the city such as the Clock Tower, this fountain was built to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee. The fountain was built in 1901. Surprisingly, the fountain is still working perfectly even after such a long period. The Queen Victoria’s Fountain has become a famous market place in the city. Due to its popularity and high probability of tourists, many rickshaw riders stand beside the fountain.
In order to attract the customers, rickshaws were decorated with any colourful things that the riders could think of. It includes Barbie dolls. BARBIE DOLLS! Could you spot them in the picture? So adorable!
Like most of the tourism places, you can find a group of stalls at the St. Paul’s Hill offer a wide choice of merchandise. I wasn’t so keen in buying anything, so I skipped the shopping part in Malacca.
It gonna be a long post, will continue my journey report in my next post. Stay tuned!