Places of Interest
Porta de Santiag This prominent landmark almost synonymous with Melaka, was a fortress built by the Portuguese admiral, Alfonso d’ Albuquerque in 1511. It was badly damaged during the Dutch invasion in 1641. Timely intervention by Sir Stamford Raffles, a British official, in 1808 saved what remains of the A’Famosa today.
Stadthuys Another major landmark in the state, the Stadthuys was built in 1650 as the official residence of Dutch governors and their officers. Originally white, it was given a striking salmon-red colour to match the nearby Christ Church.
Christ Church Situated adjacent to the Stadthuys, this bright red structure is testimony to Dutch architectural ingenuity. Interesting features include the church’s handmade pews, ceiling beams (constructed without joints), brass bible, tombstone and ‘The Last Supper’ in glazed tiles.
St. Paul’s Church St. Francis Xavier was buried in the open grave here in 1553 before his body was transferred to Goa in India. The church has acommanding view of Melaka.
St. John’s Fort The fort is located on St. John’s Hill and was originally a private Portuguese chapel dedicated to St. John the Baptist. The fort has an interesting feature; cannons face inland as during that time attacks on Melaka came mainly from the hinterland instead of from the sea.
Bukit Cina As the name implies, ‘Chinese Hill’ was the official settlement of the entourage that arrived with the Chinese Princess Hang Li Po. She was sent to Melaka by the Ming emperor to marry the Sultan, marking the
advent of diplomatic relations between Melaka and China.
Hang Li Po’s Well Built by the followers of Hang Li Po, the well was the only source of water during great droughts. The Dutch enclosed it with stout walls to reserve it for their exclusive use. Today, it enjoys a reputation as a wishing well.
Hang Tuah’s Mausoleum This famous Malay warrior served as the admiral of Melaka’s naval forces and defended successfully countless attacks against Melaka. The outstanding military exploits of Hang Tuah and his four comrades, made him a legend in the history of Melaka.
Baba and Nyonya Heritage Museum This museum was the ancestral home of three generations of a Baba-Nyonya (descendants of the Chinese who arrived in Melaka and married locals) family. An open-air courtyard is situated in the middle of the house. Furniture is made of Chinese rosewood in a mixture of Chinese, Victorian and Dutch designs.
Maritime Museum This unique museum is housed in a replica of the Flor de la Mar, a Portuguese vessel that sank off the Melaka coast. Inside the museum are models of ships, authentic maps, old iron chests and charts.
Melaka Sultanate Palace (Cultural Museum) At the foot of St. Paul’s Hill, lies the wooden replica of a 15th century Malay palace. The building has been turned into a cultural museum with main exhibits relating to Melaka culture.
Portuguese Square The Portuguese Square is located within the Portuguese Settlement, 3km from the city. Built in the late 1980s, the square is inspired by the Portuguese mercado. It is the venue for local cultural shows performed every Saturday evening.
A’Famosa Resort Located in the vicinity of Alor Gajah, is the award-winning A’Famosa Resort which boasts several themed attractions which include the A’Famosa Water World, A’Famosa Animal World Safari and A’Famosa Cowboy Town.
Traditional Melaka House A typical traditional Melaka house stands on 12 to 16 main pillars, usually two metres high. The decorative flower-motif tiled steps are its most striking feature. Traditional Melaka houses can still be seen in rural communities with the most famous located in Bukit Paloh.
Mini Malaysia This themed complex showcases 13 life-size authentic and traditional houses of Malaysia crafted by master builders.
Melaka Zoo The Melaka Zoo is home to more than 200 species ofanimals found in Southeast Asia and Africa.
Cheng Ho Cultural Museum This museum located in Bandar Hilir is filled with artefacts related to Admiral Cheng Ho who sailed to Melaka from China in the 15th century. There are about 2,000 historical items related to Cheng Ho and the Ming Dynasty being displayed at the museum, including crockery, coins, the Cheng Ho Well, clothing and a
replica of Cheng Ho’s ship.
Tanjung Tuan The westernmost tip of Peninsular Malaysia, Tanjung Tuan was formerly known as Cape Rachado. The 18th century lighthouse there was built at its promontory to guide sailing ships safely to Melaka. The cape consists of a 65ha coastal forest cum recreational forest which serves as a sanctuary for migratory raptors
from colder climes.
Islands Off the Melaka coast are a cluster of islands, the largest being Pulau Besar and Pulau Upeh. Pulau Besar offers sandy beaches, beachfront chalets, beach activities and golfing. Pulau Upeh is a quiet island getaway for nature lovers and provides visitors the opportunity to see the rare Hawksbill turtle.
Antiques Jonker Street (renamed Jalan Hang Jebat) in the older section of the city is a haven for antique collectors and bargain hunters. Authentic artefacts and relics, some dating as far back as 300 years, can be found among a host of interesting collectibles, each with its own history and mystery.
For those arriving by air at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, you can get to Melaka by taxi or air-conditioned coaches. Melaka is a 2-hour drive from Kuala Lumpur and 2 hours from Johor Bahru. Melaka is a popular stop-over destination for cruise ships. Ferries also ply between Melaka and Dumai in Sumatra. The Batu Berendam airfield also receives flights from Indonesia.