Malacca City is the capital of the Malaysian state of Malacca. Also called Melaka, this city was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2008. I remember reading about this city in a worn out book from the neighbourhood library ages ago. The pictures in the book told the tale of a princely state in the Straits of Malacca and I was intrigued even then!
When our Malaysia trip came up couple of months back, the first place that came to my mind being a history buff was well of course, Malacca! However, upon reading up on the same, I found out there was not much in terms of entertainment for children and made up an itinerary that didn’t include this place. However, the husband and children know how hung up I am on places like these and they insisted on checking this place out on a day when we were comparatively free.
The estimated travel time from Kuala Lumpur to Malacaa is about 2 hours. We left our hotel by around 9am and reached the Kuala Lumpur TBS(more like a terminus where the metro and bus station are together) by around 10.00am thanks to the heavy traffic that day. Usually it would take just 30 minutes from Petronas. A bus will leave for Malacca Sentral from TBS every 30 minutes and the most reliable providers are KKKL Express, Transnational and Delima. The price for a one way ticket varies from 12-14MYR. Our ride to Malacca was peaceful and uneventful and the children slept throughout. Upon reaching Malacca Central, we took a taxi to the heritage Dutch Square and the taxi fare came to around 20MYR.
The Dutch Square is home to the 18th century Christ Church, Stadthuys, Queen Victoria’s fountain and the clock tower. The oldest functioning Protestant church in Malaysia, Christ Church has a Dutch colonial style architecture. Adjacent to this church is Queen Victoria’s Fountain which was built by the British to commemorate the diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1901. The red clock tower and the Stadthuys are also nearby. The Stadthuys, supposed to be the oldest remaining Dutch building in the Orient is home to a history, ethnography and literature museum. As all these attractions were located in one spot, we could take explore everything at a leisurely pace.
Next on my list was St. Paul’s hill. Located on a hill near the Dutch Square, its takes only a short 15 minutes walk to reach the top of this hill. Dedicated to St. Paul the Apostle, this church has a statue of him in white in front. The church’s ruins are impressive and you suddenly seem to be in the middle of a time warp. You literally feel transported back in time! This hill also offers breathtaking views of Malacca city. You can even catch a glimpse of the Straits of Malacca from here! On one side of the ruins, you have steps leading down to A’Famosa Fort. A whole host of old school buildings line this route and you cant get enough of history as most of these house museums.
By this time we were all ravenous with all the walking and we headed to Jonker Street for lunch. I had done my research and wanted to try chicken rice balls from the famous Kedai Kopi Chung Wah. But true to the build up online, the place spotted a pretty long queue and we ended up at Bistro Year 1673 (our review is here). Post lunch, we strolled through Jonker Street soaking in the sights and some of their yum street food. The day went by really quickly and soon it was time for us to head back to Kuala Lumpur. And to be quite honest, when the time came, I was reluctant to leave this place!
Malacca should definitely be on your must visit list if you have enough time in KL. The place has an old world charm and the local food just bowls you over. As we had to head back to KL to be in time for our Petronas tour, we could visit only so many places. If you have a whole day to spent here, make sure to reach here by 9.30 am and check out all the attractions this city has to offer. They also have a boat cruise that lasts around half an hour which can be done towards the evening. If you are staying back till dinner time, make sure you purchase return tickets when you reach the bus station in the morning itself. Otherwise, you might end up with lousy seats, especially on a weekend.