Melaka is a UNESCO world heritage city located in Peninsular Malaysia. Melaka offers the following points of interest for tourists and photographers;
- Melaka historic UNESCO world heritage city
- Stadthuys, Christ Church and Dutch Square
- Jonker Walk
- A Famosa
- St. Paul’s Church (and view of the city)
- Cheng Hoon Teng temple
- Taming Sari Tower (and view of the city)
- Datuk Wira Dr. Gan Boon Leong Park
- Sultanate Palace Museum
Dutch Square is a stunning red square in the center of the UNESCO city of Melaka. A picture or selfie with the I love Melaka sign is a must, you’ll also find the picturesque buildings of the Stadthuys and Christ Church (above) to photograph in the square. The Christ Church is the oldest Protestant church in Malaysia and was built in 1753 to celebrate 100 years of Dutch rule. The Stadthuys (town hall) is the oldest Dutch building in Asia, today it is a museum.
You will see many trishaws in Dutch Square, styled up as Frozen, Pokemon, Transformers and many more designs, you can hire these to take you to the sites of Melaka. As you are being driven around they play loud music, I heard a lot playing Shape of You (Ed Sheeran), Umbrella (Rihanna) and the Pokemon theme tune for kids.
The Proclamation of Independence Memorial was completed in 1912 and used to be a social club for the British when the country was under British rule. Today the building houses a museum of the history of Malaysian independence, it’s free to go inside.
Next to this building is one of the oldest European buildings still remaining in South East Asia, A Famosa. It used to be a Portuguese fortress, all that remains is one gate called The Porta de Santiago. The gate dates back to 1511, 400 years older than the Proclamation of Independence Memorial (above).
The Sultanate Palace Museum is located behind the memorial (above). I wouldn’t recommend visiting this palace as they charge triple price for foreigners and it’s not particularly interesting. I did visit at around 3 pm and this was not a good time to take good pictures of the palace, if you do visit and want a good picture I’d recommend early morning or in the evening.
The Cheng Hoon Teng temple is the oldest working temple in Malaysia dating back to 1646, making it a must see site in Melaka. This Chinese Temple welcomes the practices of Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism. Cheng Hoon Teng is a beautiful temple, it’s free to enter, take pictures and walk around but remember to respect any locals using the temple.
In the center of Melaka is a roundabout called 0 mile, they have the distances to major cities on the signpost here. A short distance from 0 Mile is the start of the famous Jonker Walk of Melaka. Foodies will love Jonker Street as it’s full of restaurants and dessert cafes. From 6 pm in the evening on weekends Jonker Street transforms into a night market. You’ll find lots of street food, merchandise and live entertainment in the night market, it’s a fun and interesting way to spend your evening in Melaka.
Like Penang, Melaka has it’s fair share of street art. Along the Melaka River you’ll see lots of colorful street art, perfect for your Instagram pictures. If you’re brave enough to venture into the backstreets away from Jonker Street then you’ll find lots of street art, along one backstreet alone I saw around 6 pieces of street art (above).
St. Paul’s Church was built in 1521 making it the oldest church in Malaysia and South East Asia. To get to St Paul’s church you must first climb the stairs up St Paul’s Hill, it’s not far but the weather will probably be hot so take some water. From the top of St Paul’s Hill you get a wonderful view of the old city of Melaka and the Malacca Strait sea. You’ll be able to clearly see the the 110 meter tall Taming Sari Tower, this is also a tourist attraction and you can ride the revolving observation deck to the top.
Datuk Wira Dr. Gan Boon Leong Park is located on Jonker Street, it’s a park honoring Dr Boon, Melaka’s most famous resident. You’ll see posters and images of Dr Boon all around the town. He is Malaysia’s answer to Arnold Schwarzenegger, nowadays he is a local politician and celebrity. It is said that if he sees you admiring his park, maybe taking a selfie with his bust, that he will invite you to lunch.
From Melaka Sentral station there are regular buses to Singapore and the journey time is around 3 hours. The border crossing between Malaysia and Singapore is very organised, well sign posted and you should pass through easily. From the bus station in Singapore you’ll probably be able to take the underground MRT train to your final destination in Singapore.