Malacca Malaysia

Malacca is a quiet seaside city located on the West Coast of Peninsular Malaysia facing the Straits of Malacca, about 147 km from Kuala Lumpur. Malacca is a wonderful repository of its cultural heritage. Its colonial past is evident in its Portuguese architecture, where as on the streets, Chinese influence is most visible. Most of the businessmen here are Chinese. Over the centuries, the Chinese and local Malay cultures in Malacca intertwined, eventually producing a completely unique society-a mosaic of different cultures.

Malacca rose from a humble fishing village to become a major center of the spice trade forming a vital link between the East and the West. The city was founded in 1400 AD by a fleeing Sumatra Prince, Parameswara. As Malacca was situated at strategically important place- midway along the straits that linked China to India and the Near East-it was perfectly positioned as a center for maritime trade. The city grew rapidly, and within fifty years it became a hub of international commerce, with a population of over 50,000. During this time Islam was introduced in the Malay Peninsula, arriving along with Gujarati traders in Western India.

When the European powers began their colonial quest, Malacca was one of the first cities that caught their attention. The Portuguese under the command of Alfonso de Albuquerque arrived first, taking the city after a sustained bombardment in 1511. The Portuguese were determined to control the East-West trade; so Malacca still retained its importance as a trade center until 1641 when the Portuguese surrendered Malacca to the Dutch. The Dutch who had a stronger foothold over the
Indonesia archipelago swung the trade center over to Sumatra. In the meantime, Malacca's trade also declined due to the silting of its port. In 1795, Malacca was given to the British to prevent it form falling in the hands of the French, where the Netherlands was captured during the French Revolution. By the time British took over in 1824, the focus of the trade had shifted from Malacca to Singapore and Penang. Malacca however became the focal point again during the struggle for independence after the Japanese Occupation during the Second World War and the British Colonial period that followed. So when Malaya gained its independence in 1957 it was only fitting that the Declaration of Independence was proclaimed in Malacca, where it all began. In 1989, Malacca was declared as Malaysia's history city.

Malaysia has a tropical climate. The temperatures are more or less same throughout the year, in the vicinity of 26-27°C. The total rainfall is around 213 cm per year. Humidity is high throughout the year.

Best Time to Visit
The months of January and February have comparatively less rainfall than other months and hence it is the best time to visit Malacca.

Tourist Attractions / Places to See

Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum
: The Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum is the ancestral home of three generations of a Straits-born Chinese Baba family. The building is now converted into a stunning museum that preserves the unique legacy of the Babas. The Babas combine Chinese and Malay culture, a result of marriages between early Chinese settlers and local Malay women. Over the years, a distinct culture called the Baba Nyonya or Peranakan culture emerged.

Padang Pahlwan, Bandar Hilir: A sound and light show is held at Padang Pahlwan, Bandar Hilir, which brings alive the 600 years of history of Malacca.

The Stadthuys: Built in 1650 as the official residence of Dutch Governors and their officers, the edifice is a fine example of Dutch architecture. Preserved in its original structure and form, it now houses the Historic Museum and Ethnography Museum.

The Malacca Zoo: The open-habitat zoo sprawls over 22 hectares and has been rated as one of the best in Malaysia. It is home to the rare and endangered Sumatran Rhinoceros as well as many other animals indigenous to Southeast Asia.

Mini Malaysia: A stupendous theme complex to enable visitors to view the traditional houses of the 13 states in Malaysia on a single visit. The complex displays life-size authentic houses of Malaysia crafted by master builders.

Mini ASEAN: A unique theme park conceived as a summary of the prominent cultural elements of the countries that make up ASEAN (Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and Brunei).

Butterfly Farm: One of the world's most comprehensive butterfly and insect farms, with well over two hundred local species, including the rare Raja Brooke and Birdwing butterflies. The farm also possesses an extensive collection of insect specimens.

Crocodile Farm: One of the largest crocodile farms in the country. There are more than a hundred species found here, including Albino and humpbacked crocodiles. The farm is landscaped to recreate the reptiles' natural environment.

Pulau Besar: An ideal place for those seeking sandy beaches, clear blue waters, the sun and sea front chalets on stilts. The island is an excellent resort for swimming, fishing, picnicking and snorkeling.

Bukit China: It was the official settlement of the Chinese entourage that arrived with Princess Hang Li Poh. She was sent to Malacca by the Emperor to marry the sultan to mark the advent of diplomatic relationship between Malacca and China. The entourage stayed on this settlement until Portuguese occupation in 1511. Today, Bukit China is the largest Chinese cemetry outside China with many of the tombs dating back to Ming Dynasty.

Malacca is famous for its antiques. Many artifacts and authentic antique items are available at more than 15 antique shops lining the busy streets of
Jonker Street, affectionately known as the 'street of antiques' and is well known among the international antique collectors. The street is named Jalan Hang Jebat.

How to Reach Malacca
The airport in Malacca is about 9.5 km north of the town centre, at Batu Berendam, which can accommodate mainly smaller aircrafts.

Traveling by bus is the mode of transportation favored by most people as there are many bus companies making quite a few trips at different times to various destinations in
Malaysia every day. It is comparatively cheap too.

If you intend to go by train, then the nearest station is Tampin, about 38 km to the north of Malacca.

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