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When doing my research about Malaysia for an upcoming trip I came across a city called Malacca known as Melaka to the locals. People’s accounts about their trip piqued my interest so a day tour was hatched to explore the city.
When the taxi that we hired for the day came to pick us up from the hotel, I was looking forward to what we will see. This historic city is 148 kilometers and about 2 hours drive away from Kuala Lumpur. What used to be a fishing village became an international port in the 1400s and served as a stopping point for ships because of its strategic location. The Portuguese conquered the city in 1511, but were replaced by the Dutch who in their efforts to capture the city defeated the Portuguese in 1641. The Dutch gave up this territory to the British in 1824. Malacca was also under the rule of Japan for 3 years during World War II. After the war the city became part of Federation of Malaya which eventually became Malaysia in 1963. Currently Malacca is listed in UNESCO as world heritage site.
The historical sites are clustered around one area easily accessible on foot. The taxi driver dropped us off in the vicinity called the Dutch Square (Known also as Red Square) which comprises the Victoria Fountain, Christ Church and The Stadhuys.
The Victoria fountain, right in the middle of the Square is the newest structure among the three, erected in 1904 by the People of Malacca in memory of Queen Victoria.
The Christ Church of Melaka stands prominently among the other red buildings because of the white cross marked on its façade. In December 12, 2003 the church marked its 250th anniversary celebration. I was wistful standing inside the church thinking that 263 years ago someone stood exactly where I was standing now.
The Stadhuys was built in 1650s by the Dutch occupants to house the Governor and also serve as an administrative center. Many believe this to be the oldest Dutch building in the Far East. Just in case you are wondering, the word stadhuy is a Dutch word meaning a municipal building or city hall.
It is interesting to note that the Stadhuys is a reproduction of the former town hall of the Frisian town of Hoorn in The Netherlands. That Frisian building has been replaced now, so the Stadhuys here in Melaka is an excellent representation for those interested to know what the Hoorn town hall looked like in the 15th to 18th centuries.
Watch out for more of historical Malacca.
Text & Photos by Alicia Davis
It was in 2006 when I set foot in Malaysia for the first time. I went back this year, 2015. There have been a lot of changes in Kuala Lumpur, and one change was the cost of the visit to Petronas Twin Towers.
The towers were number one on my list to see back in 2006. I went very early that morning to get a ticket but by the time I arrived which was before 8.00am the room was packed, and there were so many people that I got the 2.15pm tour schedule. Apparently they only take 800 individuals and they turn away the rest. Back then the tickets were free.
This photo is on the skybridge of the twin towers, 41-storeys above the ground. It took us 28 seconds to get to this floor using the express elevator. That’s impressive, 41 floors in 28 seconds. The bridge functions as a walkway to get through to the next building and also serves as a passage way in case people need to evacuate and go to the next tower for emergency reasons.
Fast forward nine years after and I was surprised to find out that there is now a fee of RM84.80 to visit the skybridge of the tower. This time we did not visit the skybridge but instead enjoyed the view of the twin towers from the 57th floor of Petronas Tower 3, the building next to them. We saw the spires of the towers up close from where we were and when I looked down I could see the skybridge below.
We also took some photos of the tower from the park below at midday. It was hot and very humid so we had to seek solace in the air-conditioned mall afterwards.
Finally before we left we took some night shots as well.
Related posts about Malaysia:
Marini’s on 57
Text & Photos by Alicia Davis