Melaka is located on the Western Coast of Peninsular Malaysia facing the Straits of Melaka, about 147 kilometers from Kuala Lumpur and 245 kilometers from Singpore. Melaka is actually found sandwiched between the states of Negeri Sembilan and Johor. It can be reached by excellent roads from Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Internally it is serviced by a very good network of roads leading to all the historical places of interest. It covers and area of 658 square kilometers and is divided into three districts namely Alor Gajah, Melaka Tengah and Jasin.
Melaka was founded by Parameswara (or Raja Iskandar) the last Malay ruler of Temasik (ancient Singapore) in 1396 when he and his followers retreated up the straits to Muar, then to Sungai Ujung before settling at Bertam near the estuary of Melaka River.
Finding the place of strategic location, he decided to make a permanent settlement there, naming it "Melaka" after the name of the tree he leaned against.
The Melaka Sultanate occupies a special position in the history of Malaysia. Its inauguration marked the beginning of the emergence of a new Malay empire. The birthplace of the Malay Sultanates and Malaysia's historic city, Melaka provided the stage on which the Portuguese, Dutch and English played out their roles in shaping the history.
Melaka emerged as a strong maritime trading state under the industrious Parameswara and his chiefs. Melaka also began to be noticed by Muslim traders from West Asia and India, who until that period, had been concentrating their activities in Aru, Pedir and Pasai en-route to the East, especially China. Because of its strategic location straddling the Straits of Melaka, it thrived as a port-of-call and a centre of entrepot trade with ships and merchants from China, Japan, India, Arab and South Africa.
In 1511, it fell to the hands of the Portuguese, followed by the Dutch in 1641 after a fierce battle. In 1795, Melaka was given to the British to prevent it falling to the French when the Netherlands was captured during the Napoleonic Wars. It was returned to the Dutch in 1818 under the treaty of Vienna but was later exchanged by the British for Bangkahulu, Sumatra. From 1826 onwards, the British East India Company along with Singapore and Penang governed it, under the Straits Settlement administration in Calcutta.
The Dutch, who held Melaka for over a century, left many fine buildings marking their heritage. The most imposing relic of the Dutch period is the Stadthuys, a strikingly pink town hall which is today the oldest Dutch building in the Far East. Right next to it stands the bright red Christ Church, constructed with pink bricks imported from Holland and covered with local red lacerite. Today, these buildings together with the ruins of the Portuguese built A Famosa and St. Paul's Church are the most prominent reminders of the Europeans' presence in Melaka.
After World War II, anti-colonial sentiment bred in the country among the nationalists, the result of which was the proclamation of Independence by Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra, Malaysia's first Prime Minister, at the Padang Pahlawan (Warrior's Field) at Bandar Hilir, Melaka on 20 February 1956.
A Famosa, or "The Famous" in Portuguese, is among the oldest surviving European architectural remains in Asia. Once part of a mighty fortress, this tiny gate (called the Porta de Santiago) is all that is left of a once-mighty fortress. In 1511 a Portuguese fleet arrived under the command of Alfonso de Albequerque. His forces attacked and successfully defeated the armies of the native Sultanate. Moving quickly to consolidate his gains, Albequerque had the fortress built around a natural hill near the sea. Albequerque believed that Melaka would become an important port linking Portugal to the spice trade from China. At his time other Portuguese were establishing outposts in such places as Macau, China and Goa, India in order to create a string of friendly ports for ships heading to China and returning home to Portugal.
The fortress once consisted of long ramparts and four major towers. One was a four-story keep, while the others held an ammunition's storage room, the residence of the captain, and an officers' quarters. As the plan below shows, most of the village clustered in town houses inside the fortress walls. As Melaka's population expanded it outgrew the original fort and extensions were added around 1586. The fort changed hands in 1641 when the Dutch successfully drove the Portuguese out of Melaka. The Dutch renovated the gate in 1670, which explains the logo "ANNO 1670" inscribed on the gate's arch. Above the arch is a bas-relief logo of the Dutch East India Company.
The fortress changed hands again in the early 19th century when the Dutch handed it over to the British to prevent it from falling into the hands of Napoleon's expansionist France. The English were wary of maintaining the fortification and ordered its destruction in 1806. The fort was almost totally demolished but for the timely intervention of Sir Stanford Raffles, the founder of Singapore, who happened to visit Melaka in 1810. Because of his passion for history this small gate was spared destruction.
Bukit China Burial Ground
Bukit China is situated southeast of Malacca Town, about 148 metres above sea level and covers an area of 42 hectares.
There are more than 12,500 graves on Bukit China including approximately 20 Muslim tombs. The existence of these Muslim tombs has made this Chinese cemetery all the more special and unique. Bukit China is also believed to be the oldest and largest traditional Chinese cemetery outside China. According to our records, there were also graves of Kapitans and early Chinese immigrants on the hill long before the hill was purchased from the Dutch Government in 1685 by Kapitan Lee Wei King and donated to the Cheng Hoon Teng Temple as a burial ground for the Chinese community in Malacca.
The oldest tomb, more than three centuries old, is a double burial. The tomb of Mr. & Mrs. Huang Wei-Hung (situated near the basketball court of SRJK Pay Fong III) was built in the second year of Tian Hee of Ming Dynasty (1622). The weather had taken a heavy toll on the tomb, and in 1933 Cheng Hoon Teng Temple had undertaken to repair it. A stone inscription was erected to mark it. The tomb was again restored in 2001.
Since the British rule until today, there had been several attempts to acquire Bukit China for road widening, land reclamation and development purposes. However, Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, which is responsible for the management of the hill, had strongly opposed these attempts. With the support of the general public, Cheng Hoon Teng Temple managed to preserve Bukit China.
Bukit China is the place where early traders from China were buried.
It was stated on the stone steles that many of the Chinese traders came to this country with high expectations for success in trade. Sadly, some died before fulfilling their ambitions. Since their families did not travel with them, there was no one to pray for their souls. As such, prayers were initiated by the Chinese Kapitans for them. However, these were always hampered by strong winds and heavy rainfalls because there was no proper shelter.
In 1795, after Chua Su Cheong had been appointed as the Chinese Kapitan, he looked into this problem faced by the community and initiated the building of a temple at the foot of Bukit China, to ensure that the prayers for those buried in Bukit China would not be interrupted. The name of the temple, Poh San Teng is inscribed in the 1795 tablet of its founding and also above the front door of the temple.
The main deity is "Fu De Zheng Shen" or "Tua Pek Kong" as is the tradition of the Chinese, be it in China or Malaysia for all graveyard temples
Be prepared to side into a world of fun and thrills the moment you set font on the 20-arce A'Famosa Water World, rated as the largest water theme park in Malaysia. At the Water World, there is simply something for everyone regardless on one's age.
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D-Paradise's Aborigine Village
After 5 years of research, planning and development the result is D-Paradise Tropical Fruit World and Aboriginal Native Village. The World’s largest collections of tropical, landscaped garden full of fun, adventure and discovery.
Assault your senses – see the fruit, smell them, pick and taste the wonderful varieties on offer. One of the many ‘must see’ attractions is the unique, authentic ‘live’ Aboriginal Village.
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|World’s largest cactus collection|
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Malaysia is know for it’s culinary delights. Malaysia biscuits are much sought-after items by tourists. For the first time, we bring the best biscuits from around Mlaysia to one location where you can see how they are made, sample them, and buy them.