Friday, January 20, 2012

Malacca Vacation

Malacca Vacation in Malaysia
Visiting Malaysia is not complete without going to the historical state of Malacca. Malacca was founded by Parameswara, a Hindu Prince from the Kingdom of Srivijaya in Sumatra in the year 1403. After he embraced Islam and became the Sultan of Malacca, Malacca became a trading centre with goods from China, India, Middle East, Thailand and neighbouring countries passing through the port of Malacca.

As a result of Melaka's strategic location, the Portuguese conquered it in 1511 followed by the Dutch in 1641 and finallyby the British in 1824. The Japanese was ruling it for a while during World War Two from 1942 to 1945. Malacca gained independence as one of the states of Malaysia on August 31, 1957 Melaka together with Georgetown in Penang have been inscripted as historical cities under Unesco's World Heritage Sites (WHS) in July 2008. The first area is the St. Paul's Hill Civic Zone which consists of the government buildings, the original fortress town built during the time of Portuguese and Dutch occupation, Bukit Cina, museums and churches.

The second area is the Historic Residential and Commercial Zone which consists of more than 600 shophouses, religious buildings, commercial and residential buildings as well as tombs on the four main streets. Explore them..

Places of Attractions

Try taking the trishaw at The Stadthuys

Malacca vacation is not complete without visiting the following attractions. See the historical heritage of Malacca wheremany of the old buildings dated back to the 16th century still stand strong today. See A Famosa,St. Paul's Church, St.Peter's Church, The Stadthuys and Christ Church all of which are within walking distance of one another. Try taking thetrishaw and make sure you take a good picture as you ride as a memento for you to bring home. Not to be missed is the45 minutes cruise along Malacca River and the Maritime Museum.

Finally, try Nyonya Food which is a combinaton of Chinese and Malay ingredients. Not to be forgotten is Portuguese cuisine at Restoran San Pedro and Restoran De Lisbon.

Malacca vacation - A'Famosa
This landmark as shown in the picture above is a must for all visitors to Malacca. Known also as Porta de Santiago, thisfortress was built by Portuguese Admiral Alfonso d'Albuquerque in the year 1511. A big part of it was destroyed during the Dutch invasion and what remains today is just a small section of the fortress left behind by the Portuguese. Malacca vacation is not complete without visiting this ruin.

The admission to this attraction is FREE.
Click here for a more detailed description of this fort.

The Stadthuys

The Stadthuys was built in 1650 as residence of Dutch governors and their officers

The Stadthuys is another major landmark left behind by the Dutch. Used to be white in colour, this building was refurbishedand painted Salmon red colour to match the colour of the surrounding buildings. When completed in 1650, it was used as official residence for Dutch governors and their officers.

Today, this building is used to house the Museum of History and Ethnography.

Opening hours
9am - 5pm (Monday to Friday)
9am - 9pm (Saturday and Sunday)
Admission Fee
RM5 for adult and RM2 for children.

Further information can be obtained by calling +6 06 284 1934.

Christ Church

The distinctive salmon red colour Christ Church, a Dutch architecture heritage

The Christ Church building is located just beside The Stadthuys. Built by the Dutch as a place of worship for the people at that time, you will be able to see interesting design such as the ceiling beams that were constructed withoutany joints, the tombstone with Armenian inscriptions, the handmade pews and brass Bible. Notice also the "Last Supper" of Jesus and His Twelve Disciples shown in glazed tiles.

When the British took over Malacca, the building was converted to become an Anglican church where a bell tower and weathercock were added and remains until today. You can visit this place by getting the permission from the church officials. This building is a must when you plan your Malacca vacation itinerary.

Further information can be obtained by calling +6 06 284 8804.

Malacca vacation - St. Francis Xavier's Church

The huge cathedral of St. Francis Xavier's Church

Built by a Catholic French priest, Rev. Farve in 1849, this Gothic styled church was dedicated to St. Francis Xavier whowas a missionary to South East Asia in the 16th century. St. Francis Xavier had been to Penang Island as well and was known as "The Apostle of the East" for his missionary endeavours in this region. 

You can visit the place by getting the permission from the church officials.
Further information can be obtained by calling +6 06 282 4770.

Malacca vacation - Melaka River Cruise
Your Malacca vacation is not complete without taking a cruise down Malacca River. Costing only RM10 for adult and RM5 forchildren, this 45 minutes tour will take you pass many Dutch style buildings. Remember to take along your camera and takeinteresting pictures of the old shop houses, bridges and Kampung Morten Malay village.

The cruise can be taken at the quay behind the tourist information centre.
Further information can be obtained by calling +6 06 286 5468.

The Malacca River and the surrounding area

Malacca vacation - Maritime Museum
The Maritime Museum near the city centre is located along Jalan Quayside. It housed a replica of the Flor de la Mar, aPortuguese ship that sank off the coast of Malacca. The exhibit at this museum showed the history of Malacca from thetime of the Malacca Sultanate to the pre-independence time of Malaysia. You will be able to see models of iron chests,old charts, ships and maps.

The beautiful replica of Flor de la Mar Maritime Museum located along Jalan Quayside

See more pictures and information about this museum here.
There are many international standards hotels in Malacca. Some of the popular Malacca Hotels include The Bayview Hotel Melaka, Equatorial Hotel, Everly Resort, Grand Continental Hotel, Legacy Hotel, Mahkota Hotel Melaka, Renaissance Melaka Hotel and Seri Costa Hotel.

See a more detailed writeup about hotels in Melaka here.

Getting Here
Visitors usually fly to Kuala Lumpur or Penang before going to Melaka. If you are coming from Australia, Cheap flights to Malaysia are offered during promotional period and online bookings in advance. Compare also theCheap Flights available from Australia travel website.

If you are coming from Kuala Lumpur, Melaka is approximately 145 km away and it will take you 2 hours drive to reach here. Regular bus and taxi service are available at Melaka Sentral, a new bus and taxi terminal 6 km away from the city centre.

Further information can be obtained by calling Melaka Sentral terminal at +6 06 288 1321.

Melaka Sentral, the bus and taxi transportation hub of Melaka

Related Links 

See the restaurants that you can go to while in Melaka to savour Portuguese, Nyonya or Chinese Chicken Ball Rice cuisine. 

See the ruin of St Paul Church that was built by the Portuguese.

Experience the nightlife of Melaka by joining the locals at the night market, visiting Melaka Zoo, A Famosa Cowboy Town..

A Famosa Resort in Melaka is one of the theme park attractions that you should consider going with your entire family. This 520 hectare integrated resort has attractions that will enable you to spend your day from morning till the evening.

This is the main transportation hub in Melaka. You can find taxis and buses to various destination here.

Find out more about Baba Nyonya of Melaka in Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum.

Visit this popular street, buy some souvenir and taste some of the local delicacies here.

This distinctive landmark was built by the Dutch and is still in use today. 

There are plenty of activities that you can do while visiting Melaka Town. Shopping, food.. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Poring Hot Spring

Poring Hot Springs is a must for every visitor who goes to Kinabalu Park. It is about half an hour's drive from Kinabalu Park. You will pass by the town of Kundasang and Ranau on your way here. The local Kadazan people call bamboo "Poring". 

Entrance to the
Hot Spring

This place does have lots of bamboo trees. Upon your arrival, you will see a parking area, a reception area and a visitor centre. You can see the bamboo tree as you enter the park as shown in the picture above.

Hot Spring Pool

This hot spring was first developed by the Japanese during World War Two. One is able to see and use the many open air and indoor Japanese style baths facilities. The hot water is channeled from the source where the temperature is hot enough to boil eggs. The temperature of the water can be regulated by mixing it with the cold water which is channeled from the nearby river.

Hot Spring Stream

The hot spring is reputed to be good for health as it contains sulphur which is known for its curative properties for those with skin problems.

The open air type is more crowded and free of charge but the indoor type is for those who want to have time off by themselves. There is a fee charge for the rental of the indoor type based on the number of hours used.

Canopy Walk
Besides the hot spring, one can also explore the popular Canopy Walk. The total distance to complete the circuit is 2 km andthe Canopy Walk makes up about 200 metres of the circuit. Built some 50 m above the ground, one has to be bold and stout hearted to do this walk as the canopy can be shaky and looks flimsy at times. Take heart, these hanging bridges are testedeveryday before they are opened to the public. 

Canopy Walk

For those who stay overnight in Poring Hot Spring, you can do a bit of jungle trekking along the banks of a winding river. After an hour or so walk (shorter path route), you will be able to see a 10m waterfall. The longer path route takes 3 hoursto complete and ends with the view of a 100 m high waterfall.

If you choose to stay overnight at Poring Hot Spring, the facilities include Poring Chalet where a unit can accommodate 6persons. The New Cabin has 2 bedrooms which can accommodate up to 4 persons. For those who come in big groups, there is the Youth Hostel which can house a total of 64 persons.

Reservations can be made at Kinabalu Gold Resort Sdn Bhd.
Tel: +6 088 243629/ +6 088 245472 
Fax: +6 088 242861

Jungle Restaurant is the place where you unwind in the evening. As you dine, you will be able to hear the sound of insectsand the sound of the rushing water in the nearby river. You may be able to see the natural "Christmas Light" when thefire flies come out to feed on the nectar of the tree leaves as night falls. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Sarawak's oldest national park was established in 1957, covers a modest 27 sq. km., and is about 37km from Kuching. It's known for its extraordinary natural scenery, habitats, plants and wild life.

Its most significant features are secluded coves and rugged rocky headlands with magnificent steep cliffs that overlook the South China Sea.

The sea spray, wave action and the wind have also carved out magnificent sea arches and sea stacks at the base of the cliffs, some rearing above the waves like a mighty serpent's head.

The attractive sandstone formations appear pink with iron patterns on the cliff. Further inland, waterfalls tumble down into freshwater pools in a tranquil and idyllic jungle setting.

Bako contains an incredible variety of plant species and vegetation types, and this is one of the parks great attractions. At Bako it is possible to see almost every type of vegetation found in Borneo.

Bako is also home to approximately 275 rare proboscis monkeys, found only in Borneo. The best times for seeing wildlife at Bako are just after dawn and just before dusk, when the animals are at their most active. Bako is a fascinating place for bird watching, as over 150 species have been recorded here.

Bakos extensive trail system is .....READ MORE

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