Malacca, here we are!
Following up with the continuation of A Visit to Malacca...
Like I mentioned it's been sometime since we last visited Malacca and without the aid of a GPS, we had to stop to ask for directions to the hotel, Mahkota Hotel Malacca. Malacca certainly has changed a lot since our last visit some years ago!
From the outskirts and from directions provided, we found ourselves closer to the hotel passing through new developments and a maze of unfamiliar roads.
One thing that hasn't changed from those days is the popular giftshop, Tan Kim Hock, which we came across along the way. This outlet I saw could be a branch of the original or a relocated venue because the one I went to the last time was somewhere else, a different part of town. Anyway, it is good to know that we still have a place to go to for food gifts to take home for friends and family.
Tan Kim Hock Products Centre sells local popular food including Dodol (a kind of sweet or snack), Belacan (preserved dried shrimp paste for cooking) Cincalok (preserved shrimps also for cooking or as a dip), chips (including bananas, jackfruits, squids), spiced multi-layered cakes, popular Chinese cookies with mung bean fillings, and lots more - really no shortage of food gift products to take home.
Tan Kim Hock Products Centre
Earlier, we were advised to look out for red buildings, and seeing them in the distance assured us that we were on the right track.
The unmistakable red buildings on both sides of the winding two-lane street which fortunately is a one-way street.
At the end of the narrow road, we were surprised to find ourselves at the famous historical Malacca landmark, the Dutch Square, also known as the Red Square with its trademark red color everywhere.
In this beautiful Dutch Square, is The Stadthuys, (an old Dutch spelling, literally meaning "town hall"). Situated at Laksamana Road, beside the Christ Church, the supposed oldest remaining Dutch historical building in the Orient, is now the home of a Museum of History and Ethnography. Among the displays in the museum are traditional costumes and artefacts throughout the history of Malacca, which makes it Malacca's premier museum. (Wikipedia)
The Stadthuys is a historical structure situated in the heart of Malacca Town, the administrative capital of the state of Malacca, Malaysia. It was built by the Dutch occupants in 1650 as the office of the Dutch Governor and Deputy Governor. (Wikipedia)
Focussing on getting to the hotel and since we already lost valuable time getting caught in a bad jam, having to make a detour (and being lost further as well), we did not stop to take in the sights at The Stadthuys thinking we could come back the following day. The plan was to explore the sights around the hotel in the afternoon and take in Jonker Walk in the evening including having dinner there, so Stadthuys could wait, besides we already saw the area on our way to the hotel.
Besides Christ Church and The Stadthuys on the beautiful Dutch Square, you will also find the Tang Beng Swee Clock Tower, it looks Dutch, but it is not. It was built in 1886.
Colorfully-decorated trishaws to take visitors around Malacca town..
Two other museums are also located in the vicinity. One is the Malaysian Navy Museum located across the road from the Maritime Archaeology Museum.
We did not stop to check out the museums. My guess is this one could be the Malaysian Navy Museum - what looks like a ship.
Some stalls nearby to pick up some local souvenirs..
A little bit about Christ Church if you are interested - from WikiTravel
Christ Church - this church was built between 1741 and 1753. It replaced a Portuguese church, which was shattered. Bricks were shipped from Zeeland in the Netherlands. On the floor of the church you will find Dutch tombstones. It is the oldest protestant church in Malaysia. On the altar you will see sacramental silverware, still bearing the Dutch coat of arms. 8:30AM-5PM Mon-Sat, free admission; photography is forbidden.
Here is a Google map to The Stadthuys and the Dutch Square..
View Larger Map
If you look at the map, Jonker Street (Jalan Hang Jebat) may look close-by to the Stadthuys but it is quite a distance to walk from one place to the other.
After many guesses, twists and turns, we finally arrived at Mahkota Hotel Malacca, and managed to check in after a short queue. We were housed at the Orchid Wing, the apartments section overlooking the Straits of Malacca. How cool is that! Let's stop here for now, shall we? If you haven't read the first post, you can read it here: A Visit to Malacca here.
Coming up: The hotel, Jonker Street/Walk