Malacca City (Melaka City) is the oldest city on the Straits of Malacca (approximately 152km from Kuala Lumpur), with a rich history of European colonization, from the Portuguese, to the Dutch and later the British. In 2008, it was designated along with Georgetown in Penang, as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its long history. The historic central area of the city includes: St. Paul’s Hill with the ruins of the Portuguese Fortress A Formosa, and the Dutch Square.
How to get there?
If you’re coming from Kuala Lumpur, I would suggest taking an express bus from Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS Bus Terminal). Prices are low, from 10 – 15 Malaysia Ringgits ($3-$5 CAD) one way depending on the quality of seat or bus company. Reservations are available online TBS E-Ticketing Website or www.busonlineticket.com but buses run every 10 – 20 minutes so you can just walk-in and purchase a ticket and choose a seat. The ride total bus ride is approximately 2hours depending on traffic conditions.
Once you arrive at Melaka Sentral Terminal
After you arrive, if you wish to visit the main tourist spot around Dutch Square and Chinatown’s Jonker Walk, find Town Bus #17 (Fare of 2MYR as of March 2018, frequency of 20 to 40 minutes) in the Domestic Bus part of the terminal and is about a 20 minute ride until you will see Dutch Square where there are many red buildings and people. Once you alight from the bus, there is a tourist information center where you can pick up a map of the area and either explore around on foot, or rent a tuktuk style bikes with a driver; each with a design ranging from Minions, to Frozen, to Hello Kitty, etc.
Here you will find colonial style buildings mostly painted in a orange red colour surrounding the Christ Church Melaka, a beautiful fountain, and a Dutch style windmill. Walking one way will take you to St Paul’s Hill and the Portuguese Fortress A Formosa, whereas the other side will take you to the popular Jonker Walk of Chinatown.
If you chose to take the St Paul’s Hill route, here you will find ruins of fortress walls with cannons. To reach up the hill, there is a building with a sign “Bukit St Paul” and an arrow up. If you continue along the street, there are some museums, and shopping options as well.
If you chose to visit Jonker Walk first, it can be very crowded on its narrow sidewalks so take caution. There are numerous souvenir shops, and food stalls along the road. A must try is their Rice balls as well as their chicken rice of course. There is also a Arab style mosque as well as a Chinese temple in its vicinity that are also worth a visit and an excellent opportunity for photos.