Malacca (Melaka) River
The Melaka River flows through the historical city of Malacca (Melaka), a city recognized by UNESCO World Heritage as a historical city. It is from here that the birth of Malacca took place. Malacca was founded by a Sumatran Prince called Parameswara at this very river, when one of his dogs got pushed into the river by a mouse-deer in self defence.
A night shot of the “#I’m at Malacca (Melaka) River signage.
Impressed by that incident Parameswara named the place Malacca taking the name from the tree he was resting under when the incident unfolded. He took it as a sign of good omen seeing that a weak mouse deer over powering the strong, in this case, his dog.
Parameswara built Malacca into a trading port and It became a major trade route in the 15th century being a trading post for merchants from Java, China, India, and Arab. Wars also took place on this very river. It certainly is a river that holds a lot of history.
Cruising through the historical city of Malacca.
Apart from its rich history the Melaka River certainly has lovely views to offer. Going on the Melaka River Cruise, we cruised past buildings new and old with most of the old buildings refurbished and given a new lease of life. Buildings painted with beautiful murals depicting the traditions and cultures of the people of Malacca line parts of the river bank.
Night shot of some of the buildings along the Malacca River.
This however, was not what the Melaka River used to look like. The river used to be littered with rubbish. The buildings were an eyesore to many who bothered to look. But the state government decided to turn the river into an attraction and within a few years took this dying river and its surroundings, and turned it into the beauty it is today.
An old waterwheel by the banks of the Malacca River.
Life Has Returned
Walking along the banks I spotted wildlife, a good sign that this once dying river has recovered and is not healthier. Fishes played around the surface of the water near the banks of the river, some chasing after prey. There is a mangrove area where mangroves crabs gathered to sunbath (I think). It is nice to see nature flourishing here.
Tree climbing crabs on a fallen tree stump by the banks of Malacca River.
There are lots of historical sites around such as the Ruin’s Of St Lawrence’s Chapel which was built in the 1700s by the Portuguese. There is a bridge, Kampung Java (Jave Village) Bridge nicknamed Ghost Bridge. During World Was 2 a lot of locals mainly Chinese businessmen were beheaded there by the Japanese Military Police, the Kempeitei.
The Kampung Jawa Bridge, also known as Ghost Bridge.
Cafes And Restaurants
Along the banks of the Melaka River are cafes and restaurants offering their guests a relaxing place to chill out and have a meal right by the river. These old buildings retained their historical look and charm adding more value to the experience of dining there. Of course there are cafes that occupy new buildings as well (some building were beyond repair) giving the place an “old meets new” look.
Al fresco dining by the Malacca River.
Things To Do By The Malacca River
Malacca River Cruise
The Melaka River Cruise is a must see. Since the Melaka river flows through the city of Malacca, the cruise offers views of the city one will not get to see by car. Imagine Venice, many of the areas are only accessible by boat. As one cruises the river one also learns about the many places that the cruise passes as information of these places are shared.
Malacca River Cruise.
Weekdays (Mon – Thur):
RM15.90 (Adults above age 12)
RM7.50 (Children ages 2 – 12)
Weekends (Fri – Sun) and holidays:
Senior citizens, disabled persons (adults): RM7.50
Disabled persons (Child): RM5.30
Free entrance for children below 2.
Weekdays (Mon – Thur):
RM10.60 (Adults above age 12)
RM5.30 (Children ages 2 – 12)
Weekends (Fri – Sun) and holidays:
Tel: +606-286 1533
Google Maps To Malacca (Melaka) River Cruise.
Morten Village (Kampung Morten)
Morten Village is a living museum on the bank of the Melaka River with traditional Malay houses built of wood, many built during the days of its founding and are still standing. In fact generations of families still live here in these traditional houses. One house not to miss is Villa Sentosa the home of the person who founded Morten Village. Do read the article on Morten Village for further info.
Click here to read.
Villa Sentosa at Morten Village.
Google Maps to Villa Sentosa in Morten Village
The Shore Shopping Gallery
While shopping may not be the main thing to do one a holiday The Shore Shopping Gallery has more than shopping to offer. There are fun things to do inside such as a 3D Interactive Park that is lots of fun, an oceanarium, a toy museum, and a viewing platform right at the roof of this building.
The Shore by the banks of the Malacca River.
Google Maps to Shore Shopping Gallery.
Do Visit Malacca (Melaka) River
There are lots more to see and do by the Melaka River. Photogs will certainly have a busy time shooting, lovers could hold hands and walk along the banks or stop by for a cup of tea at one of the cafes, and if nothing else; just sit back and relax along this history rich river.
Malacca used to be a very important maritime hub and thus maritime museums are a must visit. The Submarine Museum in Malacca gives one the opportunity to see what the inside of an old submarine looks and feels like.
The Historical and Ethnography Museum displays a brief history of Malacca showcasing Malacca under different rules.
The Malacca Maritime Museum tells of the illustrious past of Malacca and how the sea helped her flourish as well as put her through war.
A cruise on the Melaka River is a relaxing experience. Melaka River snakes through a part of Malacca’s historical city making it a relaxing way to enjoy the sights.
Directed by Wang Chaoge, the more well known for the opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing (co-director); Encore Melaka tells a story about Malacca and its history as well as a story of its people.
Restaurants are plenty but hidden gems are a rarity. Here is one of them; Tong Lang Sing Restaurant
Click here to read more articles in this issue of Escapy Travel Magazine