Choosing to spend your holiday in Melaka would expose you to some of the best historical sites in Malaysia. Melaka is renowned to be the place where it all began and it has one of the most colorful, exciting history in the country. It was here that one of the greatest Malay Sultanates began and it was also here that some of the greatest Malay heroes emerged. What I would like to do here is guide you on some of the best places to visit to experience Malaysia’s history at its best on your holiday in Melaka.
Holiday In Melaka: A Brief History
Melaka was only a fishing village once but that all changed in 1400 when an exiled prince called Parameswara from Palembang, Indonesia landed on the shores of Melaka and saw a sign that made it clear to him that this was where he would begin his kingdom. What he saw was a meek, tiny mouse deer take on and beat his hunting dogs. He called his new kingdom Melaka after the tree that he was sitting under when this happened. Soon the tiny village began to flourish under his leadership and gave rise to the first line of Sultans in Melaka.
Melaka grew into one of the largest ports in Asia at the time, attracting trading ships from every part of the world. But this richness also made it a target because in 1511, the Portuguese conquered Melaka. The battle for control for Melaka went on for centuries and the kingdom fell in the hands of the Dutch in 1641 and then was ceded to the British in 1826.
Today, this colorful history can be seen in the ruins around the city which you can visit on your holiday in Melaka.
Holiday In Melaka: Historical Landmarks
Unfortunately, the various conquerors did their best to erase the existence of the one before them and again unfortunately they did a pretty good job about it. But what we do have are replicas and ruins that will give you a good idea of what it was in those days.
Malay Sultanate Legacy
There are a few remnants of the Malay Sultanate Legacy, with the rest of the attractions mainly replicas and reconstructions. Here are some of the more famous ones.
Melaka Sultanate Palace
The Melaka Sultanate Palace is a perfect replica of what the Palace of the Sultans of Melaka would have been after the 1400s. Inside, you will be able to see various aspects of life in those times with mannequins portraying different scenes. A must visit if you want to know more about the Melaka Sultanate.
Hang Tuah’s Well
Hang Tuah was the leader of a band of five Malay warriors who were renowned as the protectors of the crown before the foreign occupation. Hang Tuah’s Well, located outside of town in Duyong was supposed to be a well that this legendary warrior dug centuries ago.
The icon of Places to visit Melaka and probably its most well known structures, A Formosa is the remnants of a large fort that had once encompassed an integral part of St Paul’s Hill. The fort was largely destroyed by the later conquerors leaving the fort’s entrance behind.
The most unique treasure in Melaka, the Settlement is home to the descendants of the Portuguese conquerors. What is extremely unique about the settlement is that they have managed to maintain a language and culture that dates back to the 14th century which can no longer be found anywhere else in the world.