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Old Malacca

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for photos of our trip to melaka in 2010

 

Munshi Abdullah and Sir Stamford Raffles

At age 15, Abdullah bin Abdul Kadir watched as the British Forces marched into Melaka. The year was 1811.British troops were waiting for instructions to be sent off to Java. Stamford Raffles was appointed to be the Lieutenant Governor of Java(1811-1816). Before embarking on a sea voyage to Java, Raffles stationed his army in Malacca where he planned the initial operations for advancement into Java.

Munshi (a title meaning 'tutor') Abdullah's encounter with Stamford Raffles was to have a very large impact on the boy's future. Employed as a scribe in his moderate but significant team of employees, Munshi Abdullah was given the opportunity to learn from a man who had an insatiable appetite for learning. Raffles wanted to know everything about the locals…their culture, their history, their myths and legends, their language, their arts and their creativity. He also was a budding naturalist and had a team of hunters and gatherers who collected animals and plant specimens, which were later preserved in jars or pressed into pages (respectively). Illustrations were collated into huge volumes of books.

Raffles collections grew to include rare manuscripts, books, written verses, sha-er and pantun. The people of Melaka then did not understand the value of such books and manuscripts. They readily sold them to the collector for cash. Such manuscripts were written in longhand and were originals - no copies were ever recorded. Other books that could not be bought, were borrowed and copyists had the task of duplicating them. Several copyists were employed for this task, and Munshi Abdullah was one of them. The exposure led him to write his autobiography in later years, called Hikayat Abdullah (The Story of Abdullah). For an excerpt of his views as a journalist and an observer, check out his writings on at www.sabrizain.demon.co.uk/malaya/

The Story of Malacca

(Malacca's story, we feel, is best told through the eyes of a historian and a tutor. In this article, we think it most apt to tell it as how Munshi Abdullah would have seen, heard and recorded which was later added in his autobiography, Hikayat Abdullah (The Story of Abdullah). We shall 'borrow' his voice and eyes in painting the picture of a once most important Asian port called Malacca.)

Melaka or Malacca or Malaqua (as it was known to the Europeans in the 1500's) began its humble existence as a fishing village and grew into the region's most important entrepot. For years, Malacca flourished under the watchful eyes of the Malay Sultans and the Chinese, until the struggle of power among the Europeans finally led to its slow and painful demise.

Its initial success under the governance of a Sumatran prince and his descendants was based on the model of an old entrepot called Srivijaya that ruled the straits for centuries before the 'discovery' of Malacca. There is still much debate amongst historians as to the exact period of this once great maritime empire which ruled the trading routes in the straits. The agreement lies somewhere between the 7th to the 13th century. But many believe that the nucleus of the kingdom may have been in Palembang. (Palembang, Sumatra - across the straits of Melaka in Indonesia)

I listen to the stories from the old men. They sit by the sea…as the sun sets and when the day's work is done, they recant stories told to them by their forefathers - of how great Malacca once was.

That, was centuries before I was born, back in the days of pirates, sea merchants from distant lands, rowdy Portuguese soldiers, sombre Dutch officers, inquisitive English administrators and before them, a renegade Prince called Parameswara. Here begins the story…

Parameswara

Parameswara - a young, hot blooded Palembang Prince had a reputation of being a bit of a rebel in the eyes of the Javanese 'overlords'. His wayward and antagonistic behaviour found him a number of admirers in the neighbouring islands who felt the same way as he did. They felt that their subservience to the Javanese should not be tolerated. The Javans, weary of this troublesome Prince moved quickly to quell his popularity. They invaded Palembang.

Parameswara fled to the island of Temasik with his loyal company of 30 orang laut (sea people). After eight days in Temasik, Parameswara killed the local chief and usurped as lord over the simple fisher folk of Temasik. Parameswara later renamed the old city, ' Singapore' after an incident where he spotted a strange beast which he took to be a lion (Singa).

During the early days of maritime trading, a great number of the orang laut (sea people) earned their living through piracy. Parameswara and his followers spent 5 years at Temasik where they eked out a living growing rice, fishing and attacking passing ships. All was peaceful, until one day when the new, dynamic and powerful kingdom of Ayudhya in Thailand sent a force down to extricate Parameswara from his self proclaimed throne.

Once again, Parameswara and his followers fled and this time they headed up into Malaya eventually settling down in Bertam. Life was tranquil and the company of men resumed their business of hunting and growing rice. One day, as he was off hunting with his men not too far from the village, he encountered a strange scene. While resting under a Melaka tree not too far away form the river, he watched as his pack of dogs cornered a mousedeer. Instead of throwing itself into the river, to his amazement - the terrified chevrotain turned around and attacked the dogs. The befuddled dogs lost their footing and they, in turn… ended up in the river!

He was astounded by the will of the mousedeer to fight for its life and immediately knew that the hill of which he was standing on at the time would be his future. The area was named Malacca after a tree that shaded Parameswara during the incident of the mousedeer and the dogs.

When Malacca was established in the 1400's, there were already 2 entrepots of importance in the Straits - both guarding the sea route along the Sumatran coasts. Parameswara consciously selected his site with great care. After a time of searching, he finally found an ideal harbour. He chose a sheltered harbour, free from mangrove swamps close to the Melaka Hill. He knew that this harbour was positioned at the convergence of the sea lanes from India and China and was sufficiently deep to allow the large vessels to anchor in the bay to wait out the monsoons. Moreover, the Melaka river had a pleasant climate and ample supply of fresh water. However, the deciding factor was that the area had a vantage point. It had a naturally defensible position.

Parameswara was a smart man. He watched as traders from India, Arab and China came and went. He realised that he would have to convince the fishermen and village people to clear trees and plant crops like sago, banana, jackfruit and sugarcane; and trade in jungle products. He knew that these produce could be more profitable than piracy and with that, he could abolish piracy and make safe the passageway for trading ships. With a guarantee of pirate safe passageways, and a supply of jungle products and gold from the interior, merchants began to take notice of the new deep sea port.

Soon, news went round the shipping industry that Malacca was fast becoming a preferred choice amongst the foreign traders because of its ruler's amicable economic and political strategies. Parameswara ensured that all their needs could be provided at Malacca market. However, there was only one problem. After the fall of the great Srivijaya entrepot, other powerful neighbours began to flex their muscles in the wake of a boundary expansion struggle. The Siamese Kings of Sukhotai and later, the Siamese Kingdom of Ayudhya asserted their powers and extended their control over most of Peninsular Malaysia including Malacca. Parameswara was unhappy with this situation as it was hindering his progress in making his city a major trading centre and himself as the ruler of the straits. The overlords had great control of its Malay vassals and were intolerant to ambitious and defiant Malay rulers. As Parameswara was lamenting over this situation, he came about a brilliant foreign policy. This policy, capped with the help of a more powerful overlord sealed Malacca's colourful history.

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Melaka & Surrounding Day Tours ~ Malacca

 

Melaka Tours
(ex- Melaka)

Hrs

Day of Operations

Departure

Min adult

Include

Rate (Nett)

AM

PM

Adult
(RM)

Child
(RM)

Historic City Tour Itinerary

3

Daily

10.00

2.00

2

Transport, driver / guide

85

75

Ayer Keroh Tour Itinerary

3

Daily

10.00

 

4

Transport, driver / guide. *Excludes entrance fees.

90

80

Cultural Heritage Tour Itinerary

3

Daily

10.00

2.00

2

Transport, driver /guide, entrance fees

95

80

Vanishing Trades Trail (Walkabout Tour) Itinerary

3

Daily

10.00

 

4

Transport, driver / guide

80

70

Melaka Night Tour Itinerary

4

Friday, Saturday & Sunday only

-

6.30

4

Transport, driver / guide, dinner

110

105

Melaka Tours
(ex- Kuala Lumpur/ Selangor)

Hrs

Day of Operations

Departure

Min adult

Include

Rate (Nett)

AM

PM

Adult
(RM)

Child
(RM)

Historical Malacca (Itinerary)

8

Daily

9.30-9.45

-

2

Lunch

120

80

Johor Muar Tours
(ex- Melaka)

Hrs

Day of Operations

Departure

Min adult

Include

Rate (Nett)

AM

PM

Adult
(RM)

Child
(RM)

Muar Countryside Day Trip ~ (Itinerary)

10

Daily

8.30

-

2

transport , guide , river cruise , entrance fees

200

200

Please Note:

~ The seat-in-coach can only be conducted with the minimum number of person/adults required
~ Pick-up and drop-off service from major hotels at Melaka town centre (not applicable for tours departing from locations outside of Melaka)
~ Services of an English Speaking Driver cum Guide
~ Touring by air-conditioned car, van or coach (depending on the group size)
~ Rates are not inclusive of entrance fees to places of visit (unless stated otherwise)
~ Child age between 4-12 years old
~ Any unused services are non-refundable, non-exchangeable and non-deductible
~ 100% cancellation charge applies for NO SHOW OR CANCELLATION within 48-hrs
~ In the event of unforeseen circumstances, the local operator reserves the right to alter, amend or withdraw the package anytime with or without prior notice.

Redemption Instructions :

~ 24 hours prior to travel date, please call our local tour representative (during working hours) to reconfirm your booking details. Pick up time is required 30 minutes prior to tour departure time.

Postponement of Trips:

* Please be advised that the trip will not be allowed to be postponed unless we are advised of any changes at least 3 working days before trip commencement date

Tour descriptions :


Historical City Tour

Melaka, where it all began. Known as the “VENICE OF THE EAST”, she was once the richest port in the WORLD ! On this tour you shall be visiting interesting and historic places such as the The Dutch Square (The Stadthuys, Tan Beng Swee Clock Tower, Queen Victoria Fountain, Christ Church), Heeren Street/Jonker Street (Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum-optional), Street Of Harmony (Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, Kampong Kling Mosque, Sri Vinayagar Temple), St. Paul’s Hill Complex (Independence Memorial, Porta de Santaigo, Ruins’ of St. Paul’s Church, Replica of Palace of Malacca Sultan) and Portuguese Settlement (Portuguese Square). Shopping at Tan Kim Hock local food product centre before we return to the hotel.

Ayer Keroh Tour

 Ayer Keroh…. Malacca’s recreational playground. The Recreational Forest, Crocodile Farm, The Zoo,  Mini Malaysia & Mini Asean, The Recreational Lake and Golf Courses are all located here. At Mini Malaysia & Mini Asean, view the 13 different types of traditional Malay Houses from the 13 states of Malaysia and houses of some of the Asean Nations. On this tour we shall visit Mini Malaysia & Mini Asean and one other attraction only. 

Entrance fees : Mini Malaysia & Mini Asean – RM4.00 per adult/ RM2.00 per child
Malacca Zoo – RM10.00 per adult/ RM4.00 per child
Crocodile Farm – RM8.00 per adult/ RM5.00 per child

Cultural Heritage Tour

This tour will enlightened you on the different lifestyles and cultural aspects of the various ethnic groups in Malacca. Termed as the " Peranakans ", these various ethnic groups comprising of the Malacca Malays, Babas & Nyonyas, Portuguese Eurasians and the Chittys have lived harmoniously in Malacca even before the arrival of the Dutch in 1641. You shall be fascinated with the different ways of life ranging from their unique cuisine, ceremonies, adobes and their spoken languages.

Vanishing Trades Trail (Walkabout Tour)

 “ A MALACCAN TRAIL WITH A DIFFERENCE ” …….. we bring you deeper beyond the realm of the tourist.

After six centuries of existence, Malacca has a lot to offer the visitor. All it takes for anyone to really feel the pulse of this old charming town is to walk with our experienced and knowledgeable guides. On this walkabout tour, you will be exposed to Malacca’s old charms. It also serves to bring the point home that cultural co-existence had brought about the intermingling of the various races living as one tolerant society.

The sight of all the traders, merchants and vendors, who have been carrying out the same businesses for generations in the same premises as their forefathers. The aromatic smells of the Chinese medicinal shops, the bustling bazaar with the proprietors calling out to potential customers will arouse all your senses. A rare treat will be to observe two old and quaint enterprises ; one is a bamboo basket weaver and the other, a wooden clog maker. This tour is definitely off the beaten track. It will also be a good chance for you to pick up some souvenirs at good bargains

Melaka Night Tour

Meet and greet at the lobby of your hotel and commence the Melaka Night Tour. We shall first visit the Taming Sari Tower (Menara Taming Sari). This is the first revolving ‘Gyro Tower’ in Malaysia. She stands at 110 metres high. Dinner will be at a popular Nyonya restaurant. Nyonya cuisine is from one of the unique ethnic groups of Melaka. Enjoy the assimilation of various styles of cooking that brings about the Nyonya food.  After dinner, we then proceed to the embarkation/disembarkation point for the River Cruise. When we complete the cruise, we shall end the tour with a visit to Jonker Walk (on Fridays to Sundays) / Mahkota or Dataran Shopping Complex (Mondays to Thursdays).

**Please Note that there will be a non-refundable handling charge on payment made. Conditions apply.

booking
booking

 

 

Accommodation and Packages to Melaka ~ Malacca town , Ayer Keroh , Tanjung Kling & surroundings

Accommodation :

Melaka(Malacca) Town

Budget stay | Cyclamen Cottage | Hallmark View Hotel | Hash House Hotel | Kancil Guesthouse | Tony's Guest House | Eastern Heritage Guest House | Baba House |

Boutique Stay | Courtyard @ Heeren Boutique Hotel | Hotel Puri | Heeren House | Jonker Boutique Hotel | The Sterling |

Boutique Inn | Hangout@Jonker |

1 Star | City Park Hotel |

2 Star | Accordian Hotel | Hotel 906 | Fenix Inn | Hallmark Leisure Hotel | Sentral Riverview Hotel | Seri Malaysia Hotel | Mimosa Hotel |

3 Star | Aldy Hotel | Arenaa Deluxe Hotel | BEST WESTERN Wana Riverside Hotel | Hallmark Crown | Hallmark Inn | Hang Tuah City Hotel | Malacca Straits Hotel | Mio Boutique Hotel | Hotel Orkid | Felda Residence Seri Costa Melaka | Prima Hotel | Hotel Sentral Melaka | The Emperor Hotel | Venus Boutique Hotel |

4 Star | Bayview Hotel Melaka | Avilion Legacy Hotel | Hotel Grand Continental | Hatten Hotel | Mahkota Hotel Melaka |

5 Star | Hotel Equatorial | The Majestic Melaka | The Renaissance Melaka |

Apartment Hotel | Garden City Melaka Service Apartments |

Tanjung Kling

| Everly Resort Hotel |

Gunung Ledang

| Gunung Ledang Resort |

Ayer Keroh

| Grand Paradise Highway Ayer Keroh ( North Bound ) | Kings Hotel Ayer Keroh | Puteri Resort | Phileo Resort & Spa |

Packages ex-Melaka :

Melaka (Malacca) Town

| Historical Malacca Day Trip |

Muar Countryside

|

Gua Batu Maloi Forest Reserve

| Gua Batu Maloi Forest Reserve Caving Adventure Trip |

Gunung Ledang (Mount Ophir) National Park

| Gunung Ledang (Mount Ophir) National Park Challenge |

 

Malaysia Cities , Towns & Villages

Peninsula Malaysia Cities , Towns & Villages

Kedah

| Alor Setar |

Terengganu

| Chukai | Dungun | Kemaman | Kijal | Kuala Terengganu | Paka |

Perak

| Ipoh | Kuala Kangsar | Lumut | Taiping |

Selangor

| Klang | Kuala Selangor |

Kelantan

| Kota Bahru |

Federal Territory

| Kuala Lumpur |

Johor

| Mersing |

Negri Sembilan

| Seremban | Kuala Pilah | Lukut |

Pahang

| Sungei Lembing | Kuala Lipis | Kuantan |

Melaka

| Melaka |

Sabah and Sarawak Towns , Cities & Villages

Sarawak

| Kuching | Long Bedian | Long Lama | Long Terawan | Miri | Marudi |

Sabah

| Sandakan | Kota Kinabalu | Tawau |

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