I may have mentioned that I studied Islamic history in University and in one of my classes, my professor talked about the migration of Islam to the Malay peninsula and Indonesia. She mentioned this town called Melaka (Malacca) and the Melaka strait, how it was a prime trading post and that it was colonized by the Portuguese and the Dutch.
I knew instantly I had to see it and so when the opportunity came for me to go to Malaysia, I decided that I would take a trip to Melaka. I went to the central bus station, bought a ticket and in a few hours I was in Melaka. I stayed overnight at this hotel by the river, called River One Hostel.
About a five minute walk from my hostel was St Francis Xavier Church. This pale coloured church contrasts the red coloured Dutch buildings down the street. It serves as a reminder of another architectural influence in this town as it was designed by a french priest.
My next stop was Christ Church and Dutch Square which is surrounded by matte red buildings with bright white writing on them. Across from the river, this little square also has a statue dedicated to Queen Victoria.
I walked past The Stadthuys which is a town hall and one of the oldest Dutch buildings in Malaysia. I visited the Syed Al Attas Mansion which is a delightful museum about Islamic life under colonization. I also went to St. Paul’s Hill which has ruins of a church from the 1500’s, making it the oldest church in Southeast Asia.
I spent the day wandering through the historic sights in Melaka and learning a bit more Malaysian history. I definitely recommend a visit to this charming little town.