Tuesday, May 23, 2017


This is the list of old and current street names in Melaka.

Sunday, May 21, 2017


Monday, 22 May 2017

A place with over 500 years of history

When the first traffic lights were introduced in Melaka in the second half of last century, at the intersection of Bunga Raya and Newcome Roads, people from outlying areas would congregate there just to watch the lights change.
When the first traffic lights were introduced in Melaka in the second half of last century, at the intersection of Bunga Raya and Newcome Roads, people from outlying areas would congregate there just to watch the lights change.
SQUALOR. Gambling. Opium. Prostitution. All these made up the vices along Jalan Bunga Raya, Melaka, in its history until the 1970s.
If you stand at one end of Jalan Bunga Raya, with Discovery Cafe on your left and Taj Grand Hotel on your right, this is where wealthy Chinese merchants used to live.
A lot of the two-storey colonial buildings still maintain the original architecture, with the iconic big windows and wooden shutters.
These old-style houses comprise shops on the ground floor and residence upstairs.
“During Chinese New Year, I used to hang out with my classmates on the balcony and we would throw live fire crackers down to the road.
“It was fun and no one took offence. But that was then,” reminisced heritage enthusiast Colin Goh, a sprightly Melaka-born in his 70s.
The Bunga Raya area was a domain for fishermen and it was populated by Javanese people during the Sultanate period at the turn of the 14th century. During the Portuguese era, it mainly comprised orchards and coconut groves.
After the Dutch drove the Portuguese out of Melaka in 1641, they started kilns for making clay bricks and lime plaster in this suburb.
Today, as you walk along Jalan Bunga Raya, you can see some of the dark orange bricks from the etched out laterite stone walls, a symbol of the Dutch-Portuguese era and more importantly, how old the structures and materials are.
Towards the last quarter of the 19th century, Jalan Bunga Raya changed slowly. Melaka as a whole emerged from its slow-paced life.
Its tourism draw has lessened when compared to other places such as Penang and Singapore.
“With the advent of the rubber industry, things began to look better. Bunga Raya saw urban renewal,” said Goh.
Before we proceeded further down memory lane, Goh introduced me to one of his favourite (and many Melaka-born people) shops – Tai Chong Ice Cafe for some Sweet Corn Ice with Milk. As it was a stifling hot day, a bowl of this was a respite.
“As far as I know, people returning to Melaka make their pilgrimage to this shop for local desserts. It’s a sentimental thing,” he said. Ice cream and ice desserts here cost no more than RM4.
“Tai Chong is a well-known name in the area for the ice cafe as well as baking goods shop and stationery shop. There are many wall columns embossed with Chinese calligraphy and dates like ‘1911’, probably symbols of ownership from the wealthy businessmen.
“These Chinese gentlemen became wealthy from rubber trades. They helped the city prosper through philanthropy. One of them was Tan Kim Seng who had a bridge named after him near Jalan Bunga Raya.
“Melaka did not receive much funding for developments from the British government then. There were hardly any development compared to George Town and Singapore,” said Goh.
The British occupied Melaka from 1795 to 1818 and from 1824 until the country celebrated its independence in 1957.
“You can also see that the rows of houses, built during the British period, have narrow walkways that serve as ‘fire break lanes’.
The part of Jalan Bunga Raya that was notorious for vice was Jalan Java (Kampung Java).
“Today, it is fashionable (for tourists) to stay here. But in its earlier days, it was seedy with gambling, opium trade and prostitution,” Goh said.
The whole street is somewhat charming, as we passed by Sin Hiap Hin liquor shop, which is more than 80 years old.
There was also a story circulating that some of the Japanese who resided in Jalan Bunga Raya in the 1930s were spies.
Some locals believe they came to Melaka on the pretext of securing jobs as dentists and photographers, when in fact they were spies for the Japanese government.
“During the Emergency, Europeans patronised the famous Asia Hotel along this road which was known for its opium dens and prostitution,” said one local who did not want to be named.
There are plenty of stories about the heyday of Jalan Bunga Raya and you are bound to find someone from here to regale you further.



Thursday, May 4, 2017


MALACCA: The English spelling of Malacca will no longer be used in official state correspondence, said the state government on Wednesday.
The state exco has decided that the name "Melaka" be used instead.
State secretary Datuk Naim Abu Bakar said that all media outlets - either Bahasa Malaysia, English or other languages - should use the name "Melaka" in their publications.
"The move is intended to standardise the use of the name Melaka either in written or verbal forms, in all media, particularly the English media," he said in a statement here Wednesday.
He added that the state government hoped that the media outlets would cooperate in the matter. - Bernama


Wednesday, April 19, 2017


Melaka Monorail will start operation again at the end of April 2017 after some upgrading works.

This Monorail runs around the Melaka River for about 3.2 km with stops in between.

Hopefully, with the upgrading works done, it can smoothly operate safely and gives reliable service to passengers.

Visitors can view the scenic views of the Melaka River from above.


My Kind of Place: Malacca, Malaysia

John Brunton Apr 06, 2017
Why Malacca?
Once one of the richest ports on the mythical Spice Route, Malacca boasts a colourful 600- year history spanning Malay sultans, Arab and Indian Muslim traders, Chinese settlers, and periods of Portuguese, Dutch and British colonial rule. After Malaysia’s independence, Malacca became a sleepy backwater, an insider’s address for rare antiques and delicious Nyonya cuisine created by the mixed-marriages of Chinese and Malays known as Peranakans. All of this changed when Unesco recognised this unique destination as a World Heritage Site, and today it’s a must-see trip for visitors to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. Avoid the weekends to miss the crowds and enjoy lower hotel rates, but take the time to stay a couple of days to really discover this charming city.

    A comfortable bed
    For the perfect location, book Casa del Rio (, a plush resort with rooftop infinity pool overlooking the Malacca River. Double rooms cost from 510 Malaysian ringgit (Dh423).
    The Majestic Malacca ( offers an irresistible combination of heritage grandeur with its sumptuous restaurant and tea salon in a charming 1920s villa, while luxurious rooms with grand, freestanding baths are housed in a modern wing. Double cost from 626 ringgit (Dh520).

    ItLovers of boutique hotels in restored mansions are spoilt for choice here. 1825 Gallery Hotel ( contrasts hip decor inside a restored flour storehouse. Doubles cost from 136 ringgit (Dh113).

    The traditional, 200 year-old Hotel Puri ( is a maze of lush plant-filled courtyards and lavish salons. Doubles cost from 188 ringgit (Dh156).

    Find your feet
    Malacca’s centre should be discovered on foot. Hidden away in the narrow back lanes running between Jonker Street and Heeren Street is the sublime Masjid Kampung Kling, a Javanese -style mosque dating from 1748, while almost next door is the even older, incense-filled Cheng Hung Temple, built in 1645.
      If the sweltering tropical heat is too much, jump on breezy boat ride along the winding Malacca River (15 ringgit [Dh12]), or for the brave, take one of the hundreds of incredibly decorated trishaws that crowd the central Red Square, ready to whisk off visitors on a frenetic city tour (25 ringgit [Dh21]), accompanied by blasting Bollywood music. The square is dominated by the brightly painted Stadthuys, the old Dutch town hall, which today houses the fascinating Ethnography Museum, and a tour of its extensive collection is the perfect introduction to Malacca’s complex history.

        Meet the locals
        The banks of the Malacca River are lined with casual cafes and bars, where locals take lazy sunset strolls. In the middle of Jonker Street, the lively Geographer Cafe attracts all ages, from pensioners having "teh tarik" aired tea in the morning, to students hanging out in the afternoon, and a funkier crown at night, when there’s often live music. On a Sunday morning, the side street outside is transformed into a packed flea market.

          Book a table
          For fine dining, reserve at the Majestic hotel’s elegant Melba at the Mansion, where local celebrity chef Melba Nunis cooks delicious Kristang dishes such as kari pimente (aubergine, fish and pepper curry; 75 ringgit [Dh62]), drawing on the unique fusion of Portuguese, Indian, Malay and Chinese influences.
          For a more informal, outdoor feast of this spicy cuisine, get a cab to the heritage Portuguese settlement down by the waterside. Ignore the crowding touts and book first at De Costa, which serves incredibly fresh baked crab and steamed fish (main dish 30 ringgit [Dh25]).
            Wild Coriander (Jalan Kampung Pantai) is a casual new locale specialising in Malacca’s famous Nyonya cooking, perfect to try spicy sambal prawns with pungent petai beans (15 ringgit [Dh12]).
            Seeds Garden (Jalan Tokong) is a funky wellness vegan canteen that wouldn’t look out of place in Barcelona or New York. Tasty street food is also on every street corner, from satay to chicken rice balls.

            Shopper’s paradise
              Malacca is a paradise for antiques, with Aladdin’s cave boutiques such as Abdul Antiques (Jalan Hang Jebat) and Malaqa House (Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock) filled with ornate lacquered furniture, precious Chinese porcelain and rare ivory-topped Malacca canes.
              Fashionistas should track down Wah Aik (Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock), an artisan cobbler making exquisite beaded sandals, while you can’t miss the brightly painted facade of The Orangutan House (Lorong Hang Jebat), a gallery showcasing local artist Charles Cham’s eye-catching paintings.

                Don’t miss
                A glimpse of the opulent lifestyle of Malacca’s Peranakan community, showcased in the Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum (

                What to avoid
                The weekend Jonker Walk Night Market gets horrifically crowded, with stalls selling tacky fast food and souvenirs.

                Getting there
                Return flights with Emirates ( or Etihad ( from the UAE to Kuala Lumpur cost from Dh1,890. From there, take a cab (250 ringgit [Dh207]) or Transnasional coach (; one way 25 ringgit [Dh21]) for the 90-minute journey to Malacca.