PANORAMIC TOUR OF MALACCA AND RIVER CRUISE
An unforgettable panoramic tour of Malacca by land and river cruise to grasp the essence of this amazing city that oozes history and centuries-old culture on every corner.
What we will see
- Porta de Santiago
- Straits Mosque
- Bukit China, the Chinese Hill
- Dutch Square Stadthuys
- Queen Victoria Diamond Jubilee fountain
- Watch tower
- Free time for shopping
- River cruise
- Menara Taming Sari Tower
What we will do
- We start our tour with a first stop to take photos at Porta de Santiago, built by the Portuguese in 1511 under the command of Alfonso de Albuquerque. *The Porta is one of the four main doors of the “A Famosa” fortress and is the perfect testimony of the Portuguese occupation together with St. Paul’s church. The fortress was subsequently damaged during the Dutch domination. During the Napoleonic expansion in Europe, the Dutch hastily surrendered Malacca to the British to avoid it falling into the hands of the French and, in 1806, the British ordered the destruction of the fort.
- But in 1808, the prompt intervention of Sir Stamford Raffles, founder of Singapore and a history and art enthusiast, salvaged the remains that we can still see today.
- The next stop on our tour is the Straits Mosque, from where we can enjoy lovely views of the Bay of Malacca. The Mosque, which is located directly on the beach, is supported by stilts and was designed in such as way that it appears to float on water when the tide is high. This is why the mosque is also known as “the floating mosque of Malacca”. Its architectural style is extremely interesting, as it is different to the ancient mosques in the state of Malacca. The golden dome is in Middle-Eastern style while the four corner towers are surmounted by typical Malaysian roofs. The façade is decorated with Islamic-style glass and the minaret has a surprisingly unusual design very similar to a lighthouse. The facility can welcome up to 2,000 worshippers.
- After visiting the mosque, we move on to highest part of the city passing through the Chinese Hill or Bukit China. This area was colonised by the entourage of the Chinese princess Hang Li Po until the Portuguese occupation in 1511. Nowadays, Bukit China is the location of one of the largest Chinese cemeteries outside China, with many tombs dating back to the Ming dynasty.
- We leave this hilly area behind us to visit the city centre: the Dutch square, also known as “red square”, with its Stadthuys (meaning “government house", i.e. Town Hall in ancient Dutch) built in 1650 as the official residence of Dutch governors and now one of the main sights in Malacca. Originally white, the building was then painted with red stripes to match Christ Church.
- The Queen Victoria Diamond Jubilee fountain also dominates the square. It was built in 1904 to celebrate Queen Victoria’s 60 years’ reign.
- Another significant icon is the Watch Tower, built in 1886 to honour the generous Chinese magnate Tan Beng Swee.
- Before starting our river cruise, we have some free time to buy a few souvenirs. The cruise along the Malacca river is a boat excursion that lasts 45 minutes including an audio guide and providing a new perspective of the city’s historical city centre with a chance to appreciate areas such as Chinatown, Kampung Morten and other characteristic places.
- Although it has now lost the trading importance it had in the past, the river remains a picturesque feature in the heart of Malacca. Cruising along the river lets us admire Malacca from another angle.
- Numerous improvements have been carried out over the past few years but, at the same time, a great effort has been put into preserving many of the buildings and historic bridges along the river. Even the newer buildings have been painted with colourful murals depicting various aspects of Malacca’s rich history and culture.
- The last stop on our tour is the Menara Taming Sari tower, which is 80 metres tall and offers a spectacular view of the city of Malacca, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From the top of the tower, we can spot many sights such as St. Paul's Hill, the Independence Memorial Building, Samudra Museum and ship, Flor de la Mar, Dataran Pahlawan, Pulau Selat Mosque, Pulau Besar and Straits.
What you need to know
- We recommend that you book early because only a limited number of places are available.