Visiting Historical Malacca

Somewhere between Kuala Lumpur and Malacca.
Somewhere between Kuala Lumpur and Malacca.

Taking opportunity of the long stretch of holidays for Deepavali and Hari Raya, William, Cynthia, Wuan and I headed to Malacca for some sightseeing last Monday. The story of how the Malacca sultanate came to be and the romanticism of a Chinese princess who came as a bride-emissary made this place a must-visit in the long list of things that I want to do before I die.

When we reached the historical city, we were caught in a jam for nearly an hour heading towards the old town square where Christ Church stood. It looked like people from Kuala Lumpur and Selangor were all there for the same reason as us. Many cars bore Penang and Singapore plates too.

Almost inaccessible Malacca
Narrow corridor leading to the old town square.

Festive seasons are not good times to be visiting tourist spots. We had to circle the area for a while before we found a parking spot. It was hot and hazy and very uncomfortable. The 200 meters to the town square was not very accessible to wheelchairs. We had to traverse the narrow corridors of shops and brave the snaking traffic all the way there.

Christ Church Melaka.
Christ Church Melaka.
Photo by Wuan.

The square was crowded. There were busloads of tourists from Thailand. So, I finally got to see the distinctly red Christ Church up close. I had expected to be awed but what caught my eyes most was not the church structure but the gaily decorated trishaws. They lent a carnival-like atmosphere to the town square. That also reminded me that the last time that I rode in a trishaw was thirty years ago in Penang.

Posing for a shot beside the colourful Malacca trishaw.
Posing for a shot beside the colourful Malacca trishaw at the town square.
Photo by Cynthia.

William and Cynthia hopped into a trishaw and went sightseeing around the surrounding areas. Wuan and I went traipsing around the souvenir stalls in market next to the church. Halfway through, William called to ask us to wait for him at where he got onto the trishaw. He came back with another trishaw in tow and together with one of the riders, he lifted me onto the trishaw.

At A' Famosa with Wuan.
At A’ Famosa with Wuan.

We stopped at the A’Famosa and several other museums along the way. Malacca seemed to be filled with all sorts of museums. It has become too touristy to my liking. I had gone there expecting to see quaint little buildings and structures from many centuries ago but was greeted with a very modern setup. Perhaps we were looking at all the wrong places.

Malacca chicken rice balls.
Malacca chicken rice balls.
Photo by Wuan.

William wanted to take us to savour the famous Malacca chicken rice balls but the shop near the church had already closed for the day when we passed by. We had it at a restaurant instead. Sad to say, the chicken was tasteless and over tendered. It was an absolute waste of my protein quota. The rice ball was a disappointment as well. It had a coarse texture. I would have preferred the ketupats or nasi himpit for satay. It was a wonder why people were queuing up for a table there. Incidentally, I had chicken rice at Nam Heong in Mid Valley Megamall just the day before. It was nicely tendered and tasted great.

Despite the disappointing food and the touristy atmosphere, I am glad we made that trip. The change from the routine did a world of good to recharge my tired mind. Now, I can say that I have been to Malacca and seen the A’Famosa, Christ Church and eaten the “famous” chicken rice balls. I am already looking forward to another road trip soon. William?

Author: Peter Tan

Peter Gabriel Tan. Penangite residing in the Klang Valley. Blissfully married to Wuan. A LaSallian through and through. Slave to three cats. Wheelchair user since 1984. End-stage renal disease since 2017. Principal Facilitator at Peter Tan Training specialising in Disability Equality Training. Former columnist of Breaking Barriers with The Borneo Post. This blog chronicles my life, thoughts and opinions. Connect with me on Twitter and Facebook.

9 thoughts on “Visiting Historical Malacca”

  1. Best chicken rice balls I had were in Klang, near the KTM station. It’s a bit hidden, but available only in the mornings. In the afternoons, the best Wan Tan Mee is in that area too (about 5 minutes away walking/wheelchairing from the Rice Balls shop.

    Just thought I’d give my two cents. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing. I am interested in the wan tan noodles. 🙂

  2. Come Malacca didn’t call me. 🙁

    We did not have much time after visiting the town square. Next time, I promise.

  3. Did you go to try the steamboat? The one with the peanut sauce. Pretty good 🙂

    No, we did not. The next time perhaps.

  4. Good to hear that you visted my hometown. It is slow moving place worth visiting. Did you managed to roll along the river sidewalk – good to check if this stretch along the river is wheelchair fiendly. If I get some energy, support and some sponsorship Malaaca could be a good place for local/international conference to explore disability issues, independent living, assitive technologies and for sharing best practices. What do you think ?

    This has been a long overdue project in my mind for a long long time – read the 2 papers I put up at One of the few things I must do before I die

    I am looking forward to the project. All the best. 🙂

  5. Problem with Malacca is the lack of greenery in the city centre.Its hot,traffic snarls most of the time,prices are not good because of the southern tourists ,service is lacking and some restaurants have staff that are quite abrupt and rude.Whenever I think Malacca ,I think traffic, heat and parking.Been there kezillion times and everytime I swore never to return, but the old masochist in me pops up and off we go!I go for the history,nothing else and each time i notice traces of vandalism at the important sites.The rot has set in for almost everywhere including penang.

    It was really hot. They paved the entire place. Should have left parts of it open. Anyway, like you said, Penang is going the same way. This is not a good thing.

  6. Do you have this recipe? I have never ever seen this before. This reminds me of a kind of potato dumpling of the Czeck. Interesting.

    It is just cooked rice pressed into a ball. There is nothing to it, really!

  7. So which trishaws are a more comfortable ride, the good old Penang ones or the side saddle Malaccan ones? Nice to see that you appear to have had a good time in Malacca.

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