Malacca City is the capital city of the Malaysian state of Malacca. It is the oldest Malaysian city on the Straits of Malacca (also spelled Melaka), which we sailed through en route from Singapore to Rangoon. Malacca City, with a population of 500,000, contains an historical gem, a village within the city. Kampung Morten, nestled by the Melaka River, has 85 homes, including 52 Melaka traditional dwellings. The village homes adhere to the traditional Malay design, decor and landscaping, and in 1998 the village was preserved under Malacca’s Preservation and Conservation Enactment.
The government provides the villagers with funds and assistance to ensure the village remains in its natural form. It’s historical designation has made the village a tourist attraction, boosting the city’s main economy of tourism. Our local guide, a village resident who told us more about Malay construction techniques that we could ever want to know, paraded us through the village, stopping in homes where the residents took our intrusion in stride. I thought it odd, but I guess they’re used to it. As for us, it was a unique opportunity to see the interior of Malay homes.
Once under Dutch rule, the influence remains in the architecture in Malacca’s Red Square, or Dutch Square, which attracts tourists and droves and boasts an ornate fountain erected in 1904 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee
Red Square, or Dutch Square, is teeming with colorful trishaws, many sporting Hello Kitty themes.
Below, a tattered Malaysian flag flies at the jetty where we tendered in to Malacca from our ship, the Silver Shadow.
We crossed the footbridge over the Melaka River to enter the historic village within the city
After taking off our shoes, we entered this historic home and were guided by its resident-owner whose ancestor built the house
The entry is directly from the porch, where the table is, into the open-air atrium. Rain, and we’re talking monsoons, falls directly into the house and waters the plants! The atrium brings refreshing air into the house, helping to cool it in this tropical environment.
Atrium plants benefit from the rainfall
Pink seems to be the color here in the village. Curtains come in various shades of pink and frilliness.
Tom sits on the front stoop of a historic home, colorfully decorated with frills and tiles.
Sweet granddaughter of the home’s owner where we again took off our shoes and entered the house, below. The open concept facilitates air flow. Ceiling fans and table fans help it along.
Malay village houses rest in the shadow of the Malacca City, population 500,000
Who knew you could grow sugar cane in pots? This same house grows cans and bottles on tree branches, and has an herb garden.
Bungalows in Kampung Morten, the village within the city of Malacca