Malaysia (Malacca)

July 2, 2012

Famous Jonker Street, guarded by a friendly dragon,
is the heart of old town Malacca and packed with
vendors and crowds every late afternoon and evening.
During my 2010 sabbatical semester in Kuala Lumpur, I never got around to visiting nearby Malacca (British spelling but Malaysians spell it "Melaka") until now.

Malacca was one of the famous "Straits Settlements," along with Singapore and Penang, that Europeans fought over for centuries due to their pivotal positions on key trade routes.

Basically, it was Portuguese for about a century, then Dutch for about two centuries, then British for a century. A few years after Japanese occupation during WWII, Malaysia gained its independence.

Left: To celebrate a century of Dutch rule, the Dutch Reformed settlers built this church in the mid 1700s.
Right:  Another view of Jonker Street.
Malacca is reviving its waterways as another civic asset and tourist attraction.