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February 22, 2010 12:03 PM

Wish To See Malaysia? Then Visit Melaka

Mohamad Bakri Darus

MELAKA, Feb 22 (Bernama) -- As visitors are about to cross into Melaka, they will be greeted by the slogan 'Visiting Historical Melaka Means Visiting Malaysia' inscribed on the welcoming arch at the Ayer Keroh Highway-Jalan Tun Razak junction.

Everything in Malaysia, they are available in Melaka and that is not an over statement. Right from the facilities, public spots, shopping centres, hotels, institutions of education, resort beaches and islands, and many more.

Melaka also showcases 1Malaysia, according to a member of an entourage that visited the state recently. The values of 1Malaysia are prominently featured in Melaka.

In terms of unity and acceptance, history has shown that Melaka has long received the arrival of people from various ethnic groups, right during the days of the merchants from India and China, Malay Sultanate, the colonialists as well as the pre and post-Merdeka era.

Apart from the Malays, Chinese and Indians, Melaka also has the communities of Baba Nyonya, Portuguese and Chittys, most of them residing in the heart of this historical city.

BEAUTY OF MELAKA

The historical city is like a city in the garden as the blocks of tall and modern buildings is akin to be in the midst of a beautiful landscaped 'park'.

Melaka, which is to assume the tag as a developed state in Malaysia in October this year, has been given recognition by Unesco as the World Heritage City.

As for the tourism statistics, Melaka received 8.9 million tourists last year exceeding the target of 7.4 million. In 2008, the state received 7.4 million guests.

The state government has maintained and conserved Melaka's heritage well apart from introducing new tourism products. Melaka is renowned for its heritage assets that dated right from the days of the Malay Sultanate and occupation by the Portuguese and Dutch.

The colonials left much of their mark in this city, particularly at Bandar Hilir. Also, there are more than 20 museums here including the Baba Nyonya and Chitty museums that provided a detailed description of the heritage.

MANY INTERESTING SPOTS

Among the tourist attractions here are the Portuguese settlement in Ujong Pasir, Chitty village at Jalan Gajah Berang and the Malay village of Kampung Morten located at the heart of this city.

There are also a number of parks. Apart from the Melaka Zoo, there are the Taman Mini Malaysia and Asean, Crocodile Farm, Butterfly Park, Melaka Botanical Garden, Malaysian Book Village of Melaka, Bees Museum, Garden of One Thousand flowers all of which are located at Ayer Keroh.

The other 'must do and visit' for tourists are the Melaka River Cruise, Menara Taming Sari, Eye On Malaysia, Duck Tour, Water Taxi and Planetarium Complex.

If several other states can be proud with their beautiful beaches, then so is Melaka as the state has Pantai Puteri and Pantai Tanjung Bidara apart from the famed Pulau Besar.

There are the hot springs at Gadek and Bemban as well as the waterfall at Asahan. As for the agro-tourism enthusiasts, they can visit Alor Gajah and Jasin districts to satisfy their interest.

SHOPPING HAVEN

For those who like to shop, Melaka can be considered a 'haven' as there are various handicraft items right up to the branded products available here.

Visitors can take a walk from a building to another before reaching the shopping centres such as the Fashion City located at Melaka International trade Centre (MITC) apart from the Batik House and Dataran Pahlawan Megamall.

Lovers of antics can take the short trip to Jonker Walk located in the city centre. This stretch of street is lined by many premises that sell handicraft and various other products.

For the 'gluttons' they can sample the delights of Melaka such as grilled fish and 'asam pedas'. If they choose to stay overnight, the tourists can visit the grilled fish square at Umbai, Kuala Duyung, Serkam and Alai.

Melaka can also take pride in having international-class sports facilities such as the Melaka International Bowling Centre, Melaka International Motorsport Circuit and its golf course.

In the field of education, the state administrators ensure that the public have access to various education facilities right from the primary, secondary and tertiary level. These facilities are also on offer for international students.

Among the tertiary-level education institutions in the state are Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka, Universiti Teknologi Mara, Universiti Multimedia, MCET UniKL Alor Gajah, Kolej Teknologi Islam Antarabangsa Melaka, Kolej Komuniti, Politeknik, Kolej Yayasan Melaka, Kolej Antarabangsa Sains dan Teknologi Melaka, Kolej Stamford, Kolej Antarabangsa DMDI and Kolej Risda.

HEALTH TOURISM

Melaka has also moved towards health tourism as there are a number of quality public and private medical institutions.

The land of the legendary Malay warrior 'Hang Tuah' is also progressing in the information communication and technology. The latest development is the availability of the broadband at the speed of one gigabyte per second.

There are also the Melaka Biotechnology Corporation and Melaka Biotechnology Institute. An industrial zone is also provided for investors and various investment incentives are on offer.

Melaka is a state with facilities and infrastructure for the staging of expositions, workshops, seminars and conventions. There are also international-class hotels and resorts apart from the homestay concept for the budget travellers.

-- BERNAMA

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