Melaka River Cruise… The first thing that came to my mind was the chocolatey water and nothing interesting to be seen. I thought it was there for the tourists to kill time. I was proved wrong, Melaka River Cruise is really nice especially at night. I believe there are people who share my assumption on Melaka River. It used to be severely polluted before Malacca Historical City Council made an effort to restore, clean and beauty Melaka River.
This is an effort that should be applauded as the water quality has increased from Level 4 to Level 2 and the City Council is aiming for Level 1. Recently, Melaka River has won a gold Green Apple award from the Green Organization. That’s a world recognition!
Melaka River has attracted millions of visitor to cruise along the river. It would be ashamed for Malaysian citizen to disregard the river that is salient to our country’s history and once dubbed as “Venice of the East”.
After dinner at Jonker’s Street, take the 45 minutes cruise that will take you pass Melaka town and settlement, Kampung Morten and bridges along the riverbanks. The calming breeze will bring you back to the glorious days of Melaka where traders ply the river in small boats.
On my first Melaka River Cruise trip, I was lucky to have cruise guide who had the history of Melaka at his finger tips. He was of Portuguese, Indian, Chinese, Dutch and Persian blood. Talk about assimilation, it is everywhere in Melaka.
This is how the cruise looks like:-
Tour guide for my second trip during Celebrating 1Malaysia Truly Asia (C1MTA) in action.
The cruise took us along Melaka river while our story teller narated his personal experience as local being brought up and raised in Melaka. The lighting of Melaka River was what made Melaka as colourful as its culture. We passed by Kampung Morten, a village in the middle of the town where traditional Malay houses stand proud. We had been informed that TNB sponsored the lighting around the houses at night.The houses were built using pasak, a process that does not involve modern days’ nails.
Then we caught side of the Eye on Melaka. Also seen was the Pirate Park which was adjacent to Eye on Melaka.
It was through this cruise that I learned about the mural project that decorated the old buildings along the river. The murals depicted Melaka in the warriors’ days and the multi racial community that Melaka river had seen for decades.
Melaka River is rich with bridges. Tan Boon Seng Bridge was important during Portuguese invasion of Melaka whereby the Portuguese seized the bridge and blocked communication between both sides of the river. It was one of the reasons that brought Melaka to defeat. There is also Ghostbridge of Melaka and Old Market Bridge. Chan Boon Cheng Bridge was where Japanese soldiers placed the beheaded heads of their victims at the foot of the bridge as a reminder to locals to adhere to the Japanese order of the day.