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Melaka ~ People & Culture

People & Culture Sights & Visits Ayer Kroh Other Places  The Islands Melaka Map

Bullock Cart Ride Cuisine Souvenirs & Crafts Trishaw Ride Getting There

The historical melting-pot of cultures and races Malay, Chinese, Chitty's, the Baba's, and Nyonya's and the Portuguese. The Eurasian community still speaks a dialect from the 16th century that only they can understand.

Bullock Cart Ride
Bullock carts were one of the earliest forms of transportation in the country. The driver and passengers sat in the front section of the two-wheeled vehicle and goods were placed in the back. Traditionally used to transport bulk quantities of agricultural products like padi and straw, bullock carts were also used for garbage collection in major towns before World War Two. But it was no ride in the park. The cart driver was often at the mercy of the stubborn animals. When they were overworked, no amount of persuasion could make them continue the journey. More often than not, the driver had no choice but to wait patiently until the beasts were ready to move again. Bullock carts were said to have been introduced by Indian traders during the Malacca Sultanate. Once the means of transportation for the rich in Melaka. The features that separate the bullock cart in Melaka are the pointed roof in the shape of the horn of a bull, trappings and colours. Tourists in Malacca can still go for a ride in a gaily-decorated traditional bullock cart (kereta lembu).

Since the state has Portuguese, Dutch, Chinese and Indian influences, Melaka food is quite unique Nyonya food, a combination of Chinese and Malay cooking styles, is a fovourite with many people. Among the common dishes are achar, sambal, duck soup with salted vegetables, jantung pisang (banana shoots) and crab meat cooked in coconut sauce (ketam lemak). In fact many dishes cross ethnic borders and are served in most households. The devil kari, for instance is of Portuguese origin and is a spicy chicken dish. Portuguese food is generally sourish and hot since a lot of chilli is used. As many Portuguese in Melaka are involved in the fishing industry, fish plays an important part of their diet. In Melaka there is a local version of the popular satay dish called satay celup. It consists of prawns, squid, cockles, pork and vegetables skewered on a stick and cooked in a pot of hot bubbling satay sauce. The Kueh koci is made of glutinous rice flour filled with grated young coconut and cooked in a rich syrup of gula melaka. It is wrapped in banana lead and then steamed.

Souvenirs & Crafts
Songket is noteworthy, along with tekat, golf embroidery on fabric. Melaka, rich in history, is also a fantastic place to hunt for antiques, curios and ancient handicrafts from another time.

Trishaw Ride
The best way to enjoy Melaka Town in a laidback manner. The trishaw will take you to streets and corners of Melaka of which you would miss out if you decided to strike out on your own.  

Getting There
Melaka is only 144km from K. Lumpur and express buses travel regularly from all major towns in the country. There is also a ferry service from Dumai in Indonesia and Melaka.





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