When our guide Jeevan told us that we are going for night river cruise, I was taken by surprise, till now I had known about the day-time cruises only. A self-confessed night animal, I freaked on the idea. Excitedly we reached the venue from our hotel – Hotel Hatten (Our stay courtesy: Malaysia Tourism). Melaka is a UNESCO Heritage site and it truly deserves the title owing to its history, culture, landscape, greenery, malls, jetty, Jonker’s street market, museums, churches and unforgettable becha ride. More on that later…
It was cool breezy evening, when we stepped into our cruise boat, absolutely neat and clean, well-lit and river waves making great sounds. River was absolutely clean and what a delightful outing it turned out to be. I heard that it was dirty like our Mithi river or even Ganges till few years ago, but now…you must visit to believe it. How spic and span it is! May be those who worked on the project, be invited to India to work on the face lift of our rivers. It is unbelievable that till a few years ago, the river was a stinking waterway lined with decaying houses on stilts and the untidy rear side of crumbling shop houses. At night many of the sights alongside the river are illuminated with colourful lights but during the day we would have got a better view of the murals and other details. But that was not to be…Lighting itself was quite a sight and delight!
In recent years it has had a major facelift. Yes, there has been a lot of new development but at the same time an effort has been made to preserve many of the historic buildings and bridges along the river. Even the newer buildings have been painted with colourful murals depicting different aspects of Malacca’s rich history and culture.
The Melaka River Cruise is a great way to see the sights of Melaka at a leisurely pace, in comfort and without breaking the bank. The Melaka River is where the town began and it has played a key role in Melaka’s colourful history. Taking a river cruise is like seeing Melaka from the back door.
There are two jetties, one at each end of the route. You can begin the cruise from either jetty:
Muara Jetty, next to Quayside Heritage Centre, close to the Maritime Museum easily recognisable by the replica of the Portuguese ship Flor De la Mar. From here the cruise takes you upstream as far as Taman Rempah jetty where the boat turns around and brings you back to the starting point. The round trip takes 45 minutes and covers 9 km.The boat’s recorded commentary will begin on the return leg of your journey (from Taman Rempah to Muara Jetty).
Taman Rempah Jetty, where a small spice garden is located, next to the Hang Jebat Bridge linking Jalan Tun Mutahir to Jalan Tun Sri Lanang. From here the cruise travels downstream as far as Muara jetty where the boat turns around and takes you back to the starting point.
Not to be missed while in Malacca.
My companion Sudipta Dev told me that it was even better than Venice, and I had every reason to believe her!
You too can believe me!