MALAYSIA | Melaka River Walk

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Melaka River Graffiti

A year ago, I explored the stretch of Melaka River, not from its elevated concrete banks, but right from its midst. Boarding the popular Melaka River Cruise on the first evening we arrived in the city, I saw how vibrant the riverside was. And although the cruise was enchanting—passing glittering buildings from the comfort of our boat—I wished I could savor all its sights on a more leisurely pace; I wanted to explore it on foot, or on a bicycle perhaps, but we didn’t have the luxury of time back then.

Melaka River Cruise Boat
RIVER CRUISE BOAT ALONG THE MELAKA RIVER

Coming back to Melaka, we promised ourselves that we would take the time to really explore the riverside of this UNESCO World Heritage City. And so it was that on our third day, we set off from The Pines Melaka, our hotel which was conveniently located right beside the waterways, and walked all the way to the Melaka Dutch Square.

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Melaka River Graffiti
OLD BUILDINGS PAINTED WITH COLORFUL GRAFFITI
Melaka River Biking
WE ALSO BIKED ALONG MELAKA RIVER, COURTESY OF THE PINES MELAKA

We timed our jaunt a few hours just before sunset. The heat in the city was simply unbearable for us to enjoy our walk should we have gone earlier. We were advised that the best time to go was either during the early mornings or the late afternoons. We were too lazy to wake up very early, so the afternoon it was.

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Melaka River
WELL-TENDED RIVERSIDE WALKWAYS

With the sun already on a low angle, the beautifully paved pathways bordered by well-manicured potted plants along the water were already shaded from its harsh rays. We took our time, leisurely taking in the view via our two slow feet, stopping every now and then to take some photos and wave at the passing tourist ferries.

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Melaka River
VIEW FROM THE TOP OF ONE OF THE BRIDGES

With an average width of twenty five meters (a guestimate), Melaka River isn’t that wide. One might even suppose that it might not even be a natural waterway, but rather a canal dug by the Dutch during their time in Melaka. But we were told by a friend who resides in the city that it is indeed a real river, it only looks man-made due to its well-maintained concrete banks.

Melaka River Bridge
THE JAMBATAN OLD BUS STATION BRIDGE
Melaka River Bridge
A FEW OF THE BRIDGES AREN’T THAT TACKY AFTER ALL

It’s so narrow that several foot bridges span the length of the waterways, most of these, cutesy types complete with arches and dangling greeneries—everything illuminated by kitschy neon lights during the evenings. We crossed a few, taking a few minutes at the center to watch the passing boats, before traversing over the other side.

Melaka River Street Art
COLORFUL STREET ART ALONG THE RIVER

From our walk, we could see that commercial development has already urbanized what was probably once an idyllic haunt. But even so, the riverside was still quite charming; my favorite area being the Sentosa Village, an area set with traditional one-storey orange-roofed Malaysian houses, and the graffiti-filled buildings we frequently pass by.

Melaka River Water Wheel
MELAKA WATERWHEEL REPLICA

Surprisingly, it didn’t take long before we spotted the maroon-colored clock tower at the Melaka Dutch Square. We passed several al fresco café, going under the famous Jonker Walk bridge, and onto Melaka’s water wheel before we decided to finally turn back.

Melaka River Cafes
CHILL TIME AT ONE OF THE CAFES ALONG MELAKA RIVER

The sun had fully retired and the sky was already painted in hues of electric blue as we sat ourselves down on a table right by the banks. We ordered a bottle of Anchor Beer, turning a blind eye to its price, just to drink beer by the water. It was just like how we pictured it from our first visit, watching the twilight deepen into the early evening, right beside the Melaka River.


Melaka River Walk
Address: Melaka, Malaysia
Entrance Fee: Free
Open Hours: Open 24 Hours, Daily
GPS Coordinates Map: 2.204686, 102.252297


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