Photo: Kampung Morten struggles on surrounded by skyscrapers.

Kampung Morten

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On a bend in the Melaka River, enclosed by ever sky-reaching buildings, the tiny Malay village of Kampung Morten is an anachronism.





Ironically, increasing urbanisation was the reason the village was established in the early 1920s, when the development of a market in nearby Kampung Jawa forced the residents to look for a new home. The swampy plot filled with mud crabs by the river was up for grabs, but the 10,000 straits dollars asking price was a prohibitively high sum for the villagers. The village head approached the British Land Commissioner, Frederick Joseph Morten, who helped secure a loan and the area was subdivided into 100 affordable plots. In recognition of his assistance, the villages voted to name the new kampung after the Commissioner.

Kampung Morten's traditional wooden homes have been lovingly maintained. Photo taken in or around Kampung Morten, Melaka, Malaysia by Sally Arnold.

Kampung Morten's traditional wooden homes have been lovingly maintained. Photo: Sally Arnold

As the surrounding streets and villages changed from colonial to Malay names, the residents of Kampung Morten refused to alter theirs, remaining loyal to the man who had helped establish their village.

Today, Kampung Morten is listed as a heritage site and despite the years, the village has retained its customs and traditions and the charming traditional wooden stilt homes have been lovingly maintained. It’s a delight to wander the narrow streets and chat to the easygoing residents, but the highlight is a visit to Villa Sentosa, a kampung house open to the public as a “living museum”—it’s stuffed with photos, memorabilia, frilly curtains and plastic ... please log in to read the rest of this story.


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How to get there
Kampung Morten is on the west bank of Melaka Rivera, a pleasant one-and-a-half kilometre stroll along the riverside from Dutch Square, opposite The Majestic Hotel. A walking bridge from the east bank leads directly to Villa Sentosa.

Kampung Morten
Jalan Kampung Morten, Melaka
Admission: Free, but donations are encouraged.

Location map for Kampung Morten

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