A shipshape museum
You’ll be forgiven for shouting, "Ahoy!" as you approach the Maritime Museum. Bring the kids to this one, and have fun clambering over the decks of the replica Flor de la Mar, a 400-ton Portuguese carrack that was shipwrecked in 1511 in the Straits of Melaka off the coast of Sumatra.
It was rumoured to have been carrying one of the world’s greatest loots plundered from the Sultan of Melaka. The sunken treasure is still waiting to be found!
Board the vessel and take off your shoes to explore the inner quarters stuffed to the rafters with dioramas, navigational instruments, a terrific collection of model ships and exhibitions relating to Melaka’s golden age of trade and maritime history. An audio guide (3 ringgit) adds an engaging commentary. The gift shop aboard the ship sells crude models and ships in bottles (from 6 ringgit).
A path leads to the second part of the exhibition in a neighbouring building. This section doesn’t hold the thrill of the ship, but is worth a look to see the extraordinary canoe-type vessel carved to resemble a giant floating hornbill, feathers and all. For fans of cartography, some early Chinese ink wash maps are as beautiful as they are fascinating. An exhibition on Malaysian sea life presents some environmental messages (lets hope the punters take heed). Posters advertised a “sleepover at the museum” programme, which would be a fun though probably uncomfortable alternative to a hotel. Possibly more for the selfie factor than anything else, this is Melaka’s busiest museum.
Your ticket gains you entry into the Royal Malaysian Navy Museum across the road, which the ticket sellers don’t make you aware of, and unfortunately we missed out, although a patrol boat and other military hardware on display in the outer courtyard looked like it would make a worthwhile visit.
Address: Jalan Merdeka, Melaka
T: (06) 282 6526;
Coordinates (for GPS): 102º14'47.15" E, 2º11'31.26" N
See position in Apple or Google Maps: Apple Maps | Google Maps
Admission: Adults 10 ringgit, children 6 ringgit.
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.
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