A’Famosa, also known as “Kota AFamosa” in Malay and “The Famous” in Portuguese, is one of the oldest surviving European architectural remains in Southeast Asia. The former Portuguese fortress is located in the Malaysian historic State of Malacca and dates back to the 16th Century. It was built by the Portuguese Empire when Malacca was ruled by the Portuguese. With ‘Porta de Santiago’, a small gatehouse, being the only remain of the fortress, it still makes it to the list of famous tourist attractions in Malaysia.
The A’Famosa is located at JalanParameswara, Bandar Hilir in Alor Gajah, Malacca.
Best time to visit:
If you are not a big fan of humid weather, visit during the months of April, May, and October, which are relatively dry. However, December and January also see a boom in tourism due to the festive seasons. The best time of the day to visit A’Famosa would be around the dusk hour when the place is little less crowded.
How to reach:
The best way to reach A’Famosa from KL would be via road. Most of the visitors prefer driving there. However, you can also take a rail or bus either toTampin, Melaka Sentral or Alor Gajah and then take a taxi from there, which would be just a few minutes drive.
What to expect:
When you hear about a fortress, the first picture that might come to your mind would most probably be of long ramparts, towers, a four-story keep, storage house, captain’s residence, and quarters. Not to your surprise, that’s exactly how this historic fortress used to be. However, all that’s endured of the site is ‘Porta de Santiago’, a small gatehouse and a later discovered structure-remain.
Even with so little left to it, we guarantee you that there’s so much more than just a small gatehouse. A lot of historical knowledge could be gained while visiting the place. It is considered one of the landmarks of Malacca and is located in the close proximity with a number of other famous historical tourist attractions. The A’Famosa Theme Park, the largest Water Theme Park in Malaysia, is another modern addition to the family and is definitely a must-visit.
There is a huge range of accommodation available near A’Famosa, from luxury ones to the budget lodging facilities. The most famous one here, however, is the A’Famosa Resort which provides a wide number of facilities, which might compel you to make your stay longer.
Where and what to eat:
Although Alor Gajah doesn’t come with a vast variety of options when it comes to food and diners, most of the restaurants and eateries are located in the A’Famosa area itself. You can take a half-an-hour drive to the Malacca City Centre where there are a plethora of options available.
Although it has a rich history of being first handled by the Portuguese, then the Dutch and finally by the British, it went through a tragic demolition in the early 19th century by the British being wary of its maintenance. It was because of the interference of Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder of modern Singapore, that the little remains of the fortress survived.
Things to keep in mind:
- Keep in mind, the taxi-rates might tend to be quite high, considering that the taxi drivers don’t prefer a metered ride. Settle on a mutual price before getting in.
- ATMs and money changers could be found near the area and at the A’Famosa Resort.
- A local SIM would be the best choice for international as well as local communications.