Faces of
Malaysia
Langkawi

Langkawi is an archipelago of 99 islands in the Andaman Sea, some 30 km off the mainland coast of northwestern Malaysia. The islands are a part of Malaysia’s Kedah state, but are adjacent to the Thai border. By far the largest of the islands is the eponymous Pulau Langkawi with a population of about 45,000. The island is a declared duty-free zone.

The peak season is from December to March when moonson at the eastcoast shuts down most of the Islands there (Perhentian etc.). This makes Langkawi a good island alternative during that time period. Generally though, Langkawi can be visited all year around.

Kota Bharu

Kota Bharu is the state capital of Kelantan.The name means ‘new city’ or ‘new castle/fort’ in Bahasa Malaysia. Kota Bharu is situated in the northeastern part of Peninsular Malaysia. In 2005, it had an estimated population of 425,294, making it the largest town on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia.It’s known for its colourful markets and the muslim culture.

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Melaka, Malaysia

A Famosa

address: Jalan Parameswara, Bandar Hilir, 78000 Melaka, Malaysia
melaka-a-famosa2.jpg, The remains of a fortress that was built by the Portuguese in the 16th Century. Also known as Porta De Santiago.
canon in front of the remaining Gate
The remains of a fortress that was built by the Portuguese in the 16th Century. Also known as Porta De Santiago.

A Famosa street view
street view of Porta De Santiago (A Famosa) (Google Streetview, 2015)
 

The fortress was built in 1511 because Commander Albuquerque of the Portuguese fleet believed that Melaka would become an important port linking Portugal and the spice trade from China. At this time other Portuguese were establishing outposts in Macau (China) and Goa (India).

A Famosa Melaka
The last remaining gate of the A Famosa fort
(photo from Wikipedia: Chongkian)


Now there is only one gate left. The fort changed hands in 1641 when the Dutch beat the Portuguese. The dutch renovated the gate in 1670 which the logo “anno 1670” inscribed on the gate’s arch. The fortress changed hands again in the early 19th century when the Dutch handed it over to the British to prevent it from falling into the hands of Napoleon’s expansionist France. The English then distroyed the fortress in 1806, only because of the Intervention of Sir Stamford Raffles (the founder of Singapore) a small part could be saved.

built: 1511 by Portuguese Empire

controlled by: 
Portugal (1511 - 1641)
Netherlands (1641 - 1795)
Britain (1795 - 1807)

demolished: 1807 (except for the still remaining gate)

The government announced in 2007 that A Famosa will be rebuilt.
>> A Famosa rebuilt

Links:

Wikipedia: A Famosa




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