Thursday, July 11, 2013

Melaka and George Town

The Strait of Malacca is a narrow, 805 km stretch of water between the Malay Peninsula and the Indonesian island of Sumatra. It is named after the Malacca Sultanate that ruled over the archipelago between 1400 and 1511. From an economic and strategic perspective, the Strait of Malacca is one of the most important shipping lanes in the world. Melaka and George Town (Penang) are remarkable examples of historic colonial towns on the Straits of Malacca that demonstrate a succession of historical and cultural influences arising from their former function as trading ports linking East and West. They were listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site “Melaka and George Town, Historic Cities of the Straits of Malacca” in July 2008. Many thanks to my friend Jifeng from China, who sent me the first postcard from Penang when he had a trip there this April. The card mainly shows the Queen Victoria Tower at King Edward's Place which is one of the most recognizable icons of George Town. The second card was sent by my Malaysian friend Libby from her hometown Melaka and it shows part of the heritage site (Melaka Culture Museum) and something traditional (Malay house, bullock carts and beaded shoes). Libby also used a stamp with the same topic Cheng Hoon Teng Temple in Melaka, much appreciated!