25th. May 2002
A Beca Ride in Melaka Chinatown

An interesting and ‘must experience?ride for visitors to the historical city of Melaka is the unique beca ride. This beca ride or trishaw ride is an eco-friendly mode of transport where two medium built persons are ferried by the trishaw operator. It is a cheap and excellent way to see the narrow streets of Melaka especially around the old sector of Melaka.
 
 

A Typical Beca Ride
 

Beca ride tours can be taken at specified locations. Tour fares for two adults must be negotiated first between yourself & the beca operator indicating the place you want to go & the number of passengers before boarding the beca. Cash payment for the fares must be paid at the end of the journey.

A route for an exciting beca ride around Melaka Chinatown can be as follows:-

Meet opposite the Mimosa Hotel located at the junction of Jalan Bunga Raya and Jalan Kee Ann. There is a Beca Pickup Point here. Please take note that it is always wise to negotiate with the beca operator for a fair price for your proposed journey before boarding.

From the starting point, turn left on to Jalan Bunga Raya. You can see old pre-war shophouses on the left hand side of the street. Some of these pre-war shophouses are at least 75 years old. A short distance on the right hand side is the Malacca’s oldest shopping complex namely the Madam’s King Departmental Store. Started in the late 1970’s, Madam King’s is the pioneer in bringing departmental shopping to Malacca. Moving down the street is the road junction between Jalan Bunga Raya and Jalan Munshi Abdullah. Turn left after the traffic lights into Jalan Munshi Abdullah.
 

Jalan Munshi Abdullah or Newcome Road in the old days was recently turned into a one way street. The move was done to ease traffic into and out of town. This street has shop houses built around the 1960’s with some pre-war shophouses as well. The first air-conditioned hotel in Malacca in the 1960’s is the Regal Hotel now renamed New Regal Hotel. This hotel is located on the left hand side of Jalan Munshi Abdullah. It is about 5 storeys high and is still operating as a budget hotel. As you travel further down New Regal Hotel, you will reach the junction of Jalan Pasar Baru and Jalan Munshi Abdullah. The open car park currently used was a food and hawker centre before that served the old Central Market. Unluckily, both the old Central market & food centre were demolished in the early 1990’s. A 7 Storeys high Plaza Hotel used to operate near here but it is now abandoned as the owners are in receivership.

On the right, you will see the old Cathay Cinema. Currently, it is used as a furniture display centre. In the 1960’s and 1970’s, Cathay Cinema was popular with English movie goers. Major English blockbusters were shown here such as “Benhur?“Bridge over River Kwai?& ”The Sound of Music?just to name a few.

You will now cross over Melaka River by using the Jalan Hang Tuah bridge located beside the Cathay Cinema. Turn left into Jalan Kampung Hulu - the old commercial centre of Melaka Chinatown. You will see pre-war shop houses on the left and right of Jalan Kampung Hulu before you see the Kampung Hulu mosque on the right. This is an old mosque of Sumatran design. The road is narrow since the road was built for horse carriages then. You will then reach Jalan Kampung Pantai which houses old wholesale businesses. The old & pre-war shop houses are really interesting to look at because of their intricate designs, charm & facades. Besides, all these shophouses are still being used as businesses & for various wholesale trades such as wine merchants, goldsmiths, pawnshops and coffee shops.

Further down Jalan Kampung Pantai, you will see a Chinese Temple on the right just before the junction of Jalan Kampung Pantai and Lorong Hang Jebat. Then, cross over the Melaka River again by using the Chan Boon Cheng Bridge. You will see the “Discovery Cafe?on your left. Discovery Cafe is very popular with tourists & locals alike who want to relax and watch the world go by. Via left into Jalan Bunga Raya which is the new sector of Melaka Chinatown. By looking at the top of the shophouses, you can see the year when these shophouses were built. Some shophouses were built in 1911, 1936, 1942 etc. Literally, one can imagine the development of Jalan Bunga Raya by looking at these shophouses.

Your beca ride ends when you reach the junction of Jalan Bunga Raya and Jalan Kee Ann.

We hope you will try these unique Beca rides when you are in historical city of Melaka.

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