Monday, 19 January 2009

Cheng Ho Cultural Museum in Melaka, Malaysia

We almost missed the museum as it is discretely tucked away although it is a beautiful traditional Baba Nonya Mansion which was the warehouse of the Chinese Admiral Cheng Ho (Zheng He). An old and very lovely Indian lady who was working at our hotel came to talk to us one morning, and said we should visit it, she gave us a flyer and said she was working over there too. She convinced us (as well as the flyer) and we did visit it. And what a wonderful visit it was!
The museum contained large and numerous rooms where the life and era of Cheng Ho was admirably told, some scene reconstitutionsartefacts
, local objets and customs,We arrived in the beautiful main courtyard And there were greeted by the owner of the museum, a very friendly man who gave us the honor to make some tea for us, and to explain us how tea should be served. We were very attentive and interested.
His wife then arrived and was as welcoming as her husband. She fed us some sweets,
which I absolutely loved and asked the recipe for. It is hard boils eggs cooked in water sweetened with rock sugar, flavoured with chinese herbs: "Tong Kwai"
We had a great conversation with the couple and it turns out that they are planning to make a part of the museum unused for now as a B&B, and to organise a special event this summer for the Chinese Valentine Day, which will certainly be a great event.

The last part of the visit was a theatrical performance about the story of Cheng Ho, a wonderful work of beautiful painted panels crossing the theatre in layers and changing in a very poetical manner, we loved this bit, that lasted about 20 minutes, it was the cherry on the museum cake!
The owner also serve dim sum in the mornings, do not miss them!
If you go through Melaka, do not miss the visit of the museum, and if you want to organise an event or get some information, you can contact the owners there:

Cheng Ho Cultural Museum
51 Lorong Hang Jebat
75200 Melaka, Malaysia
Tel: 606-283 1135
http://www.chengho.org/museum

5 comments:

Marjolaine said...

aaaaaaa quelle ambiance des vieilles maisons chinoises. J'en ai vu de semblables dans le quartier chinois de Saigon, à Cholon.
Je serai intéressée par la recette des oeufs sucrées...Ma mère raffolait de ce dessert, cuit dans du thé fort et sucré.

Christelle said...

The recipe is in the text: hard boils eggs cooked in water sweetened with rock sugar, and flavoured with chinese herbs: "Tong Kwai"
remains to find the Tong Kwai herbs, probably in a chinese medicine shop!

yashie07 said...

Hi, nice post :)

Melaka is really an amazing historical city and no doubt that's why it's one of UNESCO world heritage site :). I visited Melaka once and feel like going there again :) All the red buildings, old architecture, Melaka River, Jonker Street .. everything is just amazing ...

I put up some information aboutCheng Ho Cultural Museum in my blog . Please visit and have some comments .. Hopefully I will visit Melaka soon :)

cheers ...

Louise

Christelle said...

Yashie07, yes I loved Melaka, small but so rich in culture and history! I'd like to go back to some time. I'll have other posts on it in the future...

Your blog brings back memories from last summer, how long did you stay there? :)

pixen said...

Salut Christelle... I didn't know you were in Melaka :-) My dad's from Melaka... One of my uncle wrote some books about this Peranakan Baba & Nyonya community. He's a Baba, a collector of Peranakan antiquities and author. His works appeared in several magazines, journals and books (by himself & The Nyonya Kebaya by the late Datin Seri Endon Mahmood, Malaysia's ex-Prime Minister's wife ) There are several cities you can find this communities - Penang, Melaka, Singapore, Medan, Indonesia to name a few. Myself, I'm into Nyonya beaded shoes ... I still have sets to complete :-|

I hope you enjoy reading the links :-)

Bonne Nuit...