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Malaysia and Cambodia


This is about my upcoming trip to Malaysia and Cambodia. The first part is pre-trip - information about flights, itineraries, accommodation and all the things that you need to do to plan an overseas holiday. This is my first trip to Asia and I hope it may help others. Comments are very welcome and anyone who has travelled to Malaysia and/or Cambodia, please feel free to comment and offer any advice or tips that you think would be helpful. As of today ( 28th February) , in exactly 11 days (minus 30 minutes) I will be in Kuala Lumpur.

I had the most amazing time and hope you enjoy reading about my trip. Each post is numbered and I'm doing them in order from start to finish - a little like a diary.



111. Dataran Pahlawan Heroes Square

Dataran Pahlawan Mega Mall is in the Bandar Hilir area, facing Jalan Merdeka (South Gate) at the front and Jalan Kota at the back (North Gate).
Dataran is the bahasa word for square and Pahlawan means heroes, therefore the name translates as Heroes Square.

It's built on the actual battle ground of the war-time days and was then turned into a field in front of the A'Famosa fort. There's an interesting "time-capsule" corner with a fountain and wall sculptures depicting Malacca's history.
I read somewhere that it's the biggest mall in Southern Malaysia.

I didn't come here to shop, it was a matter of life or death - literally. It was a race against time to find the ladies loo. Well, what do you expect, after drinking all that water. That's the only downside to keeping one's fluids up - what goes in must come out! (It's worse sitting in a tuk-tuk travelling over a bumpy road full of potholes. Believe me I know what I'm talking about)☺

Above: Former bullock wagon
This cute wagon was outside and to the right of where I entered Dataran Pahlawan - you can see the steps I went up to the left of the wagon.

Above: Mosaic steps
I was really taken with these steps. The design was great and the colours bright and cheerful. Looks like a great deal of work has gone into creating this mosaic by some very talented people. Alas, I haven't been able to find out any information about them. I'd love to know whose idea it was and who created them.

Above: Dataran Pahlawan - Dome and Sculpture Wall
Sculpture wall at the fountain. The Fountain Wall and Sculpture tell Malacca's history from the time of Parameswara to Tunku Abdul Rahman.

Above: Fountain
Relaxing at the fountain - it's a great place to cool down.

Above: Dome
The red section looks like an upturned Lotus flower and if you enlarge the picture, you can see the detail - it isn't just red, it has a raised pattern with little bits of black and red. Each "petal" is fluted with three wavy lines running down. Atop this are nine metal curved supports holding a light. It's quite a brilliant design.

Next I went and had lunch, but for the sake of continuity, I've put the two outdoor photos of the history wall which were taken after lunch, here.

Above: History wall
In this section, you can see the Melaka River (there are several boats on the river), surrounded by buildings. There is a palm to the left of the river. The lower frontispiece shows a bridge spanning the width with people crossing over.

Above: History wall - Independence Ceremony at Merdeka Stadium, August 31, 1957
There are nine seated and two standing gents. The other men standing are perhaps servants - they are holding large umbrellas over the heads of those seated. The seated gentleman fifth from the right is in army uniform and has a sword - the Queen’s representative, the Duke of Gloucester. The figure to his left (Or right when looking at the picture) sports a safari helmet. The other chaps are in traditional costume. The main standing figure has his right hand raised and wears glasses. I'm guessing he is Tunku Abdul Rahman. The rest of the sculpture is filled with hundreds of people watching the proceedings.

Always check your work
I wanted to make sure that what I had written was correct, so did a bit of searching on the computer and found the above history wall was depicting what I thought it was - a re-creation of Independence Day, 1957. Below is the photograph I found confirming this. As a result, I have tweaked a bit of the above. (Because I know the answers now).

Above: Tunku Abdul Rahmam chanted "Merdeka" (Independence) August 31,1957
As you can see, the artwork of the sculpture work is an identical likeness of the photo that bears witness.

See it on Youtube
For those who are interested - I did a search on Youtube and found a video of the actual Independence Day 1957 ceremony.

Independence Day Ceremony, 31 August 1957

It wasn't until I was writing this post - it was actually when I was writing about the sculpture wall, the one depicting Malaysia's Independence that I realised just how significant and important this was. After almost 450 years of foreign rule, to finally gain independence and have your country given back and be ruled by your own people, must have been a day of great happiness. Coming from a country such as Australia, we haven't lived this situation. I'm grateful at having the good fortune to travel because it opens your eyes to new things and I have the opportunity to learn.

Above: Food court
By this stage I was pretty hungry and found my way to the food court. I forgot to write down the name of the place where I ate, but it was in this area here. The colours were bright and cheerful and the place was blessedly cool.

Above: Hainanese chicken rice
Lunch - I practically live on this dish throughout most of my time in Malaysia. Well, I did eat other foods but this was my favourite. This was one of the cheapest, it only cost 5 ringgit here. S'funny isn't it how the same meal can cost so much more depending on where you eat.

After leaving the mall, I still had two more things on my "list". I found them both quite by accident. The first was the independence monument.

Above: Proclamation of Independence Memorial 31st August 1957
The Proclamation of Independence Memorial is an important monument - this is where Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia's first Prime Minister first declared the date for the independent of Malaysia in 1956, a year before 31 August 1957. The place where the monument stands is in a corner of Pahlawan Square.

There's a sign that reads:

"The following ceremonies were performed on this site on the 31st day of August, 1957.

(i) The handing over of the instrument of independence by the Hon'ble Resident Commissioner (Mr. H. G. Hammett, M.C.S.O. to his Excellency the Governor of Malacca (Mr. Leong Yew Koh).

(ii) The reading of the Proclamation of Independence by the Hon'ble Chief Minister, Malacca, Dato'Kurnia Jasa Osman Bin Talib.

(iii) The raising of the Malacca state flag."

Above: Dataran Pahlawan
The monument in front of the mall.

Next: Off to find the Cultural Museum - the Malacca Sultanate Palace.

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