Trekking with Becky

Photo Friday: Two Malay Palaces

Palaces represent the foundation, history, and culture of a nation, but the two Malay palaces I saw were a little different.  I think it’s because people generally associate the Petronas Towers as a symbol of Malaysia and in Melaka, you can’t miss the historic sites and architecture reminding you of the former British and Portuguese presence.  It’s very easy to forget about Malay culture in both KL and in Melaka.

I find that things like royal palaces, castles, government buildings, etc. represent a country’s history and identity much better than landmarks like the Petronas Towers.  When it comes to Kuala Lumpur and Melaka, I found that the National Palace (in KL) and the Melaka Sultanate Palace did the trick because they represent Malay cultural roots.


Kuala Lumpur’s National Palace


I knew that I wouldn’t be able to go inside the National Palace in Kuala Lumpur, but I had to swing by to see it.  It gave me another I’m really in Malaysia moment.  Unless you take a taxi or if you’re in a tour group, you can only reach it by taking the Hop-On, Hop-Off bus.

It was impossible to get a bomberless shot.

This is best shot I was able to get through the gate.


Most people were more interested in the guards.  There were two different types. ↓

I’m glad that the horse moved so I could capture the guard’s uniform.


The poor guy must have been roasting.


Melaka Sultanate Palace


It’s an incredible window into the culture of the kingdom that existed before it was conquered and of course, the Malay view of life afterwards.  The museum has over 1,300 items on display including, art, weapons, musical instruments, clothing, you name it.

The building itself is in excellent condition since it’s a reconstruction of the palace based on Malay accounts of Sultan Mansur Shah’s palace.  He ruled Melaka before from 1456-1477, before the Portuguese conquest in 1511.  Although I prefer to see original structures, I love seeing replicas because it gives you the best idea of how it looked in its prime hundreds of years ago.  Construction was completed in 1984, and it opened in 1986.

Access: when you are finished at the foot of St. Paul’s Hill (facing it), go right and you won’t be able to miss the palace.  Don’t go on a Monday – that’s the only day of the week that it’s closed. Otherwise, you can go from 9-6 for only 2 ringgit. 😀

Your view of the Melaka Sultanate Palace as you approach it from the foot of St. Paul’s Hill.


I love the guards.  There are so many cool mannequins like these inside.


My favourite view inside the museum – the royal court.


Oh, the Forbidden Garden (right across from the Sultanate Palace) is FREE!  Hardly anyone was there; almost everyone just left after the museum closed as if the garden wasn’t even there.

According to the information plaque, there is no record that a garden actually existed at the palace, so it’s an interpretation – if such a garden existed for the royal princesses to enjoy, this is how it would have looked.  ↓

The view of the Forbidden Garden from the Sultanate Palace steps.


Do you find that seeing things like royal palaces make you really feel like you’re not in Kansas anymore?  
Would seeing either the Royal Palace in Kuala Lumpur or the Melaka Sultanate Palace give you that I’m really in Malaysia feeling?





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14 thoughts on “Photo Friday: Two Malay Palaces

  1. travelsewhere

    I’m thinking of visiting Malaysia later in the year so this was good to read and some useful tips on how to see these palaces. Pinned in the hopes I get to visit. #wkendtravelinspiration

    1. Becky Post author

      I’m working on posts with lists of things to see in both KL and Melaka, and they’ll definitely be included. Thanks! 😀

  2. Rhonda Albom

    I usually manage to see a palace or two everywhere I travel. Their style is a reflection of the general style of the country. I particularly like comparing old and new palaces in the same country to see the modernisation of the architectural style.

  3. Ruth

    These are really nice! The yellow on the National Palace is warm and comforting. Do not worry about the photo bombers. The photo turned out great! #TPThursday

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