The narrow street known as Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock may seem a little run down now, but in colonial times "Heeren" (as it was known then) was home to Melaka's richest Chinese merchants.
First up on your right, you'll see 8 Heeren Street, a restored two-storey shophouse/residence from the mid-1700s. The original builders of 8 Heeren adopted the construction methods of the Dutch, eschewing timber and thatch in favor of bricks and clay roof tiles.
- Operating Hours: 11:00am to 4:00pm, Tuesday to Saturday.
- Entrance fee: free
On number 117, you'll see a pale green stucco house with a golden dome: the Chee Ancestral House, which once belonged to one of the wealthiest families in colonial Malacca.
About 400 feet from the corner, you'll see the Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum on 48 and 50 Jl Tun Tan Cheng Lock. The museum presents Peranakan (assimilated Chinese) life during colonial times, showcasing the gewgaws and the little touches that distinguish the Peranakan lifestyle of its time.
The staircase, for example, is built with no nails (these are bad luck in Chinese culture) and a locking lid at the top (to deter burglars). There's also a peephole in the master bedroom that looks down on the first floor visitors.
Like many rich merchant households at the time, the house is crammed with stuff appropriate to the affluence of the family living within: wood furniture inlaid with mother-of-pearl, intricately carved lacquer screens, and chandeliers imported from Victorian England. A guided tour is available to help you make sense of the place.
- Address: 48, 50 J. Tun Tan Cheng Lock, 75200 Melaka
- Operating Hours: 10am-12.30pm, 2pm-4.30pm, Tuesday to Sunday
- Phone: Tel: +60 6 283 1273
- Entrance fee: RM8.00 for adults, and RM4.00 for children (5-12 years old)
To view the route in its entirety, click here: Map of Historical Melaka Walking Tour