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Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum, Malacca – Heritage & Life of the Straits Chinese

The Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum, Malacca (48, 50 Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock 75200 Melaka, Malaysia) is located to the North of the Malacca River, a 3-minute walk from Jonker Street. It is a ten minute from the A’ Famosa Fortress UNESCO site which is to the South of the Malacca River. The museum is privately run by the decedents of the restored Chinese shophouse whose ancestors used to stay in the building.

Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum, Malacca

Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum, Malacca

Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum, Malacca

Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum, Malacca

 

 

The museum depicts a typical Peranakan household in the late nineteenth century. Baba and Nyonya are Chinese descendants who have adopted the local Malay culture (which is also influenced by Portuguese, Dutch and the British) upon moving to Malaysia. Most of them are Chinese traders who settled along the Straits of Malacca. They bring about their traditional Chinese customs and cultures while adopting local Malay practices. This can be seen in their unique style of furniture, dress style and food among others. During the old times, the Peranakans did business in the front half of the shop houses and stayed in the back half and upper living quarters.

 

 

 

 

The museum showcases various rooms of the household including the reception hall, the kitchen and the ancestral hall. The rooms are filled with lavish furnishing coupled with wooden carvings and fittings. Paintings and family portraits can be seen on the walls of each chamber. The museum also showcases lovely ceramic utensils as well as traditional costumes and jewellery used worn by the family members.

ceramics and porcelin used

Ceramics and porcelain used

Opening Hours of the Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum, Malacca

Guided tours are also available for comprehensive insights into the lifestyle of the Baba and Nyonya culture in the early days. The museum is open daily from 10 am to 1230pm and 2 pm to 430 pm. Entrance ticket cost RM16 for adults and RM11 for children.

Love the Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum, Malacca? We found four other museums that provide an interesting and enriching experience. Take a look at the Cheng Ho Cultural Museum, the Melaka Sultanate Palace, the Proclamation of Independence Memorial and the Flora de la Mar Maritime Museum to find more about each place!

Photo credits: Tourism Malaysia