Melaka River is a river which flows through the middle of the historical city Melaka. It was once an important conduit for trade during the heyday of Melaka Sultanate in the 15th century. The river enabled access to the interior, and provided a means for forest produce such as rattan, canes, gums and resins, to be brought down to the market. Today, the river has lost most of this function and is a mere tourist attraction. The Portuguese was able to conquer Malacca by seizing control of the river; to do this they burned the bridge across it.
The Melaka River has been cleaned up and rehabilitated. Smart looking cafes line its banks. There is also a Melaka River boat ride. As you cruise up the river, you will be able to see old shop houses along its banks. These shop houses have their warehouses, called godowns (after the Malay word gudang), built at their back, so that goods can unload directly from the river into them. Up until 2001, it was still possible to see boats unloading timber from Indonesia. Since 2002, these barter trade activities have been shifted elsewhere, and the river is now maintained solely for tourism purposes. As the night falls the city turns into a wonderland with its enchanting beauty especially when you cruise the river. The reflection of the colourful neon lights sparkling on the ruffled water of the river gives oneself a wonderful unforgettable experience of a life time.
On our trip to Melaka this time we had sunny, clear day and pleasant breeze. Intriguing to me were the old buildings on the sides of the Melaka River, the boat plying on the calm water and the myriad colourful reflections in the river. I found, in painting this subject, that it was best to simplify detail in favour of impression.