A Visit To Melaka’s Balai Adat Perkampungan Hang Tuah & Rumah Melayu

Honestly, I’ve never been to Melaka’s Balai Adat Perkampungan Hang Tuah or visited the Rumah Melayu nearby. The first and last time I’ve been to Perigi Hang Tuah (Hang Tuah’s Well) was when I was 12 years old. Even though I’ve been to Melaka many times after that, I’ve never returned to this place again.

And boy, when I went there a few weeks ago with my group of friends, I was surprised to see the changes to this place.

The Balai Adat Perkampungan Hang Tuah is only a stone’s throw away from the original Perigi Hang Tuah, located at Kampung Duyong. One of 6 traditional Rumah Melayu (Malay House) that we visited is also located only a few metres away from the well.

Balai Adat Perkampungan Hang Tuah

Back in 2011, Melaka’s then Chief Minister, Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam informed that a tourism project will be built on 40 hectares of land surrounding Kampung Duyong. This included building the Balai Adat, among others like; Rumah Hang Tuah, Rumah Hang Jebat, Rumah Hang Kasturi, Rumah Hang Lekir, Rumah Hang Lekiu, Rumah Tradisional Melayu, Muzeum Hang Tuah, Auditorium and Cultural Performance Stage.

The RM132 project was completed in 2013.

Arriving at Balai Adat Perkampungan Hang Tuah that afternoon, it is obvious that some of the money from the project was put to good use.

Built on large stilts of expensive and long-lasting wood, Perkampungan Hang Tuah’s Balai Adat has many different rooms to cater to your needs. As you step into the Balai Adat, you will be welcomed by traditional Malay-style furniture placed on polished wooden floors with photo displays on the walls.

Before we enter the main hall, we were each given batik to wear. I think this adds to the authenticity of the place. Especially since we have some international friends with us, it sure helps showcasing the “Malay” side of the Balai Adat.

Balai Adat Main Hall

Photo from BNC (Bernama News Channel)

Imagine being able to fit about 300 people in one seating for a wedding feast.

The main hall is huge, and has been used for Malay wedding ceremony too. We even had a mock wedding just to get the gist of it. The groom is from Philippines and the bride hailed all the way from Poland. Some of us did the “merenjis” and “tepung tawar” to the temporary couple and received “bunga telur” as well. What a fun mock wedding that was.

 

Balai Adat Game Room

At the game room, we played some Malay traditional games like congkak, batu seremban, getah, sepak yem and many others. This sure bring back memories of my childhood – especially playing the batu seremban. It was fun watching adults getting excited trying to catch the batu seremban properly.

Playing Batu Seremban

Playing Congkak. Photo from BNC (Bernama News Channel)

Another fun thing was to see adults jumping through the getah, panting afterwards. Some people need to realize they’re not that young anymore. (LOL!)

Rumah Melayu Kampung Duyong

Hang Tuah’s Well

Rumah Melayu (Malay House) Kampung Duyong is only a few metres away from the Balai Adat and located next to Perigi Hang Tuah (Hang Tuah’s Well).

What is interesting about the house is that it still kept the design and structure of a traditional Malay house. The stilts and columns are synonymous to the 50’s, that being said, this house was built back in the 1930’s.

The Malay house we visited have seen a few uplifts from the government due to the project I said earlier. However, many of the classic parts of the house are still kept, for instance, the tiles that are used near the stairs in front of the house are part of the Portuguese tiles during Portuguese settlement in Melaka.

Carvings near the roof are of flower motifs, the type of carvings that are commonly used after Malays embraced Islam.

A mini fish pond was erected at the house’s compound, with some plants to make the area seem livelier and colorful.