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Bukit Cina – Largest Chinese Cemetery in Melaka

bukit cina

Melaka is the cultural heritage city of Malaysia. It has signs and symbols of various nations and cultures that invaded, resided, or visited the city. The city has many places to visit that reflect different cultures. Bukit Cina or Chinese Hill or Bukit China is one of such Malacca attractions which one must see once in Melaka.

Buket Cina – A Legend to Know

Bukit Cina, or China hill, also known as Bukit China, was the place where all the Chinese who came by the Chinese princess Hang Li Po, great-granddaughter of the 3rd Chinese emperor of the Ming Dynasty were staying. She was sent to Malacca by the emperor to be married the Sultan Mansor Shah, to improve diplomatic relations between China and Malaysia. China hill is built in the place of residence of the Sultan and Princess with his entourage of more than 500 people, who lived there until the Portuguese colonization in 1511.

Malay spelled Bukit Cina, Bukit means “mountain”, Cina is “Chinese” means, it can be translated as “Chinese mountain.” Why call it Sanbaoshan local Chinese, Malaysian, but referred to as “China Mountain”? It turned out that “China Mountain” is not only because China’s friendly envoy Zheng He was here, but also due to the earliest history of Malaysia is a beautiful legend.

In Malaysia the history books, “Malay Annals” discloses a Ming princess marrying Malacca story about the end of the visit Malacca messenger, ready to return, the Ming emperor decided betrothed to Princess Hang Li Po Sultan of Malacca, please Herald escort the princess to Malacca. Upon arrival, Sultan Mansur as Hang Li Po’s reigning beauty marvel, then ordered her to convert to Islam to marry the palace of Princess Hang Li Po and his men then lived on this mountain, so the Malays call it “China mountain”. Hang Li Po’s story widely known in Malaysia, and was adapted for large-scale musicals and drama.
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Today Bukit Cina, located a few kilometers north of the center historic city (Chinese and Dutch Neighborhoods), is considered one of the largest Chinese cemetery outside China, with many graves dating from the period of the Ming Dynasty. Its 26 hectares contain about 12,000 graves. At the foot of the slope is the Sultan Well, today become a source to ask good wishes and fortune. At the foot of the hill the ruins of St Paul’s Church, built by the Portuguese around 1512, in the same place where stood a small chapel is located. Here lie the remains of St. Francis Xavier Church, the first pastor of the church, along with other tombs with captions in Latin, Dutch and Portuguese. The hill was used as a cemetery in 1753.

Some graves date back to the Ming Dynasty, the oldest dating from 1622, but unfortunately many graves were exhumed during the British occupation. Bukit Cina is also a pleasant place for jogging and up the hill great views over the city. The community around Bukit China is established in Chinese life. In the surrounding streets, mainly Jalan Temenggong, you will encounter the traditions and elements of life everyday Malaysian-Chinese.

Restaurants and food markets (food court) Chinese, remote temples and herbal pharmacies abound and lanterns, incense sticks and shrines tell you a festival or celebration. White processions with drums and tanks regularly pass on Jalan Temenggong on the way to Bukit China. For heritage lovers, a visit to Bukit China in Melaka is among recommended things to do in Melaka.

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