Good for: excercise, all romantic
Not good for: Going at night
- Kampong Bukit China
Lonely Planet review for Bukit China
East of Little India is Bukit China, which, besides being the largest Chinese graveyard outside of China, is also Melaka's best jogging track. More than 12,500 graves, including about 20 Muslim tombs, cover the 25 grassy hectares. Since the times of British rule until today there have been several attempts to acquire Bukit China for road widening, land reclamation or development purposes. Fortunately, Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, along with strong community support, has thwarted these attempts.
In the middle of the 15th century the sultan of Melaka imported the Ming emperor's daughter from China as his bride, in a move to seal relations between the two countries. She brought with her a vast retinue, including 500 handmaidens, and Bukit China was chosen to be their residence. It has been a Chinese area ever since, along with the two adjoining hills and eventually became the burial ground for Chinese traders. Chinese graveyards are often built on hillsides to maximise positive feng shui. At the foot of Bukit China, called San Bao Shan (Three Treasures Mount) in Mandarin, Poh San Teng Temple was built in 1795 and contains images of Kuan Yin and the Taoist entity Dabo Gong. To the right of the temple is the Sultan's Well, a 15th-century well built by Sultan Mansor Shah for his Chinese wife, Princess Hang Li Poh. It was an important source of water for Melaka and a prime target for opposition forces wanting to take the city.
To walk or jog Bukit China, take Jln Puteri Hang Li Po from the Poh San Teng Temple on the corner of Jln Munshi and take the first right into the driveway of SJKC Pay Fong III School. The steps leading to the trail can be seen from here. The well-marked path winds up and down for about 3km, passing many ancient graves. The huge horseshoe-shaped tombs are those of the Kapitan China, the heads of the Chinese community in colonial times. Two 15th-century Malay chieftains are buried on Bukit Tempurong Plain at the south of the trail, and several kermat (sacred Muslim graves) are found on the northeast foot of the hill. The oldest tomb (located near the basketball court of SRJK Pay Fong III School) is a double burial of Mr and Mrs Huang Wei-Hung and was built in 1622. In 1933 the Cheng Hoon Teng Temple restored the headstones; the aging tomb was brought back to life a second time (so to speak) in 2001. From the top of the hill, there is a fullcircle panorama of the city across paddy fields and to Pulau Besar.