Hang Li Poh's Well: An enigmatic part of Melaka's history

ATOP the serene Bukit Cina sits Hang Li Poh's Well, also known as Perigi Raja or King's Well. This well stands as a testament of Melaka's history. Established in the mid-15th century, this ancient well is intricately woven into the local lore and colonial narratives, marking its significance in the cultural heritage of Southeast Asia.


Commissioned by Sultan Mansur Shah for his diplomatic bride, Princess Hang Li Poh, the well was constructed to serve as her personal water source. Over the centuries, it has witnessed the tides of time, from being a life-giving source during droughts to a strategic point in colonial conquests. The well's resilience is etched in the local folklore, claiming it never to dry up, even in the harshest of droughts.


Hang Li Poh's Well is not merely a water source; it's a cultural milestone that has seen the evolution of Melaka. From Portuguese control to the silent resistance by the Sultan's warriors, and later the fortification by the Dutch, each era added a layer to its historical depth. The well's proximity to the Taoist temple of Poh San Teng and its relation to the deity Tua Pek Kong further emphasise its spiritual and cultural relevance.


Today, the well is a beacon for tourists and locals alike, offering a glimpse into Melaka's storied past. While no longer a source of potable water, it has metamorphosed into a wishing well, echoing the hopes and aspirations of those who visit. Coins scattered at its base are a testament to the legend that whoever makes a wish here is bound to return to Melaka or marry a person from Melaka.


A journey to Hang Li Poh's Well is a voyage through time. It's an opportunity to immerse in the historic narrative of Melaka, understand its cultural amalgamation, and witness the legacy of an ancient water source turned into a symbol of hope and continuity. As you explore the vicinity of Bukit Cina, let the well's ancient stones and serene surroundings transport you to an era of sultans, colonisers, and legends.

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