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The historical city of Malacca (Melaka) is located in the state of Malacca (Melaka) which is the second smallest state after Perlis in Malaysia. Bukit China, the hill dominating Malacca, covers 42 hectares and is the largest and oldest Chinese graveyard outside of China. Located on the northeast fringe of Malacca, the hill rises abruptly from the coastal plain, one kilometre inland from the Straits. Early morning or late afternoon, the only time to jog in the tropics, energetic Malaccans climb the stairs at the base of the hill on Jalan Puteri Hang Li Po, formerly Jalan Bukit China, which leads to the jogging trail. To reach the start of the trail, take the busy Jalan Munshi Abdullah past the Emperor Hotel to the intersection of Jalan Puteri Hang Li Po. On the right hand corner is the Chinese temple of Poh San Teng. Continue past this temple on Jalan Puteri Hang Li Po and take the first turn right, which is a driveway into a Chinese school (SJKC Pay Fong 3). The steps leading to the summit and the jogging trail are directly ahead. This well marked path winds up and down for about three kilometres, passing ancient graves dating back to the Ming Dynasty, marked Imperial Ming (1368-1644), and some huge horseshoe-shaped tombs of the Kapitan Chinas, heads of the Chinese community in colonial times. Two 15th century Malay Chieftains are buried on Bukit Tempurong Plain, and several old keramat, sacred Muslim graves are found on the northeast foot of the hill. From the top the view is magnificent, a full circle panorama of Malacca, from lime green padi fields to Pulau Besar and its neighbouring islands out to sea. St. John's Fort glows white on a nearby hill and the patchwork of red tiled roofs of the old city merges with the high rise buildings of a new Malacca. On the easterly side of the summit look for some unmarked flat stones which form part of the foundations of the Madre de Dios, a Franciscan monastery built in 1581 by the Portuguese. Before the Dutch siege, Commissary Justus Schonten, described Madre de Dios as the most healthy and beautiful spot in Malacca. Bukit China was the centre of a controversy in early 1984 when the State Government wanted to develop it, raze the hill and dump the earth into the sea for a reclamation project. The Chinese community, however, succeeded in winning the battle to keep Bukit China as their ancestral grounds. The battle renewed interest in the hill, which used to be deserted and overgrown with lalang grass. Volunteers have planted trees, built the jogging trail and have embarked on an ambitious beautification programme that now draws many Malaccans to enjoy the only large green belt in the city area.