Melaka remains one of Malaysia’s most historical state. With strong influence from the Dutch, Portuguese, and British era still very much present here, Melaka is a page out of a history book. Remnants of the colonial past are reinforced and preserved, the famous among many being the A’Famosa fort by the Portuguese and the administrative Dutch Stadthuys. Certain historical landmarks are still in use, such as the St. Francis’ Institution founded in 1880 and Christ Church Melaka established in 1753.
Apart from that, Melaka is also the home to a large Peranakan community, hence the Nyonya food here is a must-try. Other unique delicacies of the state is the chicken rice balls and satay celup.
If you stick around in Christmas, make sure to visit the Portuguese Settlement for the dazzling Christmas lights!
If you love scouring for handicrafts, souvenirs, and delicious street snacks, then look no further than Jonker Street! Lined with merchants of all sorts and flanked by old-fashioned residential architecture, Jonker Walk is rightly one of the most frequented spots in Melaka. The ambience of lively and energetic, with live music from buskers adding to the atmosphere.
The 10km Melaka River is best known for its boat cruise through the city where you can ride pass colonial buildings and rustic bridges such as the Tan Boon Seng Bridge and the Chan Boon Cheng Bridge. While you’re on the cruise, keep an eye out for shop houses decorated with elaborate street art!
Melaka is undoubtedly a city wrought in historical events which had a significant effect on Malaysia. Till today, some of the colonial powers’ old structures are still standing and visited daily. The A’Famosa Fort is the most famous of the lot, with other notable names like the Stadthuys, Hang Li Poh’s Well and Bukit Cina. You can easily find day tours and night walks that bring you through the city.
Kampung Morten, or Morten Village, is an example of a cultural preservation done right. This cultural Malay Village keeps its quaint and rustic charm despite the towering skyscrapers that surround the village. Morten Village has at least 100 traditional Malay houses, and you can experience an authentic insight into the way of the Malay folks from previous generations on a walking tour.
At a towering height of 80 meters, the Menara Taming Sari offers a breathtaking view of Melaka at a bird’s eye perspective. The gyro tower offers a panoramic, unobstructed view of many of Melaka’s famous landmarks, including St. Paul’s Hill, the Independence Memorial Building, the Maritime Museum, and the snaking Melaka River.
One of the most exciting mode of transportation in Melaka is the excessively decked-out trishaws that ferries tourists from one destination to another, all while blaring their speakers. Each trishaw rider will decorate their carriage in their own ways, ranging from those that are adorned with flowers to the cartoon-themed carriage embellished with famous characters.
If you love cycling, the rural neighbourhoods on the outskirts of Melaka city takes you on a leisurely ride to a whole new world. There are lush plantations, paddy fields and villages that allow you to experience the hospitality of the locals away from the usual tourist spots.
Melaka takes pride in their local cuisine. As the settlement of a large Peranakan community, some of the best Nyonya food are right here. Many will also recommend the chicken rice balls, and the satay celup (skewered snack cooked in boiling spicy peanut sauce). You can even join a Nyonya kuih cooking class to learn how to make their traditional desserts.
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