Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008, Malacca offers a fascinating glimpse at old world Malaysia. Over the centuries, the city has been settled by the Malays, Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch and British. This combination has led to a melting pot of cultural influences and a jumble of architectural styles. There are plenty of offbeat museums and galleries to explore, as well as famous Nyonya dishes to try. Don’t miss fried egg ice cream, crispy radish cake and sticky chicken rice balls.
Things to Do
Most visitors make a beeline for Malacca’s characterful old town. Today, its historic shophouses and mansions have been converted into trendy cafes, contemporary art galleries and boutique hotels.
Most of the action is centred around Jonker Street, the old town’s main thoroughfare. It was once famous for its antique shops, though today it’s best known for its weekend night markets and tasty street food.
Nearby, the 17th-century Cheng Hoon Teng temple dates back to 1646, offering you the chance to learn more about Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism. Built around the same time, the crimson Stadthuys building is considered Asia’s oldest Dutch colonial building.
Beyond its rich history, Malacca serves up plenty of leisure activities. Tee off at a string of nearby golf courses, enjoy a scenic cruise down the Malacca River or hit the downtown malls for some retail therapy.
Malacca’s old town is pedestrian friendly, which makes it easy to get around on foot. The city is well serviced by local buses, with plenty of taxis cruising the streets. For a fun and eco-friendly way to get from A to B, why not hitch a ride on one of Melacca’s famous trishaw bicycles? You can also take advantage of the city’s brand new bikeshare system.