7 Places To Visit In Melaka, Malaysia
Melaka and is one of the most interesting parts of Malaysia. Melaka has a varied history, having been colonized by the Portuguese, Dutch, and British, and as such you will find influences from all of these former colonial powers in the food, architecture, and even the language.
The city also has a large Chinese community known as Peranakan or Straits Chinese which has led to the Nonya culture which is a mix of Malay and Chinese influences that have even spawned a completely unique cuisine in the form of delicious Nonya dishes. As well as food, you can expect a huge number of cultural attractions in Melaka, and considering its size it has a wide variety of engaging museums which will be a treat for any history buffs wanting to know more about the area.
This is also a strategically important part of the country that sits on a graceful river, and one of the highlights of a trip here is a scenic river cruise that allows you to take in all the delights of Melaka while enjoying the breeze over the water. Much of the city has remained unchanged for centuries and you can still find crumbling forts as well as buildings that are covered with traditional cherry-red façades that were introduced during the colonial period.
Let’s explore the best things to do in Melaka:
A Famosa Fort
A Famosa Fort is one of the main attractions in Melaka and is said to be one of the oldest kinds remaining examples of Portuguese architecture in Southeast Asia.
The fort is now crumbling gracefully but you will still find the main gate of the fort called Porto de Santiago.
A Famosa Fort dates from the 16th century when it was erected to guard against an attack on Melaka and now the parts that still stand are mostly Dutch reconstructions along a coat of arms and some inscriptions in Dutch.
Flora de la Mar Maritime Museum
The Flora de la Mar Maritime Museum houses a model of the Flora de la Mar which was a Portuguese ship which sank off the shore of Melaka in the days of old.
As well as the recreated ship you will actually find three different museums here that tell the story of maritime history in Malaysia and you can climb aboard the Flor de la Mar as well as enjoy dioramas and other nautical antiques.
A Famosa Resort
A Famosa Resort is one of the most famous theme parks in Malaysia and offers great fun for all the family.
You can stay at the resort as well as visit the range of theme parks here which include Safari Wonderland, A Famosa Water World, and Old West which is modeled on an old fashioned cowboy town.
The fun doesn’t end there however as you will also find rock climbing walls, paddle boat rides, and fishing ponds.
Visitors can also try diverse pursuits like archery, horse and carriage rides and paintball and this makes a great spot especially if you are traveling with a family as there is a huge amount to do here for younger visitors.
If you fancy a short trip out of town then consider visiting the Melaka Zoo which is located in Ayer Keroh.
The zoo has the claim to fame of being the second largest zoo in Malaysia although many locals will also tell you that they consider it to be the best.
The zoo is located in an area of forestland and the enclosures have been designed to mimic the natural environment of the animals.
You can see a range of both indigenous and international species here and there is a scenic lake in the middle of the complex which makes a great place to go for a walk in the afternoon.
There are also special night visits when you can stay in the zoo up to 11 pm to check out the nocturnal animals that live here.
Melaka River Cruise
The Melaka River is one of the highlights of the city and the best way to experience it is to take to the water on a scenic river cruise.
Back in the days of old the river would have been one of the most important trade routes in the area and nowadays you can cruise past important spots such as Kampung Morten and enjoy all the sights of the city.
There are also nighttime river cruises which offer you the chance to take in the city illuminations and the journey usually takes around 45 minutes to an hour.
St. Paul’s Church
One of Melaka’s most famous churches is Saint Paul’s Church which dates from 1521 when it was built by the Portuguese colonialists.
It was used as a fortress in 1567 and then became a church after the Dutch siege of Melaka.
It used to be called Our Lady of Annunciation and it also has a Dutch cemetery attached where you can see some of the tombstones of those who would have made the journey from the Netherlands to Melaka in the days of old.
To get to the church you will need to walk up a small hill which is worth the effort for the pretty views over the city.
Jonker Walk Night Market
Located on Jalan Hang Jebat is the Jonker Walk Night Market which takes place from Friday to Sunday once the sun starts to go down.
This is one of the best places to come to shop in Melaka and you will find a huge range of goods on sale including souvenirs, a selection of antiques, and local handicrafts.
You can also buy other items like electronics and clothing but one of the best parts of the market is the food.
Just some of the street food snacks that you can expect to find here include pancakes and waffles, rice balls filled with chicken, and cendol which is a kind of dessert which is made with jelly and coconut milk.
All in all
All in all, Melaka offers a serene yet fascinating glimpse into the history of Malaysia and is a top spot for anyone looking to explore a different side of the country away from big cities like Kuala Lumpur.