A historical city that was the centre of great civilisations and a hotbed of multiculturalism, Melaka proves to be an intriguing destination for all
From lantern-lit canals, nostalgic streetscapes, decades-old ornate temples to pre-colonial shophouses and landmarks, these olden charms in Malacca, or Melaka, add an air of romance to anyone’s holiday.
Thus, it is no surprise that both locals and foreign tourists make a beeline to the second-smallest state in Malaysia to view history through Melaka’s window.
DAZZLING IN BOTH DAY AND NIGHT
Over the last five years, Melaka has seen some interesting transformations. Shophouses that are centuries old have been renovated, some turned into trendy cafes, eateries and hotels. By day, camera-wielding visitors will be delighted to shop around for souvenirs, snapping away at historical landmarks and enjoying a gastronomic adventure with a taste of Melaka’s famous chicken rice ball, satay celup, Portuguese grilled fish, cendol Melaka and Peranakan cuisine.
By night, on every weekend, the Jonker Walk night market comes alive, attracting hordes of tourists. This is the time when you can let your hair down, and go cheery-beery and merry-making at one of the many cafes and pubs that dot the lane.
You can also sharpen your bargaining skills while shopping for cultural artefacts, antiques and other bric-a-bracs on sale.
MULTI-CULTURE, MULTI-RELIGION, MULTI-FASCINATION
Melaka used to be a free laissez faire port and is an amalgam of many cultures. For tourists, turning these pages of history into a real life experience is truly thrilling.
Explore The Stadhuys, the red-coloured Dutch buildings on the Red Square, which is now a museum showcasing Melaka’s past glory.
Also stroll along rows of pre-colonial shophouses and visit the Baba and Nyonya Heritage Museum, which showcases traditional costumes, antique furniture, pottery, works of art, and woodcarvings of these “Straits-born Chinese” or “Peranakans”.
The rich fabric of multi-religious Melaka has led to the establishment of temples, churches and mosques interwoven within the city.
MELTING POT OF CULTURES
With an array of places of worship, Melaka can be seen as a melting pot of cultures. As the Portuguese Dutch and British once ruled Melaka, many settlers embraced Christianity. There are three prominent churches in Melaka including St Paul’s Church.
The Kampong Kling Mosque, which is one of the oldest mosques in the country, is a mix of Indian, Chinese and Sumatran influences and it has a Victorian chandelier and a pagoda-styled minaret, making the mosque a rare architectural masterpiece.
So, if you are looking to relive a rich and exciting history and make memories to last a lifetime, simply make a trip to Melaka. You will find yourself lost in the charms of the past glories of kingdoms of various civilisations.
For more information or enquiries, please contact Visit Malaysia Year 2014 Secretariat, at +601038891 7000 or log on to www.tourismmalaysia.gov.my