Melaka or as it is previously known as Malacca is one of the most important port cities in the history of trade. Situated in the Malacca Strait that connects the South Asian sea and Europe to the East, the city was once the seat of the Malay Kingdom and has gone through several periods of prosperity and neglect, resulting in a city so unique, that you need to see for yourself when you are traveling in Malaysia.
Due to its diverse nature with the city’s unique Nyonya culture (Chinese + Malay) and the influence of the Portuguese, the Dutch, and the English, Melaka has plenty to offer for travelers who are curious about the history or simply enjoy experiencing unique cultures. Here are incredible things for you in Melaka.
Stroll Around Stadthuys And Visit Christ Church
The Stadthuys and its vivid red-colored square is the landmark of Melaka city center. As you can see from the name, the square was built by the Dutch during the colonization and it is considered to be the oldest remaining Dutch structure in the East.
This is where most of the tourists are at and for good reasons as it is one of the most photogenic places in Melaka. The square consists of the iconic clock tower, a good meetup place, the History Museum, and the impressive Christ Church, an 18th-century Anglican church and one of the oldest functioning Protestant churches in Malaysia. The square is best seen from the balcony of the museum building which is accessible from the stairs in the square facing the Christ Church.
Walk Around Jonker Street
On the weekends (Fri – Sun) at night, the famous Jonker street turns into a walking night market full of people with plenty of handicrafts, clothes, and street food for you to enjoy. If you are not there on the weekends, the street is still very lively during the day with local restaurants and shops catering to all types of travelers. You can try the Durian ice cream (it’s better than it sounds!), the famous chicken rice, and be sure to try the Nyonya traditional dishes.
Try The Nyonya Traditional Dishes
One of the unique cultures they have here is the Nyonya culture, a combination of the Chinese Strait and the Malaysian cultures, and there is no better way to explore a new culture than with your mouth and stomach!
Peranakan Place on Jonker Street is a great place to try some of the Nyonya dishes. I tried the Nyonya Laksa together with The Tarik here and my god was it delicious! I heard that their seafood dishes are also great as well so be sure to check it out.
Walk-Up To St. Paul’s Church And To The Famosa Fort
After a nice delicious lunch, let’s go for a little walk up St. Paul’s Hill to St. Paul’s Church. You can walk along the path behind the Stadthuys museum that should take you all the way up to the fort.
A former Portuguese church turned lighthouse, the St. Paul’s Church is another great remnant of the colonial time. Built-in 1571, the St. Paul’s Church is considered to be the oldest church building in Southeast Asia.
After you checked out the St Paul’s Church, continue onward down towards the A Famosa Fort, another remnant of the Portuguese colonization located on the opposite side of the hill.