Malaysia - Getting to know Malacca (Melaka)
Malacca, or Melaka as it is locally known, is a delightfully historic port wrapped in a rich tapestry of multicultural influences. These are reflected in its heritage architecture, diverse lifestyles and eclectic cuisine.
The port's strategic location on the Selat Melaka (Strait of Melaka) enabled it to become the greatest trading port in South-East Asia as early as the 15th century, when Chinese junks first moored off shore. It soon became one of Europe’s most sought after prizes and so, after centuries of different landlords, the city now boasts a cultural overlay like no other in Malaysia, combining Chinese, Islamic, Hindu, Portuguese, Dutch and British influences.
What to do in Malacca
- Visit the Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, the oldest Chinese temple in Malaysia
- Drop in to the Dutch Stadhuys near the city’s Red Square - built in 1650, this distinctive red building is home to the History & Ethnography Museum
- Explore the ruins of St Paul's Church where St Francis Xavier (an influential Catholic missionary) was buried, and 18th century St John's Hill and Fort
- Stroll along the atmospheric Jonker Street, with its narrow winding lanes, beautifully decorated houses, tiny shops, temples and mosques
- Embark on a journey-via-food. Malacca is also home to the outstanding Nyonya style cuisine, a unique fusion of Chinese and Malay. If you want to focus on one area, there are great culinary delights to be found in Little India or Chinatown.
The Melaka Laksa is to die for, but there is everything from Portuguese-Eurasian food to southern Indian to tickle your tastebuds!
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