Melaka is a Unesco World Heritage site, and it has a lot to offer the visitor – from historical sites to modern attractions – and the food is an attraction in itself.
With “Cuti-cuti Malaysia” now revived because of Covid-19 travel restrictions, a visit to Melaka should be high on one’s list.
Here are some places to go and things to see in this historical city.
Ride the Melaka monorail
The Melaka monorail is a 2.5 km clockwise loop covering the area adjacent to the Melaka River.
It is designed for sightseers to get an overview of the heritage area, including Kampung Morten, and the old pedestrian bridges that criss-cross the city.
Porta de Santiago (A’ Famosa)
A’ Famosa was a fortress built by the Portuguese after they invaded Melaka in 1511. It is one of the oldest European structures still in existence in Southeast Asia.
The fortress itself was huge but in 1807, most of it was destroyed. Thanks to Sir Stamford Raffles and his timely interference, the only structure that was saved from destruction is the gate, the Porta de Santiago.
A photo op here is a must when visiting Melaka.
Melaka River cruise
Take a boat ride along the pretty Melaka River. The river was once so polluted there were no living things in it.
However, after a rehabilitation project it is now a healthy, beautiful river. The cruise takes visitors past several heritage buildings as well as the famous Kampung Morten.
The cruise leaves from the Muara Jetty to Taman Rempah before returning to the jetty. Take a night cruise and enjoy the stunning views.
Kampung Morten is a well-maintained traditional Malay village near Melaka city centre. It offers a peak into the traditions of the local Malay community.
The Shore Sky Tower
The Shore Sky Tower is the tallest building in Melaka at 153 metres. At the top is the Sky Deli Restaurant, where visitors can have a meal while enjoying the panoramic view of the city.
On the rooftop is a transparent platform for visitors to challenge their fear of heights. The best time to visit the Shore Sky Tower is after dark to enjoy the view of the lights of the city.
The Stadthuys was a government building built during the Dutch colonisation of Melaka. It is well known within the core heritage area of Melaka and is widely known as the Red Building.
The Stadthuys now houses an exhibit of how Melaka was ruled by the Dutch and other aspects of its history.
Baba and Nyonya Heritage Museum
The Baba and Nyonya or Peranakan community came into being centuries ago when Chinese migrants married into the local Malay community.
Although they speak a form of Malay and the cuisine has Malay elements, most Peranakans are non-Muslims. This museum tells visitors of the Baba and Nyonya culture and heritage.
The museum was the home of the Chan family from 1861. Four generations lived in it before it was converted into a museum in 1985.
Melaka’s floating mosque, Masjid Selat, is not far from the city centre. It is built on stilts and over the Straits of Melaka.
The mosque is open to visitors but proper attire is required. The mosque provides robes if necessary.
A visit to Jonker Walk must be included on anyone’s list of places to visit. Apart from the souvenirs, it is the best place to do some food hunting.
Street food stalls (especially over the weekends) and local restaurants serve Melaka delicacies and traditional dishes.
The road is closed to motor traffic on the weekends and converted into a pedestrian market. So, this is just the right place to combine shopping and eating.
Khai and wife Amira are Malaysian travel bloggers who blog at Kaki Jalans.
Their travels have taken them to almost all the countries in Asean and five countries in Europe. They are still actively travelling and adding to this list.