Malacca or Melaka in Malay is the third smallest state of Malaysia. Located in the Southern Region of the Malay Peninsula, next to the Straights of Melaka. The city holds many significant stories from the past as it was a former colony of the Portuguese, just like Macau in China. What’s amazing about this city is that it has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and that makes Melaka an interesting place to visit.
When my husband and I initially planned our travel to Malaysia, we only considered an overnight stay in Melaka. However a friend of ours who is also my husband’s colleague suggested that it would be better to spend 3 days and 2 nights to enjoy Melaka fully. And yes, we stayed in Melaka for 3 days and 2 nights to be able to explore this historical city.
Here are the reason why an overnight in Melaka is not enough.
1. A Glimpse of the Formidable Fortress
This Fortress was built and used by the Portuguese during the Portuguese Empire. It was called A Fomosa which means “The Famous” in Portuguese. The fort was demolished when the Dutch handed it over to the British except for a small gate house which is the only part of the fortress that still remains today.
2. Photo Stop at the Dutch Square
Your visit in Melaka will not be complete if you won’t have a souvenir photo of this place. Just across the street you can see the Dutch Mill which I find very interesting. For people who can’t afford to go to Holland, this Dutch Mill will do. Just take your time clicking that shutter button and surely you will go home with good memories of Melaka.
3. Fill Your Stomach with the Local Street Food
Oh my FOOD! Who would have thought that I’ll be drowning with food here in Melaka. These local treats will surely make your stomach bloat.
I was actually very hesitant to try eating street food since I have a very sensitive and weak stomach. But when our Malaysian friend assured us that it was clean and there’s nothing to worry about, without second thoughts, I tried everything he suggested. I can’t even remember what I stuffed in my mouth. This place is really a heaven for foodies like me. You will never regret sampling all the local Malaysian food. We actually left Jonker Street satisfied and with a full stomach.
4. Visit the Maritime Museum
The Maritime Museum is a replica of the Portuguese Ship that sank in the Straights of Melaka on its way back to Portugal.
For ship fanatics, the museum holds a collection of different ship models, types and functions. It also exhibit several paintings and artefacts such porcelain, silk, textile and spices.
5. Wild Life Encounter at the Melaka Zoo and Bird Park
For animal lovers like us, visiting Zoo’s and Bird Parks have always been part of our travels. We believe that by visiting these animals through paying entrance fees and giving donations can somehow contribute financially to the needs of the animals and help animal conservation programs.
Melaka Zoo is the second largest zoo in Malaysia. They house more than 1,200 animals of 215 species.
According to Wikipedia, Melaka Zoo was the first zoo in Malaysia to exhibit the critically endangered Sumatran Rhinoceros. It also houses overseas as well as local beauties such as White Rhinoceros, Asian Elephants, Red Panda, Malaysian Guar, the Serow, the Squirrel Monkey, the Molurus Python, the Grey Wolf, the Mongolian Wild Horse, the Green Tree Python, Giraffe, the Blue-and-Yellow Macaw and also the Indochinese Tiger as well as the Malayan Tiger.
6. Go Back in Time to China Town
Walking through the streets of China town was like walking down memory lane. The old traditional Chinese Temples, the architecture and the vibrant colored lanterns and antique charms will truly bring you back in time and show how Chinese people lived in Melaka long time ago. Although the place are, most of the time, flooded with tourist still everything remained authentic.
7. Sightseeing with Style
These three wheeled accessorized Hello Kitty bicycles give a tour around the city with style. Riding one of these will surely make you feel like a princess. Their loud speakers also get everyone’s attention. Isn’t that cool?
8.Treasure Hunting at Jonker Street
Are you an antique collector or perhaps looking for something unique? Why not spend some of your time browsing thru this place. Jonker’s Walk night market literally sells everything under the sun.
9. Shop Till You Drop
Shopping shopping shopping… who wouldn’t love to shop in this city. Melaka is not only famous for its sale of antiques but also they have a number of modern shops and malls. During the time of Ramadan most of the shops and malls give big discounts for shoppers. You surely will be lured to shop till you drop.
10. Cruise the Historic River
If you have more time, why not embark on a river cruise? The cruise lasts about 45 minutes. A small boat transport tourist up and down past historic buildings, old warehouses, mangrove stands, churches and villages. It is another way to see the city in a different perspective.
My favorite part of our trip in Melaka were the food and the Portuguese inspired architectures. Malaysian cuisine and local delicacies are really good especially the Nyonya dishes. I highly recommend all visitors of this city to try it out. Overall, we really had a worthwhile experience in this beautiful city. How about you? Which of the above mentioned recommendations would you like to experience?
*** Note: This article was originally posted in my deactivated old blog site.