What to See and Do in Malacca
Situated on the west coast peninsular of Malaysia, Malacca is a modern city with incredible historical atmosphere and culture. A fishing village before its founding the last Raja of Singapore in 1400, Malacca was designated as a World Heritage Site in 2008. With its rich European, Chinese, and Malay roots, Malacca offers a unique experience to the traveller. These are just some of things to do and see next time you’re in Malacca. Like any other travel destination, when it comes to Malaysia hotels can vary in quality so be sure to secure your accommodation with a reputable hotel chain.
Cheng Hoon Teng Temple
This is the oldest functioning Chinese temple in Malaysia. Atmospheric and richly decorated, Cheng Hoon Teng Temple was built in 1645 by Kapitan China Li Wei King with materials imported from China and covers an area of over 4,600 square metres. The temple conforms to Feng Shui principles and is a popular place for travellers. Geok Hu Keng Temple is another highly regarded temple to visit in Malacca.
Baba and Nyonya Peranakan Museum
The Baba and Nyonya Peranakan Museum is a converted Peranakan heritage townhouse is a wonderful example of Peranakan culture. Visitors are usually guided through the museum in groups.
A Dutch-built church, Christ Church was built between 1741 and 1753 with bricks shipping from the Netherlands, replacing the old Portuguese church that stood on the grounds. Littered with centuries-old Dutch tombstones and sacramental silverware, this is the oldest Protestant church in all of Malaysia. Take a walk around the beautiful Dutch Square, which surrournds the church.
Jonker, Heeren and adjacent streets
For a feel of Old Malacca, take a leisurely stroll around Jonker, Heeren and adjacent streets. This area is the residential centre of Old Malacca and is filled streets with lots of character, wonderfully historic houses, temples, and mosques. Far from being lost in time, the area is also booming with new shops and restaurants for visitors. Don’t miss out of Harmony Street (also known as Temple Street or Jalan Tokong) for the eclectic mix of Chinese, Hindu, and Muslim temples and mosques.
Bukit China is one of the largest Chinese cemeteries outside of China. Some of the graves in this cemetery date back to the Ming dynasty, though many graves were exhumed during the British occupation. Today, Bukit China is a popular jogging and exercise spot for locals, offering a great view of the town.
Saint Paul’s Church
Built in 1521 by the Portuguese and converted into a fortress in 1567, it began to be used as a church in 1596 by the Dutch, as well as a burial ground. Don’t miss Poh San Teng Temple, the graveyard’s burial temple, at the foot of Bukit China. Visit St John’s Hill and Fort, Malacca’s other fortresses.
This is where the majority of the descendants of those Portuguese who settled in Malacca from 1511 reside today. The area comes alive during festival times, such as Intrudu (Feburary), the Festa San Pedro (June), and during the Christmas period.
Porta de Santiago
This area contains the remains of the old Portuguese fort A Famosa on Jalan Kota, which is around the St Paul’s Hill area.
Masjid Kampung Hulu
One of the oldest functioning mosques in Malacca, the Masjid Kampung Hulu is worth a look for its unique mix of Chinese, Javanese and Arab architecture.
When it comes to shopping, Malacca is famous for its antiques. Try Jonker Street for weekend nightmarkets and Dataran Pahlawan Mega Mall for some great shopping.
Malacca has excellent Malaysian fare as well as traditional Malaccan cuisine, with its Peranakan or Baba-Nyonya style dishes. Some examples include ayam pongteh, ayam buah keluak, satay celup. The local Portuguese-Eurasian delicacies are also well-worth sampling.
In summary, Malacca is a wonderfully vibrant destination for visitors, with a mix of the old and new to interest any type of traveller. Like Doha hotels, accommodation in Malaysia can vary in quality and it’s advisable to carefully research before you book.