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Melaka is the capital of the state of Melaka, on the west coast of peninsular Malaysia. It is a city rich with heritage buildings, ancient landmarks and colonial structures. Visiting Melaka is a unique experience as it has a rich historical and cultural background from previous Portuguese, Dutch and British rule. You can still see the imprints of British, Dutch and Portuguese forces left behind in forts, museums, churches and towers. It is because of all this history that the city center was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in July 2008. Melaka’s charm not only lies in its history but also in the people that reside there. In Melaka’s Chinatown, resides a unique community called the Peranakan Straits Chinese or more commonly known as the Peranakan or Baba and Nyonya community. The unique blend of both Chinese and Malay heritage has permanently made its mark as one of Melaka’s identity. Not forgetting the Portuguese community, descendants of seafarers of the past who made Melaka their new home. It is because of these communities as well that Melaka is also known as a food haven where you can find a variety of different dishes that will suit everyone’s palates.
Melaka International Airport (formerly known as Batu Berendam Airport) is located about 10 km from the city of Melaka. Not many flights serve the airport. Malindo Airways operates to Melaka from Guangzhou, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Pekanbaru, Indonesia, Ho Chi Minh City, and Subang. You can either take a taxi from Melaka International Airport into the city or take a local bus which will connect you to Melaka Sentral. Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), is the nearest major airport and is about 1.5-2 hours away from Melaka city by car.
From Kuala Lumpur International Airport
Travelers from KLIA can take an express bus from the airport directly to Melaka city. The journey will take approximately 2 hours 30 minutes depending on the traffic. Bus tickets can be bought online from websites such as transnasional.com.my and easibook.com. Travelers are recommended to pre-book their tickets online to ensure that the bus will pick them up. KLIA2 and KLIA is the bus’s second stop so if the bus is full or near full it may not stop at KLIA at all unless there are pre-booked passengers at KLIA.
Depending on the time of the bus, some will arrive in Melaka Sentral or alternatively at Mahkota Medical Centre as the final destination. Buses arriving at Mahkota Medical Centre will stop at Melaka Sentral as the second to last stop. If your destination in Melaka is Jonker Street, Chinatown, Mahkota Medical Centre is within walking distance (20-30 minutes or a short taxi ride away). Melaka Sentral is located further away from Jonker Street, however, is more accessible by the local bus to Chinatown. Apart from taxis, travelers can also use ride-hailing services such as Grab.
Another option would be to take the KLIA Express to the Southern Integrated Terminal (TBS) for RM8 and then get on a regular bus to Melaka Sentral, for about RM 10-12. The bus runs daily from 7am until midnight.
Since 2008, Melaka has been listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list as one of the historic cities of the Straits of Melaka. The city has a fascinating history, developing from a Malay sultanate through subsequent periods of Portuguese, Dutch and English colonial rule, to being part of independent Malaysia. Melaka is considered as one of the most charming and accessible destinations in peninsular Malaysia. Travelers can’t help but be charmed by the city’s diverse culture and history and at the end of their visit, they always consider Melaka to be one of the most rewarding destinations in Malaysia.
Red Square (Dutch Square)
The Dutch possession of Malaysia is quite eminent from the Red Square (Dutch Square) area. You can witness two of the most prominent landmarks of the area which includes the Christ Church and the old town hall or Stadthuys. You can also enjoy a trishaw ride in the area and indulge yourself in some souvenir shopping.
St. Paul’s Hill
Located at the top of St. Paul’s Hill, the St. Paul’s Church ruins make for some beautiful pictures. You get an amazing view of the city from the top of the hill after a brief walk up. The place has been well maintained and preserved by the local authorities. The tomb stone and relic inscriptions will allow you to get a detailed insight into the history of the church.
Cheng Hoong Teng Temple
Built in 1645, Cheng Hoong Teng temple certainly offers its visitors a calm, serene and tranquil environment. It is the oldest functioning temple in Malaysia. You will be fascinated by the architectural style along with the carvings of this Buddhist temple. The place mostly remains free from tourists and serves as a nice retreat away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Jonker Walk located in Chinatown always offers visitors something unusual and unique. This vibrant place boasts of eye-catching architecture and brilliant lighting. Do a spot of souvenir shopping or enjoy snacking on the variety of delicious treats sold all along the street. However, it is the weekend night markets that are looked forward to by both locals and tourists alike. Here, places to eat are available aplenty and is certainly the best place to hang out in Melaka.
A’Famosa Fort (Porta de Santiago)
The Famosa Fort in Melaka is a popular tourist destination and an important historical landmark. The best time to visit the fort is in the morning so as to avoid the crowd. You can also take some nice pictures standing in front of the canons that were actually used during the early times.
A visit to this place will take you back to the culture and history of Malaysia. This century old home acts as a living museum village which is presently inhabited by the granddaughter of the actual owner of the house. She is extremely courteous and will guide you through her house to get a better understanding of how people used to live in the past.
Melaka is also a city of gastronomical delight. Melaka offers travelers with choices of mouth-watering food that are heavily influenced by the Peranakan style that is a mix of Chinese and Malay dishes. Melaka dishes can genuinely satisfy anyone’s taste bud. Here are some of Melaka’s food gems that you must try when you are visiting this amazing UNESCO World Heritage city.
Chicken Rice Balls
A fun twist to the Hainanese chicken rice, chicken rice balls - ground rice cooked in chicken broth, mixed with spices and then rolled into balls - are usually eaten with a plate of steamed or roasted chicken. A popular haunt for this dish is Chung Wah Restaurant in Jonker Walk however, Muslim travelers looking for Halal chicken rice balls can try this dish at Ee Ji Ban restaurant at Jalan Melaka Raya 3. The dish is ideal to be enjoyed with the whole family.
Asam Pedas Fish
Fish and/or seafood is cooked in asam pedas soup, made from tamarind juice, chilli, and an assortment of spices. Typically, the dish also includes vegetables such as okra, eggplant, long green beans, and tomato. The cooking process involves soaking the pulp of the tamarind fruit until it is soft and then squeezing out the juice for cooking the fish/seafood. This is the signature dish of the state. A very hot and mild sour fish curry making it very appetizing and is best to go with white rice. The dish can be found all along Jonker Walk and other parts of the city. However, a favourite among many for this dish would be at Amy Heritage and Nyonya Cuisine at Jalan Melaka Raya 24.
This is a dish where an assortment of raw and semi-cooked seafood, meat (including raw meat) and vegetables on skewers are dunked into a hot boiling pot of satay gravy or peanut sauce. Some consider Capitol Satay at Lorong Bukit Cina to have the best Satay Celup. However, you can also try this dish at McQuek’s Satay Celup in Jonker Walk.
Melaka-style cendol, also known as Nyonya cendol, drizzles reduced palm sugar and coconut milk over its combination of shaved ice, red beans, cendol (green noodle), and creamed corn instead of conventional brown sugar. In certain places, you can also opt to have a dollop of durian on top. Various eateries and food stalls in Melaka serve this dish however many consider Aunty Koh's cendol in Jalan Batang Tiga to serve the best cendol in Melaka.
Melaka is frequented by tourists because of its well-preserved heritage buildings, astonishing colonial structures and fascinating history. But beyond this historic city, Melaka offers so much more to its visitors.
A’ Famosa Resort
Approximately 24 km north of Melaka is the 520-hectare A’Famosa Resort. Not to be confused with the A’Famosa Fort, this resort encompasses 1,300 acres of land and can only be described as a major theme park. There are several amusement parks within it including Animal World Safari, Water World and Cowboy Town. The family-oriented park offers fun for both adults and children with its variety of activities and themed rides.
Butterfly & Reptile Sanctuary
Butterfly & Reptile Sanctuary is a tourist attraction in Ayer Keroh, about 15km northeast of Melaka town. Also known as Taman Rama Rama (Butterfly Garden), it is home to a collection of animals ranging from beautiful butterflies to snakes, lizards, crocodiles, koi fish and even a pair of gorgeous golden leopards. Spread across an 11-hectare jungle area, the complex is a part secondary jungle and partly landscaped park. The well-maintained sanctuary was opened in 1991 and is divided into five sections: Koi River Valley, Butterfly Garden, Reptile Aviary, Wild Photo Lane and Nature’s Art Centre.
Mini Malaysia & ASEAN Cultural Park
Mini Malaysia & ASEAN Cultural Park is a cultural park where impressive replicas of traditional Malaysian and ASEAN homes can be seen. Each house contains furnishings, fixtures and works of art depicting the culture of each state or country. Located in Ayer Keroh, the Mini Malaysia & ASEAN Cultural Park showcases the country’s 13 states represented with houses that look similar to the untrained eye (save for the Borneo house). However, inside each abode is where the differences can be seen with life-sized wax figures dressed in respective traditional costumes as well as local handicrafts. Visitors can also find a model of an Orang Asli village at the Mini Malaysia Complex.
With the flight + hotel ticket package available at Traveloka Malaysia, you can visit Melaka easily and cheaper. Choose a variety of tour packages that we offer and modify as you like to get the combination you want.
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