Malacca or Melaka located just a short 2-hour drive away from Kuala Lumpur is definitely a must-go for cultural and historical buffs. The heart of the city is UNESCO world heritage site, dotted with relics from the city’s colorful historical past.
For a long time, Malacca was one of the major trading ports in the region. During the past 500 years the city has been colonized by the Dutch, Portuguese and Bristish. It was also one of the early settlement areas for immigrants to Malaya so heavy Muslim, Chinese, Indian and especially Peranakan influences are also very evident everywhere you look.
While many tourists include Malacca as a day trip destination, it really warrants a night or two especially during festivals and weekends. During Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, the locals set up a market on Jonker Street. Although the night market has become a little touristy, there are still plenty of stalls hawking authentic local delicacies and affordable knick-knacks.
Another of the city’s highlights would have to be the quaint restaurants, cafes and hotels, especially those within the UNESCO heritage zone. Whether it is high-end hotels or quaint bohemian cafes, business owners in this area have been very careful in maintaining the buildings’ original aesthetics as much as possible.