This historical city has had many rulers over the last few centuries giving Melaka (Malacca) a rich history. Its location made it an important trading port in SE Asia. The architecturedutch in the Old Town area reflects these rulers and their ancient trading partners which included; Sultan of Sumatra (Peranakan), Portuguese, Dutch, British, Malay and Chinese. Much of this area is a UNESCO World Heritage site and has been restored as much as possible. In just a couple of hours we waked from the 1600’s Dutch waterfront church and city hall to the remains of a 1500’s brick Portuguese Fort, up the hill to a 14th century Sultanate wooden Palace next to a 16th century Potugese turned British Church, whose graveyard has the grave of Captain John Kidd.
Just across the river in China Town is the market area of Jonker Street. It’s a narrow cobblestone area with many restaurants, coffee shops and businesses selling clothing and crafts. There’s a popular night market here on weekends but we were here mid-week so missed it.
We found a really nice paved river walk along the Melaka River. It’s a newly re-energized area with a lot of good restaurants housed in the old buildings and tourist boat rides going by on the river. The food in Melaka is really good and is a mix of Malay, Chinese and Indian, though much more meat based than I was hoping for. Many of the Malay dinners have a zesty, spicy sambal dipping sauce and come with coconut rice which is really good. So far we had one of our best meals on this trip. We also found the people really friendly. They would all ask where we’re from, where else we’ll go in Malaysia, and would end the conversation with ‘Welcome’. It was a really nice introduction to the country.
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