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Malacca - street art along the canal - e.m. photo

If I was already in Malaysia, there was no way I was going to miss out on Malacca, which is a world heritage site – though it doesn’t seem to bother the city administrators that the downtown area is one big parade of kitsch. Among other things they built a water mill, just because they thought it would please the tourists. The problem is, we’re talking about a protected heritage site, where there was never a water mill before. Similarly, at the entrance to the city’s Chinatown, I came across an absurdly large snake sculpture which had recently been erected. Even more kitschy are the tuk-tuk taxis, whose owners deck them out as flamboyantly as possible with Christmas decorations, wreaths of plastic flowers, and twinkling lights. Malacca didn’t get a place on the UNESCO World Heritage list on its own, but together with George Town. The oldest British colonial settlement is remarkably well preserved, with houses, churches, public buildings, and hotels. There are not many places with a multicultural character as diverse as this: There are mosques, Chinese pagodas, Buddhist and Hindu temples, and Christian churches all in close proximity, and the population is also remarkably diverse.”

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“I stayed in the historic heart of Chinatown, just a stone’s throw from all the interesting stuff. There were small galleries and museums at every turn, as well as cafés, temples of every religion, and traces of Portuguese, Dutch and British colonial heritage – a pretty enthralling mixture! The small houses in colonial style with Chinese and Malay inscriptions look a bit absurd at first, but somehow it all contributes to a fun, exciting, thrilling whole. My absolute favorite was the promenade along the side of the river which bisects the city. This was a really wonderful experience, especially since in the 30˚C+ weather, people generally prefer boat trips, and most of the few other people on the promenade were locals.

Of course, I had to see all the obligatory places: Jonker and Heeren streets, the Stadthuys, Christ Church and the clock tower, the ruins of the church of  Saint Paul, the La Famosa gate which is all that remains of a Portuguese fort, and of course all the temples I mentioned before. But after all that, it’s good to just lose yourself in the maze of small streets, and soak up the atmosphere. Well worth it!” (2018)

Practicals

Transport

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Malacca - cycle rickshaw - Andras Schmied's photo

Malacca - inside a public bus - k.s. photo

Food

“Malacca, like George Town, is famous for its food, especially the so-called nyonya cuisine which originated with the Chinese who migrated here in the 16th century. Needless to say, here too we made a serious ‘effort’ to try as many local delicacies as possible. One unmissable dish is the local specialty, laksa, which is a delicious soup. We tried several varieties, including one with a sour taste, while others are generally prepared with coconut milk.

Another local specialty is cendol, which is a crushed-ice-based dessert, and Malaysians with a sweet tooth enjoy a range of different varieties, just like us. At the restaurant called Jonker 88, laksa and cendol are practically the only things they made, and both are outstanding. At the entrance to Chinatown is a small local restaurant, Kedai Kopi Chung Wah, which has an exceedingly short menu. Indeed, there is only one dish on sale, little balls of cooked chicken and rice. Every time we passed the restaurant we saw a long line of local Chinese people outside the entrance, so we couldn’t resist trying this local delicacy. It was definitely worth the wait – we have no idea what spice was in the rice balls, but it was fantastic.”

Malacca - Old Town - street food - s.l. photo

Malacca - street food - s.l. photo

Malacca - restaurant - h.p. photo

Malacca - sizable cup - b.i. photo

Shopping

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Malacca - Old Town - street market - s.l. photo

Malacca - market street - s.l. photo

Fun

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Malacca - Oriental Cottage Cafe Melaka - Music is Life!

Malacca - Old Town - Geographer, a bar&cafe - s.l. photo

Public safety

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Malacca - a BMW 5 Series police car - b.b. photo

Others

Street art

Malacca - street art - f.a. photo

Malacca - street art- e.m. photo

Malacca - street art - Give piss a chance - s.l. photo

Background

Malacca - s.l. photo

Destination in brief

Malacca, or Melaka is 140 km (87 mi) south from the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur.

Population (in 2020): 490,000

Its historic quarter is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

One of the motto of the city's tourism: Don't mess with Melaka, which presumably means you should not underestimate the attractiveness of the city.

Most of Melaka's tourist attractions are located in the center, within a few kilometers.


History

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Malacca - old house - Andras Schmied's photo

Nowadays

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Malacca - during the Chinese New Year - Elter photo

Malacca - view - Andras Schmied's photo

Malacca - Andras Schmied's photo

Malacca - Andras Schmied's photo

Malaysia - Malacca - Shore Sky Tower - Elter photo

Malacca - street scene - s.l. photo

People

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Malacca - girls - v.k. photo

Attractions

Historic District

Malacca - Historic District - s.l. photo

Malacca - Old Town - s.l. photo

Malacca - Old Town - s.l. photo

Malacca - Old Town - s.l. photo

Malacca - Historic District - s.l. photo

Malacca - Historic District - street art

Christ Church

Malacca - Christ Church - Andras Schmied's photo

Museums

Malacca - Maritime Museum - Andras Schmied's photo

Ruins of Saint Paul's Church

Malacca - St. Paul's Hill - Ruins of Saint Paul's Church - Andras Schmied's photo

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