Melaka formerly known as Malacca situated on the Malay Peninsula’s southwest coast, dubbed as “The Historic State,” has a strong colonial past since the 16th century. In the past, the Dutch and the Portuguese have build Churches and Red Squarish buildings which are still present today. By visiting Malacca, it gives you a nostalgic and fuzzy feeling as this small town can offer one of the best attractions and sightseeing places.
Besides going for Attractions and sightseeing, Malacca, known for its eateries, cafe(s) and local foods. Those who come here must try their famous Chicken Rice Balls, Satay, Laksa, and other unique Nyonya Delights. If you are a food lover, you will fall in love with Malacca.
Situated at a favorable position, Melaka allows tourists to take day trips from Kuala Lumpur! A considerable number of Singaporeans regularly drive up to Malacca as well to explore this beautiful state, even ourselves. There are streets to walk, shopping to do, hanging out and chilling in front of the waterfront, and many more! Coming here, you will also understand and enjoy the slow pace lives people in Malacca lead.
A) The Must-See Attractions
Red Square: The Stadthuys
Location: Bandar Hilir, 75000 Melaka, Malaysia
The oldest-surviving Dutch building in the East is The Stadthuys, built since the 16th century. Situated at the heart of the city, this is undeniably Malacca’s favorite destination for many tourists. Nearby, you can also find the famous St Paul’s Church and Queen Victoria Fountain. The entire place has been painted with red, making it unmissable.
If you are interested in the Museum and understanding of the Dutch and Portuguese History in Malacca, you can always find out more in the Museum. There are displays of bridal costumes and relics that have been kept for over 40 years, playing a part in showcasing Malacca’s glorious past.
Just behind the fountains, you can find an entire row of shops being lined selling Malacca’s specialties and local handmade goods. Besides shopping, you can also hop onto any one of the cutely designed colorful and flashing Trishaws with Hello Kitty(s), lights and other fabulous characters around town! These manually pedaled trishaws give you great views of the city if you are not a fan of walking!
Here are the prices offered for some packages:
RM 25 for four (4) site views – almost 20 minutes ride
RM 35 for six (6) site views – nearly 40 minutes ride
RM 50 for a one hour ride
2. Jonker Street
Just across the Stadthuys with only a 2 minute walk away, you will find the most bustling street in town: Jonker Street.
Jonker Street is the Chinatown street of Malacca which has attracted tons of tourists to shop, eat and walk. It can get busy during the day under the scorching hot sun as people stroll the streets to shop for local handmade goods, clothing, dresses and of course eat!
Jonker Street is famous for their Durian Chendol and Chicken Rice Ball. At the start of Jonker Street, you can buy the Chicken Rice Balls. A popular Durian Chendol is by TasteMade, which you can see along Jonker’s Street. It is always fun and lovely spending Time along Jonker Street. One famous shop which sells delicacies like Tau Sau Piah, Durian Foods, Coffee, Biscuits and many more is San Shu Gong. http://www.gomelaka.my/san-shu-gong/ Many people love shopping here and buying home the local delights to share with their family members! Be sure to try them when you are there! They have food tasting biscuits that you can try before purchasing!
Along this bustling street, you can never get bored. It is so lively, happening and happy here! Do note that the shops close at 5 pm and some don’t even open until the Weekends. Most people travel here during the weekends with their family for a short trip, making it extremely crowded then. To avoid large crowds, visit Malacca during the weekdays. We did not like the idea of waiting in the car and being stuck in a jam on our way to Malacca.
3. The River Cruise
Ticket Prices: Prices differ for different groups of people. http://www.melakarivercruise.my/ticket.php
Opening Hours: 9 am to 1130pm.
I would recommend you to sit the River Cruise to see the best sights of Malacca in comfort. As you ride on the cruise, along the river, you get to look at the historical views, buildings, and culture of the people in the past. There are many artistic graffitis that you can see during your boat ride as well. The entire boat ride is 45 minutes and its best to sit in front where you can catch, take pictures or beautiful Malacca without any extra heads or hindrances! You can also find foreigners chilling out at the bars in front of the waterfront which shows how amazing Malacca can be.
Both day and night cruise can offer different views. I went for the day cruise, and it was terrific. If you would love to see Malacca day and night, you can take the River cruise during the day and night!
Ticket prices can be purchased anywhere from online to the ticket kiosks located almost everywhere. If you would like to save money on Melaka River Cruise, you can always find lower ticket prices at myfave.com.sg, klook.com, and some private tour agencies. To find out more about Melaka River Cruise, click here!
It can be tiring walking along the streets of Malacca under their scorching sun. It makes you feel exhausted quickly, and I have experienced that before.
4. Tamang Sari Tower
Tamang Sari Tower is a revolving tower in Malacca City, located near Jonker Street. This tower gives you a bird’s eye view of Melaka’s city and a panoramic 360-degree view of Melaka. As you enjoy the ride up to the top of the tower, you will witness the beauty of Malacca city. On one side, you can see the bustling city of Malacca while on the other, it is the seaside. The ride up and down was about 5 to 10 minutes, but it was a great ride as we enjoyed the magnificent views.
(B) Cultural Places
The Historical city of Malacca offers you one of the most traditional structures dating back to the old centuries. Eat is under the UNESCO World Heritage City and is populated with tourists from all around the world. Below are some of the fascinating cultural places that can bring you back to the people in the past.
5. Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum
Location: No 48 & 50 Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock. 75200 Melaka, Malaysia
One of the riches centuries old culture is Peranakan, also known as Baba Nyonya. It is a collection of 3 unit houses beautified and restored. Peranakan is the mixture of two different ethnicities of the Chinese, the descendants of the Chinese immigrants, marrying a Malay race.
Peranakan Houses have a unique and nostalgic style. Unlike modern houses today which are squarish and spacious, Peranakan dwellings are elongated and not as wide. Stepping into these Peranakan houses, you will come to understand how they lived, how they dressed, their traditional games and how they dine at the tables. The setting of the table and what the Peranakan use is an inspiration.
For this Museum, it is unguided. An information book helps you to understand their culture. This Book is available in both English and Chinese. From the book, you can follow the reasons behind hanged portraits, how they cooked and worked in the past and many more. It was intriguing to learn about their history as it continues to amuse the other travelers who step into Malacca as well.
Click here to find out more about the Museum.
6. Straits Chinese Jewellery Museum
Price: Adult – RM15, Child – RM10
Location: No 108 Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, Melaka 75250, Malaysia
The Straits Chinese Jewellery Museum is my favorite museum. It is less crowded here, less congested and a tour guide is there to guide you around. Both English and Chinese Tour Guides are available. The Guides will take you through the Courtyard, Kitchen, Dining Area, Jewelry Gallery, Jewelry Making Equipment, and their bedroom.
I prefer this Museum to the Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum as they share the stories of the Peranakan in the past, how they lived and some of the unique stuff they use in the kitchen dining areas and bedrooms. It was intriguing as some of the Peranakan were rich and lived a luxurious life. Even the Jewelry that is displayed is grand and massive that an entire room was dedicated to showcasing these treasures. The Tour guide also shared with us how Peranakan women lived in the past.
It was an eye-opening experience, and I would recommend this if you are interested in finding out about the Peranakan!
Click here to find out more now!
7. Cheng Hoon Teng Temple
Location: 116, Jalan Parameswara, Bandar Hilir, 75000 Melaka, Malaysia
Located just 3 minutes away from Jonker Street, Cheng Hoon Teng Temple sits in the heart of this little town, attracting many tourists and locals. Cheng Hoon Teng is a Chinese Temple embedding the Three Main Doctrinal Systems of Taoist, Confucianism, and Buddhism.
There are two different buildings at this temple where you can see the famous Buddha and Taoist Structures. Cheng Hoon Teng Temple has a long history, and its first construction started in 1645, and it continued to expand until today.
8. Maritime Museum, Malacca
Price: Adult – RM10, Child – RM6
Location: Jalan Merdeka, Bandar Hilir, 75000 Melaka, Malaysia.
Located along the Malacca River, you can find the Maritime Museum. If you walk from Jonker Street to Tamang Sari tower, you will pass by the Maritime Museum, Malacca. It is a prominent structure which you can see from afar. It is said to be the replica of the Flor de la Mar, which is a Portuguese ship which sank off the coast of Melaka when it was on its way to Portugal. The Huge Maritime Wooden Shop is a Museum split into three different sections for you to explore.
Click here to find out more now!
C) Eat, Eat, Eat!
9. Eating at Jonker Street
Malacca is not only known for its Traditional & Historical Structures but its local delicacies! If you are here in Malacca and on tour, the tour guides will bring you to try some of the best local foods in town! I am not exactly a food lover or food blogger but here are some of the things you need to try: Chicken Rice Balls, Durian Chendol, Bak Kut Teh, Laksa, Nasi Lemak and many more local Delicacies! These foods can fill your stomach all day, and you can never get enough of it. You can find most of these delicacies along Jonker Street!
10. Restoran Capitol Satay
Name of Restaurant: Restoran Capitol Satay.
Location: 41, Lorong Bukit Cina, Bandar Hilir, 75100 Malacca, Malaysia.
We were lucky enough to be brought by our friend from KL to another famous eatery where we dipped our chosen foods like fishballs, crab sticks, meat, Siew Mai, vegetables and many more into this central bowl of Satay Sauce. The center bowl of satay sauce is cooked to boil, and we can dip our satay sticks into these bowls to cook the food we choose. It was delicious. I loved the spread of food as we could pick from the air-conditioned container.
It is not buffet style, but you will be charged based on the number of sticks you have taken. It cost about RM1.20 per Satay Stick. I would say that the prices were reasonable as we ate a lot of sticks and enjoyed the portion.
I remember how full this restaurant was in the night. There was a long queue when we were eating. Everyone seems to know about this local dining place! I am glad we tried this during our stay in Malacca.
This restaurant is located near The Sterling, Hotel. If you are staying in this hotel, it is just 2 minutes walk to the Hotel Room! It is very convenient.
D) Other Attractions that you can See
11. A Famosa
Among the oldest surviving European Architectural which remains in the Southeast Asia region is located at A Famosa. Built on 1511, It was a former Portuguese fortress. Today, only a small part of the Fortress is retained which is a small gatehouse while the rest of the long ramparts and four towers have been destroyed.
We didn’t get a chance to visit this during our Melaka’s trip, but it is said to be one of the famous tourist spots to visit. Do check it out if you have the time.
12. The Encore Melaka
A newly constructed 360-degree rotating audience platform which shows you Melaka’s untold stories. There are a series of 7 different scenes which depicts Melaka’s history and culture through the art of song, dance and immersing you with senses. To find out more about the performance and its time slot, click here now!
The Encore Melaka is newly built and I can’t comment or give you a detailed review of how the shows are like! It may become a place where tourists come to watch in the near future but as of today, it still needs time to be built.
There are several means of transport to Malacca from Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Transportation ranges from cars, buses, tour buses and flight connections from certain parts of the world.
1. From Singapore:
(Do note that the traffic can be horrible when accidents occur. You can take up to 8 hours before reaching Malacca.)
Car: If you have a car, driving from Singapore to Malacca is about 3.5 hours to 4 hours. After clearing Singapore and Malaysia Customs, the journey to Malacca is using the highway which is a straight road. Just be careful on the streets as the frequency of accidents during this journey is a lot.
Take extra caution if you are traveling in the night, there are no street lights, the only light that guides you are your headlights. There are a lot of police cars on a lookout for speeding cars as well. Be extra careful.
You will need a Touch&Go Card or SmartTag to pay the toll on the highway. If you do not have these cards, you can always pay cash, but it slows down the process. These cards can be purchased at any Petrol station! Tolls into Malacca and Kuala Lumpur from Singapore would cost about S$50-S$80.
Bus: If driving a car is trouble, you can always take the Bus which lasts for about 4 hours, depending on the traffic condition. There are several bus booking services like BusOnlineTicket, EasyBook, redbus. Sg, MyExpressBus.com, and many more. Per Ride is about S$13.00 – S$30.00 one way, depending on the Bus Company you choose. I frequently sit on Grassland Super VIP Coach and Starmart coach buses; they are comfortable as their seats and full. On the way there, there are rest stops where you can visit toilets and buy snacks. Not to worry about this!
2. From Kuala Lumpur:
Car: It takes about 2 hours from Kuala Lumpur to Malacca! Highways from Kuala Lumpur to Malacca are connected. It can be a relatively simple drive.
Bus: Buses are available from Malacca to KL and back. You can find them on booking services like BusOnlineTicket, EasyBook, redbus. Sg, MyExpressBus.com, and many more. Ticket prices start at RM 10 or S$5 per person, and the entire journey can range from 2 hours to 3 hours, depending on the traffic.
Train: Trains can always be the best mode of transport. Traffic conditions on the road will not affect you. You can hop omg the train at Terminal Bersepadu Selatan and drop off at Melaka Sentral. The train ride takes about 1 hour 30 minutes. If I were you and did not have a car, I would opt for the Train. I have sat in trains before from Ipoh to KL, and it is much more convenient and faster than driving.
To Note: if you intend to take the trains, plan and book early. Train tickets sell out very quickly, and there can be no more availability.
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