Why you shouldn’t skip Melaka when visiting Malaysia

When I said to fellow travellers I spent four days in Melaka (or Malacca) they often looked at me weird.

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Yes, this UNESCO heritage listed site is only a small town but I really enjoyed the vibe here and basking in the slower pace of life which seems to be going on.

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If you find yourself in Malaysia try to make it to this great town – below are some ideas of how to spend your time in Melaka if you do.

Cruise/drink or walk along side the river

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One of my favourite aspects of Melaka is the river which runs through it.

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You can have a late afternoon beer on the edge of it at one of the restaurants or cafés, walk the length of it so that you can see some of the art work up close or take a river cruise.

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The best time in my opinion is night time to do this since you get to see everything lit up and the weather is of course a bit cooler too.

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Jonker Street Market

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My favourite – a concoction of fried veggies served in a bag with sweet chilli sauce

Every weekend Melaka swells with extra tourists thanks to this street market which is filled with many kinds of foods and goods for sale.

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In terms of wares it’s just your standard cheap/unnecessary things but you might want to pick up some souvenirs here.

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It gets of course heavy with foot traffic but the atmosphere is cool, especially the live karaoke in the middle of the street.

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Masjid Selat

Known as the ‘floating mosque’ because when the tide comes in this partially over water structure apparently gives the appearance it’s floating.

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You need to cover up to enter but the staff give you the appropriate wear to do so.

The mosque is a little far out from the main part of old Melaka but my friend and I just rented bikes and it probably only took 15-20 minutes of cycling to get there.

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Eat!

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As Melaka was my first stop in Malaysia I went a little nuts on the cuisine.

My hostel Jalan Jalan had nightly dinner meet ups which was a great way to discover local places.

I still managed to find my own gems and had THE most amazing laksa (see above) at a café right next to the Baba & Nyonya museum.

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My lunch at Nancy’s

Nancy’s Kitchen came highly recommended by a few sources but really I thought it was a little overpriced although the food was tasty. The air-conditioning in this place was also FIERCE which was nice since it was humid beyond belief.

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I loved getting coconut shakes for around 1 USD in the afternoon to help cool off too. There’s also an INSANE amount of coffee shops in this town so if you’re craving a caffeine hit you’ll be spoiled for choice.

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Another place I enjoyed was Pak Putra Tandoori & Naan Restaurant. The tandoori was awesome and the garlic and cheese naan was even better – there’s a reason why it’s rated so high on TripAdvisor.

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My friend and I had breakfast at Low Yong Moh Restaurant a couple times since it was conveniently on our street but also was incredibly affordable and delicious dim sum.

Chicken rice balls are also popular here and you’ll find quite a few places selling these although I had already exhausted my chicken rice needs previously in Singapore and didn’t try any.

Go for the free walking tour

Three times a week there’s a free walking tour run by the visitor’s centre.

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It lasts around 3 hours and the guide was the most passionate and enthusiastic guy – we learned so much about Melaka’s history and its time under Portuguese, Dutch and Japanese influence.

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Be spoilt for museum choice

Melaka seems to be aspiring to own more museums than people so there is no shortage of ones to visit however there are a lot out there that look unworthy of anyone’s time.

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I visited two and quite enjoyed both – the first was the Baba & Nyonya and the second was the Straits Chinese Jewellery Museum.

Baba and Nyonya are the names given to the traditional people who lived here and were descended from Chinese and Malay intermarriage. Their style of dress and lavish taste in wares is worth having a look into.

If you’re pushed for time I’d just go to the Baba & Nyonya one since they are both situated in similar style houses and I think you get more history with this one.

A few more shots from Melaka..

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A famous bodybuilder must’ve surely come from Melaka..

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These are everywhere – usually with Frozen pictures and blasting pop music!

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