Malacca is a historical city situated along western coast of Malaysian peninsula. It was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008 on account of its rich cultural heritage. It has lot to offer to the tourists who come from all parts of the world to catch a glimpse of its splendid past. Apart from historical monuments, it hosts a number of interesting activities that can be enjoyed by tourists.
It is a pretty old city and by various accounts, it was inhabited way back in 14th century. It was an important port even during those times and was visited by traders from far and wide. Chinese influence is visible on local culture as the Chinese settlers got intermingled with locals in due course of history. Bukit China or Chinese Hill is an ideal place to catch a glimpse of this influence.
The heritage area of this city is home to most museums and historical buildings. Quite interestingly, some historical buildings in this city are as old as early 16th century and are worth visiting. Prominent historical buildings in Malacca include 17th century Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, 16th century Saint Paul's Church, Sultanate Palace, remains of Porta de Santiago (an Old Portuguese port) etc.
Cheng Hoon Teng Temple was built in 17th century and still carries an inscription dating 1685. Saint Paul's Church was built by Portuguese in 1521 and even remained a fortress for many decades. Masjid Kampung Hulu, a historical mosque, was built in 1728. It is renowned for the mix of Arab, Chinese and Javanese architecture. Old streets like Heeren and Jonker etc are pretty popular among tourists for pretty old structures and are worth visiting.
Baba and Nyonya Peranakan Museum was an old Peranakan heritage town in the past. It is an ideal place to catch a glimpse of traditional life of the region. Other prominent museums here include Malaysian Navy Museum, Malay and Islamic World Museum, Stamp Museum, UMNO Museum, Youth Museum and Melaka Art Gallery. A visit to each one of these museums is a great way to learn about different aspects of traditional way of life of Malacca.
The Portuguese settlement, located along city center’s south-eastern side, is a nice place to visit. One may be amazed to witness traditional Portuguese way of life right here in Malaysia! This settlement plays host to interesting celebrations at the time of Festa San Pedro (Feast of Saint Peter) in June. Intrudu (in February) and Christmas are other two major festivals that are celebrated here with great pomp and show.
Tourists can enjoy a visit to Eye on Malaysia (a major Ferris wheel), Eye on Melaka (another Ferris wheel, albeit a smaller one) and flying kite at Klebang Beach. Cruise rides along Melaka River are also popular among tourists. Daily shows depicting history of the city are organized nearby Sultanate Palace and are worth visiting as well.
Malacca can be reached by catching a flight to Batu Berendam Airport or with a ferry from nearby ports, including Sumatra, Indonesia. It is not connected by any railway line and nearest railway station is 18 miles away. One must avoid visiting it on Tuesday as most shops, restaurants and museums are closed on that day.