Commanding an important position on the busy sea route between India and China on West Malaysia’s southwestern coast, Melaka was ruled and battled over for centuries between Indian, Portuguese, British and Dutch governments. As a result, this modern day Malaysian city is now a popular tourist destination packed with architecture, culture, traditions and cuisine all reflecting its rich heritage.
Known as a cultural melting pot, Melaka comprises several districts that all feature their own distinct attractions. The Portuguese Settlement is characterized by charming villas, historic churches and the remains of an old fort. In the Chinese quarter is Malaysia’s oldest Chinese temple, the Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, as well as one of the largest Chinese cemeteries outside the country of China. The Dutch district features some of the oldest Dutch architecture in the East. Additionally, each cultural zone features its own traditions and festivals such as the Portuguese “Intrudu” and Chinese New Year.
Melaka also offers many museums, cafes and restaurants as well numerous antique shops and a weekend night market. Outdoor activities include one of Malaysia’s best zoos, a sea turtle sanctuary and a recreational forest. Night cruises on the Melaka River feature illuminated buildings and fountain shows.