1. Experiencing the Vibrancy of Jonker Street
Jonker Street is the heart and soul of Melaka, a bustling boulevard, filled with interesting shops and restaurants serving delicious local cuisine, and is only an 2 minute walk from the Casa Del Rio Melaka. Head on over to the Orang Utan House gallery to witness some flamboyant contemporary art, and while you’re at it, the Malaqa House Museum shop is only a few minutes away, and is full of exotic collectibles, sculptures and souvenirs. On Friday and Saturday evenings, Jonker Street is lit up with beautiful Chinese lanterns and turned into an exhilarating night market, where the seemingly endless amount of street food and tourist stalls will no doubt leave you captivated.
2. Get Inspired by the Baba Nyonya Museum
Visiting the Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum should be right at the top of your to-do list, and it can be found in the Chinatown area of Melaka, just next to Jonker Street. The museum used to belong to the wealthiest family in Melaka, the Chan family, up until 1985, and was then converted into a museum and made open to the public, celebrating the Peranakan culture, which is a fusion of Chinese and Malay influences. Upon entering the museum, you immediately get the feeling of being sent into a time warp, as the beautifully designed furnishings, ornaments and colourful decorations are left exactly as how they were by their historical owners, making for a truly rewarding, cultural experience.
3. Enjoy Scenic Views on a River Cruise
A short trip in Malaysia to the historic city of Melaka wouldn’t be complete without taking a scenic boat tour to take in the colourful sights at a leisurely pace. The Melaka River Park and Cruise is located just opposite the Casa Del Rio Melaka, and lasts for around 45 minutes, which is great value for money at only RM 15. Each tour comes with either recorded commentaries or a guide, that explain about the history and context behind the many noteworthy sites. While it may be easy to get distracted by all the views, you definitely have to keep an eye out for the Kampung Morten, a beautiful riverside village, which is also known as the living museum because onlookers are able to peer closely into the fenceless residences. Cruises are available during the day, as well as at night, with the day offering a clearer view of the historic buildings and architecture, and the evening providing a more romantic feel, with decorative lights flanking both sides of the narrow river.
4. Immerse Yourself in the History of St. Paul’s Church
St. Paul’s Church is not only the oldest church in Malaysia, having been built way back in 1521, but is also the oldest in the whole of Southeast Asia. It’s quite easy to be mesmerised by the sight of the church, which now stands in ruins, and serves as a reminder of the deep historical value of the site. Walking up to the church, which is situated at the summit on St. Paul’s Hill, you will find a number of intriguing museums and buildings placed conveniently next to each other, including the Sultan’s Palace, the Architecture Museum and the Islamic Museum.
5. Soar 110 Metres into the Air
A great way to wrap up your break in Melaka is by taking the Menara Taming Sari Tower ride that offers incredible panoramic views of monuments such as St Paul’s Hill, the Pulau Selat Mosque, the Straits of Melaka and more. The tower was made to withstand an earthquake on the richter scale of 10, has a fully air conditioned cabin and stands at an impressive height of 110 metres. Taking in these breathtaking views is a great way to round off your stay here, and makes the short trip in Malaysia to Melaka really worthwhile.
Melaka is teeming with beauty, culture and history, and has something to cater for every demographic, religion and interest. If you do happen to be in the region, making the short trip in Malaysia down south makes for a truly rewarding experience.