I came to Malacca because I wanted to visit a place around Asia that has enough tourist attractions that could make me stay for more than one night. With its rich multicultural heritage and long history, Malacca has so much to offer to the tourist willing to go on an a cultural adventure. And the fact that this city is listed by UNESCO as World Heritage, makes it more interesting to explore.
When you visit a new place you’ve got to try the local cuisine for any of the meals of the day and Malacca’s culinary experience is one unique. The serendipitous mixture of Chinese and Malay cultures created a unique flavor that has all the ingredients you find in Chinese cuisine and the cooking style of the Malay culture and this clearly seen in Peranakan food. In particular, you have to try the Chicken Rice Ball and Nyonya Pie Tee, that you can find in any of the top Nyonya eateries in Malacca.
After a meal, you may want to look for a dessert treat. In Malacca you will find food stores from two of the most famous manufacturers : Tan Kim Hock which manufactures dodol and coconut candy, the other brand is San Shu Gong and they make durian chocolate and bean biscuits. But if that’s not enough for you, look for LW Pineapple Tarts for same-day-made out-of-the-oven nyonya pineapple tarts.
If you are looking for the experience of the night life in Malacca while taking a stroll around, you need to head to Jonker Street. There you will find local products that reflect the country’s cultural heritage, you can also do some shopping (you know you need those souvenirs to take back home) and if you get hungry, you will find nice eateries for your dinner time. Jonker Street is busting with swarms of people and goods, there are many museums where you can make a stop and look around, for example, the Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum gives you a walk-through of Malacca’s history in an interactive way. But if it is a drink to quench your thirst what you are looking for, head to any of the bars located in the market. Just remember that you will need cash to pay for everything.
During the day, you should come to the Banda Hilir area, which contains the historical monuments like the Stadthuys, Christ Church and St. Paul’s Church, museums like the Maritime Museum and the Malacca Sultanate Palaca Museum. But if you would like to hear a complete explanation on any of these places, go to the Dutch Heritage Trail and sign up for their tour service. The nice thing about this area is you won’t need any transportation, you can reach each place by a short walk.
If you feel like navigating around the bay you can jump on Melaka River Cruise which can take you around the city in a short time. The ride lasts 45 minutes and you can enjoy the city view : the Village Kampung Morten (Malay style) and the astonishing murals on the walls that line along the Jonker Walk.
Another activity during the day is the visit to the Botanical Garden in Ayer Keroh. The garden contains more than 300 species of flora and fauna. Around the garden there are trails where you can walk, go for a run or just rent a bike (you can bring your own) and enjoy a moment with nature. As and additional attraction you can visit the Book Village that is located in the center of the park. If you are in the mood for reading a book, the library contains over 15,000 books.
But we have been talking about what to do in Malacca, but where should you stay for the night?
One of the best hotels in the city is The Settlement Hotel which is located very close to downtown and a one block from the river shore. It has 45 guestrooms and 4 private villages, spa village for you to relax after a long day touring, and top floor garden where you can relax while sipping your favorite drink. The rooms are decorated with the latest fixtures and are furnished with luxury furniture, spacious beds and elegant shower and bathtub. The rooms also have TV with satellite so that you can watch national and international TV shows. There is also high speed Internet connection in the room.
If you are actually considering this place for your business meetings, this place has a nice and spacious ballroom and meeting rooms that are very comfortable. If you need to use multimedia for your presentations the hotel can provide the latest in computer technology, plus the staff to make your event a success.
But if you just want to relax in the evening, the hotel has a great bar stocked with your favorite beverages and a very relaxing atmosphere. Dinner? The hotel restaurant can prepare national and international meals for you and there is a nice room service if you don’t want to eat out in the restaurant.
The other great place to check out is The Sterling Boutique Hotel Melaka. It’s very close to downtown as well, close to The Stadhuys and Jonker Street. But the great thing about The Sterling is its location: in the middle of the heritage zone.
The Sterling has 37 rooms furnished with top of the line furniture. There are six different levels of rooms as well. One great thing about this hotel is the Brighton room which offers a private outdoor Jacuzzi, which is kind of nice in this weather. If you are traveling with family, you can check in The Windsor room, which are more spacious, great for families.
This hotel also has its own restaurant, which is called The Loft, they boast to be the only rooftop diner in Malacca. The menu contains both local and international meals. The view to the city is magnificent.
One thing that you notice about this hotel is the care they have put in saving energy. The light fixtures are LED which consume less energy. The AC system is top-notch and regulates according to the needs of the room, which saves a lot of energy especially if nobody is in the room. They also collect rain water for cleaning and landscaping, which helps bring forward their image of being an environmentally friendly hotel.
This trip was originally published on Romancing The Planet.