When you think of Malaysia, there are several things that come to mind. The PETRONAS Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, the gambling culture in Genting Highlands, the beautiful rainforests of Taman Negara or the pristine beaches of Langkawi. But there is another destination that trumps the rest. It is Malacca, or Melaka as called by the local Malays.
What is Malacca all about? It is a place that is rich with diversity, and is a perfect location for people on a budget and for those looking to splurge.
It is a huge city, however the bulk of its attractions are concentrated in the town centre making it easily accessible to individuals on foot, and this saves you from splurging on public transport, of which there is little in Malacca.
Having been ruled by the Sultanate, the Portuguese, the Dutch and the English at different points in history, for trading and for its strategic location, Malacca has absorbed a lot over the past millennium and hence, there is so much that Malacca can offer. Bits of each colonizer's culture has been preserved over the centuries.
Malacca has several other monuments that stand out with the architectural marvels of each civilization. You will come across several such structures like, the St. Francis Xavier's Church built by the Jesuits, the Stadthuys (town hall) built by the Dutch, or the remnants of another Fort on the banks of the River Melaka used by the British.
Malacca also boasts of a vast collection of historical artifacts ranging from artillery to numismatics, which is housed in the myriad museums of this city. While entry to them is not free, each of them provide an accurate and fascinating insight into the history of this former colony.
A replica of one of the Portuguese ships, which now houses a museum.
However, if you're not fascinated by whatever the past has to offer, rest assured because Malacca has you covered. This city is beautifully maintained and a single walk along the banks of the Malacca river or a boat ride, can prove that to you.
But the hallmark feature of this city which attracts backpackers from around the world is perhaps the best that Malacca provides tourists. It is a market!