This post is number 7 on West’s Bucket List. Enjoy!
This city in Malaysia is one of culture and colour! If you were to look at the pictures of its red and pink buildings, you might think they were in somewhere like Cuba, and for good reason. Like Cuba, Malacca is something of a time capsule, visually still trapped in the colonial era with architecturally traditions lent from Portuguese, Dutch, and British settlers. Here are just two reasons I’m desperate to visit the city!
- Jonker Street Market
One of the most popular tourist attractions in the city is Jonker Street, the central promenade of china town.
Jonker Street supposedly has one of the best and most bustling night markets in all of Asia. Bargains and street foods of all types are available, virtually on tap, if you’re hungry or have an itchy finger when it comes to your wallet. That, coupled with the street party-style atmosphere of the gathering, makes Jonker Street unmissable if you’re spending a night in the city!
- The beautiful architecture
If, however, you want to take a more laid-back and slow-paced approach to exploring Malacca, perhaps the diverse range of buildings will take your fancy.
The creme de la creme is the 16th century A’Famosa Fort, constructed by Portuguese conquerors of Malacca. One gate stands, now alone, defending the city, flanked by two accompanying cannons. It is amongst the oldest European architecture still standing in Asia and reinforces the idea of Malaysia as an age-old cultural hub. That has to be worth seeing!
Beyond the Fort, Christ Church, with its giant white cross set against bright red walls, is the legacy of Dutch settlers who took the region from the Portuguese. It is well worth a look, whether you subscribe to the Christian faith or not, for its beautiful architecture and vibrant colouring.
Amongst the architecture there are homes for guns and gods alike! Explore both to your heart’s content!
- The Butterfly and Reptile sanctuary in Ayer Keroh.
If, however, you’d prefer to see a few of the animals native to Malaysia, you may perhaps choose to visit the butterfly and reptile sanctuary just 15 kilometers north of Malacca. It is the second largest zoo in the country and a very popular tourist attraction if you have the time! From delicate patterned butterflies to monstrous grey crocodiles, they have it all.
- The Sultanate Palace of the Mansur Shah of Malacca
This could come under architecture, but the Sultanate Palace is a reconstruction and it feels disingenuous to plug it in alongside the real historical remnants of A’Famosa Fort and Christ Church.
A wooden replica of the Sultan’s palace, the building was once an iconic symbol of the Malaccan Empire. This reconstruction is well worth a visit to see an important piece of Malaysian history!
Malacca isn’t widely or particularly well known; however, one of my best friends visited it and swore by the city. She commended Malacca for its laidback feel and beautiful aesthetics, although she said there wouldn’t be a lot to do if you find yourself there for a while. All in all, Malacca definitely sounds worth at least a stop off visit to me!