Malacca is a very interesting city due to the large number of historical cultural influences that have shaped its past. The city has a rich Malay history prior to European arrival. After that it went to the Portuguese, then the Dutch and finally ended in the hands of the British. Throughout the city you will find remnants of each stage of the city’s past. The city has an enormous historic district that falls under UNESCO protection. This includes the old city center with churches, houses, forts and shops. Also included in this protection is what is known as Yonkers Street, by day it acts as an antiques district and by night it transforms into a bustling night market. The city is filled with canals that run throughout the central area, these are used for transportation and for boating tours. Not far from the city is a botanical gardens, bee center, zoo and cultural park which are worth taking a day trip for. However, if you do decide to visit these locations be aware that dengue fever has been contracted in the forests surrounding the botanical gardens. Located throughout the city are museums and galleries, so even on rainy days with bad weather, you can find plenty to do. If you are looking for thrills and adventure then Malacca may not be the right place for you, but if you are looking for history, culture, markets and amazing street food then this is a must visit location.
UNESCO Heritage Site: Historical Buildings
As stated, the city has a rich historical heritage. You can literally spend an entire day just walking around the city visiting historical sites. What makes the sites in Malacca so unique is the broad variety or European colonial era buildings in the city.
Malacca is well known for its canals and waterways, which run throughout the city and provide an important form of transportation. If you take the tour I recommend using Melaka River Cruise, I did my tour with them and had a fantastic time for a relatively cheap price. They will take you throughout the cities canal systems showing you art that can only be viewed from the water itself. Houses and other buildings lining the water, have in many cases been painted with murals or bright colours.
The area just outside of the city has many attractions within walking distance of each other. You will find botanical gardens, crocodile pits, a bee/honey center and a cultural park. The botanical gardens are quite nice as they are to some extent a jungle setting and house plenty of monkeys. If you have never seen a monkey in the wild before, this is a pretty easy way to do so. The cultural park is the highlight of this area. The park has replicas of traditional Malay homes from each state of the country, showing their differences and similarities. You can enter and explore each house in the park. Additionally, there is a stage show put on every few hours which features traditional Malay dancers, for which I was called up onto stage to participate in front of an audience.