10 Things To Do In Melaka

Melaka has long been known not just for its rich culture but also for its important role in history. It served as the center for trade between Europe and Asia for centuries. Today, Melaka no longer connects East and West in terms of trade. It has took on a new role of connecting the past and the present as it refuses to get fixated in its vast history and has become a very modern city while preserving a timeless “Baba Nyonyan” culture that is shaped by multiple influences.

1. WALK THROUGH JONKER STREET

Jonker Walk Night Market

Jonker Walk Night Market

I think it’s safe to say that Jonker Street is the life of Melaka. This is where everything happens. You’ll find souvenir shops, restaurants, museums, temples, local diners and even bars on both sides of the street. Make sure you come to Melaka on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday and see Jonker Street come to life with its bustling weekend night market. It would be a good idea to buy souvenirs here since everything is open for haggling. The best thing about this night market is that there are so many unique products and even food that I haven’t seen anywhere else.

 

2. GO ON A DO-IT-YOURSELF OLD MELAKA HERITAGE WALKING TOUR

Porta De Santiago

Porta De Santiago

Grab a map from the tourist information center and that’s all you need. The map is easy to follow, it’s even easier to read than a theme park map. Wear your most comfortable footwear and embark on this two and a half-hour walking tour that takes you back in time and gives you a better understanding about this City’s vast history. Take a journey into its past and you’ll see how the Chinese, Dutch, Portuguese and British influences infused their own cultures and shaped the Baba Nyonya culture that we know of.

 

3. GET A BIRD’S-EYE VIEW OF MELAKA WORLD HERITAGE CITY

Menara Taming Sari

Menara Taming Sari Viewing Tower

Do you want to go for a spin? Head to the Menara Taming Sari(Taming Sari Viewing Tower) and get lifted 80 meters high as you see all of Melaka in just 7 minutes in the tower’s revolving viewing deck.

 

4. GET OUT OR GET LOCKDOWN

Lockdown Melaka

Lockdown Melaka

Are you game enough? If you’re up for the challenge, then take on one of the four rooms in Lockdown. Unlock the Robert Langdon in you and prepare to get your mind(and body) twisted as you search for clues and symbols on the floor, in the walls, in mirrors and everywhere else in this insanely difficult escape game. Go alone or with a group, it doesn’t matter. If searching for clues sounds too easy for you, how about having to analyze each clue to get to the next one. And you have to break the code in 45 minutes or you’ll get LOCKED DOWN forever! Just kidding, it’s just a game but it will leave your heart slamming against your chest in thrill even after you exit the rooms.

 

5. FOOD TRIP

Melaka Food

Melaka Food

This is undoubtedly my favorite thing to do not just in Melaka but everywhere else as well. But…Melaka is unlike any other place I’ve been to when it comes to food tripping. The variety of food here is just overwhelming. Think I’m exaggerating? Definitely not. Picture this:  In all 3 days, I have never dined in the same diner or ate the same food more than once. And everything’s just so delicious that after awhile, I felt like I could never go wrong no matter what I pick from the menu.

 

6. CRUISE AROUND TOWN IN COLORFUL “TRISHAWS”

Trishaw

A Hello Kitty Trishaw in Melaka

Although I never tried riding in one, it looked interesting enough from beyond the passenger’s seat as numerous Trishaws light up the streets like horses on a carousel. Although after awhile, I could feel my ears bleed from listening to “Let it go” over and over again. Apparently, this song is very popular among Trishaw drivers. Wouldn’t it be quite an experience to cruise around town in a Leg-powered Hello Kitty 3-wheeler?

 

7.  GO ON A RIVER CRUISE

Melaka River

Melaka River

Melaka has been dubbed as the “Venice of Asia”, although I think that’s an overstatement since Venice’s beauty is unparalleled. But hey, if you have lots of time to spare, then go ahead and soak in this experience(not literally, I hope). But if you don’t have a lot of time, then you can just skip this.

 

8. SHOP AT THE MALLS

Dataran Pahlawan Melaka

Dataran Pahlawan Mall Melaka

Melaka is a small city but the malls are huge. I’m not a big fan of shopping but I’ve seen some big names and famous brands in Dataran Pahlawan, one of the malls in the area and right across it is Mahkota Parade. Okay, okay, I admit I only went to malls for 2 things – Aircondition and Wifi. But for those of you who are into shopping, the malls in Melaka are comparable to those in big cities.

 

9. COOL DOWN WITH A REFRESHING CUP OF CENDOL

Cendol

Cendol

This is a must-try when in Melaka. Cendol is a very popular drink/dessert made of coconut milk, jelly noodles, palm sugar and shaved ice. The perfect way to cool down on a hot and humid Melakan day. So whenever you see people lined up in stalls, they’re most probably waiting for their cup of Cendol. This 2-ringgit cup of refreshing goodness is well worth the queue, just make sure you stir it really well before you take that first sip to get all different flavors to explode in your taste buds.

 

10. VISIT THE BABA AND NYONYA HOUSE MUSEUM

Baba & Nyonya House Museum

Photo: Wikipedia

Different from the walking tour which highlights the different influences that shaped Melaka, take a tour in this well-preserved 19th Century Peranakan(Straits-born Chinese) house. The funny and witty guides will give you a wider perspective on Malaysia’s Baba-Nyonyan and Peranakan identity.

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Comments

  1. Rupert says:

    Love the list! We didn’t try the lockdown, but took one of the trishaws. The decorations were amazing and it felt like you are riding in a parade – we were tempted to wave at the crowds 😉

Trackbacks

  1. […] Although Melaka is considered Malaysia’s 3rd smallest state, there’s nothing little about the number of things to do here. In fact, there’s so many things to do in this UNESCO Heritage City and though I didn’t get to do everything, I can guarantee that each experience is definitely worthwhile. From temple and church visits to theme parks and museums, you can do it all here in just 2 days. Whether your into buying souvenirs or in for a gastronomic experience at the night market, it’s all within a short 2-minute walk from Jonker Street. And if you want to see Melaka from different perspectives, you can always go on a walking tour, take a river cruise or see the city from a bird’s eye view at the Taming Sari viewing tower. And of course, how could I forget my “Lockdown” experience. As I’m writing this, I just realized that there’s just too many items on the list and this requires another post.(Click Here for 10 Things to do in Melaka) […]

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