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A hungry architecture-lover’s guide to Melaka

Melaka (or Malacca) is one of those places in which you could easily spend weeks. There is just so much to see…and eat. Here, we narrow down some of the top attractions and dishes in the historical and beautiful Melaka.

The UNESCO World Heritage City of Melaka is the perfect way to get a literal taste of Malaysia multi-layered (and flavoured) history.


The city’s buildings and architecture are inherited from centuries of Portuguese, Dutch and British rule, and yet are spiced with an enduring Peranakan culture.


There are places in Melaka that you will have to do a double take and make sure you’re actually in Malaysia. The Stadthuys is one such place.



Characterised by salmon red walls, The Stadthuys was once the official residence of the Dutch governors and their officers. Built in 1645, it now houses the Museum of History and Ethnography. Next to it is the similarly-coloured Christ Church, a Dutch Church built in the 18th century.


Another mark of the city’s history is the Porta de Santiago, one of Melaka’s most famous landmarks. It is one of the four main entrances to the A’Famosa fortress, which was built in 1511 by Alfonso d’Albuquerque, a Portuguese admiral. Even though most parts of the fortress were badly damaged during the Dutch invasion in 1641, its iconic gateway still stands to this day.



To get great views, head up Taming Sari Tower. Or take it all in from aboard a Melaka river cruise.


And when you need to re-energise, stop for some unique cuisine worth travelling for.


Any foodie in Malaysia is stopping at Melaka to sample some Nonya delights. Nonya cuisine is a fusion of Malay and Chinese (so heaven basically). Melaka is one of the best places to savour exotic fare such as otak-otak (spicy fish meat wrapped in banana leaf ), itik tim (duck stew with salted vegetables) and perut ikan (preserved fish stomach in herbs).



Melaka is also home to traditional Chitty food, a blend of Indian spices and local ingredients. Tickle your taste buds with dishes like ikan parang masak pindang (fish in spicy soup
base), nasi lemak (cooked Chitty-style), nasi kembuli (Kembuli rice) and pulut tekan (glutinous rice cake).


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Published: 20 April 2022

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