At one end of Malacca is the most Portuguese neighbourhood in Malaysia. The names of the restaurants, hotels, streets and cafes are all in Portuguese, and there are still some people of Portuguese descent living here.
St. Paul's Church in Malacca is one of the oldest buildings in the city and is perched atop a hill of the same name. These days, there isn't much left of this 16th century church except for the outer walls built during the Portuguese occupation. Form the church, you have beautiful views of the Strait and the city below. The climb is worth it!
Located below St Paul's Church, and close to the beautiful Santiago gate, the Anglo-Dutch cemetery takes a great part in the history of the city. I must say that the city of Malacca mixes different influences, since it was occupied in turn by the Dutch, English, Portuguese, before becoming independent in the mid 50's. While walking under the huge trees of the obviously quiet cemetery, you can see the very well restored and enhanced white tombs. It makes for a soothing and pleasant walk, even in the scorching summer sun.
Begin at the edge of the river and a few minutes walk from Red Square, in the city of Maacca, Jonker Walk is the main artery in the heart of Chinatown . We love this quiet and soothing street, where time seems to pass by slowly without having control over people, it was like walking into the wind. There you can discover progressively restored facades, its also full of charming courtyards, small restaurants serving traditional Nyonya cuisine, temples etc. Special mention for the restaurant "Famosa" where we could try the specialties of rice balls. But our favorite things were the temples, beautifully restored to the highest standard (especially since the city was ranked a World Heritage site by UNESCO).
Located at the foot of the hill which is dominated by the Church of St. Paul, the door of Santiago is one of the most emblematic monuments of the city. Depicted on most cards, the door is also one of the oldest buildings there, dating back to the early sixteenth century. Then it was used as a fortress built by the Portuguese rule to protect the city from foreign invasions, as can be seen by the many guns located all around. It was then taken by the Dutch, then the English, but the door still stands majestically today, having witnessed a loaded and eventful history.
It is certain that part of the reason the city of Malacca, Malaysia, was declared a World Heritage Site is because traces of the strong cultural mix, sheltered throughout its history, have been preserved through time. This can be particularly noted in the heart of the pedestrian city, where it is not uncommon to see religious buildings of various denominations in the same street. This is particularly the case in Jalan Tokong Besi, renamed Harmony Street as the various buildings lay there in beautiful harmony, including a mosque, with its traditional minaret, built in 1868, a Hindu temple (Sri Payyatha Vinayagar Moorthi Temple) built in the late nineteenth century, a church, and the oldest Chinese temple in Malaysia.
If you are planning your trip to the capital of the region, you should know that there are many things to do in Melaka. Melaka is one of the cities that holds treasures from all over Malaysia. It's not for nothing that this city has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. So if you're asking yourself what to do in Melaka, you'll find a huge range of possibilities.
Most of the places to visit in Melaka are clustered within the old town, so it's not difficult to get around. The famous fortress, Porta de Santiago, one of the most-visited things to see in Melaka, is a former Portuguese fort built in the 16th century when there was a small Christian settlement here.
In general this is a religious city, so there are plenty of Melaka activities if the spiritual side of life interests you. Christians, Muslims, Buddhists all have their places for prayer and meditation, and there are many temples of all kinds in Mekala. The Buddhist Cheng Hoon Teng Temple is one of them and one of the oldest attractions in Malaysia, as well as one of the most beautiful.
Religious buildings account for a large part of the architectural heritage of the city. The Sri Vinayagar Moorthi Poyyatha Temple, the Masjid Kampung Hulu, the church of San Pablo, Christ Church, and the Church of St. Francis Xavier are some of the attractions in Melaka that show the harmonic blend of religions in the city. For more stuff to do in Melaka, take a boat trip to the islands nearby, like Pulau Melaka and Pulau Besar Upeh. For more ideas on what to do in Melaka, visit Minube.