A centuries-old trading port located just a short trip from Kuala Lumpur, Malacca is a fascinating and popular tourist destination. With more than 30 museums, a scenic riverfront and history that includes Dutch, Chinese, Portuguese, and English colonial influences, Malacca offers travelers a fabulous potpourri of cultures and traditions and a wide variety of experiences.
Jonker Walk Night Market
Officially called Jalan Hang Jebat, the street commonly known as Jonker Street or Jonker Walk is a lively, festive marketplace. Jonker Walk is located in the very center of Malacca. At one time it was famous among antique dealers and collectors as a great place for special finds. Now you’ll find vendors selling delicious traditional street foods, clothing, unique arts and crafts, and all kinds of toys and accessories.
If you’re interested in discovering your destiny, visit one of the fortune teller booths along the walk. Choose from card readers, Chinese astrologers, palm readers, or Chien Tung practitioners to advise you on romantic or financial matters.
The night market is only open Friday and Saturday evenings, so if you’re in Malacca for the weekend, be sure to stop there.
Design Your Own Tour
With so many fascinating places to visit, the only thing you’ll run out of in Malacca is time. Start with a walking tour of the scenic Malacca River, which runs right through the city’s historic center. The river is exceptionally clean, and lined on both sides with walkways for a pleasant stroll.
It’s also possible to tour the river by boat with a tour guide, or guided by recorded commentary. Either way, you’ll pass under a number of historic bridges, see some stunning examples of Malay architecture, and view the famous Eye on Malaysia Ferris Wheel.
With the great number and variety of temples, mosques, and churches in Malacca, you’ll also want to create your own spiritual tour. Most major sites are marked on city maps, so it’s easy to plan your day of temple-hopping. Be sure to include the famous Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, Malaysia’s oldest Buddhist temple, in your tour.
You’ll also want to climb Bukit St Paul, a small hill at the center of the European colonial district. There you’ll find the ruins of the historic St. Paul’s Church and spectacular vistas of the city below.
Rich in local color and international cultural heritage, Malacca presents visitors from all over the world a unique mix of historic charm and contemporary energy. With so much to offer, a trip to Malacca is truly the trip of a lifetime.
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Feature Image Source: Auswanden Malaysia @ Flickr