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First Timer's Guide In Melaka, Malaysia

20 Jul 2018

Hew Lee Yee

Klook Travel Curator

Immerse in centuries-old culture

Located just 2 hours away by car from Kuala Lumpur city centre, Melaka is one of the most popular cities in Malaysia. A favourite destination amongst locals and visitors for day trips, Melaka is rich in history and culture.

Also known as Malacca, this dynamic city has a history that dates back to the 15th century with plenty of historical sights to see and authentic cuisine to try. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie or an adventure-seeker, Melaka has it all.

Things to do in Melaka

1. Historical city tour

"The Historic State" of Malaysia is full of heritage landmarks, historical buildings, ruins and many more. Did you know that Melaka is the first UNESCO World Heritage Site for Culture in Malaysia?

The best way to immerse yourself in the city is to get lost in the charming alleys and visit different points of interest like the Dutch Square, St Peter’s Church, Kota A Famosa, Chen Hoon Teng Temple, Chinatown, and more. If you’re not keep on staying overnight, it’s easy to make a day trip to Melaka with the Historical Melaka Tour on Klook.

Photo Credit: (R) https://flic.kr/p/eiEWjB

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2. Jonker Walk

A visit to Jonker Walk is a must when visiting Melaka. Turning into a vibrant night market in the evening, it’s located in the heart of Chinatown and is home to all sorts of street food, souvenir items, antiques, art and many more. The night market is open every Friday to Sunday.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Aside from the night market, Jonker Walk is still popular during the day. Tourists can shop for little trinkets, indulge in street food, or simply explore the alleyways. You can also find an array of bars, specialty stores, rustic cafes and charming guest houses in the area.

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3. Museum-hopping

As the historic state of Malaysia, you can expect to find plenty of museums that are worth visiting. These include the Baba & Nyonya Heritage Museum, Melaka Sultanate Palace Museum, and more!

Besides that, there are also quirky museums which are fun for the kids and family like Upside Down House Gallery, Magic Art Museum and more.

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4. A’Famosa Resort

Named after the historical Kota A’Famosa, A’Famosa Resort is located a short distance away from the historical town of Melaka. Surrounded by the lush countryside, the resort is also home to a couple of theme parks and attractions.

Plunge into a fun-filled day at A'Famosa Water Theme Park, interact with exotic species at A'Famosa Safari Wonderland or discover the wild, wild west at A’Famosa Old West Cowboy Town! A’Famosa surely promises a day of fun whether you’re travelling with friends or family.

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5. Freeport A'Famosa Outlet

This open-air outlet village located a short distance from A’Famosa Resort is one of the newest and largest shopping malls in Melaka. With over 70 fashion, sport and accessories brands in this outlet mall, it’s the place to be for a shopping spree.

Also, as an ode to the European heritage in Melaka, the mall features Dutch colonial-style architecture including a windmill! You can shop at ease in Freeport A'Famosa Outlet with helpful facilities like free parking, complimentary strollers, ATMs, and more.

Photo Credit: http://freeportafamosa.com/

6. Klebang Beach

A short 15-min drive away from Melaka city is a white-sand beach called Klebang Beach or Pantai Klebang. This hidden gem has become quite the internet sensation over the last few years - made famous for its unique sand dunes landscape.

Aside from the view, many venture to Klebang Beach just for the famous coconut shake as well! Located next to the Caltex Petrol Station along the main road, it’s hard to miss the famous Klebang Original Coconut Shake.

Photo Credit: blog.tourism.gov.my

Best food in Melaka

Eat your way through Melaka

It’s undeniable that many visit Melaka JUST to go on a food trail. With plenty of good food across the city, it’s easy to see why. You definitely won’t go hungry in Melaka with plenty of food choices from street food vendors to traditional restaurants. Here are some of the top must-eat dishes in Melaka.

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1. Nyonya cuisine

One of the most prominent cultures in Melaka is Baba and Nyonya (also known as Peranakan) where Chinese descendants married local Muslim Malays in the 15th century. As a result of that, Nyonya cuisine is a distinct mixture of Chinese and Malay flavours.

Some of the iconic must-try Nyonya fares include ayam pongteh, Nyonya kuih, asam pedas with fish, pai tee, Nyonya laksa, etc. Places to get delicious and authentic cuisine in Melaka are plenty including populars ones like Amy Heritage Nyonya Cuisine, Nancy’s Kitchen, Kocik Kitchen, and many more.

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2. Chicken rice ball

In many places, the distinctive element in the chicken rice dish is the chicken but it’s not the same for Melaka! What sets this dish in Melaka apart from everywhere else is the fact that the rice comes in the form of balls.

These aren’t just adorable - they taste really good too! Although you can easily find chicken rice balls everywhere in Melaka, a few of the recommended places are Kedai Kopi Chung Wah, Hoe Kee and Ee Ji Ban.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

3. Satay celup

A popular and unique dish you can only find in Melaka, you get the best of both worlds of steamboat and satay. You can get meat and vegetable selections similar to those you find in typical lok-lok trucks like cockles, chicken, shrimp, tofu and more. Except unlike your regular steamboat or lok-lok, you can dip your skewers of meat and vegetables into piping hot satay gravy!

The place to go for this dish in Melaka would have to be Ban Lee Siang Satay Celup, one of the city’s oldest original satay celup restaurants.

Photo Credit: https://flic.kr/p/LTzWV

4. Cendol

A much-loved dessert in Melaka, a bowl of cendol is your saviour on a hot afternoon day. Made with finely shaved ice, fresh coconut milk, and pandan-flavoured jelly, the pièce de résistance of this dessert is of course the palm sugar syrup. The special palm sugar, more famously known as gula Melaka, has a smoky caramel flavour which gives cendol its distinctive taste!

Found everywhere throughout the city from restaurants to street food carts, some of the places favoured by locals and visitors for cendol include Jeta Groves, Aunty Koh, Jonker88 and more.