As we rode in the taxi from the bus station to our hostel, Melaka impressed us at first sight. Its colourful pinkish-red buildings and brightly decorated trishaws with blaring music and fake flowers got us excited about spending some time in this UNESCO World Heritage City. There are so many things to do in Melaka and I wish we had stayed there longer!
Melaka is a great city to walk around in because although it is a decent size, most of the attractions and things to do in Melaka are close together. It’s a very attractive city which will dazzle you with its colours as you get lost in its slightly confusing streets.
As you may have already noticed from researching this destination, there are two different spellings: Malacca and Melaka. They are both used commonly, so it doesn’t really matter which one you use.
Malacca, located in the state of Malacca, on the west cost of peninsular Malaysia, was once the center of the Malay world during the 15th and 16th centuries. It was colonized by the Portuguese in 1511 and this influence is obvious in the architecture, which at some moments made us feel like we were back in the Algarve.
Photos: Things to Do in Melaka, Malaysia
Melaka is simply alive with colour, making it a dream for a curious photographer! Here are some of the photos that we took of this stunning city on our explorations.
One of the first things you will notice in Melaka are these crazy vehicles carting tourists up and down the streets while blasting cheesy pop music at full volume from their speakers. They are known as Trishaws (Tricycle + Rickshaw) and it seems like the drivers compete to see who can pimp their ride with the most fake flowers and ridiculous decorations.
A Trishaw ride is one of the most fun things to do in Melaka, as who could be in a bad mood when riding down the street in one of these things?
During Melaka’s Golden Era, this river was a main trade route. These days it’s a lovely route to walk along and there are plenty of cute cafes along the water. However… watch out for the giant lizards!
Yes, this over-sized lizard was swimming along next to our path. Normally the lizards we see are only about as big as my thumb, but I think this guy must have eaten all of those little lizards.
While you are walking along the river, you might also see a River Cruise boat full of small children on a school trip, who will all shout hello to you at the top of their lungs and wave enthusiastically. When you wave back, they will get even more loud and excited. I don’t blame them, being on a boat is way better than being stuck in school.
If you want to take a cruise down the river, they run from 10am to 11pm every day and they are 10RM per person for a 45 minute ride.
We took a walk up the hill to get to Saint’s Paul’s Church which is a beautiful old stone building with great views of the city. It was constructed by the Portuguese in 1521 and has been used as a fortress, a weapons storage and a burial ground. You can even still see the tombstones along what’s left of the walls of the church.
One of our favourite parts of Melaka was Jonker Street in Chinatown, especially at night when it came alive with tons of street food stalls selling every sort of steamed, deep fried or boiled thing-on-a-stick you could ever imagine.
Two of the most prominent attractions of Melaka are the Taming Sari Revolving Tower and the Maritime Museum, which is located within a replica of the “Flora de la Mar”, a Portuguese ship. The tower is 110 metres tall and lets 66 people in at a time from the ground level, then ascends up to the top for 5 minutes to give you a whole new perspective on the city.
Melaka is one of those cities where all you want to do is walk around with your eyes wide open, taking in all of the beautiful sights. It’s certainly worth stopping in on your travels around Malaysia.