I can’t stress enough how relaxed I felt in Melaka (also know as Malacca). Steeped in cultural heritage, this time capsual of a city is a treasure worth seeking out.
The Malaysian state’s charm is as classic as the hoards of vintage collectables switching hands amongst locals. A plethora of shops, cafes, accomodation and restaurants monetise nostalgia by transporting tourists to the golden ages of vinyl, cassettes, Triumph motorbikes, Heart Nouvelle posters, and VW campervans. Think Goodwood’s Revival on a more subtle scale. Its catchphrase, ‘Don’t mess with Melaka‘, sums up the community’s confident attitude.
We spent every day wandering around the historic city centre. It was crowned a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2008, which has put the former major trading port back on the travelling map. It avoided significant damage during WW2, meaning a lot of the beautiful heritage architecture remains intact today, more so than other Malaysian states like Penang and Kuala Lumpur. Most of the best things to see are nearby Jonker Walk, a street in historical Chinatown starting just across the river from the Dutch Square. It houses many shops selling antiques, textiles, handicrafts and souvenirs and has become THE place to visit. From 6pm on the weekend, the Night Market creates a canvial atmosphere, with bright coloured vendors all vying for your attention.
Here’s our favourite photos from our time there…