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Malacca, Malaysia

A Unesco World Heritage site, Melaka (Malacca) is a lovely but strange old town who regularly remind you of it’s Unesco status whilst giving me the impression of not really being sure what that exactly means for the city.

Riverside walk

Riverside walk

We stayed in the Chinatown area of the city, near the river and some of the main sites Malacca has to offer. ¬†We enjoyed wandering around the streets taking in the beautiful architecture and searching for our next fabulous meal ūüôā

Highlights

We loved the tour of the Baba ¬†Nyonya’s Heritage Museum, a House which is run by the owner’s decendants. This impressive home, originally 3 homes which were combined for this successful family, has a cafe in one of the buildings. ¬†For the tour, you need to ring the doorbell and ask to do a tour. ¬†Walking through various beautiful rooms with impressive silk tapestries, imposing furniture and lovely and sometimes quirky architecture, including gold-leaf fittings and a lockable staircase, you get a sense of the lifestyle back then. ¬†Unfortunately you can’t take photos inside. ¬†Opening times – 10am – 12.30pm, 2pm to 4.30pm.

Baba Nyonya Museum

Baba Nyonya Museum

Cafe 1511

Pai tee

Pai tee

Next door to the Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum and part of the original family home, Cafe 15111 serves a mix of food including Nonya cuisine. ¬†The Kiwi had a rather hot curry but I was intrigued by the pai tee and wasn’t disappointed – looking like little cup cakes they are made of rice flour and filled with cooked turnip, shallots and egg accompanied by a chilli sauce they were delicious!

Istana ke Sultanan

Istana ke Sultanan

The dark timber Sultan’s Palace is built on stilts, looking down on lovely gardens, and a reconstruction based on the original 15th century istana. ¬†The fabulous timber building is made without nails and has the classic Malay sloping roof tops and contains a colourful display telling the story of Malacca’s famous warriors Hang Tuah and Hang Jebat.

River Cruise

We like to walk everywhere when we are on holiday but with the heat and humidity the enjoyment evaporated quickly! ¬†So, a river cruise helps take a load off and still allow you to see stuff. ¬†It’s hardly a trip up the Seine but helps you get your bearings, hear some history and have a race with the Monorail! ¬†Most interesting was sailing past the wooden stilt houses of Kampung Morten.

Sam's Pattissier

Whilst wandering around we came across Sam Patissier, which is a bit of a shock to the eyes. ¬†The European confections in the windows caught our eye and as we were taking in the irony a friendly chap came out to ask us if we would like to have coffee – actually that’s exactly what we were wanting, so we thought we should reward his friendly approach and accept the deal they had for coffee with cake, …and it was air-conditioned! ¬†Coffee was actually a disappointment but the cakes were not! ¬†We had two Macarons each which were lovely, although being kept in the fridge probably dries them out a tad. ¬†We were slowly being revitalised by the air-con when another cake arrived, with compliments, to try. ¬†It was a Lemon Souffle Cheese Cake and the chap was keen to know what we thought. ¬†It was lovely, it had a light texture and yet you could taste the cream cheese and made for an interesting taste sensation. ¬†The passion, care and attention taken at Sam Patissier was a joy to watch and worth a wee detour to experience! ¬†Jalan PM5, Plaza Mahkota

Food

So many places, so little time! ¬†We liked Limau-Limau Cafe, a cute space with a beautiful selection of chandeliers! ¬†They specialise in juices and my Mango Lassi was just the thing to cool me down one morning. ¬†The food is all western, unfortunately. ¬†It’s fine but I would rather they had some more local fare.

Curry and Naan

Pak Putra was a great experience.  Spilling out across the pavement, this bustling restaurant is nothing flash but filled with locals and for good reason!  With a Tandoor out on the street, waiters dash here and there bringing plates of freshly cooked Naan and wonderful curries spiced to raise your body temperature.  Fabulous.  Jalan Laksamaia 4

Chinese Temple

Colourful Temple

Out at 8am to beat the heat, we wandered through Chinatown to the Chinese Temple and found it quietly busy with worshippers. ¬†Beautifully restored it was covered in amazing, colourful detail. ¬†Apparently it’s the oldest Chinese Temple in the country. ¬†We enjoyed the peaceful ambience and interesting architecture. ¬†Of course, that morning we had been woken at first light by the call to prayer, for Malaysia is also a Muslim country.

Oldest Chinese Temple

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  1. Bob Ong says

    Awesome write up Paola!!! Melaka is fondly known more as a Historical City as the history of Malaysia starts here. Yes the Chinese came ages ago to intermarry to form the Baba Nyoya heritage, then for a hundred years or more each , the Portugese, Dutch and English occupied it till Malaysia got its independence on 31 Aug 1957.