Quaint little Malacca
Malacca is a small, little quaint town in Penisular Malaysia. Imagine being in a place where good food is the call of the day – and yet, life takes on a very leisurely pace without the hustle and bustle of city living. If you are visiting Singapore or Malaysia, then Malacca would make for a good short getaway – with many suggesting a short 2D1N trip. Do not, however, underestimate Malacca for it offers a plethora of offerings. After all, Malacca Town has been designated as a UNESCO Heritage Site due to its numerous cultural buildings that are still well-preserved today.
The Christ Church Melaka is one such building that bears testament to the history of Malacca. Its red facade is highly distinctive and characteristic of Malacca’s history as a Dutch port. Built since the 18th century, it stands today as the oldest functioning Protestant church in all of Malaysia today. Another striking building is that of Porta De Santiago, otherwise known as A Famosa, as it stands today as the oldest surviving European architectural remains in all of Asia. Built since 1511, you would still be able to witness the many coat of arms that the former Dutch colony saw over time. At night, however, Porta De Santiago offers a bird’s eye view of Malacca town – and a certainly romantic sight for all to behold.
But what gives Malacca much more life is its well-known status as a foodie paradise. Hosting a wide array of Malaysian cuisines, you would be able to spot sneaking lines at many renowned food stalls. One such favourite is that of Chung Wah Chicken Rice Ball, where if you were to queue after 11am, you can expect a queuing time of up to an hour or more. What attracts many locals to Chung Wah Chicken Rice Ball is not just its juicy and sweet Chicken Rice balls that may appear kitschy, but the excellent kampong chickens that the hawkers use to pair with it. The chicken rice balls itself can get pretty addictive – but you can always order more! Each person would be expected to pay RM10.
At night, Malacca’s food stalls come to live at Jonker Street. With a wide buffet offerings, you would be spoilt for choices, but one particular choice that I must highlight is that of the Nonya Laksa at Jonker 88. The stallholder would generously offer food fillings to go along with it, and the laksa itself is milky and not too spicy. The nonya laksa is perhaps unique to Malacca, and is very different from how the Singapore laksa tastes. Do note that they tend to attract long queues as well, so do arrive well before lunch or dinnertime in order to avoid snaking queues.
Do take time off, however, to visit the Penang Peranakan Mansion. This is one of the most beautiful and well-preserved Peranakan houses in all of Southeast Asia and had stayed true to the original fittings of a Peranakan family. They would only offer guided tours (that take up to an hour), and their guides are highly engaging and well prepared to answer any question with regards to the Peranakan cultures. Inside the house, you would better understand a day in the life of a Peranakan family, the intricities of its clothes and even carvings of the house and much more. It is truly a lesson to remember, and a must-visit in Malacca town.