For lovers of culture and all things historical, a trip to Melaka is not to be missed.
Overlooking the Straits of Malacca, the city was founded nearly 600 years ago by a Sumatran, Prince Parameswara. Over the next few centuries it grew to become a powerful sultanate and the centre of the lucrative spice trade, visited by Arab, Tamil and Chinese merchants, and subjected to dominance by the Portuguese, Dutch and British in turn.
Each left their mark, resulting in an historic city steeped in a rich tapestry of Eastern and European multicultural influences reflected in its heritage architecture, diverse lifestyles and eclectic cuisine, which is without parallel anywhere in else Southeast Asia.
And with plenty of new and exciting attractions in store, today there’s even more of Melaka to enjoy. But if you’re short on time, here are the top new attractions not to miss.
The Shore Shopping Gallery (theshoreshoppinggallery.com) is a newly-opened shopping mall with a charming location on the Malacca River Cruise and monorail route route, directly opposite the Eye of Malacca. A stylish lifestyle-tourism focused shopping mall with over 100 stores, its major attractions are the world’s longest aquarium – the Melaka Oceanarium, as well as The Shore Sky Tower that offers up spectacular panoramic views of the waterfront and beyond.
The Shore Sky Tower (theshoreskytower.com) is Melaka’s tallest building, with 43 levels. From the observation deck on top floor, take in bird’s eye views of the entire city, and see Melaka like you’ve never seen it before. The operation hours for the observation deck is from 10.00am till 10.00pm daily. Entry is just RM18 per person.
The Shore Oceanarium (oceanariummelaka.com) is located on the Second floor of The Shore Shopping Gallery. Learn about a wealth of exotic sea creatures from starfish to sea cucumbers, sea urchins to the bamboo shark at the interactive touch pool. Visitors can also watch live turtles at Kg Penyu (Turtle Village) and learn about other sea and river creatures. Entry is RM28 for adults, while children and senior citizens are only 18RM each. This oceanarium is open daily from 10.30am till 9.00pm pm.
For a bit of history, don’t miss a trip to Melaka Alive (melakaalive.com.my) to catch the 45-minute Winds of Melaka live performance. Combining spectacular visual effects, music and live acting, Winds of Melaka tells the story of Melaka’s rich and diverse history, from the establishment of the city by its founder Parameswara to its fall at the hands of the Portuguese. The show is performed twice daily, at 7.30 pm and 9.30pm. Tickets are RM45 for adults and RM28 for children.
Celebrate Portuguese Heritage At Casa Del Rio Melaka
Fancy having Portuguese cuisine for dinner in a luxury boutique hotel by the river? You can do so at Casa del Rio Melaka’s Saturday Night Portuguese & BBQ Buffet Dinner, which offers authentic modern Portuguese dishes specially crafted by Chef Micael Valentim of Sagres, Western Algarve, Portugal.
Casa del Rio (www. www.casadelrio-melaka.com) is the first hotel built on the bank of the idyllic Melaka River. Its distinct Mediterranean architecture, design, and colour, pay homage to the Portuguese influence on Melaka, making it the perfect place to enjoy Portuguese cuisine.
The Majestic Malacca
For an authentic colonial experience, stay at the luxurious Majestic Malacca (www.majesticmalacca.com), an integral part of Melaka’s colourful history. The original mansion, dating back to the 1920’s, remains at the heart of the hotel, while a new building has been created, mirroring the original architecture, housing an additional 54 spacious rooms and suites. From the original porcelain flooring, teakwood fittings, intricate artwork and antiques, to the finely crafted Nyonya cuisine, every aspect echoes the history of the region, and offers a beguiling journey through the city’s enchanting heritage. Rooms from RM352 per night.