Dubbed as the Historic State of Malaysia, the history of Melaka goes back as far as the 14th century. Its humble beginnings as a coastal village, the tales of the Kings of the Melaka Sultanate, and the rich colonial history of Portuguese, Dutch and British have made itself one of Malaysia’s most attractive tourist draws. It is also the birthplace of the Melaka Peranakan culture, and Malaysian Eurasian culture, stemming from Portuguese communities who settled and intermarried locally.
The upcoming 245-key Park Hotel Melaka (target to open in 2021) is located in the heart of Kota Laksamana, where a plethora of dining and shopping choices are within close proximity. Easy walking distance to the historical A'Famosa fortress, St. Paul's Church, the Baba & Nyonya Museum, and the vibrant Jonker Walk just a stone’s throw away, our strategic location enables you to get the most out of your Melaka trip.
From street food to traditional Kopitiams, from contemporary cafés, swanky rooftop bars to Peranakan cuisine, the coastal city’s vibrant and diverse food scene never fails to attract foodies from near and far. Savour a bowl of authentic Nyonya laksa, a dish you won't want to miss in Melaka. A long list of aromatic herbs and spices goes into the rempah (spice paste) before simmering down to a bowl of tangy, spicy, creamy and fragrant broth for this extremely popular noodle soup.
Other traveller’s favourite includes satay celup, chicken rice ball, and the traditional Nyonya Kuihs (cakes) that comes in different colours and textures, aiming to delight the tongues.
Pay a visit to Nancy's Kitchen, another gastronomy gem around Kota Laksamana. The atmosphere can be rather unassuming, but Nancy’s serves one of the best Nyonya food in Melaka. Soul-warming and satisfying, it is surely where you should head to if you’re around Kota Laksamana. Select the crispy Kuih Pie Tee as starters. A brilliant combination of sweet and savory, this alluringly gorgeous dish is a perfect warm-up to the palate. Tuck in the soft and succulent Sek Bak (Peranakan Braised Pork), the Cincalok Telur (fried egg with fermented shrimps) that packs a massive umami punch, and the classic Ayam Buah Keluak (Chicken with Black Nut) that is rich, creamy and aromatic. You'll find yourself asking for another serving of white, fluffy rice in no time.
Head back to Jonker Street before the sun sets to check out the bustling scene of Melaka's most popular night market. Sample some Malaysian street food but make sure to save some space for the delectable Nyonya Assam Laksa at Jonker88. The flavourful, spicy and tangy dish is a blend of mind-blowing goodness one shall not miss in Melaka. The sweet tooth will fall in love with Jonker88's legendary Gula Melaka Cendol that comes with a generous pouring of coconut milk and Gula Melaka—certainly one of the best cendols in Melaka.
A Slow Trishaw Ride into the Past
Take a ride on the colourful trishaws, let this traditional mode of transportation brings you back to the past. If you are lucky, you might meet a rider that is willing to provide simple explanations about the attractions as you ride across the town. Melaka's trishaw riders take pride in decorating their rides, colourful artificial flowers, cartoon characters, blinking fairy lights and sound system – no trishaws from other Malaysian states come close, indeed an activity worth exploring in town. The Stadhyus is the home ground of the trishaw riders here, so if you need one, be sure to check them out.
Cruisin’ Through the Lights and Colours
Rivers have played a significant role in civilisation. The Melaka River is no different. Explore the historical city by gliding along the Melaka River might be a good idea for the family. Best enjoyed in the evenings, the awe-inspiring 45 minutes Melaka River Cruise sails through several historical sites along the river. Visitors will be able to witness the beauty of the city as the façade of the buildings along the river bathed in colourful neon lights at night.
Café Hoping in Melaka
With a vibrant historical past and surrounded by the intricately ornamented buildings, Melaka is undoubtedly a café hopping paradise. Located right at the central of Jonker Street, Geographer Café is one of the original cafés that ushered in the burgeoning café scene of Kota Laksamana. An award-winning bar and café set in a pre-war shophouse, the cafe is brimming with quaint character. Serving a good mix of local and Western bar food, it is no doubt a great place to grab a cup of coffee during the day and a pint at night.
Fancy a verdant retreat after a long day of sightseeing, or longing for a relaxed brunch in Melaka? The Baboon House is the perfect escape. Located right at the centre of Jonker Street, the café-cum-art-gallery serves one of the best gourmet burgers in Melaka. Adorned with lush greenery and a quaint courtyard brimming with natural sunlight, this is an ideal location to idle away a few relaxing hours over a cup of freshly ground coffee on one hand and a juicy beef burger on another.
Tucked away in a quiet alley near Jonker Street, stepping into Alley No. 5 is akin to entering a time machine. Tastefully adorned with décor of old and new, it is hard not to fall in love immediately. It serves one of the best coffee in Jonker Street, and perhaps one of the best desserts around the vicinity too. Try out their Lemon Cheesecake, Croissant Ice-cream, as well as the seasonal Ondeh Ondeh Cheesecake inspired by ingredients found in the much-admired Nyonya Kuih!
“Peranakan” is another unique cultural heritage in Melaka. The Peranakans are made up of people descended from marriages between the Chinese immigrants and local Malay or Indonesian around the Malay Archipelago. The Peranakan culture is a rich hybrid of the Chinese and Malay ethnic traditions, with a touch of Portuguese, Dutch and Indonesian influences.
The ladies of this community are address as Nyonya, and Baba for the men. Their food, traditional costumes, the interior of a Peranakan house, and even the language of the community is an amalgamation of these native cultures, and you will find yourself intrigued by the tantalising tales and dazzling finery of Baba and Nyonya's life.