Let’s eat and explore…
Image credit: Phalinn Ooi
Foodies go where?
Why do we travel and seek adventures and thrills constantly? We traverse far and wide for gaining experiences that enrich us, for making memories that stay with us and for imbibing influences form different cultures that embrace us. One such journey in the quest for another enriching experience is that to Melaka. Melaka or Malacca, as we call it, is the land of cultural ethnicity and a foodie’s paradise! Food and travel are inseparable! Since booking a travel online is so easy these days, why not combine the two and go on an inter-dependant tour? Follow us to Melaka – where food meets culture.
- Melaka (in Malay) means: the historic state
- Melaka was called Orang Laut, and was originally a fishing village
- It was coined Melaka by founder Parameswara aka Iskandar Shah or Sri Majara, named after a tree where he took shelter
The busy streets of Melaka:
Melaka is a must-do, as it has a booming tourism industry, with a large herd of adventure and site seekers flocking to this bustling state. It was awarded the status of UNESCO World Heritage site in 2008. Known for its architectural style and colonial structures, foodhawker lanes, markets, antique stores and restored bits, think of it as a painter’s canvas with beautiful, vibrant colours splattered all across. The streets are a hive of activity, especially during weekends. The southern state of Malaysia emits distinct influences of the Portugese, Dutch and British, owing to the invasion and rule through centuries, leading to a blend of traditions, styles and cuisine.
- Book your travel: Plan your travel in advance and book your tickets and hotels at the best price.
- Summer wear: Melaka is predominantly hot and humid. Carry light, cotton summer clothes, shorts, skirts, sunglasses and a cap or scarf to protect your eyes and head.
- Protect your skin: Coat yourself with a generous amount of sunscreen, fill your water bottle, keep yourself hydrated and you’re good to go!
- Rainy season: It rains around October to March. Carry umbrellas or rain coats and non-skid footwear or rain shoes.
- Map: Pick a map from your tour guide, travel agent or hotel and get ready to walk and roll!
What to eat?
The flavours of Malaysia are distinct and worth a try. Another food haven of the country, Melaka is for those willing to give their taste buds a zesty trip of the different cuisines available. The list below depicts just a few dishes out of the vast pool available:
Laksa: Try out this soup, with spices and meat, made with coconut milk or tamarind.
Rojak: This could be available in many versions and has a mix of fruits and vegetables, with additional pieces of meat, tossed in spices, coconut or sauces.
Nasi Kerabu: A unique, blue-coloured rice made with the flowers of butterfly pea, is often accompanied with fried meat, pickles and chips.
Satay: Jonker Walk gives you access to some of the yummiest satays made with all types of meat, a dip, and some beverages to accompany it.
Chicken balls: These are not like the regular meat balls, but ones made with meat and rice. Watch out for these delicacies at different hawkers and vendors.
Ice cream in a coconut: Interesting and varied flavours of ice cream are served in a coconut, with toppings to give you a much needed break from walking along the streets. What better way to beat the heat?
Dimsums: Dimsums for breakfsast, dimsums of all colours and shapes, dimsums with a variety of filings is what you would find at Melaka.
Special mention: A special mention of Jonker Street has to be made. It is a rich hawker centre, with a number of restaurants offering the best of Malaysian food, Nyonya cuisine, and innovative variations of culturally imbibed flavours. Nancy’s Kitchen, Hard Rock Café are some of the best bets here.
Must try: Nyonya cuisine!
Places to see:
Melaka river cruise: Try the cruise and take a stroll along the river, both during the day and night. Street art adorns the stretch, as you drift along to explore what Melaka has to offer.
Jonker Walk: The mandatory China Town, called Jonker Walk or Jonker Street is the common name for Jalan Hang Jebat. It is a tourist’s paradise, offering everything from trinkets, clothes, handicrafts and food to clubs, bistros, weekend night market (Friday and Saturday) and nightlife.
Harmony Street: The famous street, true to its name, has a Chinese temple, Hindu temple and Mosque in the same street: Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, Sri Payyatha Vinayagar Moorthi Temple and Kampung Keling Mosque.
Street art: Murals adorn the lanes and streets of Melaka, and range from graffiti art, depiction of food, slogans, peace and quotes to orangutan, Chinese lions, abstract images and more. You can find them along the river, at Jonker Street and literally everywhere else. Keep looking!
St. Paul’s Hill: This fortress also known as A Famosa has remnants from the past, including St. paul’s Church and a number of shops and markets to hang out. Climb up the hill, understand colonization, and bask in the lush gardens.
Museums: Of the numerous museums that you could go to, make sure you visit the ones with a twist – Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum, Submarine Museum, The Orangutan house, Magic Art Museum, Melaka Stamp Museum, Architecture Museum, Museum of History and Ethnography, and the likes.
Must do: Places of historic interest, scattered along the streets and hill!
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Kuala Lumpur: Book your flight to the sparkling and glitzy city of Kuala Lumpur (KLIA). Make use of good deals and promos at Traveloka. From there, head to Melaka by bus or taxi.
Penang: Arrive at Penang International airport (PEN) to soak in the vintage vibes of the food haven. Book your onward flight journey to Melaka’s Batu Berendam International airport (MKZ).
Traveloka offers various promotions if you book combinations of flights and hotels, latest deals and discounts, and the best rates possible. The best thing to do would be to scan through the options at Traveloka, and set up a price alert, to know when the airfare changes, without any extra effort.
Image credit: Traveloka
Where to stay?
Melaka has a number of accommodations to choose from, be it a budget or regular hotel, luxury stay or any other den of choice. You can find Melaka hotels at Traveloka, at competitive prices. Make sure you do your booking in advance online, as it can get very busy during the holiday season. Nothing more assuring than the best price guarantee online! All these booking features and more at the click of a button, with no booking fee.
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Have you been to Melaka or planning a trip soon? Do share your experiences.