If you have a flair for anything vintage, historical and gastronomic like yours truly, then you will definitely fall in love with Malacca. It was our second time here and we are still smitten by it’s old-world charm, laid-back feel and rich history. This quaint UNESCO World Heritage Site on the west coast of peninsular Malaysia just about 4 hours bus ride from Singapore will transport you back in time with its surreal fusion of Dutch/Portuguese/Malay/Chinese legacies evident on its well-preserved architectures, ruins from the colonial era and of course its mouth-watering Baba Nyonya/Peranakan cuisine.
Everything in Malacca is just colorful, vivid, picturesque and most importantly it can be explored on foot (proximity is always a huge plus for us)! A visit on Dutch Square and you will be greeted by a sudden burst of colors – from the terracotta-red Christ Church and Stadthuys, trishaws filled with fake foliage and not a bit shy on flamboyance (complete with blaring pop or Malay music), side vendors selling all sorts of colorful souvenirs and tidbits, locals clad in their vibrant kebayas — it is truly a sight to behold!
Just a few minute’s walk from Dutch Square and you can easily reach Jonker Walk famed for serious antique-hunters hoping to score some really precious find. If antique-hunting is not really your thing like us, fret not since this street caters for vintage hunters, foodies, wanderers and low-key shoppers (like us).
On week nights, the whole street is close to traffic and transforms into a gastronomic adventure-land of some sort. Different hawker stalls and makeshift tents selling all kinds of delicacies, street foods, sundries, local fares, trinkets and cheap whatnot sprout the entire stretch like mushrooms.
Here we had some shaved-ice cendol, fried ice cream, Fanta-flavored popsicles, dried squid, quail eggs on a stick and another helping of fried ice cream (it’s that good)! We also chanced upon a really cool art cafe where I had the best satay by far.
This is indeed a happy place for us – I mean, different enticing smells wafting through the air while walking and taking snapshots of vintage items and kitschy pieces neatly sprawled alongside the alleys, nostalgic vibe of ancestral houses converted to artsy cafes and shops, cheap and yummy food you can munch to your heart’s content, a dose of retail therapy without hurting your wallet that much – this place is a candy store for grown-ups!
Malacca with its rustic charms and unique offerings makes it no doubt a much-loved destination for travelers and those who fancy a quick break from the hustle and bustle of the metro. And who knows, you might even get lucky and find a truly precious artifact in one of Jonker Street’s antique shops! In fact, you didn’t have to since the whole Malacca experience is a gem in itself, that I assure you!