Yet another Malaysian city has been selected as the best place to visit in Best in Asia 2017 list! Released by everyone’s favourite travel bible Lonely Planet, the list has global travel experts trekking everywhere from Japan and China to Kazakhstan to bring you some of Asia’s best destinations this year.
Guess which of our cities made it to the list this time around?
Hint: It’s not Penang because Penang’s Georgetown was already named No. 4 in their list of top cities for travel in 2015. And Ipoh came out 6th in the first-ever Best in Asia list of 2016. Super epic!
It’s Melaka, or Malacca – the peacock of Malaysian cities – bagging the 9th spot. The awarding of Unesco World Heritage status to Melaka’s historic core in 2008 has put it firmly on Southeast Asia’s map. Since then, we have seen Malacca capitalise on its illustrious history and assert itself as one of Malaysia’s most irresistible tourist draws.
“Recently the focus has shifted to the Melaka River; boat rides along this meandering waterway are popular and soon water taxis will connect Melaka Sentral bus station with downtown” – Lonely Planet
Highlighted were waterfront gallery Zheng He Duo Yun Zuan, an exhibition centre situated between two large converted warehouses facing the Melaka River, Trash & Treasure Flee Market in a riverside warehouse where all kinds of handmade gifts can be found, and Shore Shopping Gallery, Malacca’s newest mall.
But that’s not all! Let’s take a look at why Malacca is worth a visit:
1.The city of glorious chicken rice balls
Local people and tourist from all parts of the country can be seen lining up outside of a restaurant just to indulge in this famous Hainanese chicken rice ball. The rice, cooked with chicken stock and flavoured with garlic, ginger, and spring onion, is rolled by hand while it is still hot, resulting in a firm but no a sticky rice texture.
2. Wealth of home-grown galleries
As Malacca is known to be a historical city, mansions and old shophouses have been transformed into galleries. Not only can you see a gallery of shops while walking in Malacca street, but there are art graffiti along the walls of this vibrant city too and many old looking buildings are preserved by this way.
3. Crimson colonial buildings
Most of this buildings are being kept for tourism purposes and to maintain the beauty of Malacca as a historical hub in Malaysia. Some colonial buildings that you can visit in Malacca today are the Kota A Famosa building, Jonker Street, Christ Church and many more.
4. Showy rickshaws
Back in the day, a rickshaw was a mode of transportation to bring a person from point A to B. Hard to imagine coming to Malacca and not getting a ride around town on this three-wheeled vehicle with colourful fairy lights and cartoon cut-outs of – Disney princesses, colonial buildings and Christmas trees.
Be it for a weekend getaway or a week long trip, Melaka can be the perfect location for city dwellers to escape to, considering it’s only about an hour drive from Kuala Lumpur. So what are you waiting for? Head over to this historical city now!