Melaka City, the Venice of the East, sited on the western Malaysian seaboard overlooking the Strait of Malacca, was a vital port to various maritime trading nations since the 15th century, between the Far East and the West. It was designated a UNESCO’s World Heritage Site on 7 July 2008. A well-restored quaint town with its salmon-pink-coloured architecture and brick paved streets in the city centre is a testimony to its rich Malay, Chinese, Indian, Portuguese, Dutch and British heritage. Highlights of any visit ought to include the colonial buildings of Stadhuys and Christ Church, the old at times ornately decorated terrace houses; the Portuguese fortress A’Formosa at sunset; the Melaka River at nightfall; and Jonker Street’s weekend night market, where the purveyors of all that is delicious and attractive to the eyes are displayed. The Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum is a kaleidoscope of the deeply embedded Peranakan culture which has its root in Melaka, with its distinctive delectable cuisine served in countless restaurants, in modern hotels and shopping arcades that proliferate throughout the City. The City is clean and English is widely spoken.
Our relaxing jaunt through Melaka with Benjamin, Glenice, Kymie, Zac and Jeriah brought us to the Shore Oceanarium, the Stadhuys Museum, and Jonker Street’s Mamee Café Workshop. At the latter, the children coloured their Mamee cup containers, then watched them filled-up with dried mamee, including their favourite seasoning ingredients, before being sealed; a ready supper meal. Apparel-hunting for fast-growing youngsters remained a high priority, in between rest periods at Popular Bookstores, the kids’ favourite print wonderland. To be in Melaka is to enjoy its wide-ranging gastronomic food options, and at this time, imbibing the year-end Christmassy atmosphere in the various shopping precinct and hotels.