Everyone I have met along the road that has been in Malaysia recommends me to go to Melaka. So after a few days of looking around in Kuala Lumpur went there there to check out what all the fuss is about. And I am glad that I did because it is a very nice place.
A multicultural melting pot
Melaka is only two hours by bus south east from Kuala Lumpur. The city, that was then a small fishing village, was discovered around year 1400 by the Malay prince Parameswara who renamed the it to Melaka and started developing it to an international port. Because of its strategic position in the Melaka Straits the city have been an important place for trading goods from both India and China. In 1511 the city was conquered by the Portuguese and after that it has been in the hands of the Dutch, the British and the Japanese before it was included in what we today call the country of Malaysia. No wonder this place is a mix of people, food and architecture. Today Singapore have taken over most of the trading but the historical city centre of Melaka is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008.
A slower pace
Although the city have a population of 870 000 people (in 2015) it is experienced as far more laid back that Kuala Lumpur. Expecially if you, as most tourists do, stay in the older parts of the city close to the cultural parts and the meandering river that flows through the city. Taking a guided tour in the city centre, visiting some of the few remaining traditional Malay houses and taking photos of some of the mural paintings along the river walk made this a very nice stay. Add a comfortable (and dirt cheap) hostel, some nice international new friends and a local pineapple beer in the evening and you got almost a perfect package. This all weighs up that it rained almost 50% of the time I was there.
“Do not be angry with the rain; it simply does not know how to fall upwards.”