We just had our first long weekend trip in Malaysia. We travelled to Melaka (also known as Malacca) over the Easter holiday. At least it was a holiday for us working for a UK organisation, as the Christian festival is not a public holiday in Muslim Malaysia. Thus we erroneously thought it would be quiet. Instead, the town was full of people – apparently it was the last weekend of the mid-term school break and anecdotally we were told many people from Hong Kong come for the Easter weekend (although we couldn’t confirm that).
Melaka is known historically as the capital of a powerful Sultanate and then later a Portuguese, Dutch and lastly British colony before independence. Now it is known for a sizeable Chinese population and delicious Chinese-Malaysian food (Nonya cusine). We also discovered that there are two types of the very tasty Laksa (soup with noodles) and we prefer different types. While away we ate four meals a day – apparently not uncommon. All the food was excellent, including the street food from the main market (which despite notices stating otherwise, was open on Sunday night).
Time spent eating in Melaka is time well spent. There are also some colonial ruins (the British destroyed most of the older buildings during the Napoleonic Wars), a recreation of the Sultan’s Palace, and a few other tourist attractions. We walked around these sites, but didn’t enter any. The town is a very pleasant place, makes good use of its central river and is easier to walk around than KL. Getting there on the bus from KL is cheap and easy (13RM for a 2 hour trip leaving every 30 minutes). I can definitely see us popping down for another weekend.