Malacca Past perfect
Ella Tan | On 30, Jan 2015
A trip to Melaka must include a visit to Jonker Street to find “new” antique buys that you may have missed. The weekend night market, a chicken rice ball meal, the best Nonya restaurant and of course, the local cendol are not to be missed. And never leave without cincalok, belacan, gula Melaka and Nonya curry powder prepared by generations of the same families.
The heritage feast continues as you wander into Heeren and Jonker Streets with their old grand Peranakan architecture, many with links to famous names like Tan Tock Seng, Tan Cheng Bock, Tan Kim Seng who all had homes in this prime residential area.
Inevitably, these fine residences with their lovely tiled facades have been converted into boutique hotels, museums, bookstores, tourist shops and restaurants, each with its own unique interpretation, each uniquely blending something new, something old and something borrowed.
Romance by the beach
After a long day of shopping and food tasting, ascend the gentle hill at St Paul’s Church for a panoramic view of the town. As we enjoyed the soft breeze and watched the dusk give way to night, my husband reminisced about his boyhood visits to his grandparents’ home.
Tracing the silhouettes of restored Malay houses and Dutch-inspired white-washed beach houses, we took a romantic evening stroll by the river, enjoying the nightscape to the sound of soft café music in the background.
For those who want to wander out of the main tourist area, head towards the coast and check out the several new shopping malls. The Portuguese settlement in Ujong Pasir gives you an insight to the cultural heritage of its early settlers. Singapore has its Bukit Brown and Melaka its Bukit Cina – the largest Chinese cemetery outside China with over 12,000 graves, some dating back to the Ming dynasty.