The Historic City of Melaka
Wanderlust Travel Magazine|January 2022 / Issue 218
The UNESCO-listed city in south-western Malaysia offers visitors one of the world’s most wonderful cultural sensory overloads, reckons Simon Willmore
By Simon Willmore. Photographs by Shutterstock

To walk down Jalan Tukang Emas (Goldsmith Street) in Melaka is to experience just about the most intense concentration of religious heritage in Asia, if not the world. Head south past the Chinese Cheng Hoon Teng (‘Green Cloud’) temple, established in 1645 and thus the country’s oldest functioning temple, and the smell of incense will barely have dissipated by the time you get to the Kampung Kling Mosque, built originally in wood by Indian Muslim traders in 1748. Time it right and the call to prayer will still be ringing in your ears when you reach the vibrantly coloured Sri Poyatha Moorthi, one of the oldest intact Hindu temple in Malaysia, founded in 1781. These three places of worship are all on the same road – unsurprisingly nicknamed ‘Harmony Street’.

The Malaysian government used to market its country as ‘Malaysia, Truly Asia’, which encompasses a complex concept with beautiful simplicity. The slogan alludes to the fact that the South-East Asian country is home to three of the world’s major races: Malay, Chinese and Indian. This makes for a calendar packed with religious festivals and a cuisine as diverse as they come.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM WANDERLUST TRAVEL MAGAZINEView All

The Winners Return...

The Wanderlust Travel Photo of the Year 2019 prize winners have returned from their commission to Hong Kong and Macao. Here's what they found...

7 mins read
Wanderlust Travel Magazine
February/March 2022 Issue 219

Travel Trends 2022

Wondering what travel will look like in the year ahead? We look into our crystal ball and see what's hot for 2022

2 mins read
Wanderlust Travel Magazine
February/March 2022 Issue 219

Moon Rise over the Mississippi

The Mississippi River offers so much more than paddle steamer cruises and antebellum history. We take a greener, more intimate journey to experience 'Old Muddy's' wild places and Paleo-Indian history

10+ mins read
Wanderlust Travel Magazine
February/March 2022 Issue 219

Vietnam's Heritage Express

Connecting north with south, the Reunification Express is also perhaps the best way to visit Vietnam's UNESCO-listed sites and depth of culture

10+ mins read
Wanderlust Travel Magazine
February/March 2022 Issue 219

Nepal's Diverse Dishes

Nepali cooking is shaped by its unique geography. In this edited extract from his book Ayla, chef Santosh Shah gives us an insight into the rich cuisine of his home country

3 mins read
Wanderlust Travel Magazine
February/March 2022 Issue 219

5 Crafts to Try and Buy in Austria

A country's crafts reveal its culture, so return home with a cowbell or snowglobe to remind you of Austria's Alpine meadows

2 mins read
Wanderlust Travel Magazine
February/March 2022 Issue 219

Gallic Hug

With its layers of history, seductive light, warm welcome and strong traditions, Northern France's timeless coastline calls out to be discovered

10+ mins read
Wanderlust Travel Magazine
February/March 2022 Issue 219

Hidden Massachusetts

Small but dense with local - and national - interest, the East Coast state is rich with Founding Fathers' history, classy modern culture and spools of serene nature beyond the ever-popular leaf-peeping trails

6 mins read
Wanderlust Travel Magazine
February/March 2022 Issue 219

22 FOR '22 WEIRD & WONDERFUL WILDLIFE TO SEE THIS YEAR

Discover the world's strangest creatures - and where you can find them

10+ mins read
Wanderlust Travel Magazine
February/March 2022 Issue 219

Lord Howe Island

There’s something rather special about Australia’s wild, tiny, far-flung Tasman Sea isle, reckons Ayan Adak

3 mins read
Wanderlust Travel Magazine
January 2022 / Issue 218
RELATED STORIES

THE GREAT ESCAPE!

Hero dad dives into flames to save twin girls

2 mins read
National Enquirer
September 27, 2021

Bangkok to Bali and Beyond

Sail to the cultural wonders of Southeast Asia.

4 mins read
Global Traveler
August 2021

Have «comfort foods» PUT YOUR healthy diet ON THE BACK SHELF?

Nutrition Myth Buster Jonny Bowden says toss out the old nutrition advice along with the junk food. It’s time to start fresh before you start having health issues.

3 mins read
Natural Solutions
December 2020

PARANOIA

MAGGIE LINDEMANN SPILLS THE TEA ON HER UPCOMING EP, TRAN- SCENDING GENRES AND COLLABORATING WITH POP PUNK’S FINEST.

5 mins read
Inked
January 2021

COVID-19 TURNS MALAYSIA'S GLOVE MAKERS INTO BILLIONAIRES

Owner of Riverstone Holdings is now a billionaire with his share prices going up, keeping up with the increasing demand in protective gloves across the world.

2 mins read
Industry Leaders
September 2020

Offshore Safety

Voyaging on the boat they built together

10 mins read
Ocean Navigator
Ocean Voyager 2020

The Virus Clips AirAsia's Wings

The region’s premier discount carrier may have to lower its ambitions

4 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
April 20, 2020

Plant Power

Dr. Jonny busts the palm oil myth and sheds light on an estrogen-affecting phytochemical.

4 mins read
Clean Eating
January - February 2020

Penang Looks Like A Trade War Winner

Malaysia’s electronics manufacturing hub is drawing renewed interest as China and the U.S. battle

3 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
November 25, 2019

READER PROJECT Custom-Chassis Muscle Mustang

Retro-realistic machined-metal muscle car

5 mins read
Radio Control Car Action
November 2019