local magic of melaka

melaka mural malaysiaIn the World Heritage-listed town of Melaka you instantly step back in time and absorb the atmosphere of this historically important port. With her Intrepid leader cap on, Hannah Bound takes us on a wander through one of her favourite towns in Malaysia

“Hareem Street is a small winding road lined with Straits Chinese mansions. The Straits Chinese were early settlers who integrated their culture with that of the Malay to create a unique cultural fusion.

Enter a world of friendly ghost stories, dwellings with exotic histories stained in their walls and traces of a colourful past in the extravagant antiques. You can take a fascinating trishaw ride and visit the Chinese Clan or ‘Association’ houses, originally built for the recruitment, education and financial welfare of the first Chinese immigrants.

With great wealth predominantly amassed from the rubber trade, some of these clans built elaborate mansions with ornate temples and luxurious opium dens. Some remaining mansions are more than 200 years old and are now art galleries and coffee shops, or bars with contemporary painted walls in airy courtyards.

After wandering Hareem Street, turn off this historical road to enter magical Harmony Street, named after the harmonious array of mosques, Chinese, Hindu and Buddhist temples. Plus take time to explore Jonker Street, lit with Chinese red lanterns, smelling of the delicious Nyonya cuisine and bustling with lively markets at the weekends. The local experience of Melaka is truly marvelous!”

Tour Malaysia with Intrepid on trips like these great small group adventures:
Malay Basix – 15 days
Colours of Asia – 15 days

* photo by Gabriella Fono – Intrepid Photography Competition

About the author

Sue Elliot - Like many of us, Sue contracted a serious travel bug at an early age. She's visited over 90 countries in search of a cure, but her wanderlust just seems to get worse. Thankfully at Intrepid Travel she's amongst people who understand the affliction and since 1998 Sue has enjoyed being our blog and newsletter editor. Here you'll find helpful travel advice and inspiring tales from Sue and other Intrepid travellers.

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