The peacock of Malaysian cities, Melaka City preens with its wealth of colourful trishaws, homegrown galleries and crimson colonial buildings. The city’s historic centre achieved Unesco World Heritage status in 2008 and since then Melaka City’s tourism industry has developed at breakneck pace. Old shophouses and mansions have enjoyed makeovers as galleries and hotels and Melaka City’s kaleidoscope of architectural styles – spanning Peranakan, Portuguese, Dutch and British elements – is well preserved. Tourism has boomed, particularly on weekends when the vibrant Jonker Walk Night Market provides music, shopping and street-food galore, but you’ll share the experience elbow-to-elbow with other travellers.
Inevitably, a strong whiff of commercialism has accompanied this success. However, it's easy to feel the town's old magic (and get a seat at popular restaurants) on quiet weekdays. Melaka City, as it has for centuries, continues to exude tolerance and welcomes cultural exchange.