CHENG HOON TENG TEMPLE – In the heart of Chinatown, Malaysia’s oldest Buddhist temple has welcomed worshippers for nearly 500 years. Keep your eyes peeled for the traditional Chinese opera theatre across the road.
HEEREN STREET – Once described as Melaka’s Millionaire’s Row, this street is home to a collection of 18th-century dwellings. The pick of these is No.8, a Dutch-period residential property restored as part of a UNESCO project using traditional materials such as papered lime.
ST PAUL’S CHURCH – A sweat-inducing climb will take you to the oldest church in Southeast Asia. Covered in plant growth when it was rediscovered, it’s now a roofless shell, providing great views across the city.
VILLA SENTOSA – Built on stilts for protection against wild animals and flooding, traditional kampong (village) wooden houses served all the needs of rural living. Villa Sentosa is a private home that doubles as a museum. Visitors will be shown around by a member of the household. Packed with artefacts, it’s part of Kampung Morten, a functioning Malay village.
THE STADHUYS – With its red-paint exterior and clock tower, it’s possibly the oldest surviving Dutch building in the East. Built in 1641, it now houses the Museum of History and Ethnography. Its location, Dutch Square, also boasts a Victoria memorial fountain.
SULTANATE PALACE – A painstakingly restored replica of the original, pre-15th century palace, replete with ornately carved ceilings and traditional peaked roofs. There is also a culture museum, showcasing life in Malaysia before European colonialism.
A FAMOSA – The only remaining gatehouse of one of the largest fortresses ever built, with a 40-metre-high watchtower and walls three metres thick.