If you are a foodie, then going to Malacca should without a doubt be on your bucket list. The tiny city is focused around food. During the day there are queues 20 people deep outside certain restaurants and at night you have to dodge and weave between bright red plastic tables and food stalls. The food itself is something else. We were in Malacca for 4 nights and in that time all of the meals we had were excellent, from Nonya Laksas to Portuguese style seafood and the particularly unique chicken rice balls.
The city has been occupied by the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British and influences of all of them remain. The Town Square is made unique not only by the old Dutch architecture but also because the buildings were all bizarrely painted red during the British occupation.
During the weekends Jonker Street, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, explodes into a huge night market. The markets sell the usual trinkets that you would find at any market ever and also baby hedgehogs (of course) and some ridiculous mice-like critters.
The downside of the markets is that they get ridiculously busy. I would advise anyone who gets even vaguely claustrophobic to avoid them. You end up shuffling along at a snails pace in a space about 2 metres across occupied by twenty other people, with who knows how many people in front and behind you. And the people behind you are willing to use any weapon available to them to shuffle forward slightly faster than you are. Your ankles are assaulted by prams and kicked by shoes, sharp edges of handbags are dug into the small of your back and shoulders are driven into any surface possible. Mothers carrying children will quite happily push their children’s faces between your shoulder blades to get past you. It gets intense. However, for a reprieve, duck off down a side street and wander for two seconds and you will find any number of completely deserted streets. The flip side is that they’re also pitch black and you have to walk home dodging monsoon drains and potholes.