Malaysia is the crowning jewel that lies at the very end of Southeast Asia, jutting out with the Malaccan Straits to meet the islands of Indonesia and the Java Sea. It’s a nation distinctly divided in two. On the western side sits built-up Malaya; the old stronghold of British colonial power that’s now buzzing with electric Kuala Lumpur and multicultural UNESCO towns in Penang.
The red-hued churches and colonial frontispieces that fringe the tight-knit lanes of enchanting Malacca remain unquestionably one of Malaysia’s great draws. Created over decades of colonial rule by the Portuguese, the Dutch, and then the British, the city seen today was once a mighty trading powerhouse on the edge of the Malay Peninsula.
With control of the Malacca Strait, it saw everything from silk transports to spice convoys to military contingents pass through its ports. Today, there are immersive maritime museums to help unravel this past, along with one pandemonius night market down Jonker Walk – one of the best in the country!