Melaka and around

Thanks to its strategic location on the strait that bears its name, Melaka was a rich, cosmopolitan port city long before it fell victim to successive colonial invasions. Its wealth and influence are now a thing of the past, and the old city's colourful history is itself a major money-spinner for Malaysia's modern tourism industry. The Jerak Warison Heritage Trail is a great introduction to historical Melaka, with its striking Dutch colonial core and bustling, although somewhat manufactured, Chinatown (which houses the oldest Chinese temple in Malaysia).

After you've exhausted the rich historical sites of Melaka, 11 km up the road towards the North-South Highway is Ayer Keroh, a kind of contrived holiday camp with golf, a zoo, night safari, butterfly park and go-kart racing. Tanjung Kling, 9 km northwest, is well known for its seafood, although the waters around here are, as the tourist bureau puts it, ''kind of milky''. For serious trekkers, there's the myth-enshrouded Mount Ledang, which is a tough scramble at 1276 m.

This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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