The Red Square
Brightly painted in red, you can’t miss the Stadthuys (Dutch for city hall) of Malacca. The rich history these buildings preserve is just one reason the city was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2008.

This weekend we decided to make a quick getaway. Once an inexpensive and well-reviewed guest house for only 50RM ($18 CAD) was found, we were off. A 2-hour journey in the Swif brought us to the historical city of Malacca. The port here used to be one of the largest in Asia and as a result was well positioned to enter mainland Asia. Traders from Portugal originally went to Goa, India, thinking that’s where the riches were, but they soon realized that the gold and other profitable resources could be more easily accessed from Malaysia. So, the Portugese came and took over the area, followed by the Dutch and the British. During WW2, there was also a brief ( 3-year) occupation by the Japanese, which is remembered as a terrible time in Malaysian history for the general mistreatment of the people.

Many buildings of Dutch and British design still stand today. Throw in the deep history of the Malay sultanates, the Chinese and Indian immigrants who have been here for hundreds of years, and you have a cultural melting pot. One that prides itself on its own unique customs, traditions, food and even an exclusive race called the “Baba and Nyonyas” (Malay/Chinese).  The pictures below show how all of this has played out today.

Trina

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