It is traditionally believed that the history of Malaysia began with the founding of Melaka in 1400 by Parameswara, a Sumatran prince. Thereafter, the state flourished under the Melaka Sultanate and eventually became the region's largest emporium, attracting traders from as far as China, India, Arabia and Europe.
Melaka came under successive colonial eras when the Portuguese conquered it in 1511, followed by Dutch rule in 1641 before the British took over in 1824. All these foreign influences have over the years transformed the state into a cultural melting pot. The Portuguese and Peranakan communities have until today remained a distinctive feature of society in Melaka.
In the light of its historical past, Melaka has been officially declared the 'Historical City of Malaysia'. Famous historical sites in the state include the A Famosa, Stadthuys, Saint Paul's Church, Saint John's Fort, and the Hang Tuah and Hang Jebat mausoleums.
The cultural Museum, an elaborate reconstruction of the ancient palace of the Melaka Sultanate, provides fascinating insights into Melaka's glorious past. The nightly Light and Sound Show at Padang Pahlawan (warrior's Field) re-enacts in dramatic fashion, the state's historical past.
Antique lovers will find Jonker Street with its myriad shops to be an intriguing place to seek-out and haggle for treasures of the past. Beyond the appeal of its historical past, Melaka offers a wide range of sights and leisure activities for a truly worthwhile holiday.
Pulau Besar and Pulau Upeh are two popular island retreats easily accessible from Melaka. While in Melaka, enjoy an exciting experience of the city on a trishaw or take a bullock cart ride for the fun of it. Sample the mouth-watering culinary mix of nyonya and Portuguese dishes and other local delicacies.
Air Keroh, just outside the city of Melaka, is situated in a vast forest reserve, and is a major tourist recreational spot. Attractions here include the Melaka Zoo, Mini Malaysia, Mini ASEAN, a gold resort, hotels, a butterfly farm and a crocodile farm.
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