Experience Malaysia's Melting Pot of Cultures

sHARE TO facebook twitter mail
expdetail

Beaded shoes in Melaka, Malaysia. Image courtesy of Tourism Malaysia.

Malaysia's strength lies in its many cultures coming together. The Malay native community and the Chinese, Indian, and Eurasian communities that came later in the wake of centuries of trade and colonisation, have all combined into a modern Malaysian culture that is much stronger and more vibrant than the sum of its parts.

Visit Malaysia's oldest cities to see the interplay of cultures in action:
Melaka was the capital of the former Sultanate of Melaka, the wellspring of Malay heritage. The Chinese predated the arrival of the Portuguese, Dutch and British: the presence of the former later gave rise to the Peranakan, which blended Malay and Chinese characteristics to create a vibrant new culture.
The Sultanate Palace recapitulates the Malay royal traditions that made Melaka a cultural power in its time. The Stadthuys, St. Paul's Church and A'Famosa ruins, and the Portuguese Square recall the city's years as a European bastion. And Melaka's Chinatown – including Jonker Walk and the Baba Nyonya Museum – show off the significant Chinese and Peranakan commercial and cultural presence.
All these can be found in Melaka's historic core, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Zone.

Ipoh is the state capital of Perak, the beneficiary of a 19th-century tin mining boom. Many historic buildings still remain from its heyday, including a majestic railway station cnicknamed the “Taj Mahal of Ipoh”, the shophouses and hawker stalls of Kong Heng Square, and the neoclassical Ipoh Town Hall and Law Courts.
The countryside around Ipoh retains a few surprises, among them Kellie's Castle (a European-style mansion built by a Scottish planter), and the Sam Poh Tong cave temple.

Penang, under British rule at one time, evolved into a major trading post and disembarkation point for Chinese and Indian laborers. The city of George Town still bears hallmarks of its colonial origins: its downtown core is a UNESCO World Heritage Zone with an abundance of shop houses, clan houses, mosques and mansions.
Key stops in Penang's historic center include the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion and Peranakan Mansion, both former residences of Chinese tycoons; the “Street of Harmony” that features the houses of worship of four different faiths; and Fort Cornwallis, a former British stronghold.
Beyond George Town, you'll find the historic Penang Botanic Gardens, the food scene at Gurney Drive, and the “temple of Supreme Bliss”, Kek Lok Si.


Street art in Ipoh. Image courtesy of Tourism Malaysia.


Exploring the Cheng Hoon Teng Temple in Melaka. Image courtesy of Tourism Malaysia.


Ipoh night market. Image courtesy of Tourism Malaysia.


Stadthuys in Melaka.  Image courtesy of Tourism Malaysia.


Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion in Penang. Image courtesy of Tourism Malaysia.

Similar Southeast Asia Experiences
The rest of Southeast Asia's urban food scene is to die for. For other foodie cities, go to Singapore for its hawker centers, especially those clustered in its cultural precincts; the Old District in Hanoi, Vietnam; and the food scene in Thailand's Bangkok and Ayutthaya.


TOUR packages

View All
Theme Parks & Mangrove Forests Tour
tour packages

What do you get when you mix theme parks with nature reserves? A trip you'll never forget. It starts in Singapore, where ...

VIEW DETAILS
Sailing Up the Mekong
tour packages

The Mekong is one of Southeast Asia's most important rivers, and with this tour you'll be able to see its power for y...

VIEW DETAILS
Borneo's Cultural Highlights
tour packages

Your tour begins late in the day, sampling Brunei's unique flavours at a restaurant in Bandar Seri Begawan. The lights il...

VIEW DETAILS

MASTERCARD'S PRICELESS EXPERIENCES

View All
Gaya Island Resort, Borneo
tour packages

PADI Underwater Digital Photography Class - A two-part introduction course to digital underwater photography centred around t...

VIEW DETAILS
The Elizabeth Hotel
tour packages

The Elizabeth Hotel Singapore, old world charm meets new world hospitality.

VIEW DETAILS
Explore Phang Nga Bay and famous James Bond Island & Ko Panyi aboard a private yacht
tour packages

Bring your entourage and explore Phang Nga Bay aboard your own private yacht while staying at Ocean’s 11 Villa.

VIEW DETAILS

AIR AND CAR BOOKINGS

View All
Hertz Car Rental Deals
tour packages

Explore more of Asia on wheels with our Hertz Asia Driving Guide. Download your free copy for our driving tips, popular self-...

VIEW DETAILS
The Best Way To See Asean
tour packages

Go on an epic Asean journey with AirAsia Asean Pass, a travel pass that allows you to book our base fares at least 14 days or...

VIEW DETAILS

HOTEL DEALS

View All
Cosmo, Dorsett and Silka Hotel
tour packages

Book using the promo code “ASEAN@50”, and enjoy up to 10% off the best available rate on hotel stays in Dors...

VIEW DETAILS
Sumilon Bluewater Island Resort
tour packages

SUMILON BLUEWATER ISLAND RESORT is situated in Oslob and offers free Wi-Fi. It also provides an outdoor pool, a kids pool and...

VIEW DETAILS
G Hotel Gurney
tour packages

Deluxe Room, room only from RM420++, with buffet breakfast from RM445++ Executive Floor (Rates are inclusive of breakfast and...

VIEW DETAILS