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.


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


Stadthuys in Melaka.  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.


Street art in Ipoh. 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
See Southeast Asia Aboard the Coral Discoverer
tour packages

Book using the promo code “ASEAN@50”, and save on your air connections with an extra AUD $1,500 flight credit per...

VIEW DETAILS
Southeast Asia Discovery
tour packages

Tour that takes guests through the best of Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Viet Nam. Buckle your seatbelts, this four-country it...

VIEW DETAILS
Seeing Indochina's Cities from its Rivers
tour packages

Southeast Asia's cities look very different when seen from the river. You'll find out for yourself when you board the...

VIEW DETAILS

MASTERCARD'S PRICELESS EXPERIENCES

View All
Resorts World Sentosa Retail
tour packages

Year-Long Retail Privilege at Resorts World Sentosa Singapore

VIEW DETAILS
Resorts World Sentosa F&B
tour packages

Resorts World Sentosa Singapore F&B Treats

VIEW DETAILS
137 Pillars
tour packages

Float and Flute THB 51,808.76+++ (THB 61,497 nett), 2 night’s accommodation in Rajah Brooke Suite inclusive of breakfas...

VIEW DETAILS

AIR AND CAR BOOKINGS

View All
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
Hertz Car Rental Deals
tour packages

Rent a car for 2 days or more at participating locations in Asia and enjoy up to 15% off

VIEW DETAILS

HOTEL DEALS

View All
W Singapore – Sentosa Cove
tour packages

It’s a night on the house here at W Singapore – Sentosa Cove. Your 4th night is free when you stay 3 nights at ou...

VIEW DETAILS
Amara Sanctuary Resort Sentosa
tour packages

Since its opening in 2007, Amara Sanctuary Resort Sentosa, Singapore has brought the rustic feel of a true resort and blended...

VIEW DETAILS
The Fullerton Hotel
tour packages

Embark on a memorable stay with your loved ones at The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, located in the heart of the arts and financ...

VIEW DETAILS