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    History and Culture in Equal Measure

    Historic Melaka (or Malacca) is the capital of the Malaysian state of the same name, home to one of the country’s first sultanates. The replica of the sultan’s palace is one of the city’s top attractions.

    The end of the sultanate came with the Portuguese conquest of Melaka in the 16th century. Reminders of this period include part of A Famosa fort, and there is also a fort built by the next settlers, the Dutch. Several Dutch churches also remain, including Christ Church with its pinkish façade.

    Nowadays, Melaka is a melting pot of various cultures, and Chinese temples, such as wonderful Cheng Hoon Teng, sit happily alongside Hindu temples and mosques. The most spectacularly located of the latter is Masjid Selat (or Malacca Straits Mosque), on stilts above waters lapping an offshore island.

    Many Melaka hotels on Booking.com are near the promenade lining the narrow city beach, and others are near more secluded beaches in the suburbs. The Melaka River splits the city into 2, and the further inland you travel along it, the more traditional the buildings become.

    Just before the river’s first bend is Jonker Street, the heart of Chinatown and popular for its night markets, while a few miles to the north is Melaka Airport in the Batu Berendam district.