The historic coastal city was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for a reason. You’ll find photo-ops everywhere in the charming city of Malacca; relics of the pre-war era, kaleidoscopic murals, here are some of the most aesthetic spots in Malacca.
Melaka Straits Mosque
Located on the edge of a man-made island, the floating mosque (stilt mosques that give the illusion of floating) features a mix of Malay and Middle Eastern craftsmanship. At night, the pristine white mosque lights up in a beautiful shade of green so you may have to crank up the ISO for this one! The wide, open sea and the sunset in the background serve as the perfect backdrop for a picture of the mosque. It’s best to come here during golden hour during which the tide will begin to settle down; hint: try a long exposure shot for that soft brush effect.
Flowing through the heart of Malacca City and into the sea, it’s no wonder that this busy canal has led European traders to dub Malacca as the “Venice of the East”. Row upon row of old shophouses and charming neon street lights adorn the historic canal. While it’s the most colourful at night, the canal is a pretty sight at sunrise where the waters are calm and the buildings are bright enough to be seen from the reflections of the water.
Klebang Beach has taken social media by storm after pictures of the sand dunes were circulated online. Today, the beach is a popular spot for wedding photographers and landscape photographers simply looking to take pictures of the bizarre mounds. It’s about 20-minutes from Bandar Hilir, follow this guide to find the sand dunes.
Other states in Malaysia were inspired by the vibrant and nostalgic street art that Penang showcased. Painted on some of the oldest decaying shophouses in the city, these murals are a testament to the blend of old and new that the city embraces. Put on your most colourful outfits to blend in with the colours or go for an all-black look to create a contrasting portrait shot.
Nomaps is a pre-war shophouse that was repurposed into a chic backpacker hostel. The quirky facade of the hostel draws tourists looking for a portrait photo-op - it’s easy to see why! The colourful louver shutters make for an interesting backdrop. While everyone seems to pose in front of the shutters, stand in front of the entrance door instead for a more unique perspective!
Encore is a performing arts theatre known for their vibrant performances which showcase the history and heritage of Malacca’s diverse community. While the performance itself is noteworthy, a good number of tourists come just to take photos of the theatre. The oddly-shaped building is covered in pristine white plates that are best described as mesmerizing. Make use of the leading lines and the symmetry of the building to make the subject stand out!
Jonker Street is street photography on easy mode - depending on how comfortable you are with crowds. The historic street contains some of the oldest shophouses in Malacca City and also functions as a busy food street. Head over in the morning when it’s less crowded to capture an authentic glimpse into the life of the area’s local industry.
Up north from Jonker Street is a collection of old mom and pop shops that have been operating since the Japanese Occupation. Cross the Kampung Jawa Pedestrian Bridge and head to the direction of 8, Kampung Jawa and you’ll find yourself in a sea of old family-run goldsmith shops and retro barber shops who’ll shave you with a straight razor.
That said, Sin Hiap Hin takes the cake for most unique establishments in the area. It’s a 100-year-old bar that served everyone in the area from the barber across the street to Japanese soldiers.