7 Things Melaka and Penang have in Common

By Christina Kim - July 07, 2015

The 7th of July is significant to both Melaka and Penang; a date which shot both these states and sister cities to stardom with the declaration of them as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Both of these city states share more than just the common title and also the Straits of Malacca, which are the reasons they are known as sister states.

In conjunction with the celebration of the 7th year of their status as the world renowned World Heritage Sites by UNESCO, I have listed down a list of 7 things that I can think of which these two beautiful states share in common.

1. Their rich historical background standing in the forms of the many old buildings within the cities/states.

Old Masjid Kapitan Keling in Penang

Stadhuys in Melaka

2. The unique influence of intermarriages blending into the local culture 
Peranakans are only found in Penang, Melaka and Singapore 
(Eurasians too, are commonly found in these two states)

(Note: I don't have a very good photo to depict the Peranakans but this is an example of how the architecture of the typical Peranakan heritage house would look like - just a depiction and not factual)
It is common to find unique and remarkably beautiful houses of such architecture in these two states


Traditional heritage houses with air wells in the middle of the house (long in lengths)

3. They are both food capitals - and they own exclusive rights to the Peranakan Cuisine
(Melaka has a plus point with an additional Portuguese cuisine)
Notice how they both have a wide variety of food shared, but prepared in different styles?

Peranakan cuisine, Cendol, Lok Lok vs Satay Celup






4. Their streets are uniquely lined with heritage and pre-war houses and shophouses, and are usually narrow

Streets in Melaka



Streets in Penang 


5. Their early beginnings were from ports




6. Modern day development and History goes hand in hand
Modern buildings stand amidst old historical architectures and pre-war buildings in the same city?
(Some are even centuries old)
It's as though time stood still in some parts of the cities; and one could be walking through civilization one minute and then feel like they are transported to the past in another.



P1350800_Fotor P1080947_Fotor

7.  Unique offerings specific to these two states - Heritage Trails, Food, and Culture among many more traditions which earned them the unique Heritage status

Traditional Peranakan Embroidered Bead Slippers and Wooden Clogs, Nyonya Kueh



And just a bonus, which other states do you see Trishaw as a mode of transportation?


Yup, there is no special lanes for them, and drivers don't honk at them. 



There are many more things where Melaka and Penang are both proud of in their own ways, but they are just beautiful and unique as they are.

That is the very reason Malaysians love them.

Take some time to explore Malaysia, and you will find that we have many more beautiful gems hidden amidst the country.

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