I’ll admit it – when I think of Melaka, I don’t necessarily think of beaches. I think Nyonya laksa, cendol, and history up the wazoo.
But driving along its coast – through sleepy villages and past scenic coasts – it was a far more relaxing experience than I expected. Sure, the scenery’s not quite like the East Coast, but I think you’ll find that if you give it a chance, Melaka’s idyllic beaches will surprise you. Here are a few of my favorites:
The Portuguese Settlement in Ujong Pasir is the heart of Melaka’s unique Portuguese-descended community, known as the Kristang.
It used to be a simple fishing village, but now it’s where you can experience authentic Kristang culture, from freshly-caught seafood to the Branyo dance. Annual celebrations such as Festa Senjuang and Festa San Pedro are lively affairs that you have to see for yourself. Its beach is small and quiet, and there’s a small shelter for you to sit and watch the waves.
Melaka Straits Mosque
Located on Pulau Besar, a man-made island just off the coast of Melaka, the beautiful Islamic architecture of the Melaka Straits Mosque has made it into a popular tourist attraction. The mosque juts out into the sea, and during the high tide, it appears to float on the water. The sandy beach next to it is the perfect spot to watch the sunset as the mosque lights up in bursts of color.
Klebang Sand Dunes
Do you know what happens when a bunch of sand is dumped on reclaimed land and left alone? It becomes a tourist attraction, of course! The lofty sand dunes have become a magnet for Instagrammers across Malaysia, because if you get just the right angle, it’s like you’re in the middle of a hot, arid desert. (Or as I like to pretend, Tatooine.)
I happened to stumble across this when I followed a stream of cars on my way to Klebang Beach. Fair warning: be ready for a sweaty 15-minute walk from the parking lot. But once you’ve awkwardly clambered up steep sand dunes to make it to the farthest edge that’s right by the sea, you’ll get a view that’s worth the effort.
Pantai Puteri & Pantai Kundur
This long stretch of beach is one of Melaka’s most well-known ones, but there’s plenty of space for everyone. The tree-lined beach provides shade for those who don’t plan to soak up the sun, and there are some water sports available if you’re so inclined.
Walk further up the coast along Pantai Puteri and you’ll come across Pantai Kundur. Visitors often like to give night fishing on the kelongs a go.
Tanjung Bidara was one of my favorite beaches, tucked away along the coast right next to Terendak Camp, a military camp in Sungai Udang. The soft sand was a reddish hue and scattered just off the beach were large, smooth boulders that you could climb up and sun yourself on.
Pengkalan Balak’s beach is located off the main road along a narrow rural road dotted with homestays and chalets. It even has a Turtle Information Center, where you can learn more about hawksbill turtles and the center’s conservation efforts. The hatchery is right on the beach.
Sungai Tuang’s beach is similar to Pantai Puteri. There’s a sidewalk beside the beach lined with benches so you can take a stroll down the beach without getting sand on your feet. It’s here where you can also come across the nice Ice-cream Man selling locally-made ice pops that you won’t find in your typical 7-11.
This one was a pleasant surprise for me, as I wasn’t expecting to come across a beach here. Curious about Fort Supai (also known as Kuala Linggi Fort), I wandered up the hill. There wasn’t much at the Dutch fort’s ruins other than remnants of walls and stairs and a couple of canons. The place looked in need of some attention.
I hesitantly tramped across a field and went down the stairs, where I encountered the sea. Following my instincts, I went down the dirt road to the left and discovered a small spit of beach, where I watched the sun set and felt at peace.
Looking for a change of pace the next time you visit Melaka? Follow the coastal route and you may uncover even more hidden gems! Book your stay in Melaka on Traveloka.