Malacca (Malay: Melaka, dubbed "The Historic State" ) is the third smallest Malaysian state after Perlis and Penang. It is located in the southern region of the Malay Peninsula, next to the Straits of Malacca. It borders Negeri Sembilan to the north and Johor to the south. The capital is Malacca City, which is 148 kilometres (92 miles) south east of Malaysia's capital city Kuala Lumpur, 235 kilometres (146 miles) north west to Johor's largest city Johor Bahru, and 95 km (59 miles) north west to Johor's second largest city, Batu Pahat. This historical city centre has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 7 July 2008.Although it was the location of one of the earliest Malay sultanates, the monarchy was abolished when the Portuguese conquered it in 1511. The head of state is the Yang di-Pertua Negeri or Governor, rather than a Sultan.
The historic centre of Malacca was inscribed on the World Heritage List on 7 July 2008 together with George Town, the capital of Penang.
Two of the most important museums in Malacca are the Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum and the Malacca Sultanate Palace Museum.
Belacan, a Malay variety of shrimp paste, is prepared from fresh shrimp of a species known as keragu in Malay. .
A population of Portuguese descent, who speak a Portuguese creole, are the descendants of colonists from the 16th and 17th centuries. Even to this day, many of the traditions originating with the Portuguese occupation are still practised, i.e. "Intrudu" from Portuguese word "Entrudo" (a water festival that marks the beginning of Lent, the Catholic fasting period), "branyu" (traditional dance), "Santa Cruz" (a yearly Festival of street celebrations). The Portuguese colonists contributed dishes like Devil's Curry and Portuguese egg tarts to the town's cuisine. Ikan Bakar (roasted fish) restaurants in Umbai, Serkam and Alai are also popular.
There is also a sizeable number of Sikhs residing in Malacca, and Sikhs from Malacca and abroad congregate in the gurdwara (Sikh temple) situated in Jalan Temenggong during the last weekend of May, to commemorate the death of its former priest, Sant Baba Sohan Singh Ji, who was elevated to a saint upon passing away. Visitors are welcome but are advised to follow rules and common practices within the premises.