Malacca, Malaysia It's OK if you have to check a map to find Malacca. Almost everybody does, which is what makes the city seem so exotic and elusive. It's on the western coast of the Malaysian peninsula, overlooking the fabled Strait of Malacca. Malacca was founded in the 14th century by a prince from the island of Sumatra and settled by Chinese, Malaysians and Indians. In 1511, it was conquered by the Portuguese, followed by the Dutch and the English. By the 19th century, nearby Singapore had eclipsed it in importance. The Maritime Museum itself is a replica of the Flora de La Mar, a Portuguese ship that sank off the coast of Melaka.