Malacca, Malaysia

Located on the strategically important strait that bears its name, Malacca is a multicultural mosaic of the trade and colonial history of Southeast Asia. From the magnificent Sultanate Palace and the Kampung Kling Mosque to the numerous churches built by the Portuguese and the Dutch, to Hindu and Chinese temples, every ethnic group in search of wealth and power, either earthly or spiritual, has left its mark. The ubiquitous, pedal-powered trishaws are a good way to get around. Straits cuisine is also world-renowned for its variety and complexity, flavored by centuries of cultural intermingling. The city is also a shopping source for Asian antiques.