Don’t Forget to Visit Melaka’s Jonker Street on Weekends

If you have to stay in Melaka, Malaysia, for a night or more, consider doing it on a weekend. Why? Because Jonker Street comes alive on weekend nights!

Jonker Walk at weekend night in Melaka
I think the banner on the left means smoking is not allowed on Jonker Street

I arrived in Melaka at almost 11 PM, which gave me some time to rest for a while after more than 12 hours of travelling from Cebu.

I was so hungry, with breakfast as my last meal, so I decided I should roam around the city at night in search of something to eat. I knew the 7-11 convenience store was near my hotel, based on my Google Map research.

I also remembered that Jonker Street, the centre street of Melaka’s Chinatown, is somewhere in the northwestern part of my hotel. So I thought of giving it a visit and see if it’s safe to walk there at night. If not, well I would just go home.

I also remembered the towering Taming Sari, which i planned to visit the next day, was along the way. I thought it would be nice to check out how it looks like at night.

Taming Sari at night as viewed from Hari Raya area
The majestic Taming Sari is… majestic. Hehe. Visit this tower to see panoramic view of Melaka

I wasn’t wrong — Melaka is still alive at night! There was a bazaar a few huge blocks away where i dropped by to buy some power adaptors (to my delight!). The museums and landmarks are also along the way, so i had the chance to see how they look like at night. Interesting.

Marine Museum from the outside at night
Marine Museum from the outside. This is said to be a replica of the Dutch galleon (loaded with the loot of freaking plunderers!) that sank in Melaka on its way out (*gaba*)

Jonker Street, also known as Jalan Hang Jebat, is just across the bridge before the Dutch Square. In a weekend night, it’s not difficult to miss. Just find where the tricycles shine with their coloured flashy lights, cute stuffed toys and loud-speaker music (most often the soundtrack of Frozen).

Colourful, flashy Hello Kitty trike in Melaka
Hello Kitty trike! I haven’t ride any of these though (sad)

A Quick Weekend Night at Jonker Walk

I arrived a few minutes before midnight at Jonker Walk (the part of Jonker Street where the night market is, although they could be used interchangeably I guess). I was delighted to see that the area was still alive at that time. So I started exploring the area to see what foods I could buy.

Entrance to Jonker Walk, Melaka, Malaysia
Welcome to Jonker Walk!

Well, there were iced refreshments such as coconut shake with ice cream at 4 MYR. But since I was famished, I need to eat something heavy like a noodle soup.

I was still able to explore the streets for a few minutes, and discovered jewellery, clothes, paper crafts, cooking ingredients and a lot more items for sale on the road.

I found the noodle dish I was supposed to have, but the place was crowded with people and there was a long queue. I’d rather go hungry, I thought.

Unfortunately, as if it was magic, Jonker Walk becomes suddenly silent at midnight. The place was festive full of lights and people but after a few minutes, it’s like a dark spell has befell. I then realised that it was already midnight. Haha. So take note, be sure to visit Jonker Walk on weekends before midnight!

Luckily, the vendors selling coconut shake with ice cream was still open. So I ended up eating the dessert. Wow, my first food in Melaka.

Coconut shake topped with ice cream bought on Jonker Street, Melaka
Yummy coconut shake with ice cream, 4 MYR (okay, I just realised now that this was too expensive… but still yummy)

Daytime on Jonker Street

Although I have visited the area at night, I wanted to see how it looks during the daytime. Besides, it’s the only place where I’m sure there are many restaurants and establishments selling food to go.

Morning on Jonker Street, Southeast entry
Southeast entry of Jonker Walk in daytime

One of the most popular dining establishments on Jonker Street is Kedai Kopi Chung Wah where tourists line up for the well-known chicken rice ball. If you don’t feel like waiting in a queue, there are other restaurants in the area offering Malaysia’s finest at a low price such as Satay House and Famosa.

Kedai Kopi Chung Wah, Satay House and Restoran Famosa - restaurants on Jonker Street in Melaka
Restaurants on Jonker Street

Shops of various kinds are aplenty on Jonker Walk also. If you’re looking for sweet treats that you can bring home, San Shu Gong is the popular place to go. They offer a wide range of food stuff, including the famous durian cendol (sweets) variants.

There are even free samples of many products there. So just in case you want to save on your food tripping… (chuckle) I just tasted one sample though because they’re mostly durian-based. My throat unpleasantly reacts to durian sweets.

San Shu Gong on Jonker Street, Melaka
San Shu Gong is where you can buy some sweet treats for people back home.

In the daytime, Jonker Street is just an ordinary street but still with a lot of people, especially tourists. Why not? Aside from dining establishments in the area, interesting retail shops are aplenty too. There are the usual clothing and jewellery stores. There are also art galleries, paper crafts and other unique, creative products for sale. Some of the establishments prohibit anyone from taking pictures though.

Parallel Streets

Make sure to check the adjacent streets that run parallel with Jonker Walk, namely Jalan Tokong and the main road of Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock. There are quite a number of interesting sights along these roads.

Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock

This road has many restaurants, cafes and museums. In fact, there are a few museum and a restaurant that I wanted to check out, but I abandoned my plans because the place looks like a residential area with rows of attached houses (these are Heritage Buildings though) and I have to ring a doorbell in order to get inside.

I wasn’t feeling motivated to go in because I was walking solo (and sweating). But here are some establishments you might want to check (arranged from southeast to northwest):

  • Baba and Nyonya Heritage Museum – museum where you can find the local history of Baba-Nyonya or Peranakan (ethnic Chinese-Malays) in Melaka. Also referred to as the Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum
  • Straits Chinese Jewelry Museum – explore beautifully crafted jewellery of the Baba and Nyonya culture. Tour guide available.
  • The Baboon House – charming café offering gourmet burgers and coffee. No photography allowed inside.
  • The (white) Dutch House – a beautiful white house :[p
Heritage buildings and other sights on Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, Melaka
[from top-left, clockwise] Eng Choon Association; street view near white house; white Dutch house; The Baboon House (cafe)

Jalan Tokong

The most interesting thing (and probably the most amazing) about this road is that you can find worship buildings of three major religions — Islam, Hinduism and Chinese (2 temples)

worship along Jalan Tukang Emas, Melaka
Some of the worship places along Jalan Tukang Emas (Chinese, Islam, Hinduism)

Other Interesting Sights

Depending on your interests, there are so many things to see in the area. Here are some random pics.

Ethan at Baru Cina entrance, Melaka, Malaysia
“Baru Cina” means China town
Jonker Walk northwest entrance - Melaka, Malaysia
Northwestern entry of Jonker Walk
Northwest entrance of Jonker Walk, Melaka
Inner part of Jonker Street’s northwest entrance. Big stage on the intersection
1930 building on northwest entry of Jonker Walk
I’m curious of the year written on top of these buildings… probably heritage buildings with the year when they were built
1936 Heritage Building - Jonker Walk, Malacca, Malaysia
Probably a 1936 Heritage Building. 😀
A crow in Melaka
I thought I heard a weird car horn. Turned out the sound came from a crow. There are so many crows in Melaka! 😀
Fresh bread on Jonker Walk
Freshly baked goodies. Too bad I haven’t bought one. Huhuhu

Another Night on Jonker Street

I was determined to have my first dinner in Melaka, so I went back to Jonker Walk on my 2nd night of stay there. Besides, I want to check out what the area is really like at night.

So after I watched the cultural show at Melaka Alive, I headed for Jonker Walk to find my dinner. At least I arrived much earlier than the first night.

The Jonker Walk is basically a weekend night market in Melaka. It’s an interesting place to be during the nights of Fridays to Saturdays, especially if it’s your first time.

There are the usual vendors selling some clothes, jewellery and souvenirs. There are precious stones on display, a range of cooking spices and some handmade crafts by artistic Malays.

Some stalls won’t allow you taking photographs, though. So be wary.

Muscular guy statue on Jonker Walk
I was kind of lost, confused and hungry trying to find a food to eat… but when I saw this big guy in the corner of my eye, I know I just have to take a photo of it (not realising there were other sculptures in the area). I don’t know where this is though. It’s along Jonker Street still. And watching this pic again (and some of the pics I took in Chinatown) made me realised that the Chinese community in Melaka has great respect for this muscular guy 😀
Bull sculpture on Jonker Walk
I think I was in a sort of a garden. The pleasures of getting lost. 😀

If you’re lucky, walk through one of the ends of Jonker Walk (the one far away from the Dutch Square) and you just might be able to watch a public variety show sponsored by a company or something. There’s a huge stage there.

Dancing on Jonker Walk in front of the big stage
It seems like a dance contest for groups of Mums. I’m not sure. They remind me of my mum. hehe. Show is sponsored by (I think) Mamee, maker of delicious instant noodles.

Like any other night market, there are also many things to eat and drink when you’re on Jonker Street. So be sure your tummy is prepared for everything, or at least a lot, of what the area has to offer.

There were a wide variety of street foods available. Many of them are Japanese, Taiwanese and Chinese (which is expected because the place is in the middle of Chinatown). But I was specifically looking for Malay street food or dish.

I walked through the street, taking note of the vendors selling food stuff that might interest me. I wanted to go through the entire road before choosing something.

I found what I had been searching for at the other end of Jonker Walk (behind the huge stage). It took me a long while before I had the courage to order my dish though, because I was still wondering how the entire ordering process goes as well as the seating rules in the area.

In fact, I don’t exactly know what to order or what they’re selling!

Street food on Jonker Walk
Took me some time before I had the courage to approach the cook and ask what they’re offering… *hungry*

After several minutes of observing, and after swallowing my embarrassment of going through the process of asking “what are you selling?” to the cook despite the language barrier (not to mention the speaking intonation and voice pitch barriers), I finally ordered something.

Mee Kari and Cendol, for a total of only 8 MYR!

I love curry!

Mee Kari dish and Cendol dessert
A very satisfying duo — noodle curry and ice dessert

I had to go through the long stretch of Jonker Walk again because the way to my hotel is on the other end of the road. This gave me a chance to see some things that I may have not seen before. Besides, I was getting so thirsty, so it was an opportunity for me to try some of the drinks sold along the road.

Sugarcane juicer on Jonker Walk
I first had this in Saigon! (heart) (heart) Machine for sugar cane juice drink
an empty cup of sugarcane juice
This sugarcane juice is so satisf– oooops?! Sorry I sipped it all already, I was sooooo thirsty. hihihi
Herbal tea as street refreshments on Jonker Street
Healthy street drinks! I so love this place already.

So what do you think? Have you been to Jonker Walk? Share to us your story or the tips you got along the way! We’ll be glad to read about them.

Author: ethan

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