Malacca is widely known for its harmonious blend of cultures as well as numerous historical sites, and Jonker Street (the main street of Chinatown) is the perfect place to see everything merge together. This central hub of activity also serves as a haven for antique collectors, bargain hunters, and vintage fashion enthusiasts.
Whilst the main attraction of Jonker Street is its night market held every Friday and Saturday, we have found several well-preserved landmarks, some dating back to the 18th century, nestled amongst the street’s more modern establishments. The diversity of Jonker Street’s traditional and urban attractions is a testament of Malaysia’s colourful history and rich multicultural society.
It is a commonly acknowledged fact that Malacca's Jonker Walk Night Market is the best in the country. Well organised with a wide array of stalls, polite and friendly hawkers, ubiquitous bargains as well as live music coursing throughout the area, Jonker Walk comes to life in full colour with a lively street party-like atmosphere.
As the night market takes place every Friday and Saturday night, the handful of bars along this avenue does a roaring business with tables and chairs spilling out onto the five-foot walkways. Visitors are spoiled for choice when it comes to delicious food; from piping hot grilled meat on skewers to Chinese delicacies like bak chang (sticky rice stuffed with meat and wrapped in bamboo leaves), dim sum, and popiah (fresh spring roll), visitors can easily browse through the many stalls and live performances in Jonker Walk Night Market. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Friday & Saturday: 18:00 – 00:00
- Location: Jonker Street
The Baba-Nyonya Heritage Museum is a collection of three beautifully restored houses arranged to resemble a conventional 19th-century Baba-Nyonya residence. Excellent examples of Chinese-Palladian style, these townhouses, built in 1896, were transformed into a traditional Peranakan museum in later years; connected by a common covered footway, the museum features hand-painted tiles, elaborately carved teakwood outer swing doors and a sturdier internal door which provides extra security.
Framed by Greco-Roman columns, two red lanterns, one bearing a household name and the other messages of good luck, hang on either side of the entrance. The best parts of this tour are the guides who regal guests with Baba Nyonya tales of yore with noticeable Peranakan wit during the informative 45-minute tours. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 10:00 – 12:30 & 14:00 – 16:30 Monday - Saturdays
- Address: 48-50 Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock, 75200
- Tel: +606 283 1273
Cheng Ho’s Cultural Museum is a gallery housing exhibits about the life of the Chinese Ming Dynasty admiral, Cheng Ho (Zheng He). His most notable contribution to Malacca was his role in bringing the Emperor’s daughter, Princess Hang Li Po, to marry the Sultan of Malacca in the mid 15th century, which eventually led to the creation of the Baba Nyonya culture.
Opened in 2006, it is believed that the museum sits on the site of Guan Chang, a warehouse built by Cheng Ho about 600 years ago to temporarily store goods he acquired during his travels. The museum showcases various evidence of cultural exchanges between the local ethnic group and the Chinese. Among others, you'll find treasure ships, tea houses and other navigation instruments. Historical enthusiasts can also enjoy a 15-minute film presentation on Cheng Ho’s voyages. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 09:00 – 18:00
- Address: 51, Lorong Hang Jebat
- Tel: +606 283 1135 or +606 283 1136
Dating back to 1646, Cheng Hoon Teng Temple is Malaysia’s oldest traditional Chinese temple. Therefore, it remains as a central place of worship for the Buddhist community in Malacca. Notable for its carved woodwork, Cheng Hoon Teng Temple is dedicated to Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy. All building materials for the temple were imported from China, along with the artisans involved in its construction. A robed effigy of Guanyin can be found within the main temple hall, itself an explosion of black, gold and red.
After the restoration of Cheng Hoon Teng was completed in 2001, it received an Award of Merit from UNESCO for Asia-Pacific Heritage Conservation. Dark timber beams and beautiful carved woodwork adorn the main hall of Cheng Hoon Teng Temple while smaller chambers devoted to ancestoral worship are prominent throughout the award-winning structure. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 07:00 – 19:00
- Address: No. 25, Jalan To’kong
- Tel: +606 282 9343 or +606 282 2906
Built by Indian Muslim traders in the year 1748 during the Dutch colonial era, the Kampung Kling Mosque is one of the oldest mosques in Malaysia which still retains its original design. The architectural design of the mosque seems to reflect Malacca’s colourful past as a major trading port during the 14th to 18th century as it combines influences from the Sumatran, the Chinese, the Hindu, the local Malay community and the European aesthetics.
The mosque also uses a combination of Chinese ceramic tiles as well as European and Portuguese glazed tiles to adorn its roof, the floor and the lower walls. In addition, the courtyard behind Kampung Kling Mosque contains a fountain-like pool for ablutions and covered circumambulation walkway. Moorish cast iron lamp-posts can also be seen in the place of ablution.
- Location: Jalan Tukang Emas, Malacca
Opened in January 2013, Hard Rock Cafe Malacca has a similar layout to the rest of the chain’s outlets all across the world – outdoor and indoor seating areas, together with a live stage, a bar, and the iconic Rock Shop selling Hard Rock Cafe Malacca memorabilia. Bringing distinctive Malacca flavour to the decor is the Straits Malacca-inspired patterned floor, with walls decorated with music memorabilia such as Bruce Springsteen’s signed guitar and Prince’s white dinner jacket.
Situated idyllically by the Malacca River, the cafe often sees a line of eager diners and music enthusiasts queuing by the entrance, so we recommend visitors 'rock' up before 21:00 in time to eat whilst enjoying the live band performances. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Sunday – Thursday 11:30 – 01:00;
Friday, Saturday and eve of public holiday 11:30 – 02:00 (kitchen closes at 22:30)
- Address: 28, Lorong Hang Jebat, Malacca
- Tel: +606 292 5188
Sri Poyyatha Vinayagar Moorthi Temple is one of the first Hindu temples built in Malaysia. It is set in close proximity to Kampung Kling Mosque and Cheng Hoon Teng Temple along Jalan Tokong Emas (Harmony Street), an avenue known for its collection of religious shrines.
Opened in 1781, the rectangular-shaped temple is on a plot of land that was donated by the religiously tolerant Dutch back in the day with colourful and ostentatious stone carved statues and figures of animals and Hindu deities adorning the temple. Dedicated to the elephant-headed Hindu deity Vinayagar (more commonly known as Ganesha), Sri Poyyatha Vinayagar Moorthi Temple is the main focal point for the Malaccan Hindu community as it links all the other Hindu temples built in the state. Read More...
- Address: Jalan Tukang Emas, Malacca
One of the more modern attractions visitors can find in Jonker Street is Mamee Jonker House. Opened in November 2013, it is the brand’s first concept store after 40 years of being a leading household name for children’s snacks. The store has a predominantly modern design of white tiles and glass shelves that is complemented with dark wood furniture and traditional Chinese decor.
Mamee Jonker House offers fun activities for visitors with young children or just those who want to relive their childhood memories. Visitors can participate in workshops (held during the weekends) where they can learn to make their very own Lil Monster Noodle Snack using their favourite seasoning and condiments. Mamee merchandises ranging from tee-shirts to soft toys are also available for purchase. Hungry visitors can also visit the Mamee Cafe for tantalising noodle dishes and succulent tender chicken served with a trio of homemade sauces.
- Opening Hours: Monday – Thursday 10:00 – 17:00; Friday – Sunday 10:00 – 19:00
- Address: 46 & 48, Jalan Hang Jebat
- Tel: +606 286 7666
Perhaps the most understated attraction in the area, The Jonker Street Library is decked-out with traditional Chinese furniture and has an impressive collection of Buddhist literature and scriptures. The library’s spacious reading areas are further illuminated with natural lighting, making it the perfect place for those who want a temporary escape from the bustling crowds of Jonker Street.
This library also has numerous artefacts placed around which adds a certain charm and character to the already historically rich shophouse. Staying true to the traditional Chinese social traditions, visitors should refrain from using their mobile phones and speaking loudly when they enter the vicinity. Photography is allowed in the library, though we recommend taking a break and browse through the shelves for an interesting read in the quaint library’s cosy and relaxed environment.
- Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday: 10:00 – 17:00; Friday & Saturday: 10:00 – 19:00
- Address: 104, Jalan Hang Jebat, Jonker Street, Melaka
The oldest functioning mosque in Malaysia, Masjid Kampung Hulu was commissioned by the Dutch East India Company in 1728. As part of their colonisation tactics, the Dutch helped the locals rebuild their places of worship after the Portuguese had destroyed all non-Christian establishments during their occupation.
As a result, the mosque is made up of predominantly Javanese architecture with three ascending layers of flared pyramidal roofs. Masjid Kampung Hulu also incorporates Chinese elements such as the pagoda-like stone minarets and ceramic roof tiles. The mosque can only be entered by Muslim practitioners, therefore non-Muslim guests can opt to roam around the mosque and admire the magnificent architecture from outside, which makes for beautiful landscape photographs.
- Address: Jalan Kampung Hulu, Malacca
- Tel: +606 282 6526