Jonker Street Travel Guide
Overview of Jonker Street
Jonker Street, Jonker Walk or Jalan Hang Jebat, is the centrepiece to Melaka’s (Malacca) Chinatown and is one of the state’s most popular attractions. Previously most known for selling antiques, Jonker Street has grown into a unique cultural melting pot of historical landmarks, local handicrafts, delicious street food and vibrant night market. Visitors come to explore its charming pre-war street houses and experience the traditional flavours of Melaka’s Baba Nyonya heritage, all the while shopping for local souvenirs, clothing, jewellery and other trinkets.
Night Market Opening Hours: Friday, Saturday & Sunday from 6.00pm - 12.00am.
Address: Jalan Hang Jebat, 75200 Melaka.
Where to Go
Jonker Street Night Market
Jonker Street’s night market is considered one of the best night markets in Malaysia. The market is open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night to visitors looking to browse the wide variety of market stalls and hawkers lining its streets. You can enjoy tasting the many roadside snacks and Chinese delicacies available and soak up the multicultural atmosphere listening to live music and street performances along the way.
Baba-Nyonya Heritage Museum
You can learn more about the history and culture of the Baba-Nyonya or Peranakan people–descendants of the original Chinese immigrants to the Malay Archipelago–in the Baba-Nyonya Heritage Museum. Made up of three restored 19th century Baba-Nyonya residences, you can admire the elaborate teakwood carved doors, hand painted tiles and gold finishes on a tour of this historical site.
Cheng Ho's Cultural Museum
This cultural museum is dedicated to showcasing the life and times of the great explorer and Ming Dynasty admiral, Cheng Ho. His involvement in arranging the marriage between Chinese Princess Hang Li Po and the Sultan of Malacca lead to the birth of the Baba Nyonya cultural in Malaysia. The museum is believed to have been built on the site of the original warehouse where the admiral stored many artifacts from his travels around the world.
Cheng Hoon Teng Temple
Built in 1646, Cheng Hoon Teng Temple has survived the ages and is Malaysia’s oldest traditional Chinese temple. It is an important historical and religious monument in the heart of Chinatown for Melaka’s Buddhist community. The intricate, beautiful wood carvings and interiors found throughout the temple honour the Goddess of Mercy, Guanyin. It’s restoration in 2001 earned the temple an Award of Merit from UNESCO for Asia-Pacific Heritage Conservation.
Kampung Kling Mosque
The Kampung Kling Mosque perfectly encapsulates Melaka’s rich multicultural heritage with its Sumatran, Chinese, Hindu, local Malay, Portuguese and Dutch architectural design influences. The mosque dates back to 1748 and was first built by India Muslim traders during the time of Dutch colonial rule; making it one of the oldest mosques in the country.
What to Do
Visitors flock to Jonker Street to peruse the old antique shops in search of hidden gems. In the lively market stalls of the night market you will find traditional souvenirs and knick-knacks such as jewellery, beads, embroidery, batik as well as local snacks.
Some of the most popular shops along Jonker Street include: Lucy Wee Nyonya Pineapple Tarts House selling their famous pineapple tarts and the giant San Shu Gong shop selling local products like durian cendol towards the entrance of Jonker Street.
Explore Street Food Heaven
Jonker Street is equally well-known for its delicious array of tasty street food. Both food stalls and sit-down restaurants here serve up the best of Melaka’s local cuisine from Gula Melaka Cendol to Coconut Ice-cream and Peranakan Popiah.
When is the Best Time to Visit
Jonker Street is open to visit all year round, however, the night market is only available on Friday and Saturday evenings. Temperatures in Melaka usually range between 30°C - 32°C in the day and during the rainy season from October – November, may experience higher amounts of rainfall.
How to Get to Jonker Street
It is possible to drive from Singapore to Melaka using the North-South Expressway. Exit the highway at 231 Ayer Keroh to Melaka. The journey is approximately 3 hours.
Driving from Kuala Lumpur takes roughly 1 hour 50 minutes using the North-South Expressway. Exit the highway at 231 Ayer Keroh to Melaka.
The narrow streets surrounding Jonker Street and limited parking spaces can make parking in the area tricky especially on Weekends and Public Holidays. A more convenient option for getting around the city is by taxi or ride-sharing service such as Grab.
There are a number of bus services that travel from Kuala Lumpur and Singapore to Melaka. Most will transfer at Melaka Sentral Bus Terminal where you may take a short taxi ride or alternatively the Malacca Town Bus No 17 to Jonker street.
There are no direct train services to Melaka city. The closest train station is located in Pulau Sebang which is approximately 45 minutes drive from Jonker Street.
How to Get Around
It is best to explore Jonker Street on foot to soak up the unique atmosphere and browse the many shops and stalls.
What to Eat
Gula Melaka Cendol
The cold dessert usually made from coconut milk, green pandan flavoured noodles, shaved ice and palm sugar, is a favourite Jonker Street snack for cooling down in the warm weather. Jonker 88 one of the most popular shops to have a taste of this favourite Malaysian pudding. You can also try their durian flavoured cendol.
Chicken Rice Balls
This uniquely Melakan twist on a classic sees Hainanese chicken rice served with rice balls shaped by hand from rice cooked in spicy chicken broth. You can find this dish served throughout the night market but locals will swear by the chicken rice balls made by Kedai Kopi Chung Wah.
Similar to a spring roll, popiah can be found across the night market. These delicious bite-sized snacks filled with shredded vegetables and turnip are the perfect bite to eat as you make your way through the market.
Nyonya Assam Laksa
Laksa noodle soup is a Malaysian classic. The Melaka version, Nyonya Assam Laksa, is especially loved for its spicy, tangy, coconut cream rich broth served with succulent prawns and fish balls. Calanthe Art Café are well-known for their take on Nyonya Assam Laksa having made the list of top 50 best laksa shops in Malaysia.
Fried Quails Eggs
Something to pique your interest may be the Jonker Street fried quails eggs. Reminiscent of Japanese takoyaki, tiny quails eggs are fried in iron moulds and filled with a variety of fillings, drizzled with mayonnaise and served on a stick for you to eat on the go.
Café Food and Drinks
Geographer’s Café is one of the best-known restaurants on Jonker Street, travellers can grab a drink in the evening or have a delicious sit-down dinner in the old shophouse converted restaurant where east meets west. This is a great place to sit back, relax and enjoy the buzz of Jonker Street.
Where to Stay
Being a popular tourist destination, accommodation of all types can be found surrounding Jonker Street and Chinatown; luxury resorts such as the Casa Del Rio to smaller boutique hotels and budget hostels like Jonker Boutique Hotel and Ola Lavanderia Café.
What to Bring
It is recommended to bring sunscreen and a hat as well as an umbrella or raincoat when exploring Jonker Street on foot during the day. Make sure to stay hydrated with a bottle of water in the warm weather.
What to Wear
It is best to wear comfortable shoes when walking around Jonker Street and neighbouring attractions to make the most of the experience. Cool, loose fitting clothing will make sure you don’t get too warm in the tropical weather.
Things to Note
Be mindful of your personal belongings in crowded areas in case of pickpocketing.