Jonker Street, also popular as the Jonker Walk, is the main street of Chinatown, Melaka. It is popular for the shops selling clothes, antiques and souvenirs, apart from being a major street food hub. The highlight of Jonker Street is the night market held here every Saturday and Sunday.
The bustling Jonker Street is not just about delicious food, artistic creations and bargaining, but it also has a number of attractions in and around it. The numerous museums, temples and mosques, each of them drawing inspiration from all around the world give the visitors the perfect reason to not miss out on them. Jonker Street truly depicts the fast, jolly and rich cultural life of Malaysia and forms a smooth knot between the ancient traditions and modern technology.
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Things to Do at Jonker Walk
Jonker Walk Night Market: This ever-bustling night market is one of the most awaited weekly affairs of Melaka. Set up for only three days a week, it has every possible stall from food hawker and trinket sellers to fortune-tellers and DIY workshop centres. The stalls open up late in the evening and don’t close until midnight giving out carnival vibes and uplifting everyone’s demeanour.
Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum: This museum is owned and operated by the descendants of Chan’s family who used to be one of the most prosperous and influential families in Melaka. This museum tells us about the life of Baba Nyonya who was a Chinese monk popular for bringing about Malay cultural influence in the Straits.
Cheng Ho’s Cultural Museum: This museum is one of the most well-planned galleries in the country showcasing the Mallacan life of Cheng Ho. This ancient building has a bell tower and a drum right at its entrance in such a way that it resembles the Ming architecture.
Cheng Hoon Teng Temple: With multiple UNESCO architectural awards, this temple stands proudly as the oldest Buddhist worship place in Malaysia. It is also called as the ‘Merciful Cloud Temple’ by the local Chinese citizens due to the fact that all of the materials used for the construction of the temple has been imported from China. The temple was built completely on the principles of Feng Shui as a shrine to Guan Yin who is the Goddess of Mercury.
Kampung Kling Mosque: This historical monument is one of the few cross-cultural mosques which harmoniously unites the Chinese, the Buddhists, the Sumatrans and the local Malay folks. The mosque is structured out of designs from all around the world. The glazed tiles and the wooden beams and pulpits draw their inspiration from Portuguese and English culture and carvings all over the walls have the traditional Chinese and Hindu texts.
Sri Poyyatha Vinayagar Moorthi Temple: This is one of the most ancient Hindu temples of Malaysia dedicated to the mighty elephant-headed deity- Ganesha. The bright shades of yellow and blue make this temple very distinguishable even from a far distance. The two most prominent festivals which are celebrated here on a large scale are the Feast for Lord Muruga and Dato Chachar Festival.
Mamee Jonker House: Mamee has been one of the most popular snacks in Malaysia since ages. At the Mamee Jonker House, both kids as well as adults get to learn how to make noodle snacks, decorate their very own noodle cups and chopsticks and choose their favourite toppings and sauces and create their very own instant noodle cup.
Red Square (Dutch Square): The Red Square features an impressive fusion of the Dutch, Portuguese and Chinese architecture. The brick-red buildings strategically placed around the campus along with the marvellous fountain centring it makes the aesthetics a hundred folds more refined and elegant.
3D Jonker Walk: Malaysia’s 3D Jonker Walk is probably the only structure which is a unique combination of the Upside Down House and a 3D art gallery. Although there are only 25 creations on display, each one of them appears so real that you might get illusioned by what’s in front of you. The main show stopper is definitely the 5D fluorescent museum chamber, where you sense of touch, as well as sight, gets tested unlike ever before.