Sunday, January 30, 2011

Jonker Walk In Malacca

Having visited Malacca twice in the last three years and spent more than a week there in total, I guess I can safely declare myself a half-Malaccan (I know this may sound a little bit too extreme, but well...) as I have already known roughly the roads in the town, where to get good food and most importantly, how to get to Michelle's house from the Ayer Keroh tol exit haha!

After being kept busy with non-stop activities (i.e. eating lol!) while in Taiping, we finally got some breathing space when we reached Malacca. So, we decided to sleep until quite late (although I said "quite late", we slept until around nine in the morning only @.@), had our lunch and went out to the new mall in town - Hatten Square, located just beside Mahkota Parade to have a look. To our disappointment, it was just a slightly better version of Sungai Wang Plaza in KL.


Had lunch at home first. Michelle's Mom cooked Nyonya's signature dish - ayam ponteh (left).


Stopped a while at the mall to have a cup of bubble tea. Both the yam and the hazelnut milk tea with pearl was good!


I only wanted to have some mashed potato but see what we ended up ordering at KFC lol!


Since we already there, I ordered a huge mashed potato as well! Yes, I am a huge fan of potatoes!


Dinner, also at home again. Menu was basically the same, except for the vegetables.

Ask any local resident or tour guide to suggest a must-visit destination in Malacca, and chances are extremely high that he will answer with a firm tone, speaking out one of these names - Jonker Walk, Jonker Street or Jalan Hang Jebat. 

While having variations, these names are actually referring to the same narrow street that goes through Malacca's Chinatown. Jonker Street houses some of Malacca's oldest dwellings or houses dating back to the 17th century from different periods of colonial rule, i.e. the Portuguese, Dutch, and British. It is located within the core zone of the Malacca UNESCO World Heritage Site.


The whole street along Jonker Walk is closed for traffic and turns into a lively night market on weekends.


Various kinds of stalls set up at both sides of the street. 


Pigeon holes on one of the red buildings near Jonker Walk.


Trishaws, which are brightly illuminated with colourful lights to attract tourists.


According to the girlfriend who is a local Malaccan, this is the "fake" chicken rice ball restaurant haha!


The original one is at Hoe Kee restaurant, located just opposite the fake one.

The Malacca state government launched the concept of Jonker Walk on 19th June 2000, which utilises the richness of the historical and heritage values in this narrow antique street to turn it into a live touristy cultural street. Through this plan, the street is known as the Jonker Walk, which can be found on every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings from six in the evening to twelve midnight.

During these specially located hours, traders line along the pedestrian street and set up stalls to sell and display products that are associated and reflect the cultural colours, such as antique copper coins, local and ethnic traditional food, unique arts and crafts, souvenirs, ornamental jewelery, and wooden clogs.


We volunteered to take a photo for a Thai couple and in return, they helped us in this shot.


The interior of one of the bistro along Jonker Street.


This has just been set up recently - Jonker Walk World Heritage Park.


I somehow smell some Bolloywood influence in this park haha!


I tried looking for rabbit's statue there but couldn't see any; so I ended up having a photo with this jumbo.

There are several Chinese clan and dialect associations along this street. One of them is the Hokkien Association. During the weekends, the members organise activities in their respective buildings for visitors, especially tourists. Among the activities are dancing classes, Chinese classical instrumental shows, and karaoke sessions. 

In order to encourage more touristy activities being held at Jonker Street, a permanent stage is also built at the end of the street for performances. 


The entrance to the Hokkien Association, which is always very lau juak with their karaoke session singing old Hokkien songs lol!


A common sight during weekends nights - the golden generations performing karaoke on the stage.


It is one of the aktiviti malam (night activity) among the old folks. I am pretty sure they love it a lot because it was full house and I couldn't spot an empty chair there haha!

Besides being a popular spot for its cultural attractions and unique building architectures,  Jonker Street also offers delicious food and local delicacies as well. Being day or night, Jonker Walk is full of a number of shops and cafés selling a wide range of foods and beverages.

One of the well-known café would be the Geographer Cafe, located at the middle of the street. This café is especially known among the foreign visitors, for its happening live bands on Friday and weekend nights that provides a marvelous experience for its customers. This café has been used as a shooting location for several film, commercial and documentary since it was opened for business in 2000.


The Geographer Café, which can be easily identified by its yellow paint on the building.

Our main intention going to Jonker Street that night was to get our bowl of cendol. Here in Malacca, the cendol is served in a slightly different style from other places; they call it durian cendol.

So, what makes the Malaccan cendol special? They are the extra ingredients used in the cendol, namely the fresh durian flesh and instead of brown sugar, gula Melaka is used in replacement. It might not sound tempting for people who doesn't like durian. However, I am sure most of us are durian lovers and if you happen to visit Malacca, make sure you don't miss out on this delicacy.


Michelle prefers to get the durian cendol from this shop - Bibik House which is just opposite the permanent stage.


The smell of durian and the savoury gula Melaka makes this bowl of durian cendol looks really tempting.

During the Chinese New Year season, Jonker Street will be beautifully decorated with cultural colors, and if you are in the right time, there is an amazing scene of lion dance performance by tens to hundred of troops might also be caught in sight.

For all the unique features it has to offer, sad to say that Jonker Walk is still very much dominated by Chinese traders to date. Excluding the foreigners, most of the local visitors are Chinese. The objective of reflecting a multi-racial cultural attributes is yet to be significantly realised and I guess it would be much better if there are more efforts to promote the culture of other ethnics as well in Jonker Walk.


Stopped at this otak-otak stall to ta pao some home.


Kinda awkward to get Muar otak-otak from Malacca but anyway, I don't really mind because I just wanna have some otak-otak, no matter where it originated.


This is how the otak-otak looks like. It is a kind of cake made of fish meat.


The girlfriend is done shopping for food. That is why she looks happy here haha!


One of the back lanes of Jonker Street which is beautifully decorated with red lights.


What a nice lighting for this shot.

Guess what, it was natural lighting that came from the cars that passed by lol!


MeLia said...

Owh U drop by at malacca!
Nice :)
Anyway, Happy CNY & all the best ^_^

calvin said...

@ melia:
yup, i did. but it was just for three days >.<
gong xi fa cai to you and family too =)

DT said...

Hi Calv... Kiong Hee Huat Chai...!!! :)

calvin said...

@ dt:
hi there!
thanks and happy chinese new year to you too!

kooks said...

hi.. i am attracted to your blog and just cant stop reading, mainly is because of the nice picture you have taken.

may i know what camera are you using and what is the setting that you used to capture jonker walk at night?? they are very sharp, compared to my pentax dslr which is quite dissapointing.

calvin said...

@ kooks:
hi! thanks for dropping by my blog. i'm glad that you enjoy reading it : )

i am currently using panasonic lumix dmc-lx5. it's a semi-auto camera, but i guess the quality is not bad. i think i used auto mode for that night, because i was kinda lazy to use find the right setting for every shots haha!

kooks said...

thanks for your reply. ya, the pictures were great, especially at night.

are you in japan? i will be visiting japan in 3 weeks time, with airasia as well. looking at the situation now, many people discourage me from going but i think as long the government did not issue any travel ban on japan, i will still be visiting there.
what u think?

calvin said...

@ kooks:
no worries. i guess as long as you have a pair of stable hands, you should be able to get decent shots, even if you are without a tripod : )

no, i am currently back to malaysia for my spring break. actually i am supposed to return to japan next week, also on air asia but judging from the current situation, i don't think it will be a wise decision to return to japan yet. besides, most of my friends in japan has flew back to malaysia, just to be safe.

the final decision is yours, but since you have three more weeks to monitor the situation, i guess you should just wait and see how the situation gets ; )

Anonymous said...

hi...nice blog on jonker walk..going to malacca soon.

calvin said...

@ anonymous:
hi there!
thanks for taking some time to leave a comment here. enjoy your stay in malacca! =)