A trip to Melaka is never complete without a visit to its famous Jonker Street. Whilst it is famous for its night market held every Friday and Saturday, this is also a haven for bargain hunters, antique collectors and holidaymakers wanting to learn more about this cultural town.
Jonker Street is known for its chicken rice balls, chendol, satay and Peranakan food but we wanted to look at what else can a second, third time visitor to this place do. So we explored the corners of this famous area and here are 5 interesting things you can do at Melaka’s Jonker Street.
1. Jonker Street Library
Located diagonally opposite the popular Geographer’s Café, the Jonker Street Library is an understated attraction that passes off as an antique bookstore you would casually walk by.
It was established to commemorate a Buddhist monk who founded the Malaysian Buddhist Association. Currently owned by the Cheng Hoon Teng Temple, most of the books in the library are contributed by the public in Melaka. With an air-conditioned interior, it makes a great pit stop from the bustle of the crowd.
Opening Hour: 10.00am – 5.00pm, Closed on Monday
Address: 104, Jalan Hang Jebat, 75200 Melaka.
2. Red Handicrafts (剪纸人家)
If you’re into art or looking to buy some unique souvenirs back home, you should head to Red Handicrafts. Helmed by artist Tan Aik Leng, he produces intricate, delicate and beautiful paper-cuttings with designs and shapes following the 1,500-year-old Chinese ancient art; all with his deft hold of a small pair of scissors.
The shop was set up to showcase his wide range of paper cuts. Tan charges RM5/pcs but more intricate and complicated pieces can fetch upwards of RM100. He also conducts demo class as a form of therapeutic exercise.
Opening Hour: 10.00am – 6.00pm, Daily
Address: 30C, Jalan Hang Kasturi, 75200 Melaka.
3. The Clay House
The Clay House is a pottery studio helmed by Leong Chee Hsiung, who is also the in-house artist. With the creative and artistic essence of Leong, his extensive collection of clay works emerge as exquisite pieces of art. All art pieces on display for sale are of the elements of nature – in some form of grass, leaves, trees, etc.
For a quiet afternoon to relax and focus the mind, The Clay House also offers walk-in classes for pottery where classes are conducted by Leong himself. It is definitely a unique experience in Melaka.
Opening Hour: 10.00am – 6.00pm, Daily
Address: 18, Jalan Tukang Emas, 75200, Melaka.
4. Melaka Street Art
You can find a growing number of street art in Melaka in recent years, spread all across the Melaka Old Town. With the huge orangutan painted on its outer wall of The Orangutan House being one more prominent ones you can find in Jonker.
Within the old town, along a little back alley of Jalan Hang Kasturi, you will be able to find a few murals. Intended to be interactive, you are encouraged to pose with these artworks when taking a photo. It will be fun spending a day mural hunting around the old town and along the Melaka River!
5. The Woods Second-hand Book Store & Café
This café and second-hand bookstore is not exactly within the Jonker area but a 15 minute walk away, near Kampung Chetti. We loved the rustic charm of the place as the owner had preserved a very close-to-nature feel with bare brick walls decorated with artwork of old posters and wooden racks of books.
Hand-dripped coffee and herbal teas are painstakingly handmade by the owner. With beans from the Antipodean, only hand brews – mainly siphon and handmade drip are available. For a slower paced holiday, do check out this place for an afternoon to chill.
Opening hour: Monday – Saturday, 11.00am – 8.00pm (Closed on Wednesday); Sunday, 11.00am – 6.00pm
Address: 35, Jalan Gajah Berang, 75200 Melaka
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