Malacca is known for its numerous heritage sites, historical splendor as well as the rich multicultural society. Beyond its fascinating history and culture, the quaint city offers so much more to us – breathtaking views, vibrant markets and wide spread artistic expression!
One place that intrigued me the most, and is considered one of the most popular tourist spots in Malaysia is Jonker Street! The street is always buzzing and alive with people going about their daily routines with tourists looking into charming shops for attractive souvenirs to take back home.
The most captivating part for me is the well-preserved historical landmarks and buildings where hip and happening cafes, museums and galleries keep the street current and trend-setting.
Here’s a list of some of the must-see spots on Jonker street.
BABA NYONYA MUSEUM
During the 14th to 18th Century, Malacca was known to be a major trading port, and saw an influx of Chinese traders. These merchants went on to marry local Malay women and the descendants of these marriages were known as Peranakan (Straits-born-chinese).The museum is actually the residence of a family and the name is derived from the term Baba, a manner of addressing a Straits-born gentleman and Nyonya, which addresses a Straits-born lady.
The Museum took us on a journey into the glory days of Malacca’s Peranakan in the 19th century, and gave us a taste and glimpse into the Peranakan culture and identity, in the form of their cookery, lifestyle as well as traditional customs. I couldn’t help but be fascinated by how many of their traditional practices came from a mix of malay, chinese and indian cultures. Also, how this has also influenced many of today’s music, art and fashion. Its quite fascinating how some of these families are still trying to maintain the ethnicity and culture of the Peranakan in this modern age.
Orang Utan House
The place caught our attention with its brightly-painted exterior with a large orange orang Utan painting. One of the most eye-catching shops on the Jonker walk! As we went inside, we were welcomed by an extensive collection of funky and contemporaty framed tees made by an artist named Charles Cham. We couldn’t help but grab a few slogan tees as souvenirs for ourselves and family at home.
ARTIST GALLERY - Tham Siew Inn
The majority of the gallery is a display of the artist, who specializes in watercolour paintings, with many landscapes and street scenes on display for the entire length of the shopshouse. What was special about this place for me is not only was it a taste of art and culture, but I connected to the work for its showcase of technique to express the artist’ vision; the use of lines to show the motion of trees, the haze of vibrant colours in a cityscape, and it made me think about how I use fashion and imagery to express myself.
A perfect place to fuel up after a day’s worth of sightseeing! Decked out with eclectic and creative touches such as hand-painted walls, greenery and old map hanged as well as traditional and vintage furniture throughout the property, this place certainly isn’t short on personality! Additional to that, the place boasts for offering coffee brews from all the 13 states of the country. After the caffeine hit from their Malaccan flavoured coffee, we were ready to continue in exploring the neighbourhood!
Daily Fix Cafe
This chic café nestled inside a souvenir shop makes the perfect place for a temporary escape from the bustling crowd of Jonker street. It has a nice open courtyard bringing in natural light into the interior, and the rustic décor all help to lure the snap-happy generation in for food, coffee, and the compulsory selfie.
Not to be missed are Gee’s impressive hand-painted clogs and sandals. Priced at RM230, the colourful motifs on the footwear are one-of-a kind! I got a pair of course!