So, you have shopped in the malls at Kuala Lumpur and now there is little money to spare. But the heart wants what the heart wants; and the heart wants to shop. Well, the Jonker Street Night Market at Melaka is the place to shop to your heart’s content and still not drill a hole in your pocket.
You can buy whatever you want – clothes, antiques, chinaware, wind chimes…and some interesting stuff like a contraption to remove ear wax, glow in the dark toys, paper craft, spring toys…the list goes on and on. Here are some pointers if you intend to visit this colourful and vibrant street.
When and where
Most guide books say that the Jonker treet Night Market is open on Friday and Saturday nights. As we were in Melaka on a Sunday night, we were disappointed that we would miss this much talked about ‘event’. Well, we did not! The Jonker Street Night Market is held every Friday, Saturday and Sunday – it was our lucky day. We reached the market at about 10 pm and were there till a little after mid night, when the stalls called it a day.
The market is held from 6 pm onwards till about mid night at the Jonker Street, which is in the heart of China Town. It takes about 5 minutes to walk from the historical quarter in Melaka i.e the Stadthuys. Anyone and everyone will be able to give you directions to the street.
Street shopping… it’s time to bargain
Bargaining is a sport here. The shop owners understand English, unlike in China or Hong Kong. Go on…buy a trinket or two to carry back home. We picked up a souvenir – the Petronas Twin Towers. We managed to get it at about 70% of the quoted price. I guess if we would have persisted, we would have been able to get it 10% lower.
Besides the stalls that sell their wares, there are a few fixed shops as well which sell things on ‘fixed price’. The stuff in these shops and on the stalls seemed similar – really couldn’t make out the difference. It just made sense to buy it from the street market with after the discount. Hush hush…If you intend to buy loads and loads (and I mean in bulk) of trinkets and souvenirs for family and friends back home, this is the place to strike a good deal and keep everyone happy.
What to eat
If you haven’t been introduced to Malaysian street food, you have hit bullseye by coming to the Jonker Street Night Market. For those who like finned and aqua marine delicacies, hit the street on an empty stomach! If you are a vegetarian, do not despair, there were exclusive vegetarian food stalls also. Beside this, there were some interesting eats – milkshake is a baby bottle, Chinese herbal tea to help you relax, flower pot ice cream, momos. It’s all there ….you just need to find it! A little effort will ensure that you sample Malaysian street food, regardless of being a vegetarian.
If you intend to visit Melaka while you are in Kuala Lumpur, we would recommend aligning your stay so that you can spend a few hours strolling trough the Jonker Street Night Market and experience the sights, smells and culture.