Tourists will be hard pressed to find a town filled with as many historical and cultural extravaganzas as Melaka. This southwestern Malaysian town sits on the Strait of Malacca (which is Melaka’s second spelling) and the River Malacca also. The city has a very rich history, which can be seen through its string of interesting attractions. Hotels in Melaka are located close to a number of attractions, many of which can be reached on foot.
However, since its humble beginnings, trade has been an integral aspect of the city’s survival and development. Due to its location on the Malacca Strait, which was the main sailing pass for traders heading from the western orient to the east, merchants in the city had great business with Arab and European traders.
Today, trade is done a little differently, but is just as significant as before. Shopping is one of the biggest attractions to Melaka. The town boasts a range of different shopping districts and destinations. From the modern mega department stores to the fresh smell of open street markets, Melaka provides a great location for shopaholics.
Tourists can literally shop ‘til they drop, and the following list should give shopaholics a head start on doing so!
The most visited place to shop in Melaka is the traditional style open markets. There are several available in the city, but there are two famous ones to look out for - Jonkers Walk and Pasar Malam.
Jonkers Walk is not only the largest night market in the city of Melaka, but is also the most visited shopping attraction in the city. The downside of Jonkers Walk is the fact that it is only open on every other weekend. Tourists need to pace themselves at the beginning, because there is a lot to see and enjoy within the market. The usual stuff, like souvenirs and food, are in abundance throughout the market place along Jonkers Walk. The food is actually part of the attraction, as there are several interesting Melakan traditional desserts and snacks on offer.
Nevertheless, performances within the night market have become a major attraction for shoppers. Take some time to rest, and enjoy an interesting dance performance while doing so.
Shopping along Jonkers Walk is famous for the haggling that goes on. Initial prices are always higher than market value, so it’s important to negotiate the price of products (maybe not food) before purchasing. Remember to stay strong, but try not to be too forceful when bargaining.
Along with Jonkers Walk, the Pasar Malam, or Night Market, is a major market attraction in Melaka. However, unlike Jonkers Walk, this night market is open every single night, although it pops up in different locations around the city of Melaka, depending upon the day. Again, bargaining for arts, crafts, clothing, antiques, electronics and a range of other goods is the name of the game here. Pasar Malam may not be as busy as Jonkers Walk, but it is certainly as lively.
There are a number of different places to visit that also offer great shopping experiences in Melaka. The store, Raz Kashmir Crafts is a great place to find traditional textiles from Indian, Kashmiri and Nepali culture. Tan Kim Hock Product Centre offers traditional food stuffs like dried fruits and Belacan.
There are two modern malls within Melaka that enable visitors to shop in a more western department store environment. Dataran Pahlawan Mega Mall is the newest and most modern shopping complex in Melaka. It is opposite Mahkota Parade, another department store that provides locals and visitors with international shopping stores and restaurants.
Lek Boonlert is an editor and content reviewer at DirectRooms and is responsible for all Hotels in Melaka content.