19th. May 2000

The Chinatown of Malacca

The "Chinatown" of Malacca which is the oldest in Malaysia , is located in the middle of the historical city of Malacca with Jalan Kubu is in the North, Jalan Munshi Abdullah & Jalan Bendahara in the East. Jalan Laksamana is situated in the South and Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock to the West. It is divided into two sections by the Malacca River namely:- The "Old Chinatown" and The "New Chinatown".

The "Old" section was located along the western bank of the Malacca River and was founded about 200 years ago or earlier. This "Old" section has a lot of places of interests. The largest & oldest Chinese Temple in Malaysia is the Cheng Koon Teng Temple. It  was built here in 1646. There is the Kampung Kling Mosque, Hang Jebat & Hang Kasturi Mausoleums, Jonker Street & Heeren Street (Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock). Old shop houses were built along Jalan Kampung Pantai and Jalan Kampung Hulu.

However, in the 1930s, new developments were carried along the eastern bank of the Malacca River. The  swampy land on this eastern bank, was developed into the new commercial area of Malacca Town.The "Central Market" was also built here beside the river. Currently, this area is served by Jalan Bunga Raya, Jalan Kee Ann, Jalan Kampung Jawa and Jalan Pasar Baru.

With the "Central Market" built in this area, commerce grew rapidly along the streets of Jalan Bunga Raya and Jalan Kee Ann from 1930's. It developed gradually into the "New Chinatown of Malacca". The streets were narrow and  are renown for their infamous traffic jams as people flocked to the Central Market for their daily needs.

Unfortunately, in 1980's, the Central Market was demolished for re-development which did not materialised. The unique Central Market with its priceless architectural design was lost forever. To date, the land which housed this ill-fated Central Market remains undeveloped except as an open air car park.

Though the demolition of the Central Market was a great loss to the area, economic activities continued to this present day. Numerous shops & bazaars along the streets of Jalan Bunga Raya, Jalan Kee Ann, Jalan Pasar Baru and Jalan Kampong Jawa cater for everybody, young and old. You can shop at Madam King's Departmental Store,  Malacca's 1st. Departmental Store, buy Chinese herbs, sundries, textile, ready-made garments, plastic pots & flowers, gold jewellery, joss-sticks and even obtain an undertaker's service from here!

For food lovers, famous eating stalls are abundant. Come & taste Malacca's fried hor chien, char siew fun, wanton mee, ice cafes, duck mee, unique chicken rice balls, nonya cakes, satay and many more along Jalan Bunga Raya and Jalan Kee Ann. A nightly open air eating area is open at Jalan Kee Ann/Jalan Pasar Baru from 6.00 pm onwards when the tropical heat subsides.

At the same time, an open air hawker fair or "pasar malam" is open every night along Jalan Kee Ann for locals and tourists from 6.00pm until 11.00pm. Visitors can browse & buy watches, VCDs, cassette tapes, pens or casually watch street vendors selling their wares.

Come and experience the truly light, sound and smell around the "New Chinatown of Malacca". Click here to go to new website of Melaka New Chinatown.

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Copyright: EMP Malaysia, 2000.