For the Love of Jonker Street.
Jonker Street is famous for its’ heritage, culture, arts and local food. I however find all those that I mentioned to be my favourite reasons to visit this place whether it being during the day or night. The day time is normally crowded with people searching for the local chicken rice balls, souveniers, art & antique items as well as museums. The night version of Jonker Street however is filled with sparkling lights, elder citizens taking centrestage with the melodic voices, street food and street market like stalls.
You will need to brace yourself if you go there during the day as it could get pretty hot. We went to the day version of Jonker Street and found a good parking spot right before the main entrance arch into the area (lucky right?). Just when I thought we we going to walk straight into the streets to find some cool vintage stuff, my dad wanted us to try the cendol durian at the first cafe called ‘Bibik House’.
Now when we were younger, the term ‘Bibik’ was mostly referred to the house help but in Melaka I think it means an elder woman who is of the status of a mum/aunty/grandma (feel free to correct me if I’m wrong in saying this). Bibij House comes straight from the oven, their food the meant. It looked like a family business which serves good cendol durian and sells local biscuits such as pineapple tarts, petis, sambal belacan and such.
We quickly ordered 2 cendol durians and 2 ice kacang. Both turned out to be quite alright and given that it was a hot scorching day, the cendol definitely cooled us down. My mum went into a zen mode right after we finished the cendol. She said it was just relaxing for her, to sit down and watch the view while enjoying something so cooling.
My normal cendol durian joint was located further down the road, called ‘QQ Ice’. The most popular stall however is the one that is beside ‘QQ Ice’ where people queue outside the road just to get good ice kacang and cendol. They don’t even mind eating while standing up as long as they’re able to get some of those goodies in their tummies. For me, the best places are the ones that are always underestimated and the hardest to find because of it’s low profile. Both shops however do serve excellent food which never fail to attract the tourists & locals alike.
The entire Jonker Street is best explored on foot and the best part of it is being able to enter the shops and uncover many hidden gems in the form of local culture, heritage items, good old vintage trinkets & jewelry from the past as well as amazing food. We discovered a local clothing shop that had oriental and even Batik styled Cheongsam blouse which I got for a good price. I just don’t know when I’m going to wear it though.
We also found a shop which sold old music records and toys which delighted the hell out of my dad (he loves anything that’s old school by the way). There was also a hand made beaded shoes shop which seemed to be quite a favourite. The terompah or wooden clogs were also found in this shop and normally used as bathroom slippers. Wished we had time to go to Jonker Street at night but even if it didn’t happen, this day was still as good.
About Yafieda Jamil
A Malaysian girl currently working abroad in Phnom Penh city. I love a good road trip, hot cappuccinos, spicy food and staring at old buildings. My mission is to inspire people to see the world differently before we all get any older. Oh and giraffes are the most beautiful creatures on earth.