Asia for Visitors

Asia for Visitors

Your complete online travel resource

Chinatown

The shophouses of Melaka
Shophouses along Jonker Street, the heart of Melaka's Chinatown.

Across the river from the old Dutch Town Square is Melaka's Chinatown district. Although a few buildings date from the Dutch era, many of the most decorative shophouses date from the nineteenth century. The most interesting parts are along the three roads running away from the river. The extremely narrow Tun Tan Cheng Lok (or Heerin Street) was once called 'Millionaires Row' for its many mansions built by Straits Chinese who became wealthy on the rubber trade. The small frontages are deceptive, as the houses can be quite deep, with many courtyards.

Map of Chinatown
Mouse over the icons for the name of the place, click to see details.

Parallel to Tun Tan Chenk Lok is Hang Jebat Street, still commonly known as Jonkers Street. The street is famous for its 'antique' shops. They can be good for a browse, but don't expect to find any bargains.

Tucked away along Jonkers Street is the mausoleum of Hang Kasturi, one of the 'knights' who served Melaka's sultan. Hang Kasturi was supposed to be an expert in 'silat', the Malay martial arts.

Branching off Jonkers Street to run parallel to it is Tokong Street, which the Malaysian tourist literature likes to refer to as 'the Street of Harmony' due to its collection of Chinese temples, a Mosque and a Hindu temple. Cheng Hoon Teng is the oldest Chinese temple in Malaysia; just down the street is the Kampung Kling Mosque; and less than a block down the street is the Sri Poyyatha Venayagar Moorthi Temple, one of the first Hindu temples built in Malaysia. The temple was built in 1781.