Back in the colonial era, Jonker Walk was an official residence of the servants and subordinates of the Dutch. Long after the Dutch left Malacca, this area had transformed itself and become a noblemen’s street, where rich Peranakans started to live and establish their businesses.
Jonker Street, which is linked to Jonker Walk itself, nowadays has become one of the most famous tourist attractions and must-visit places if someone stops by in Malacca. My buddy, Mak Sri, and I were no exception.
For budget travellers like us, Jonker offers lots of affordable but nice hotels to stay for two or three days along with a number of exquisite restaurants spread throughout that area. The location of our hotel (Hong Hotel) was quite convenient. It was right at the corner of the street, beside an empty and abandoned lot, in front of a mosque, and only 5 minutes away from a supersaver restaurant. I call it a supersaver restaurant because the price was really modest compared to other restaurants we found along Jonker Walk. It cost only 5 RM for one portion of mee goreng (fried noodles) and 4 RM for prata (Indian bread). As a Victoria’s Secret model wannabe (kidding!), one generous portion of mee goreng was enough for the two of us. So, you can count by yourself, we spent less than one dollar for one meal. This restaurant was the best restaurant ever, not just because the mee goreng was terribly tasty and perfectly portioned, but also because the owner was extremely friendly. We had a small conversation (mostly we both misunderstood each other) in Malay and English. Also, with pity on his face because we shared a portion for one, he sometimes added more chicken, meat or eggs, or even cut the price for us.
A stone’s throw away from the restaurant owned by Mr. Malacca (we didn’t know his real name), we could have a pleasant walk along the riverside, watching the boats full of tourists passing in front of us, exploring the Malacca river.
Although we had chosen the hotel correctly, we still made a mistake in choosing the day to stay. Jonker Walk, as everybody knows (except us), is more lively at the weekend, when the street is closed for cars and motorcycles, the hawkers offer their products in their droves, and tourists flood the street. On the weekdays, Jonker Walk is not as vibrant as at the weekend. But we didn’t care because Jonker is Jonker; there will be always something to see and do.
At the end of the street, we easily found the most-visited landmarks ever in Malacca, such as the Church, Stadhuys, and so forth.
Hotel in Jonker Street: Hotel Hong
Despite how it looks from outside, Hotel Hong offers its guests something that makes me believe one of most famous quotes ever: “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Undeniably true.
The receptionists are really friendly and always ready to offer some help, such as calling a taxi, giving information about the local tourist sites, and all that jazz.
The cleanliness really met my expectation. As you enter the hotel, you are asked to take off your shoes and walk to the room barefoot. That explains why they always have really clean floors!
Every day the cleaning staff will make up your room, leaving no stain or dust. Outside the room, on the corridor you will find a free computer to use and some amenities like drinking water, tea bags and instant coffee. They are all free!
For breakfast, they don’t serve anything special, but I think curry puff is enough to satisfy your stomach till you find a restaurant to have breakfast in.
The size of the rooms available in this hotel is spacious enough for a claustrophobic person, and they all have windows. Buuuuttt, I have one complaint: internet. The internet wasn’t fast enough to accommodate my work. Good thing I was ready for it! I had bought a Malaysian SIM Card, a cheap but excellent one.