Tourism Malaysia

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure

Have you ever heard of the saying that “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”? What better way to find such treasures than scouring flea markets that can be found at designated areas, as well as in shopping malls all around Malaysia.

For the romantics, a flea market is a place filled with nostalgia that reminds them of a certain period in their life. For bargain hunters, a flea market can be their paradise, where they have the opportunity to discover something truly amazing, be it vintage clothing, antiques, or collectors’ items.

What makes the flea markets in Malaysia unique is because of this country’s cultural diversity. So, you can just imagine how eclectic the range of items that can be found at these markets. Flea markets in Malaysia are like an open secret though, some are established but most are the kind of places that you stumble upon when strolling in the back alley or streets on lovely weekends.

Let us take you down memory lane at some of the popular flea markets not just in Kuala Lumpur but also in Johor and Melaka.


Flea Markets in Kuala Lumpur

Pasar Antik Kuala Lumpur

Formerly known as Pasar Karat, this flea market which is said to be the oldest market in Malaysia has been given a total make-over by the local authorities recently, and now is known as the Antique Market or Pasar Antik.

So head down to the back lane of Petaling Street in Kuala Lumpur, where some 80 vendors which occupy 261 lots, peddle a variety of goods which range from discarded household items, accessories, watches and gadgets, used books, stamps and old photographs, including some vintage and collectible items.

Where: Lorong Petaling, Petaling Street, Kuala Lumpur

When: Every day from 6.00 am to 9.30 am

Contact: +603-2022 3366


 Amcorp Mall Flea Market

This indoor flea market means business. To the uninitiated, the Amcorp Mall flea market has been operating for 19 years and remains the largest with over 200 vendors. With all kinds of vintage, rarities, oddities and collectibles, it offers an advanced-level flea market experience to true lovers of the hunt.

Even if you are not a serious hunter or collector, once you visit this flea market, you will be hooked. The place is also an outlet for visitors to enjoy the vibe, share their interest, learn new things or perhaps immerse in nostalgia.

While the famous Amcorp Mall Flea Market is only a weekend happening, the mall itself is the place where you can find antiques and vintage shops, collectibles and hobbyists outlets that are open for business daily.

Where: Amcorp Mall, 18, Jalan Persiaran Barat, Petaling Jaya

When: Friday, Saturday Sunday, 9.00 am to 6.00 pm

Contact: +603-7932 0022



Fuyoh! Collectors Market at Publika

 The much-awaited collectors’ event held quarterly is for both the seasoned collector as well as the newbie. With over 80 selected vendors, it’s literally a vintage shop, a city-wide garage sale happening over two days under one roof.

Shop to your heart’s content at this indoor collector’s market at PUBLIKA, which is one of the trendiest malls in town. The market offers antiques, vintage items, collectible toys, vinyl records, music memorabilia and many more.

Where: Fuyoh! Collectors Market at Publika, PUBLIKA, Jalan Dutamas 1, Solaris Dutamas, Kuala Lumpur.

When: Four times a year

Facebook: www.facebook/collectorsmarket


Flea Markets in Melaka

Looking for items at the flea markets in Melaka can be the ultimate treasure hunt, after all, the state is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Let’s check out the quintessential flea markets in Melaka.


Trash Treasure Discovery Malacca

A first for the country, Trash Treasure Discovery Malacca is a recently-set up flea market along a riverside warehouse by the Melaka River. It’s a fun place to be if you want to browse for antiques, vintage and collectible items from the recent past. From restored vintage cinema chairs and enamel tiffin-wares to old advertising signs, bicycle, luggage metal trunks, handmade jewellery and even unique plants, this flea market sells almost everything under the sun.

Where: No. 3, Jalan Bunga Raya, Melaka City, Melaka

When: Saturday Sunday. 10.00 am – 5.00 pm

Contact: +6012-298 2834



Pasar Karat Jalan Hang Lekir

Located near the famous Jonker Street, this antique market is open from 7.00 am until 3.00 pm every Sunday. Visitors can easily find about 15 to 20 vendors peddling their treasured junks now looked upon as “old is new again”. Prices here are relatively cheaper as they are the real pickers who dig through dirty old barns to find the old glory that inspire us.

Where: Jalan Hang Lekir, off Jonker Street, Melaka City, Melaka

When: Every Sunday. 7.00 am until 3.00 pm.

Contact: +606-232 6411


Sayyid Antique Café

The combination of a quirky and retro ambience and good food makes this café worth visiting. This hangout is operated by a retired husband and wife team – who simply love everything oldy but goody – at the popular Lorong Hang Jebat, which is not far away from the famed Jonker Walk.

It is a lovely spot to eat, view and to strike conversations about the many old beauties that adorn the place.

Where: 74, Lorong Hang Jebat, Melaka

When: 8.30 am until 5.30 am.

Contact: +6012-681 3505



Flea Markets in Johor

Johor, the most southern part of the Peninsular Malaysia has some of the quirkiest and unique flea markets.


Pasar Karat Santai

Every weekend, a fruit orchard in Ledang, Johor, will be turned into a flea market yard. The 0.6 hectare flea market by the roadside is easily visible to passers-by travelling on the Ayer Keroh-Melaka-Jasin highway from Muar to Melaka.

There are about 15 vendors selling their valuable bric-a-brac in their simple built-up shack at the orchard. The Santai flea market is most noted for its old earthenware water storage pots, vintage bicycles and tricycles, vintage signs and other collectibles.

Where: Batu 6, Jalan Kesang, Kampung Kesang, Ledang, Johor

When: Saturday and Sunday. 9.00 am until 7.00 pm

Contact: +6010-785 6289



Pasar Karat Batu Pahat

The bustling Batu Pahat flea market is regarded by some collectors and vintage lovers in the country as a haven of sorts.

Indeed, it’s laden with vintage treasures, cool collectibles, pre-loved quality clothing, gently-used goods, and an assortment of items sourced from neighbouring Singapore. At a glance, one can easily spot a variety of goods that are still in good working condition ranging from children’s mini bikes and baby strollers to electrical and electronic items that are irresistibly cheap. Kitchenware, crockery, tea sets and glassware are aplenty too.

Where: Jalan Pasar, Batu Pahat, Johor

When: Friday to Sunday. From 7.00 pm until 1.00 pm

Contact: +607-434 1045


Galeri Koleksi Abah

Galeri Koleksi Abah is a private house that is full of vintage goodies. But one has to make an appointment to view and buy from this gallery. What started as a space to display family treasures is now a store house of flea market items of various kinds.

The owner, Shariffudin Mahmood finds it all the more fun to share the memories of the recent past with everyone. In fact, there is something for everyone at Galeri Koleksi Abah, and even if there is nothing that interests you, the vintage collection that fills the gallery are still worth a closer look.

Where: 5, Jalan Mutiara 4, Taman Mutiara, Sri Gading, Batu Pahat, Johor.

When: Visitation by appointment only

Contact: +6012-723 1870



KD Antique

For the love of his home state, the owner of KD Antique, Kamaruddin Abdullah who specialises on all-things Johor has some of the best collections of items related to the commemorative events of the Johor royal family stocked at his shop.

His other speciality includes collection of various kopitiam cups, many of which date back to the 1960s, and are emblazoned with the kopitiam’s name.

Where: No. 7, Kedai Masjud Pekan Nenas, 81500 Pekan Nenas, Pontian, Johor.

Contact: +6019-754 4007




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Cuisine in Melaka


MALACCA: Many shophouses along the old street of Malacca Town are pre-war buildings and all of them are situated in the core area of the world’s culture heritage. Due to this reason, all renovation plans have to be approved by a special legacy unit of the government and no arbitrary reconstruction or maintenance is allowed. Therefore, owners who intend to “restore” the original appearances of their old houses are advised not to over-reconstruct them.

High costs

One of the owners of the old houses, Lai Hung Qian has inherited several old houses that belonged to his father in the past and all of them are situated in the core area of the Malacca World Heritage Site. He is renovating two of the broken old houses and suffering from the construction process. However, he is also gaining some happiness and satisfaction while looking at the old houses that are gradually showing their unique beauties.

He is headache with the problems of searching for materials, carpenters and historical data. Moreover, it is very costly and the most thorny problem is the original materials are hardly be found nowadays.

He is trying to renovate the old houses according to their original appearances even if it costs him a higher cost. He admitted that there is no economic benefit from doing so. However, he does not care about it.

the old look of Malacca has been destroyed

He calls on the public to take actual action in protecting the ancient city instead of just shouting slogans.

He found that at least 30% of the original appearances of Malacca have been washed away rapidly since the past few years. If the people of Malacca still do not know how to protect and cherish it, Malacca would soon disappear.

According to his experience as well as the reconstruction situations of some old houses, he found that the lack of governmental funding in renovating the old houses is the main reason of losing the original appearance of Malacca.

He said that renovating an old house is unbelievably costly and without the governmental funding, people have to adopt a modern and more economical way to complete the renovations. Therefore, it is hard to meet the requirements of restoring the original appearances.

Damages caused by foreign investors

In addition, many of these old houses have been reconstructed by foreign investors through the most economical and rapid way. They then sell or rent the houses at high prices and this type of price speculation has again damaged the original appearance of Malacca.

He believes that the situation might be different if monetary and technical assistance as well as encouragement are provided by the state government.

RM30 million to restore old buildings

The Malacca state government has received a restoration fee of RM30 million ringgit from the federal government. The fee is mainly used in restoring the Malay houses, mosques and the property owned by the Islamic Council.

Lai is currently renovating two old houses, he could hardly estimate the cost needed and the time of completion. He is not in a hurry to complete the projects as he does not want the monuments to be damaged out of carelessness.

One of the old houses is located at No.7 Jalan Kampung Kuli and he admitted that it was his second time stepping into the house after a few decades. He found that the owner of the old house in the 1920’s was a Chetti. It was later sold to the Xu family and it had also been a property of a bank before.

Comparing to the old house in the 1930’s which is located opposite to it, the house at No.7 Jalan Kampung Kuli is obviously older than it.

Lai is surprised to find a traditional Chinese clay sculpture on a wall in the yard. He intends to recruit a master to build a Chinese Pavilion there but the master still has not come yet after a year.

He spent RM270,000 to buy the house at No.112, Lorong Hang Jebat many years ago and he might need to spend RM400,000 to renovate it. The back of the house is just next to the Malacca River.

The St. Francis Xavier Church with a beautiful Gothic steeple on it can be seen through the back windows.

Lai found that this house is unique as it looks like traditional houses in Netherlands and it also contains the British colonial style. The previous owner of it was an Indian and the windows were made by Indian carpenters while elements of Chinese architecture can also be found outside the door.

He has also found an ancient well with special design beneath the courtyard. It is made of bricks and is nearly 10 feet deep. Its upper part is cylindrical while its bottom part is square. He is desperate to know the origins of the well and he is still leaving the well there as he is doing a research about it.

According to him, there is no economic benefit to renovate the old houses and the government should provide fund and encouragement to the public to restore old houses. Otherwise, it is difficult for them to conduct the renovation projects.

He has no idea of what to do with the old houses after they are completed. Finally, he said that he might rent them to the art galleries, artists, cafes and boutique hotels that concern about hygiene. (Translated by LIM LIY EE/Sin Chew Daily)

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