Melaka Floating Market

Floating Market Melaka

I was shocked to hear about the Melaka Floating Market project that was supposed to be launched in February 2024, and it is now past that time and April when writing this.

As this year is Visit Melaka Year 2024, many projects and programs have been planned for two years after the pandemic, and the floating market in Melaka was one of them.

Update 6 May 2024: The proposed launch for the Melaka Floating Market has been postponed until June as more vendors need to take up the boat slots. This time around, only 30 boats will be allocated for the project.

Melaka Floating Market

Before you get all excited, the main image you see above was taken back in 2013, when I visited the Hat Yai floating market in Southern Thailand for the second time.

I used this photo as my main image to give people an idea of what it looks like. If you want to see more, check out my first visit to the floating market in Hat Yai in 2010.

Thailand Floating Market
The floating market in Hat Yai, Southern Thailand.

While there have been some positive and negative sentiments from all sectors, the Melaka government sees this as a win for tourism. However, many news reports have been against the idea.

This project was scheduled to commence operations in February 2024 to provide a unique experience for locals and tourists visiting the floating market.

The plan was laid out so that 50 vendors would operate in boats while 200 onshore kiosks would provide various traditional Melaka products and foods.

Floating Market
A scene at the floating market in Hat Yai.

The market will feature modern roofed boats, creating an appealing visual along 120 feet at Phase Two of Sungai Melaka.

According to news reports, the Melaka City Council developed the floating market concept and idea inspired by Thailand and Kalimantan floating markets.

However, the Melaka Floating Market uses a different method, and people can purchase from both water and land, making it a dual-purpose market.

But in actual fact, the Khlong Hae Floating Market in Hat Yai was already doing the boat and land market more than 10 years back, therefore this is nothing new.

Khlong Hae Floating Market
The land market at Khlong Hae in Hat Yai.

The council has also mentioned a tie-up with the Melaka River Cruise, where visitors can stop by and buy directly from the boats. 

The council has also ensured that businesses operating the boats and stalls prioritise Melaka-focused products such as Portuguese food, Chetti, Baba and Nyonya, and dry goods from Melaka.

According to the State Tourism, Heritage, Arts, and Culture Committee chairman, Datuk Abdul Razak Abdul Rahman, he stated that PPSPM plans to offer 30 boats for the floating market, 60 business kiosks at the river banks, and a floating restaurant as a new tourist attraction in the state.

Photos at a Floating Market

Below are random photos taken at the Khlong Hae Floating Market in Hat Yai, Thailand, in 2013. If you notice, the market traders are mostly Thai-Muslim traders, and the food is all Halal.

This is one of the largest crowd pullers from Malaysia when they visit Hat Yai, as the experience is quite unique and different.

But if the floating market in Melaka takes off, will there be any proper guidelines to make it unique and different?

Or will it just be another pasar (market) with no enforcement and a tidak apa (don't care) attitude? We shall see how this works out when they open, as Malaysia is quite known for failing to follow through.

The photos below provide readers with a visual of how a floating market should look and feel, where vendors take pride in how to look and the quality and uniqueness of food sold.

Melaka Pasar Terapung
Muslim vendors selling different types of snacks and food at a floating market.

Food Sellers at Floating Market
A food seller hands over the items and collects money in the same basket.

Floating Market Melaka River
A vendor selling grilled fish in banana leaves.

Food at Floating Market
A seller frying an omelette on her boat to be served.

Pasar Terapung Sungai Melaka
A vendor poses with her coconut speciality dish.

Where is the Melaka Floating Market?

The Melaka Floating Market is located at Dataran Pengakalan Rama, near the other end of the Melaka River Cruise Jetty Taman Rempah.

Another landmark is the Hang Jebat Bridge (Jambatan Hang Jebat). To get there, search for Dataran Pengkalan Rama in Google Maps or Waze. 

For tourists, you can take a slow walk here from Jonker Street; otherwise, you can use a ride-hailing service like Grab to get there. It is close to the core tourist area of Melaka.

Melaka Floating Market Map
From Jonker Walk, driving to the floating market will take about 10 minutes.

Melaka Floating Market Information

  • Launch Date: Supposed February 2024, now TBC
  • Location: Riverside, Jalan Pengkalan, Kampung Pengkalan Rama Pantai, 75300 Melaka
  • Day/Time: Most likely on weekends, Saturdays and Sundays. Time to be confirmed.

Conclusion

There was also the Pantai Suri floating market in Kelantan, which was launched in 2021, and for some reason, it never materialised as it should. On checking in April 2024, the market has been labelled temporarily closed.

From what I know, there have been some delays in this project that the general public needs to be aware of, but there has yet to be any news coverage on this matter.

Many would like the Melaka Floating Market project to take off, as it will bring something new to the tourism and trade sides.

Many people will have opinions, especially netizens, but there is no simple way to please everyone. Locals see it as outside their culture, and tourists see it as something exciting to do in Melaka.

Malaysia Asia

Blogging since 2007, but writing online since 1997. I belong to the 1st generation of worldwide bloggers, which is of course old-school. Since 2008, I created Malaysia Asia and this travel, flood, gadget and lifestyle blog has won numerous physical awards from tourism boards around Malaysia. (Not those online awards). After 12 years of blogging, I have semi-retired and now blog about things I like, do product reviews and enjoy life. My work has been featured in Lonely Planet, CNN Travel, Yahoo Travel, Wall Street Journal, and many other international publications. Find out more about me and thank you.

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