Pasar Karat: Jonker Street Melaka’s Antique Collector’s Market

The term ‘Flea Market’ comes from the French marché aux puces” or “market of the fleas”, as it was believed that old furniture or items such as clothing, often sold at these bazaars, supposedly contained fleas. In Malaysia, we call our flea markets ‘pasar karat’, or ‘rusty market’ – because people often sold off their scrap metal for a cheap price, and metal rusts, hence ‘karat’. Despite the name, you can get all sorts of things at a pasar karat, ranging from antiques to vintage items, souvenirs, second-hand clothing to furniture. One man’s trash is indeed another man’s treasure!

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The Pasar Karat at Jalan Lekir (just off Jonker Street) in Melaka is open from 9AM to 3PM on Saturdays and Sundays. If you’re in town over the weekend, this is a great place to check out ! The items on sale are mostly antiques and vintage stuff like coins, vinyl discs, old photographs, cassettes and VHS tapes, bowls and plates, home decorations, ornamental weapons and more.

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Even if you aren’t buying, it’s nice to see the old items on display, like these mini grandfather clocks, tea sets and classic rotary dial phones(remember those?). Feels kind of like an open-air street museum!

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Hand-drawn and coloured postcard-sized paintings!

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You can buy ornamental weaponry such as keris blades. Or perhaps you fancy an abacus or an old charcoal iron?

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I was surprised to see some vintage posters of Chinese-communist propaganda on display as well.

The Pasar Karat at Jalan Hang Lekir is open from 9AM to 3PM on Saturdays and Sundays.

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Largest Pre-Loved Item Store in Malaysia @ Jalan Jalan Japan, One City USJ

The saying goes that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and at One City USJ, old stuff that’s still in good condition gets a second lease of life at Jalan Jalan Japan ! S and I were at the mall for a movie when we stumbled across this massive warehouse-like store, which carries everything from men’s/women’s clothing to shoes, bags, toys, books, sports equipment, strollers, and more. It’s heaven for bargain hunters!

 

They even have this ‘Tapau’ (takeaway) event where they give you a basket and you stuff as much as you can in it for just RM10 (USD2.30) ! 

On the ground floor is where there are racks upon racks of women’s clothing, which are sorted according to category such as T-shirts, hoodies, jackets, formal wear, skirts, etc. Most of the clothes are from no-name brands from Japan (hence the store’s name of Jalan Jalan Japan!). While most ARE still in good condition, some of the items do look rather old and faded. There are a few quirky-looking gems though (no chance of bumping into someone else wearing these on the street, I bet!) so spend time looking through them and I’m sure the hunt will be worth it. 🙂 If all else fails, the t-shirts are good and cheap for home wear. 😛 They have gowns, evening dresses and even kimonos that look brand new, since these items are rarely worn twice.

Three items for only RM5! (USD1.15)

LOADS of clothes.

Collectibles and toys are housed in glass cases, so if you’d like to look at them you have to ask a staff member to get it out for you. These weren’t as cheap, with some costing a few hundred ringgit! There was also another section with pre-loved branded items such as Gucci handbags, Hermes handkerchiefs, etc. But looking at the overall warehouse-like setting and the presentation, I wouldn’t bet on their authenticity (although they were really pricey).

Stuffed toy aisle.

Some cute and quirky-looking characters.

A section selling books/manga collections; most were in Chinese or Japanese.

On the mezzanine floor, loads of strollers. These were all still in good condition. Which makes sense, since people only use them for a few years anyway. If you’re looking to buy cheap strollers, this is a good place!

Shoe section, sorted according to shoe size. A lot of the shoes had their soles peeling and whatnot, but again, if you hunt long enough, you’d probably find a pair that suits you. That or you could take it to a cobblers and have them spruce it up as good as new. Shoes were all less than Rm20, averaging around RM5-15.

I rather liked this pair of high heels and thought to get them for work, but after tottering around in them I realised why the original owner wanted to get rid of it 😛 It wasn’t the best balance and fit – felt like I was pitching forward. That or I just suck at wearing heels.

Now these looked good. They were only RM15! But the downside of shopping at thrift stores like these? There’s only one size T-T 

I think I’d have a better chance getting something at the bag section. I mean, look at this gaudy gold bag – now that’s a fashion statement. And only RM3! 😀 

Diving gear and surfboards. They also sell sports gear (badminton/tennis racquets), golf bags/golf clubs, guitars (although some are missing strings), keyboards and various other paraphernalia.

I think it’s brilliant to have a pre-loved item store, saves money and gives perfectly usable old items a second lease of life. 🙂

JALAN JALAN JAPAN

Level 1A, Block A, Sky Park @ One City, Jalan USJ 25/1A, 47650, Subang Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia

Opening hours: 10AM – 10PM

facebook.com/JalanJalanJapan.Malaysia