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Melaka Raya is where much of Malacca's relatively limited nightlife is to be found, with pubs, discos and KTV located in this area. Many of the hotels have lounges for drinking and listening to music. The Honky Tonk Haven Cafe is a nice little pub at Jalan Lorong Hang Jebat with a view onto the Melaka River. It has live music (specializing in jazz) and opens at 9 p.m. every night.
The Jetty is a complex that houses fine-dining restaurants, trendy cafes and a karaoke lounge, and it's a prominent nightspot for visitors due to its convenient location. At the foot of the Jetty in front of the Holiday Inn, Arena, a glass-walled nightspot with a big stage for live performances and a hopping band is a good choice.
It's hard to miss Pure Bar with its bright blue neon sign and music thumping from its speakers. Chock-a-block on the weekends, the upstairs is a swanky nightclub with a live band playing a medley of songs, while the downstairs is a hopping bar. Wednesdays are "ladies' nights" with free cocktails. Even though its gaudy red furnishings tend to be an eyesore, Sunshine Bar, a cozy open-concept bar by the sea, has gained quite a fan base and is worth checking out. Sparks is one of the better discos. This place is frequented by the young crowd and attracts many party animals. The DJs play a wide variety of music, including techno tracks, hip-hop, pop and rock.
Elsewhere, Portuguese Square, an area touted to be the center of the small Portuguese community, has some interest. The Square is simply a little patch with plenty of restaurants, food stalls and pubs, and on Saturday evenings it becomes a hub of activity, as the local community puts up traditional dances to entertain tourists and celebrate its unique culture in style.
Then there is Jonker Street. The Far East Cafe is the perfect place to enjoy a quiet drink. With soft jazz playing in the background, it is decidedly unpretentious and has a good selection of drinks. Libar Cocktail House is a chic and stylish bar that caters to a sophisticated crowd. One of the busiest pubs along this avenue, it has good music and a stellar selection of drinks. Then there is Geographic Café; backpackers are drawn to this place like moths. Housed in a pre-war corner shop, this breezy bar with outdoor seating stays open late. A flavorsome choice of local, Western and vegetarian dishes are included in its extensive menu.
Every weekend, Jonker Street closes to traffic, and hawkers on pushcarts gather to sell all kinds of delicious street food and local items, while the shops at Jonker Walk bustle with life. As you walk along, you can hear strains of karaoke from the clan association buildings.