Chew Clan Jetties, Penang

On our last day in Penang, we decided to do some quick sightseeing before heading back to Kuala Lumpur. After breakfast near Victoria Street, we walked a short distance across busy traffic to come to the Clan Jetties along Weld Quay – whole villages of wooden houses built over water.

The villagers here belong to the same clan and have the same surnames. My family and I visited the Chew, one of the largest in the area. The village was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.


A small courtyard at the entrance houses a shrine with a couple of deities, with lions and dragons decorating the pillars and arches.


Almost all of the houses here are made of wood material, while a few facades have been laid with concrete and cement. Many also beautified their front with lanterns and potted plants, while others had been converted into tiny stores selling drinks, food and souvenirs.


Capitalising on the tourist boom, some industrious villagers had vending machines and brightly painted storefronts/gimmicky props to attract customers.





At the very end of the Chew Jetty is a cemented area and a small temple of sorts. A large furnace sits at the edge facing the sea. During festive or religious occasions, this big furnace would be lit for burning of prayer materials.


Picturesque view of Penang’s seaside – a mix of both old and new settlements.

PS: If you look closely, the stilts of the wooden hoses have been ‘cemented’ with buckets to give it a more stable base.



A neat front porch of one of the nicer looking houses. Many villagers also had benches at the front, where old aunties would sit and chat while observing the throng of tourists passing by.



Another old wooden house had beads of limelights (literally lime-shaped lights!), folded paper lanterns and small singing birds in cages hanging from the eaves.

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And that wraps up our trip to Penang! 🙂