After walking through street arts of George Town which helps you to interpret lifestyle of the old Penang in an artistic way, I ended up at the entrance of Chew Jetty clan. This one wasn’t in my itinerary and I just reached there because of my wandering soul. I had a trishaw for an hour to see street art murals, after my rental time was up, rider just dropped me close to Chew Jetty. I was walking on the street and bright and eye catchy temple at the entrance made me walk inside to check out the place, little I knew that I was entering a living heritage of Penang
Photo walk through a water village – Chew Jetty, Penang
Chew jetty is an old Chinese settlement which has withstood hail, storm and rain over a century and still standing still to tell tales to travellers like me. Cluster of wooden houses are built upon silts by poor Chinese immigrants during 19th century and people still live there in those small houses. Now it tops in attractions around George town because of its uniqueness.
It’s fascinating to see how this wooden houses are built on sea and as you enter inside you can see locals getting on with their daily life as travellers watch everything there in amusement. As you walk through narrow wooden passages you get to see many shops in front of the houses to cater tourist crowd. I was there at night and it wasn’t crowded with tourists group (I also went in the day time and was crowded by group tours). If you wish to explore this place in peace, prefer going in the evening.
Like I said, its a colourful sight as you walk through wooden platforms. Its riot of colours just like in any china town, but here these paints change alot due to weather conditions and that helps to blend with the history around here.
As you reach the end of the jetty, you get to see a panoramic view of the sea and main land. Its a quite a site of ships and boats sailing between mainland and port. During day time its chaotic and in night you get to see a peaceful sea with city lights in the background.
Whom ever own this house is a luckiest one, I don’t mind spending whole my life with a balcony on the sea like this. I stood there, imagined myself getting up in the morning and sipping a coffee sitting on that chair, watching the sea. I even imagined myself reading a book at night enjoying the serenity around as I sip my wine; dreaming doesn’t cost anything . Later I got to know that, there are houses inside this Jetty which offers a home stay for travellers. It would be an unique experience to stay inside a water village and to be a part of living heritage for a day or two.
The name ‘Chew’ is derived from the surname of the people who live there. They keep their clan name as their surname, there are many other jetties around with differnt names but Chew jetty is the longest one and largest water borne community here. Chew jetty contributes alot to the history of Penang.
Though its a longest jetty, you can finish your walk in 5 minutes but if you are like me, who enjoys a detailed observation then, you need at least good 45 minutes. It may look like a more touristy place but this place offers an unique experience to a traveller, you just need an eye and taste to enjoy this water village. If Penang is in your mind, remember to add this in must do list of Penang.