There are seven Penang clan jetties in existence today. These jetties are located at Weld Quay at the south east of Georgetown. The water villages are built on stilts and the walkways are connected by wooden planks. Motorcycles and bicycles are not allowed into these walkways as they are suitable only for visitors on foot. Visit one of the jetties and you would have seen the way of life of these clans.
Historically, the jetties became dwelling places for the Chinese Hokkien immigrants that came to this part of the world to escape the poverty in China during the 19th century. Each clan is identified by the family name and only those with that surname were allowed to stay there. Since the, some of the jetties had been demolished and some rebuilt leaving a total of seven jetties still intact today.
The other two jetties i.e. PENG AUN Jetty and KOAY Jetty were demolished in 2006 to give way to a high-rise housing development project.
The Penang clan jeties are now part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Georgetown and visiting Penang without visiting these jetties will not be complete.
The CHEW jetty will be featured here as this is the biggest clan jetty.
This clan originated from Xinglinshe, Tong An District, Quanzhou in Fujian Province. There are a total of 75 buildings on this jetty. Most of the houses have been converted into shops that sell souvenirs, food and home-stay accommodation. There are still many residents who dwell here but most of them are older folks. The younger ones have gone to the cities that provide better pay jobs.
You can get reasonably priced souvenir such as key chains, T-shirts, bags, nut megs and other products from the shops here as you walk along the wooden planks towards the sea front. Along the way, you can try the "durian" ice cream and other beverages if you need to take a rest.
There are many boats that are berthed here and you can take a shuttle service to the ships that are berthed further away from the jetty. There is a temple at the end of the walkway.
This jetty is a good location for photography as you will be able to see the sea, mountains, the sun and the simple way of life here.
There are plenty of reasonably priced food within the vicinity of these clan jetties. Look out for the following food.
Getting here is easy. If you are coming from Lebuh Armenian looking at the murals, just walk towards the Ghat Lebuh Armenian and cross the main road. You will see the mural below at the entrance to Chew Jetty.