With my 20-month-stay in Penang, Malaysia on working visa, I still consider myself a tourist. There are more to explore in George Town, Penang than meets the eye. That is, if you’re like me whose interests go beyond malls, shopping and dining. Penang is more than a gastronomic haven in Malaysia. The island was not listed as one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites for nothing.
Out of curiosity why a certain modest place is part of the list, I strolled my way to one of the laterals of a busy thoroughfare, Weld Quay. A few meter-walk from Rapid Bus Station, I saw two other jetties; these are the Ong Jetty and the Lim Jetty. Then the third one is situated just across Armenian Road, this is the famous, Chew Jetty; so popular among backpackers, travelers and tourists, and that after online surfing, it caught my attention too.
Believe me, I have been passing this main road a countless times during weekends and public holidays but I have not noticed Chew Jetty neither I have thought that a Heritage treasure is tucked in this unassuming area.
A common sight of groups of old Penangite men spending lazy hours of the afternoon in hawker food stalls greeted me as I entered the vicinity. Then few steps more, I turned my back to capture the facade of a small Taoist temple right in front of the entrance to Chew Jetty. This effortlessly confirmed that this waterfront community has been flocked by a Chinese-Malaysian families.
Established in the Mid 19th century, this UNESCO’s World Heritage Site that is considered to be the biggest of the waterfront settlements in Penang had Ancestors’ origin from Xinglinshe Village, Tong An District, Quanzhou Prefecture, Fujian Province, China. Chew Jetty is divided into 2 parts (Part 1 and Part 2); each has length of 182 meters and 122 meters respectively. And there are a total of 75 houses within this preserved and protected Heritage Site (Note : These facts are posted at the entrance of Chew Jetty).
I enjoyed my late afternoon walk inside and snapped photos of things I perceived as fascinating. I had FUN!
Thou shall not underestimate this community built over the years by the Chew clan; they know how to decorate their houses on stilts.
HOMESTAY in some parts of Malaysia is common. They offer much affordable and competitive rates compared to commerical hotels. The greatest advantage, I think is you get a chance to be up close and personal with people of the town or city where you stand as a tourist. And Chew Jetty’s homes offer Homestay too! One can even get an online reservation from agoda.com or other travel-hotel websites. Another big plus when you opt for a Homestay in Chew Jetty is you’ll have an opportunity to wake up in a place where according to many, has an excellent view of Malaysian sunrise. However, you need to have no apprehensions and must have an adventurous mind when sleeping in houses on stilts. To each his own.
Nonetheless, the security is way better than you could expect. Nikilado ang mga pintuan dito, mga stainless pa ‘ata, gaya ng pagkaraniwang pinto ng mga bahay sa Penang (Doors of houses here are nickel-plated, perhaps stainless steel were used, similar to common doors of most houses in Penang).
One of the corners in Chew Jetty’s a stand out.
Not because it has Astro Cable TV, haha! No, definitely…
I found this small alley so quaint because of its colorful wooden walkway…
Imagine, you can step on a rainbow…
and view a Sunshine with LOVE…
Here are some more little things that made me smile…
and reminded me that simple things can definitely make you happy!
But of all the features that this UNESCO’s World Heritage Site has to offer, I definitely love the boats! (Read : I have a thing for boats) It would not be a jetty without them, right? toinks! ;)
I love boats and I love planks.
Deities’ flags at the end of Chew Jetty
One of the best spots to adore the sunrise in Penang…
I saw various groups of tourists and a team who took photos of a bride-and-groom-to-be. Oh yes, Chew Jetty also serves as one of the favorite backdrops for those prenuptial pics.
Admittedly, I envy people who live in Chew Jetty. Although I and my family have been savoring glorious sunsets from our tiny porch at our 10th floor appartment, Chew families enjoy waking up with the best view of the sunrise in Penang and they get to rest and relax the way they want to.
It’s a wonderful stroll in this wooden pier without an entrance fee; it’s where I experienced a living heritage and an inspiring treasure.