The heritage and beauty of Chew Jetty
Penang is home to plenty of clan jetties. All of them, rich with extensive history and heritage. It’s no wonder they are a staple for tourists when visiting Penang, the rusticity and slow living that they represent make for good tourism aesthetic and for some, it’s envious that they enjoy the slow life.
None of them, perhaps, are as iconic as the famed and prestigious Chew Jetty. Hailed throughout Penang as one of the most must visit spots in the island, it is often flooded with a crowd of not only tourists but bewildered locals.
Formed in the late 19th century by Chinese immigrants who bore the same surname, same went for the other clan jetties if you were that extra curious. Built at Pengkalan Weld beside Lim Jetty and the ferry terminal, it is open for visiting at 9am so it makes for a bad spot for sunrise photography but it makes up for it with its splendor and majestic view of the sea.
Its artistic heritage value holds both sentimental and monumental merits. Its historical roots run deep. A humble shop in Chew Jetty knows best, Folklore by the Sea, run by Chew Siew Pheng, 42 and Chan Kok Leong, 46. There, Chew a descendant of the ancestors that resided in Chew Jetty, obviously, and Chan, gives services such as storytelling and live shows about the clan jetties and most notably the jetty she resides in.
In Chew Jetty, you get a ton of shops that sell souvenirs to cater to the foreign tourists who beckon for an ‘I heart Penang’ shirt and some key chains. But my favourite and most notable shop is not a shop lot but an aunty who sits at the midpoint of Chew Jetty with a small table selling just a handful of souvenirs like pocket sized notebooks and such.
Further down, you get some shops that sell food like a shop that sells a really big bowl of noodles which should be a story for another time because it can be a story by itself alone. At the end of Chew Jetty, you have one of the most instagrammable spots in Penang Island. The pier of Chew Jetty where tons of tourists flock around to get that profile picture.
It is a beautiful place to visit, relaxing and therapeutic at times even if it isn’t crowded or during evening when the sun isn’t blaring down on you like an oven cooking roast chicken.