Penang is one of the most interesting places you can visit in Malaysia because of its interesting sights and offerings. A perfect example of this is the floating village found in Pengkalan Weld, George Town, also known as the Clan Jetties of Penang.
In this blog, we’re going to share everything we know about these jetties from what they are to what you can expect from them and more. Consider this your Clan Jetties of Penang 101 – so without further ado, let’s get started!
What is the Clan Jetties of Penang?
The Clan Jetties of Penang is a floating village where seven Chinese clans fled to Malaysia back in the 19th century to escape poverty in China.
This small village sits peacefully above the waters of the coast of Georgetown using stilts and is now considered a tourist spot because of its historical significance.
Get To Know the Seven Clan Jetties of Penang
The Clan Jetties of Penang is made up of seven different jetties, each of which is named after the family names of the aforementioned Chinese immigrants. Only the ones with these surnames were allowed to reside in each respective jetty.
There were originally nine clan jetties in Penang but two of them were demolished back in 2006 to make way for an up-and-coming housing development at the time. These two jetties were called Peng Aun Jetty Penang and Koay Clan Jetty Penang.
The remaining jetties that are still standing today are the following:
1. Ong Jetty
If you want to see what these jetties looked like before anyone decided to make them a place of residence, you can visit Ong Jetty. Unlike other jetties, this one doesn’t have houses anymore since the Ong clan moved out several years ago.
2. Lim Jetty
One of our favourite jetties to visit for a leisurely walk is the Lim Jetty as it’s one of the bigger ones out of them all. A personal favourite of ours is the long walkway that serves as the main path for the residents of each house in the jetty.
Plus, we love to end our walk here because, at the end of the walkway, there’s this majestic view of the sea which is unlike any other. It’s also not as crowded as the more popular jetties which makes this a great choice if you want a quiet stroll.
Aside from aesthetic reasons, it’s also nice to take a walk here knowing the history behind it. If you didn’t know, the Lim Jetty was a victim of destruction during World War II resulting in a huge part of the village being obliterated.
There was a good outcome to this, however, as this saw the rise of houses and temples. Speaking of temples, this particular jetty has three, namely the Ri Yue Than, Suan Hai Ing Yang Tian, and Wu Gu Xian Zu.
3. Chew Jetty
Out of all the villages, the Chew Jetty is considered the most popular one which can be partly due to the famous 2010 film, Ice Kacang Puppy Love.
Whether that movie was a success or not is up for debate but what isn’t an argument, however, is that Chew Jetty offers the most out of all the other jetties. This is also the main reason why this is packed during the day.
For starters, it features numerous souvenir and food stalls which we never get tired of browsing, especially the latter as we are foodies at heart! One of our favourite dishes to try here is the prawn fritter which we think is a must-try for everyone who visits the clan jetties.
You can easily get lost in all its offerings, especially if it’s your first time. For us, it usually takes us around 30 minutes to explore this jetty or even more if we stop by every store we find.
4. Tan Jetty
The Tan Jetty is among the oldest villages out of them all. It’s much smaller compared to Chew Jetty and for us, that’s the charm of it. The serene nature of this jetty is what makes it a popular destination for morning walks and we’re definitely one of the people who visit here frequently.
The two temples that can be found in this jetty are the Chow Eng Tien and Mazu Temple. The latter temple is famous for being the place of worship for the Goddess of Seafarers.
5. Lee Jetty
We consider Lee Jetty as the most authentic one out of the bunch. We say this in the sense that it’s less of a tourist attraction and more of a residency which is the reason why these jetties exist in the first place.
Although the majority of this jetty is made up of houses, you’ll still find some stores and stalls during your visit here. There’s also a temple here called Kim Aun San Si which is dedicated to worshipping the Baosheng God of Health.
One of the things we love about the Lee Jetty is that during the night, this place will be glowing with bright and colourful lights. This is great for taking pictures or simply admiring during a nice walk under the stars.
6. New Jetty
Remember what we said earlier about how clans are only allowed to live in their respective jetties? That’s not exactly true as New Jetty is home to a mixture of different clans, most of which came from the Chew Jetty.
This is a great option to visit if you’re looking to observe how the residents of these jetties live their daily lives. It’s a pure residency and you’ll find no form of tourism here such as stores and stalls.
Aside from the beautiful sea view, the main highlight of this jetty is the small yet meaningful Kee Thean Keong temple.
7. Yeoh Jetty
Lastly, the Yeoh Jetty is the shortest out of the bunch as it was bombed during World War II. Since then, it was rebuilt and become a peaceful place of residency as well as a tourist attraction but they decided to make it closer to the land.
You’ll immediately distinguish this jetty compared to others because of its oriental design. It looks like one of those ancient Chinese temples that you see in movies and pop culture with its red poles and gates.
Must-Try Dishes at the Clan Jetties of Penang
One of our favourite things to do when we go to the Clan Jetties of Penang is to try out their amazing local delicacies. From desserts to savoury dishes and more, here are some of the must-try food we heavily recommend you try in these jetties:
1. Ice Kacang
When we get tired of strolling through the different jetties, we always stop by Penang Road Famous Chendol – Ais Kachang. This widely popular stall is located in Tan Jetty and it’s mostly known for serving what most locals consider the best ais kacang in town.
Ais kacang is a Malaysian dessert that consists of shaved Ais, red beans, sweet syrup and jelly, more specifically agar. The result is a delicious concoction that’s perfect to consume during a nice hot day in Penang.
Not only is this a great way to cool off after walking in the tropical heat of the country but it’s a must-try tourist activity in itself. This roadside stall is a must-visit staple for anyone who stops by the clan jetties and missing out on its cold treats would be a shame.
Aside from ais kacang, this legendary stall also offers different chilled desserts that kids and adults alike will enjoy. We keep going back for their cendol because it’s not overly sweet and we love the combination of its different textures.
Address: Georgetown, 10300 George Town, Penang, Malaysia
Operating Hours: Weekdays except for Wednesdays: 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM; Weekends: 10:00 AM to 7:30 PM
2. Prawn Fritters
While you’re at Tan Jetty, we have one more food that we recommend you try which is the prawn fritters. This delicious street food is served at the Tan Jetty Prawn Fritters & Loh Bak and is a great grab-and-go dish.
We love this dish because aside from being delicious, it’s extremely cheap! We don’t have to spend more than RM5 to satisfy our cravings for these amazing prawns.
Plus, we love the mildly spicy chilli sauce that comes with their prawn fritters. It’s not overly spicy but it’s enough to break a sweat whenever we take a bite out of the freshly-cooked prawns.
Address: 90-A, Pengkalan Weld, George Town, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Operating Hours: Friday to Wednesday: 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM; Thursday: 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Contact Details: +60 16-452 0637
3. Loh Bak
Another signature dish served by the same restaurant as the previous item is loh bak or pork rolls. This is a great option for those that aren’t necessarily fans of the prawn fritters which wasn’t the case for us.
We love pairing this dish with the prawn fritters as we think that the meaty flavour of these pork rolls goes well with the distinct shrimp flavour. As with the aforementioned street food, these meaty rolls are also cheap which is an instant A+ in our books.
4. Fish Head Bee Hoon
Sometimes, we travel to the clan jetties just in time for lunch so that we can feast on some delicious fish head bee hoon. Our go-to place is aptly named Village Fish Head Bee Hoon and we can argue that it’s the best place to get clear soup noodles!
We love this dish because of its fresh ingredients, from the fish slices to the fresh veggies and more. Speaking of fish slices, we loved how generous this particular restaurant was with their serving as we found ourselves munching on these delicious chunks of meat nonstop.
The tom yam soup that the fish chunks were submerged in was worth mentioning too as it wasn’t your typical overwhelming spicy broth.
Instead, it featured a nice balance between sweet and sour which served as the perfect match for the fresh fish head and slices.
Address: No 107-A, Pengkalan Weld, George Town, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Operating Hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 11:30 AM to 12:00 AM; Monday: 11:30 AM to 11:00 PM
Contact Details: +60 12-477 8867
5. Wanton Noodles
For those times in Penang when the weather is cooler than usual, we love warming up our tummies with a nice bowl of wonton noodles. More specifically, we order them from the famous Chew Jetty Café which offers delicious but affordable dishes.
Their wonton noodle dish is out of this world. It features the perfect texture and seasoning, and the best part is that they can be served in three different ways.
We prefer ordering them with some dumplings to complete the meal but you can really order it on its own if you like.
Address: 47, Pengkalan Weld, George Town, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Operating Hours: Opens every day except for Tuesdays from 7:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Contact Details: +60 11-2055 5975
6. Durian Ice Cream
One dessert that we’re sure the kids will love is durian ice cream which can be found along chew jetty. This is one of our favourite dishes to buy in this particular jetty as it helps us cool down during a long walk in the humid weather of Penang.
For those unfamiliar, durian is the spikey fruit that’s notoriously known for having a pungent smell. However, it possesses one of the most intense and flavourful tastes.
This flavour is carried over to the delicious durian ice cream served in Chew Jetty. This delectable treat features a custard-like texture and flavour but with the added distinct taste of durian.
7. Crab Porridge
One dish that never gets old no matter how many times we try it is cram porridge, more specifically the one served at Ka Bee Café. This hearty dish is magnificent, especially if you’re going to pair it with their tom yam noodles.
The crab porridge they offer here is levels above other variations we tried in Penang. We think that this has something to do with their ingredients being fresh.
For starters, the crab meat is ace as the ones they use have been freshly caught which makes them all the more delectable. This sweet and tender meat is then submerged in this delicious broth to make the porridge.
Address: 49, Pengkalan Weld, George Town, 10300 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
Operating Hours: Opens every day except for Sundays from 11:00 AM to 2:30 PM and re-opens at 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Contact Details: +60 4-261 5659
How to Get to the Clan Jetties of Penang
Getting to the clan jetties is easy enough as it’s one of the tourist hotspots in the state. To help you find your way to this floating village, here are some different ways you can get to Penang from Kuala Lumpur:
|Mode of Transportation||Estimated Cost||Estimated Duration|
|By Plane||RM190+||1 hour|
|By Bus||RM35+||5 hours or more|
|By Taxi||RM200+||5 hours or more|
|By Rental Car||RM120+||5 hours or more|
KLIA to Penang International Airport
The fastest but most expensive option to get to Penang from Kuala Lumpur is by booking a flight from KLIA to Penang International Airport.
A flight from KLIA to Penang will take about an hour and cost around RM190 and above. Upon landing, you can either take the bus or call a cab.
Kuala Lumpur to Penang by Bus
Riding the bus is another option that can take you from Kuala Lumpur to Penang. All you have to do is ride one of the buses that either go to Butterworth or Sungai Nibong in the Terminal Bersepadu Selatan bus station.
Upon arriving at either stop, you can hail a taxi to head to the Clan Jetties of Penang. A bus ride from KL to Penang would normally cost around RM35 and last about five hours.
Kuala Lumpur to Penang by Taxi
If you want a more comfortable transportation option towards Penang, you can ride a taxi. The downside with this choice is that it’s more expensive as opposed to riding a bus.
Riding a taxi from Kuala Lumpur to Penang will cost you around RM200 and the trip itself is going to last about five hours.
Kuala Lumpur to Penang by Car
Our main mode of transportation when going to Penang from Kuala Lumpur is by car. However, if you’re on a trip here in Malaysia, you can also drive a rental.
A rental car would set you back around RM120 depending on the size of the vehicle and a drive from KL to Penang would typically last around 5 hours.
If you want the fastest way to the Clan Jetties of Penang, here’s the best driving route:
- Head southwest on Jalan Stesen Sentral 5 and take the ramp to either Jln. Duta/Jln. Tun Razak.
- From there, keep driving and merge onto Jln Damansara until you exit through Jalan Duta heading toward Ipoh or Klang.
- Continue to Jln Tuanku Abdul Halim highway and keep driving until you find the E1/Ipoh/Klang/E2/KLIA exit which will take you to Lebuhraya Jalan Duta – Sungai Buloh.
- Keep right on the Lebuhraya Jalan Duta highway until you come across exit 161 toward George Town.
- Keep going until you get to Jambatan Pulau Pinang/E36 where you have to merge onto Lebuhraya Tun Dr. Lim Chong Eu/Route 3113.
- Make your way to Pengkalan Weld until you reach the Clan Jetties of Penang which should be visible on your right.
More Resources on Penang:
- Best Massage Places in Penang
- 5 Best Cafes for Dinner in Penang
- The 12 Places with the Best Breakfasts in Penang, Malaysia
- Top 5 Cool Cafes in Penang