Forming an important part of Penang’s rich heritage, the clan jetties are more than a picture-perfect tourist specialty. Originally giving the local Chinese immigrants a place to call home, each jetty came to be distinctively known for the clan it housed. Starting with seven such clans, this Chinese settlement did not have a smooth start, until the local government body officially gave them an identity.
Out of the original seven, each of the six remaining jetties have houses that were built over a century ago, and if you know exactly where to look you’ll still be able to see some of the original stilts used by the Chinese when they first immigrated to Penang. Named after the Chinese clan who started living on the jetties, each jetty is a village in itself and reflects the traditions and beliefs of the clan. Each village has its own temple, and its own stories to tell. Take a guided tour of this place with your local travel expert from Locaguide who will be able to help you spot the differences in the temples and tell you the tales of the clans and their clashes.
When to visit
Probably the best time of the day to visit the clan jetties is late afternoon so you can round up your visit by watching a glorious sunset at the jetty. The setting sun brings with it a change in the neighbourhood and a tinge of excitement in the air as everyone pauses to witness the gorgeous sight.
The long wooden planks that have now become iconic, make for gorgeous walks by yourself or in the company of your loved ones. If there is one place to see in Penang that you shouldn’t miss, this is it. With ample souvenirs to purchase and cute local restaurants looking towards the horizon, the jetties are the perfect place to spend an evening during your trip to Penang.