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Jetty life: Penang's waterfront society

These simple dwellings offer a glimpse into a community that boasts a unique social fabric. Today, it is a popular heritage attraction.

As an important part of the Chinese community, the surviving clan jetties have a distinctive identity and constitute Penang’s waterfront society. These simple dwellings offer a glimpse into a community that boasts a unique social fabric. Today, it is a popular heritage attraction.

Photo: Adrian Cheah
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Photo: Adrian Cheah
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This bright red temple houses Mazu (Taoist Goddess of the sea), who’s believed to be a protector of fishermen and sailors.

Photo: Adrian Cheah
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The charred remains of one of the homes at Chew Jetty left as a constant reminder as to how big a threat fire can be to the fragile community of the clan jetties.

Photo: Adrian Cheah
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Power lines and telephone cables zigzag above zinc-roofed homes to provide power and connectivity to the neighbourhood.

Photo: Adrian Cheah
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A few potted plants add life and colour to the patio of the wooden houses built on stilts along the jetties of Weld Quay.

Photo: Adrian Cheah
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Beyond the narrow alleyways that separate the residents' homes is a wooden pier at dusk, where fishing boats are moored. These boats double up as fishing boats and cargo moores.

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