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.
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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.

Chew Jetty
Photo: Adrian Cheah

Chew jetty
Photo: Adrian Cheah

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

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Chew jetty
Photo: Adrian Cheah

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.
Chew jetty
Photo: Adrian Cheah

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

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

Chew Jetty
Photo: Adrian Cheah

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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