Category Archives: dwellings

‘Clanliness’ Was A Jetty-some Thing

Oh, what nostalgia for a Penang Lang !  Yes, the clan jetties that line the waterfront along Weld Quay ,Penang. 

Dating back to the late 19th century, numerous ones have been built and torn down, but today there remain 6 famous Jetties – 5 belonging to the clans of Lim, Chew, Tan, Lee and Yeoh, plus 1 Mixed Surname (aka “New’) Jetty.  Basically each consisted of two rows of houses facing each other, built on stilts that were planted into the seabed. A common wooden walkway was placed in between, and some, to the sides.

These places were not the among the cleanest or most hygienic dwellings, with the seawater underneath emitting some unwelcoming odours, especially at low tide. Also garbage jettisoned by the residents tended to accumulate under the structures.

In recent times, with some upgrading, these jetties have become popular tourist attractions.