Clan Jetties in Penang_Malaysia


The Clan Jetties are one of the best things to see in George Town, Penang (Malaysia) ! The Clan Jetties are villages on the water made up of a maze of houses on stilts.

You can visite a few different jetties, the Chew Jetty being the most popular one. There are 7 remaining jetties to visit, although there were more in the past. 5 of them are worth visiting, which we describe in this post.

Visiting the Clan Jetties during a trip to Penang is a must!

The history of Penang has been built around successive waves of immigration. The Clan jetties or jetty communities still testify today to the cultural plurality of the island and the migration from Chinese to Penang.


In a Nutshell

– The Clan jetties are Chinese floating villages dating back to the 19th century.
– These neighborhoods used to welcome immigrants from China who gathered by clan to help each other.
– Several of these jetties are still inhabited today by the descendants of these different clans.
– The Clan Jetties are some of the best things to visit in Penang. It takes a few hours to visit them.


In this post we will explain to you the history of those Clan Jetties, what you can see, and the best way to visit the Jetties.

Clan Jetties in Penang

From the 19th century, Penang became an important port for maritime trade.

Far from the big ships currently cruising in the distance, George Town saw daily sampans (small boats) unloading goods. It was the first Chinese immigrants who became dockworkers.

The jetties were then gradually developed by Chinese families involved in the maritime trade.

The simple jetties were increasingly invested and along the simple wooden pontoons, the communities built their houses. Power struggles, official arrangements, and unofficial settlements resulted in 7 clans or families each having its own pier.

Unfortunately the other jetties were later on destroyed or collapsed by themselves…

Best things to do in Penang

If the piers are today one of the main tourist attractions, you should know that they only had running water and electricity from 1957 – the date of the municipal elections.

The small wooden houses on stilts on the jetties have been gradually rehabilitated. Their character undoubtedly contributed to the classification of Penang as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Today you can even stay in one of the houses. This is a unique experience in Penang! CHECK IT OUT HERE

Obviously, with the recognition of Penang by UNESCO many places have become very popular.

The Clan Jetties are one of them.

Some jetties now include souvenir shops, small bars and even guesthouses.

Clan Jetties in Penang
Best things to do in Penang

The Chew Jetty is the most developed one and the best preserved. At the start of the Jetty you will come across a beautiful Chinese Temple, (the Temple of Monkey God).

Clan Jetties in Penang_Malaysia

From there you can start a lovely walk down a narrow alley where you will find food, ice cream, handmade gifts, bags etc. You can also discover the life of its inhabitant.

Best things to do in Penang
Clan Jetties in Penang

At the end of the Jetty, there is a cute cafe and another temple. From there it is possible to go on a boat tour to discover the jetty from the sea. The tour is not that long and worth it, in our opinion (the tour starts here). You don’t need to book the ticket in advance.

Location of Chew Jetty: here

Best things to do in Penang

The Tan Jetty is not as well maintained as the Chew Jetty, but at the end of the jetty you’ll have a beautiful unobstructed view all around you. It’s a pretty cool spot!

Come here in the morning and during sunset for the best shot! It’s a scenic place to take great photos.

Clan Jetties in Penang

Other than that there is a cute Thai Restaurant (here) by the water.

Location of Tan Jetty: here

Clan Jetties in Penang_Malaysia

The Lee Jetty is rather short, however, it is the most charming one with its well-decorated entrance. At night the Lee Jetty is fully illuminated which makes it a great spot to visit after sunset!

Other than that, there aren’t shops nor restaurants at the Lee Jetty.

Location of the Lee Jetty: here

Clan Jetties in Penang_Malaysia

When walking towards to the end of the Chew Jetty, we then saw this yellow temple a few jetties south! It looked stunning from there. So we couldn’t help but to explore the Yeoh Jetty.

There you can visit this magnificent yellow temple called Hean Boo Thean Kuan Yin Temple (location).

Best things to do in Penang

You have to walk through narrow and mazy roads to get here, but it is definitely worth the trip — majestic sceneries of both the island and mainland of Penang await you.

From the temple, you can also feel a great sea breeze keeping you cool.

Hean Boo Thean Kuan Yin is definitely a must-see place in Penang!

Location of the Yeoh Jetty: here

Best things to do in Penang

The Lim Jetty is the least crowded jetty though it is very charming too. There aren’t any shops nor restaurants, but it’s a good place to observe the locals’ daily life.

We actually recommend going there in the evening, sitting by the seaside, enjoying the sea breeze, and watch the sunset.

Location of the Lim Jetty: here

These 5 Jetties are the main ones to visit. 1 Jetty collapsed and the last one has not much interest.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *