Georgetown Attractions: Fascinating Clan Jetties!

DSC01858We’ve been busy exploring Georgetown attractions lately.  Considering we’ve been in and out of Malaysia for quite a few months, we’ve been really slack about exploring Georgetown and all there is to see here.

When my mum was here recently we hired a car for the afternoon and set off to explore.  First stop the Clan Jetties.

The Clan Jetties are not far from the city centre of Georgetown.  We walk everywhere so I can reliably tell you that the walk is around 10 minutes or so from the Komtar bus stop.  No matter where you’ve come from you’ll probably get off the Rapid Penang bus at the Komtar.  There are other buses that go right past the jetties too but really it’s more fun to walk and explore the little streets!

You could easily get a cab for a small amount of cash or jump on to a trishaw which you’ll find in plenty of the back streets of Georgetown.  If you’re already wandering the backstreets you’re likely to come across other Georgetown attractions that take your fancy too.

The jetties are, obviously, on the water because that’s where jetties should go, right?

They were built by Chinese immigrants in the 19th century and they actually form a floating village.  There are 6 different sections though we only had a quick stroll through one.  Each section has its own temple and I hear if you visit early in the morning you will see the residents going about their morning rituals.

Georgetown attractions worth seeing, clan jetties

Some of the buildings are held up by this mind-blowing engineering feat!  Yes, your eyes are not deceiving you – those are plastic buckets filled with concrete and stacked on top of each other!



How would you feel knowing your building foundations are held up by buckets full of concrete?

You can buy a cold drink or a durian ice cream from one of the stores and there are also quite a few souvenir shops.  If you’ve been walking the streets and taking photos of the street art you might want to grab a fridge magnet or any number of other souvenirs with the famous artwork on it.  If you miss out, don’t worry.  You can buy these souvenirs everywhere in Georgetown and all over Penang now.


I’m not 100% sure how I felt about the jetties (sometimes referred to as the Clan Piers).  It seemed a bit odd to wander along a section where people actually live and you can basically see into their house.  As you can see from the main pic the residents set up their mail boxes in each section so the mailman has somewhere to take the mail. A couple of homes had signs up requesting that no photographs be taken.  One house even had their underwear hanging out the front drying on a line!

You’re pretty much free to wander along the sections that are open.  There’s no entry fee and any trishaw or taxi will know where to take you if you ask them.

I think Will might have been wishing he was about to go off on a fishing trip!


One last note – we think we visited the Clan Jetties at low tide.  There was an amazingly funky smell that was in danger of knocking us off the jetty!  And I’m being kind.  I’ve only visited once so I can’t tell you if this is usual but I definitely think it must have been low tide.

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We’ll be in Singapore next week and then in Johor Bahru after that – stay tuned for our updates from those adventures as we explore fun stuff for teens to do while travelling!

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