Places To Visit In Penang

nyonya, recipe, easy, Chinese, Straits born

Hi there again.

There are many places to visit in Penang. The beaches are one of them. Touristy places include Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion, The Botanical Garden, The Funicular Rail, The Reclining Buddha in Pulau Tikus, the Snake Temple and lots more. Oh, and don’t forget the street food which I have been bragging about in my previous posts. As I grew up visiting all those places, I sort of have seen all of them. Of course I am sure that there are improvements to those places.

So today, I am visiting Chew Jetty. But I need to get my priorities right. Must have food before travel. So for breakfast we went to the nearby ‘Kopi Tiam’ or coffee shop, aka restaurant. This place is typical with various stall around the shop. We order ‘Nasi Kunyit’, which is tumeric rice. This comes with chicken curry.

Penang, tumeric, nyonyo, rice, chicken, curry,

Tumeric Rice or Nasi Kunyit served with Chicken Curry.

A bit of history:

Nasi kunyit is usually made as a celebratory dish when a child reaches a month old. On this auspicious day, the family will have a celebration as during the old days, babies reaching the one month mile-stone is considered as very fortunate. Most Asian cultures have this celebration. The Malays and the Chinese in Malaysia celebrate this. The Nyonyas in Penang make this Nasi Kunyit, which is Malay in origin. Other Chinese in other states of Malaysia celebrate it slightly differently with different foods. Red coloured eggs, nasit kunyit and chicken curry are normally given to family and friends as a celebration. Red eggs signify fertility.

Penang, soup, rice, nyonya, pork, fish ,noodles,

Koay Teow Soup -flat rice noodle soup with minced pork, chicken, fish ball, egg and vegetables.

Since there were only me and my sister, we only order 2 dishes, or meals, as each is considered as a one-plate /pot meal. We order Penang noodle soup or Koay Teow Th’ng’. If you can recall from my previous posts, Koay teow is flat soft rice noodles. The soup a very flavourful, made of good quality stock and topped with chicken, pork, vegetables and other ingredients, depending on what the vendor is selling. Of course each vendor has his or her USP (unique selling proposition) and slightly different taste.

Actually, the Vietnamese ‘Pho’ is similar to this. The difference is that pho is served with raw bean sprouts and fresh basil, and other herbs. The bean sprouts here is blanched together with the noodles. The noodle comes with several toppings like fish, minced pork, at times offal, fish falls and sometimes an egg. It is usually garnished with garlic crisps and oil and chopped spring onions. The noodle soup is served with chilis – freshly cut or green preserved chilis.

Penang, soup, rice, nyonya, pork, fish ,noodles,

Close up of the noodle soup… Yummy…

Once our tummies are sorted we leave  to wonder around the Heritage area of George Town. We decide to visit Chew Jetty. Long ago the jetties were not popular, but now it is a tourist attraction.

Penang, Unesco, Malaysia, Jetty, Malaysia,

Chew Jetty a UNESCO Heritage site.

The jetties are named according to the family surnames of those who live there. The 3 more common ones are Chew Jetty, Lee Jetty and Tan Jetty. It is basically a way of life for the residence. Previously, the residents were fisherman and some worked in the shipping transport trade. Due to the diversity of the economy, more people are employed in offices or factories. There are still people involved in the old ways of living. This is now a major tourist attraction. There are now home-stays for those who want to experience living in the jetty.

Penang, Malaysia,

Entrance to Chew Jetty. One of the many jetties in Penang.




Once upon a time, when I was a little girl, I remember I went to one of the jetties to attend a wedding. I went with my mum and we had to stay overnight there as it was a wedding and there were a lot of things for the Nyonyas (ladies) to do to prepare. Obviously, it was our relatives’ wedding.  I remember that the houses were on stilts and I had a frightening time trying to walk around without noticing the gaps of the planks.  Fortunately, the bed rooms were covered with mats so I was quite relieved. I remember that there was tap water and we bathed with it.  What I remember most was that when one went to the toilet, one just did it and all went to the sea. And the fish ( a type of cat-fish) would feed on it! The people living there were not rich.

Nowadays, the economy is better and the standard of living is higher. There are now a lot of shops for tourists and accommodation as well. It is a nice place to visit. There are also a lot of touristy area around there, so if you visit Penang, don’t forget to visit the other places. Oh yes, George Town is a UNESCO living heritage. It is one of the few living heritage. The Vatican is another one of them.

The entrance to Chew Jetty is decorated with lots of lanterns. Along the walkways there are a lot of shops selling souvenir and local handicrafts. There are many food shops and there are new foods being sold. One of them is Chew Jetty puffs.

Penang, holiday, cream puffs

Chew Jetty puff – something new to me.

It is actually choux pastry filled with 3 types of fillings: matcha, chocolate and durian. The matcha is not available today.  I try the chocolate and durian flavours. The chocolate filling is normal. The durian is delicious, made from fresh durian in cream. Hmmm it’s creamy and flavourful like real durians.



matcha, durian, pastry,

Chew jetty puffs are actually choux pastry filled with a choice of chocholate, matcha or durian cream.


choux pastry, durian, matcha, chocolate,Penang,

Matcha filling was out of stock so we had 2 durian and 1 chocolate filling.


durian, cream, choux, Penang,

Me trying it out. The durian filling is great. cream with durian.. double creamy and yummy.

Further along the walkway,  there are more shops. It also leads to a temple. Since it is still in the CNY mood, there are a lot of lanterns and flags along that area. Actually, there will be a big celebration in this area on the 9th day of CNY, whereby the whole area and on the street will be full of  celebrations to worship the Jade Emperor God or the Heavenly God, also known as ‘Thee Kong’ in the Hokkien Dialect. I will tell more about the Jade Emperor God later.

Penang, Malaysia, holiday

Entrance to Chew Jetty.

Penang, Malaysia, holiday,

View from Chew Jetty.

Along the way on the jetty, there are brochures of other places of interest. You will find some discount vouchers to visit some places and these come in handy when you want to visit those places.


On the whole it is a nice place to visit if you haven’t been there before.  It is a must visit place in Penang.

I hope you enjoy my tales. Until the next post, please like and share if you find this post informative.


Penang Lassie.

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