Timothy Tye
Cheoh Thau Kong Jetties, Jelutong

Cheoh Thau Kong JettiesCheoh Thau Kong Jetties (4 June, 2013)

The Cheoh Thau Kong Jetties are wooden jetties that form a Chinese settlement in Jelutong, Penang. It got its name from the Cheoh Thau Kong Temple in the area.

There is a total of three jetties in the area. They are laid out in similar fashion to the Clan Jetties of George Town. But unlike their more famous cousins, these jetties of Jelutong are rather low profile. I would not have discovered them if I had not visited the Cheoh Thau Kong Temple.

A plankway at the Cheoh Thau Kong JettiesA plankway at the Cheoh Thau Kong Jetties (4 June, 2013)

The people living at the Cheoh Thau Kong Jetties are almost entirely Chinese. Although they lead a waterborne existence, the water over which their houses are built is like a lagoon, because the coast is cut off by the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway. Judging from the state of the planks, I gather that they have just been replaced recently, as they appear to be in a good state of maintenance.

In addition to the Cheoh Thau Kong Temple, the community has three other temples. The largest of the three is Sam Seng Keong. The other two temples are a Tua Pek Kong shrine and a Dato Kong shrine, both located back to back against each other.

Water below the houses, Cheoh Thau Kong JettiesWater below the houses, Cheoh Thau Kong Jetties (4 June, 2013)

I noticed that unlike the Clan Jetties of George Town, which faces the sea, the Cheoh Thau Kong Jetties is surrounded by land. So the water here is quite still as it flows gently towards the sea. During high tide, the water may flow in the opposite direction. From the look of it, the houses are some times flooded. The mangrove trees surround the jetties. On the whole, the area looks quite scenic, and there's not a single souvenir shop in sight.

According to a man I spoke to, the Cheoh Thau Kong Jetties have been around for over half a century. Considering the Cheoh Thau Kong Temple was founded in 1886, I believe the jetties are about as old. The man said that the land belongs the government, so should the government wants the land back, then everybody will have to move. I suppose that means the people here are squatters in a sort of urban shantytown. Already high rise condominiums and apartments are hemming in on the area, from the main road, and eventually from the sides.

Stilt houses, Cheoh Thau Kong JettiesStilt houses, Cheoh Thau Kong Jetties (4 June, 2013)

Getting there

If coming by bus, take Rapid Penang bus 301, 302, 303 or 401 and alight at the bus stop along Jalan Jelutong, near Sunshine Jelutong. Look out for a nameless road beside Sekolah Kebangsaan Jelutong. Follow the road all the way in (less than 5 minutes) to reach the jetty area. The houses are spread out in three neat rows served by the plankways.

A house at the Cheoh Thau Kong JettiesA house at the Cheoh Thau Kong Jetties (4 June, 2013)

Location of Cheoh Thau Kong Jetties on the map

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