Apparel & accessories
Bayan Lepas BeeZelMents
1F-42, Queensbay Mall, 100 Persiaran Bayan Indah, Bayan Lepas (+604 645 1312/www.facebook.com/beezelments). New products are introduced to the racks at BeeZelMents weekly, so you’re assured of access to the latest trends. Think playsuits, girly off-shoulder tops and checkered button-ups. Their reasonable prices also ensure that you won’t break the bank.
ShaShas Heritage Collection LG-02, Queensbay Mall, 100 Persiaran Bayan Indah, Bayan Lepas (+604 644 4484).
Since the kebaya is not quite as ubiquitous as it used to be, we consider ShaShas a rare gem. This understated boutique is jam-packed with a wide assortment of baju kebaya and accessories to match. Select a dainty yet sturdy kerongsang (brooch) to clinch your kebaya together and a lacy camisole to wear beneath your dress. There are also old-fashioned metal sarong belts as worn by the Nyonya and Malay ladies of yesteryear.
109 Jalan Kelawei, George Town (+604 229 5755/ www.facebook.com/ameephilips).
Born and bred in Penang, jewellery designer Amee Philips has made a name for herself among the fashion industry’s big leagues. Following the success of her debut at Zang Toi’s fashion show in New York, Amee won an entrepreneurship award in 2012 and was selected as a judge at Malaysia’s International Jewellery Design Awards. Bedeck yourself with new bejewelled accessories, which can be resized on the spot.
86 Lebuh Armenian, George Town (+604 262 7299/ www.straitscollection.com.my).
We have Bon Ton Resort in Langkawi to thank for this quirky retail shop. Knowing there is a market for Asianinspired odds and ends, apparel and accessories, the owners stocked Bon Ton with sarongs, Indonesian silk, heavy silver jewellery and more.
86 Lebuh Armenian, George Town (+604 262 7299/ www.straitscollection.com.my).
Bon Ton’s sister shop is a treasure trove full of Chinese-themed antiques, jewellery and porcelain items that will surely please lovers of history and culture. Come here if you’re looking to take home eclectic souvenirs, coffee table books, speciality teas and coffees, or knick-knacks that will add a splash of colour to your home.
161B Jalan Kelawei, George Town (+604 227 6229/Facebook: Just’s Wardrobe).
If it’s elegant evening wear you seek, come to this boutique. The racks carry flowing bridal gowns, cute cocktail dresses and traditional Peranakan apparel for Baba Nyonya weddings.
Mon-Thu, 11am-9pm; Fri-Sun & Public holidays, 10am-9pm.
Koh Sum Footwear
48 Jalan Dato Keramat, George Town (+604 227 4160).
Perched across the street from Gama Supermarket and Department Store, this shoe haven dates back several generations. You’ll find everything from leather boots to towering platforms for cheap, cheap, cheap. We love the shop’s on-the-spot adjustments, which ensure that the shoe definitely fits. You will, however, need some knowledge of Hokkien or Malay to converse with the shop assistants.
Maison de Poupée
38-5 Lebuh Farquhar, George Town (+604 262 5514/www. maisondepoupee.com).
Founded by fashion designer Jing Ooi, this Frenchy bridal store and textile shop churns out breathtaking wedding gowns, cheongsams and cocktail dresses. You can also get blankets, wraps and stoles for when travelling to a country with a colder climate.
Nam Loong Jewellers
5 & 7 Lebuh Campbell, George Town (+604 261 5971/Facebook: NamLoong-Jeweller).
Founded in 1922, Nam Loong’s fancy façade is fitting for its stock of gold, diamonds, precious stones and other bling-bling. Don’t let the gun-toting security guards make you nervous – they’re benign and a common sight at jewellers (and banks) in Malaysia.
NEW Pestle & Mortar Clothing
79 Jalan Nagore, George Town (+604 226 5402/ www.pestlemortarclothing.com).
A labour of love by three tight-knit friends with a shared passion for fashion, Pestle & Mortar churns out made-in-Malaysia apparel tailored for the present generation of youth. Comparable to the US’s OBEY Clothing but with a dash of Malaysian aesthetics, P&M does our fashion scene proud by encouraging fashionistas to buy local. The brand puts out T-shirts, slacks, sneakers, tank tops, dresses and limited edition items of apparel. Pick out a pair of cool shades to protect your eyes from the blinding tropical sun. Daily, 1-10pm.
Sam’s Batik House
183 & 185 Jalan Penang, George Town (+604 262 1095/ www.samsbatikhouse.com).
This Penang institution, which opened in 1982, is still going strong. You’ll go cross-eyed browsing the massive selection of batik. There are also pashminas, bedspreads, beaded purses,
kebayas, bags and accessories. Little ones can get outfitted in a colourful Indian kurti. Take advantage of the tailoring services if you want the perfect fit.
The Swagger Salon
37 Jalan Gudwara, George Town (+604 226 3081/ theswaggersalon.com).
Hipster culture meets bad boy appeal at The Swagger Salon. We love the local vibes channelled through their apparel emblazoned with local Cantonese slang such as ‘ taikor’ (head honcho, boss man or original gangster) and ‘ lansi’ (stuck up or proud).
Tue-Fri, 12noon-8pm; Sat-Sun, 12noon-9pm.
170-04-77 Gurney Plaza, Persiaran Gurney (+604 226 6110).
Ever wanted to own an intricately embroidered Nyonya kebaya blouse? Kim Fashion houses the island’s best artisan seamstresses who bring one-off, show stoppers to countless wardrobes. Choose your own fabric and decide whether you’d like floral or animal motifs. Come back a few days later to pick up your handmade outfit, put on your new dress and show it off. Heads will turn.
Bran et Daguet
3A-G-2 Straits Quay, Jalan Seri Tanjung Pinang, Tanjung Tokong (+604 898 1755/ www.branetdaguet.com).
Founded in 2007 by local designer Brandon Tan and his French partner, Pascal Martin-Daguet, Bran et Daguet – a favourite among high-society ladies – specialises in elegant chic couture and ready-to-wear cocktail dresses. The designers source their high-quality fabric from Europe and have a flair for mixing Eastern and Western elements. Made-to-order designs are available upon request.
Penang Batik (Factory) & Craft Batik (Showroom)
669 Mukim 2, Jalan Teluk Bahang, Teluk Bahang (+604 885 1284/+604 885 1302/www.penangbatik.com.my). The intricate batik pieces produced at the famous Penang Batik Factory go straight to the shelves of its showroom. Purchase a ready-made batik blouse, dress or bag, or make your own batik item by signing up for a hands-on course. If you’re curious about the batik-making process but would rather not get your hands dirty, simply observe a live demo.
(Factory) Daily, 9am-5pm; (Showroom) Daily, 9am-5.30pm.
Various locations (+604 530 8313www.islee.com.my).
An independent Malaysian chain with its main headquarters in Penang, ISLEE was founded by a famous bespoke tailor. Shop here for urban ladies wear such as denim dresses, striped tops, cut-off shorts, loafers, sun hats and more.
Various locations (www.shoepoint.com). Founded in the 1980s, Shoe Point has long been a mainstay in Penang. The store’s comfortable footwear has graced the soles of women of all shapes and sizes. Strappy sandals, high heels and stilettos in a kaleidoscope of colours are their best sellers. Complete your head-to-toe look by checking out the shop’s small selection of handbags and accessories.
Beauty & body
Tanjung Bungah Indochine Natural
37 Lebuh Lembah Permai 1, Tanjung Bungah (+604 890 9577/ www.indochinenatural.com). Founded by a Vietnamese fashion designer and an Australian scientist, Indochine Natural purveys natural products and champions fair trade.
The company’s collection of body products such as soaps, shampoos and lotions contain natural ingredients and spices, and are free of animal fats, synthetic fragrances and artificial colouring. Mon-Fri, 8.30am
Tanjung Tokong Fresh Desire
L4-14, Gurney Paragon, Jalan Kelawai, George Town (+604 218 9698); 3A-G-25, Straits Quay, Jalan Seri Tanjung Pinang, Tanjung Tokong (+604 899 1022/ www.facebook.com/FDcosmetics). Fresh Desire may look like a bakery, but actually sells body products and cosmetics. The fun part is that the soaps resemble cakes, cookies, popsicles and other sweet treats; they even smell like the real thing! So if you fancy smelling like lemon cheesecake or raspberry cream pie, get your bath care products here.
Tropical Spice Garden Gift Store
Lot 595 Mukim 2, Jalan Teluk Bahang (+604 881 1797/ www.tropicalspicegarden.com).
This gift shop is a must-visit if you’re touring the Tropical Spice Garden; otherwise, there’s little reason to come all the way to Teluk Bahang. Browse a wide range of locally sourced products including dried spices, ground spices, ethnic dolls and handmade batik bags. The ‘Spice Therapy’ Home Spa package is good to take home to mum or the wife. Meanwhile, baking enthusiasts ought to get some Ceylon cinnamon, which isn’t available anywhere else on the island.
Lot 1F 93 & 93A, First floor, Queensbay Mall, 100 Persiaran Bayan Indah, Bayan Lepas (+604 646 8758/www.facebook.com/ bordersmalaysia).
This chain of bookshops aims to make books a lifestyle product by creating a relaxed and cosy atmosphere that will encourage you to indulge in reading. It offers local book lovers a wide selection of over 200,000 books, magazine and music titles at each outlet. Best of all, most books on display are left unwrapped to encourage reading and browsing.
The Star Pitt Street, 15 Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, George Town (+604 261 0307/ www.arecabooks.com).
If richly illustrated and informative reads are what you seek, Areca Books is your go-to store – no questions asked. Run by Salma Khoo, president of the Penang Heritage Trust, Areca frequently organises forums on history and literature. If we had to take one book home, it’d be ‘Just for the Love of It: Popular Music in Penang’, which celebrates the island’s rich musical heritage and musical luminaries.
78 Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, George Town (+604 261 0282/ gerakbudayapenang.com).
The intelligent range of reads at this independent bookshop is unquestionably well-curated. If you’re looking for local literary titles, Gerakbudaya won’t disappoint. There are also heavy tomes on local history and politics, so if you have any burning questions about the island that Time Out Penang didn’t address, untapped discoveries lie here. Check out the baskets lined outside the bookstore for cheap used novels, but only if you enjoy the occasional Harbour and Mills & Boon romance.
Lot 1-25, First floor, Island Plaza, 118 Jalan Tanjung Tokong (+604 899 8911/Facebook: Leo Books).
Shop for reading material while keeping your purse strings drawn fairly tight. Leo Books carries new titles as well as secondhand and overprint publications at discounted prices. They even buy books back at a percentage of the original price. Last we checked, they had a rare edition of ‘The Dream of the Red Chamber’, which features prints of Qing Dynasty paintings.
Mon & Wed-Sat, 11am-7pm; Sun, 11am-6pm.
Lim Wah Thai Emporium
3-A Jalan Gottlieb, George Town (+604 228 1063/+604 228 1064/ www.limwahthai.com).
Wah Thai, as the locals like to call it, is a time-established business that manufactures traditional Chinese herbal soup mixes, nutmeg ointments, dried fruit and Penang’s infamous Tambun and heong piah biscuits. Stop by if you’re looking for local delights to take home.
The Chocolate Boutique
22 Lebuh Leith, George Town (+604 250 2488).
Chocoholics can sample more than 60 varieties of chocolate in this converted mansion. Although wonderful in theory, we find the cocoa products to be of cheap to average quality. Shop here if you’re stumped for ideas for souvenirs. A small attached museum sheds light on the history and production of chocolate and coffee.
20-D Jalan Bagan Jermal, George Town (+604 226 7010/ www.cocoaboutique.com.my).
If Chinese confectionary and candies aren’t your thing, this chocolate boutique serves as a good backup option for edible souvenirs. If you can’t bring yourself to try the pungent durian fruit, at least try the durian-
filled truffles. Some other unusual items include the bonbons with mango, hot chilli and sesame centres.
Gifts & souvenirs
14 Living Story
14 Lebuh Armenian, George Town (+604 261 0352/www.facebook. com/14livingstory).
This local souvenir store preserves the tradition of the ’50s and ’60s by vending old-school knick-knacks. Hello, classic pop bombs! Some of Ernest Zacharevic’s most popular murals are just around the corner.
41 Living Story
41 Lorong Love, George Town (+604 250 4181/www.facebook. com/41livingstory).
Run by the proprietor of 14 Living Story, this quaint gift store stocks stuffed toys, clay beaded bracelets and stationery and other stocking fillers. Poke around the back for traditional sarongs, handmade bags and local candy.
Pinang Peranakan Mansion,
29 Lebuh Gereja, George Town (+604 261 3078/www. pinangperanakanmansion.com.my). Part heritage site and part gift shop, this is a must-visit for anyone who has just toured the Pinang Peranakan Mansion. From traditional
kebayas (traditional Nyonya outfit) to picturesque postcards of Penang, these cultural souvenirs are unique and make for great gifts.
174 Lebuh Victoria, George Town (+604 250 8258/ www.facebook.com/otto.kedai).
This cute souvenir store located in the heart of George Town’s tourist hub stocks made-in-Penang gifts such as postcards, T-shirts, handmade jewellery and canvas tote bags. Even locals are bound to love the products, as many designs cleverly allude to Penang culture and are heavy on puns.
Mon-Thu, 10am-7pm; Fri-Sun, 10am-10pm.
The Perfect Gift
549 Jalan Masjid Negeri, Jelutong (+604 658 8411/ www.theperfectgift.com.my).
As expected, this gift store gets busy come Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. Specialising in flower arrangements, the staff here can put together bouquets with teddy bears, chocolates and stuffed toys as the centrepieces. Be prepared to sort through lots of red hearts, ribbons, faux flowers and frilly what-nots.
Mon-Fri, 9am-5.30pm; Sat, 9am4.30pm.
70 Lorong Kinta, George Town (+6012 461 3006); 1-1-15 Lebuh Bukit Kecil 6, Krystal Point Corporate Park 2, Bayan Lepas (+6012 454 9342/www.manuelukulele.com).
Visit this musical haven to choose from a wide array of ukuleles and sign up for lessons. Named after Manuel Nunes, inventor of the ukulele, this store and music school also caters to aspiring guitar and cajón (a Peruvian percussion instrument) players.
Tue-Sat, 11am-7pm; Sun, 11am-6pm.
Kok Ying Chow signboard maker
41 Lebuh Queen, George Town (+604 262 9754).
Owner Kok Ah Hwa is one of the last remaining signboard makers in Penang, which makes every moment spent with him ever so nostalgic. Kok learned the art from his father, who came from Guangdong, China, many decades ago. Back in those days, Chinese plaques and signboards were handcrafted and regularly hung over the entrances of shophouses. Over the years, this heritage trade has slowly been replaced by modern signage. Don’t hesitate to pay a visit to this artisan; you never know when you’ll meet the likes of him again.
Lee Soo Kee Rattan
370-E Lebuh Chulia (next to Chulia Heritage Hotel), George Town (+604 261 1209).
Owner Lee Soo Kee heavily relies on sunlight to weave rattan wares such as baskets, chairs and lamps in his dimly lit shop. If you spot an elderly man sitting at the shop front, that’s Lee himself.
With the dwindling amount of local rattan shops in George Town and growing preference for modern furniture, this is a heritage trade only known by few.
Seang Hin Leong
393 Lebuh Pantai, George Town (+604 261 3748/www.facebook.com/ seang.hin.leong).
Seang Hin Leong is one of the last remaining rattan and bamboo sellers in Penang. Stop by to meet the family who collectively weaves baskets in all shapes and colours, bags, wine racks, stools and chairs. Don’t miss out on their Raya hampers during the holiday season.
Thean Seng Huat
490 & 492, Lebuh Pantai, George Town.
While the unmaintained façade that houses Thean Seng Huat holds no promise for future refurbishment, it’s still home to one of Penang’s many dying trades: rattan weaving. It was founded in the 1930s by Ng Poh Yong, and the legacy continues with his son Ng Kuan Soon, who skilfully weaves wicker baskets, cane furniture, vegetable baskets and sepak takraw balls. If you have a large order or need someone to repair your cane furniture, ring ahead of time.
Home & living
NEW Heong Giap Paper and Stationery
16-18, Lebuh Melayu, George Town (+604 261 0389/www.heonggiap. com).
They don’t make stationery stores like these anymore. Stepping into this cavernous stationery store brings back childhood memories of getting ready for a new semester at school. Racks and shelves are piled high with mechanical pencils, stencils, notebooks, marker pens, folders, staplers and more. There’s enough stationery in here to supply several offices. Some products are covered with thick films of dust as the stock doesn’t move fast enough these days.
109 Lorong Kinta, off Jalan Burmah, George Town (+604 210 8608/ www.mekiohome.com).
If you’ve just moved or plan on moving to Penang, here’s a heads-up: IKEA Penang won’t open its doors
until 2018. Independent home and living stores such as Mekio are your go-to for now. This reliable store is neatly divided into sections for all your bedroom, living room, dining room, bathroom and kitchen needs.
209 Lorong Hutton, George Town (+604 226 0661/Facebook: MUROBOND-PAINTS-PENANG). These are the same folks who supplied Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic with the paint he needed to create Penang’s famous murals. Founded in Australia, Murobond Paint takes pride in using environmentally-friendly materials. The brand’s water-based paints release minimal toxic fumes and work beautifully whether you decide to take your paintings to the streets or stick close to home.
Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm; Sat, 9am-3pm.
100 Persiaran Bayan Indah, Bayan Lepas (+604 619 8989/ www.queensbaymall.com.my).
Just a short distance from Penang Bridge, this sprawling mall comprises five levels of stores and boutiques including AEON department store, MNG by Mango, Topshop, Harvey Norman, Sony Centre and an enticing selection of restaurants.
1st Avenue Mall
182 Jalan Magazine, George Town (+604 261 1121/www.1st-avenuemall.com.my).
Not far from Prangin Mall and KOMTAR, 1st Avenue Mall offers an appealing mix of fashion, leisure, entertainment and food outlets spread out across seven levels. Mid-range brands such as Giordano, ESPRIT and H&M let you update your wardrobe without breaking the bank. Japanese eateries seem to be aplenty here, so it’s a good mall to get your sushi or ramen cravings out of the way.
ICT Digital Mall @ KOMTAR
Unit 1B & 1D, 1.01-4.01 Komtar, Jalan Penang, George Town (+604 250 8661/+604 250 8662/www. facebook.com/ICTKomtarDigitalMall). ICT Digital Mall was part of the local government’s efforts to revitalise the flagging retail at KOMTAR. Linked by a sky bridge to the neighbouring 1st Avenue Mall, ICT features a myriad stalls vending gadgets and electronic goods such as smartphones, digital cameras, laptops, computer hardware and accessories.
Daily, 11am-9pm. KOMTAR
Jalan Magazine, George Town (+604 264 4622).
Standing 65 storeys tall in the heart of George Town, KOMTAR was named in honour of Malaysia’s second Prime Minister, Tun Abdul Razak. Penang’s tallest skyscraper, KOMTAR is recognised as a local landmark. Although the shopping ambience has lost its lustre, business picks up during Hari Raya when the lobby fills with stalls selling Raya clothes and cookies.
Penang Times Square
Jalan Dato’ Keramat, George Town (+604 210 9020/www. penangtimessquare.com).
Located in George Town, Penang Times Square was initially intended to be a high-end mall but has become more of a nightlife destination, thanks to the influx of nightclubs within the complex. Check out the trippy murals of jungle creatures in the mall’s front driveway.
Jalan Dr Lim Chwee Leong, George Town (+604 262 2233).
While the mall opens at 10am, most stalls aren’t set up until late morning, so schedule your shopping excursion for later in the afternoon. While the electronic shops here aren’t as extensive as the ones at ICT Digital Mall, it’s wise to compare prices between products at both malls to snag better deals.
Persiaran Gurney (+604 228 8266/ www.gurneyparagon.com).
Gurney Paragon is a nine-storey premiere shopping mall housing international labels such as Debenhams, Michael Kors, Victoria’s Secret and Harvey Norman. The food court is a good place to cater to the whole family’s cravings. You can also get Italian, German, Chinese, Thai and other international cuisines from independent eateries.
Persiaran Gurney (+604 222 8111/ www.gurneyplaza.com.my).
Located at the end of Gurney Drive, Gurney Plaza stands at nine storeys high and is deemed a one-stop destination for well-established brands such as Coach, Dorothy Perkins and MAC. Head over to the courtyard outside the shopping centre if you fancy alfresco dining. There’s also Cold Storage and bustling food stalls and restaurants on the lower ground floor. Catch the latest blockbuster flicks Golden Screen Cinemas or let your vocals soar at the Redbox Karaoke.
Daily, 10am-10pm. Seberang Jaya
Sunway Carnival Mall
Jalan Todak, Pusat Seberang Jaya, Seberang Jaya (+604 397 9888/ www.sunwaycarnival.com). Managed by the Sunway Berhad group, this four-storey shopping mall is both spacious and functional. Parkson department store and Giant hypermarket are the mall’s anchor tenants. In addition to Golden Screen Cinemas, Toys ‘R’ Us should keep the kids well occupied.
Jalan Perusahaan, Highway AutoCity, North-South Highway Juru Interchange, Seberang Perai (+604 501 1222/www.autocity.com.my).
One for auto enthusiasts, this outdoor shopping strip houses over 30 showrooms and stores for genuine spare parts. With more than 30 food and beverage outlets, AUTO-CITY is also a popular dining destination among locals. Visit the shopping vicinity for apparel imported from Korea and Taiwan, cute phone accessories and cheap underthings. Located off the North-South highway, AUTO-CITY is only accessible by car.
Jalan Seri Tanjung Pinang, Tanjung Tokong (+604 899 5228/ www.straitsquay.com).
This mammoth development undertaken by E&O has made a name for itself among locals and tourists. Penang’s first marina mall boasts of a packed programme and a long list of boutiques. The Royal Selangor Visitor Centre and the Performing Arts Centre of Penang (penangpac) are located on-site.
Air Itam Market
Jalan Pasar, Pekan Air Itam, Air Itam. The number of fruit-and-vegetable
vendors at Air Itam Market has grown significantly in recent years. Shop here for fresh spices, street food, apparel, Chinese medicine and more. This market is also home to several popular Penang assam laksa vendors and the celebrated Sisters’ Curry Mee. The early bird gets the worm, so set your alarm clock for 7am latest. Daily, 7am onwards.
Farlim Night Market
Medan Angsana, Bandar Baru Air Itam, Air Itam.
Pop by Farlim Night Market for a slice of the local night scene that doesn’t involve alcohol. Penangites swarm here on Wednesday nights, so expect to rub shoulders with strangers while buying char kuey kak, luk luk, Penang assam laksa and other local favourites. You can also find cheap accessories (from cute hair clips to bracelets), knock-off branded apparel, gadgets and gizmos.
Every Wednesday, 6.30-11pm.
Batu Ferringhi Night Market
Jalan Batu Ferringhi, Batu Ferringhi. Be prepared to haggle at this night market where most goods are sold at ‘tourist prices’. Dad might like the cheap football jerseys while mum’s likely to fawn over the artwork. That being said, you don’t have to spend a buck to enjoy this strip; simply wander past the stalls and soak in the sights and sounds.
Jalan Raja Uda, Butterworth. Following refurbishment by the state government in 2011, Penang’s largest market is now shaded; new roofs cover the 500 odd hawker stalls along Jalan Raja Uda. For the freshest of vegetables, fruits, seafood and poultry, rise early and head over to the market before 9am. If you’re feeling hungry, snack on banana fritters, deep-fried popiah and char kuey kak.
Sungai Dua Night Market
Jalan Sungai Dua, Gelugor.
Located opposite Tesco supermarket, this lively night market is a shopping retreat for homemakers. Stock up on cheap kitchenware, beauty products and home appliances, and then wrap up your visit with some street food. Our idea of a satisfying supper is a hot serving of char kuey teow and chicken satay paired with a cold longan drink.
Cecil Street Market Lebuh Cecil, George Town. Also known as Seventh Road Market, Cecil Street Market offers a mélange of dry and wet food, apparel and household items. There’s also a hawker centre where you can watch vendors cook scrumptious eats such as duck meat kuey teow th’ng, chee cheong fun and assam laksa. Sweet tooths can whet their cravings with Nyonya kuih and the criminally hard-to-find fried sago.
Daily, Wet market, 7am-12noon; Hawker stalls, 12noon-5pm.
Jalan Penang, off Lebuh Tamil, George Town.
Open since 1963, Chowrasta Bazaar has been tempting locals and travellers with its traditional sweets, sour pickles and local snacks. You’ll either love or hate the aroma of sweet, spicy and sour candies. A massive upgrade in 2015 has vastly improved the market’s conditions. Wander further into the morning market and you’ll find a section dedicated to wet goods including fresh poultry and seafood. All that being said, Chowrasta’s secret gem is hidden away on the second floor, where stacks of secondhand books, novels, comic books and biographies are arranged in ceiling-high piles.
Little Penang Street Market
Upper Penang Road, George Town (+6012 475 9079/ www.littlepenang.com.my).
This once-a-month market serves as a platform for locals who want to sell and showcase their arts and crafts, books, clothing and jewellery. It’s organised by a group of volunteers who appreciate extra help on their committee, so contribute your time and effort and meet some cool characters.
Last Sunday of every month, 10am-5pm.
Lorong Kulit Flea Market
Jalan Dato Keramat, George Town (www.facebook.com/lorongkulit). Once upon a time, this market was better known as Thieves’ Market since many a vendor sold ‘illegally procured’ wares. Its bad reputation drew concern from local authorities who swarmed upon the place and shut down many businesses. Today, Lorong Kulit flea market is less dodgy but also much less exciting. One used to be able to find eclectic antiques; now you’re more likely to find cheap knick-knacks.
Macallum Street Night Market (Mon) Lintang Macallum 1, Pengkalan Weld, George Town; (Thu) Lintang Macallum 2, Pengkalan Weld, George Town. Weave your way through this maze of street food, cheap clothes and questionable beauty accessories. There is a sense of perpetual competitiveness among the food vendors who lure hungry customers with the dizzying aromas of grilled satay, char kuey kak, lor bak and yong tau foo.
Mon & Thu, 7-11pm.
NEW Occupy Beach Street
Beach Street, George Town (+6012 430 2251/www.facebook.com/ occupybeachstreet).
Endorsed by the Penang State Government, this family-friendly market is a riot of colours and sounds. Look out for the drummer who bangs out tunes on old Milo tin cans.
Every Sunday, 10am-1pm.
Jelutong Night Market
Jalan Van Praagh, Taman Dega Green, Jelutong.
This one’s more of a street food paradise than a place to shop; rack your brains and calm your tummy while trying to decide on yong tau foo, roast pork, char kuey kak,
Hokkien Mee and more. Cool down with freshly squeezed juice or technicoloured Bubble tea.
Pulau Tikus Market
Jalan Pasar, off Jalan Burma, Pulau Tikus.
Don’t come here to compare prices; we’ll tell you straight off – located in an affluent neighbourhood, Pulau Tikus Market stocks wares at slightly higher prices. Wander through the wet market to watch traders and housewives go about their morning business. The market’s food court is a popular spot to grab breakfast and you can get some of Penang’s most iconic street food. Few other local markets contain an organic food section, and some stalls even offer high-end kitchen and household equipment.
Daily (Market), 7am-12noon; (Hawker) 6-10pm.
Tanjung Bungah Market
Jalan Sungai Kelian, Tanjung Bungah.
A fantastic place to load up on fresh produce, Tanjung Bungah Market turns into a haven for hawker food on Tuesday evenings. This bustling night bazaar is more of a dinner destination rather than a shopping attraction. Two pieces of advice: bring enough small change and don’t leave without trying the ban chang kueh (crispy Chinese pancakes).
(Wet market), Daily, 7am-12noon; (Night market) Tuesday, 6pm-late.
Pestle & Mortar
41 Living Story