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Tuesday 9 August 2022

PENANG Walkabout 6 (CHOWRASTA Market Hunt)

Penang Day 3!

We had meant to be up early this morning but overslept and only managed to leave the hotel at five past nine. First order of the day was to have breakfast at a renowned toast bread stall nearby, and for that we walked across Hutton Street in front of the hotel and continued southwest along Jalan Penang.

We arrived at Hutton Lane Roti Bakar soon after and joined the long queue to place our order. We all had the same set of toasted bread with two half boiled eggs perched on top. 

Breakfast together with a round of drinks came to RM18.00 (approximately USD/EUR4). We then walked across Jalan Penang and headed to Jalan Chowrasta to begin our market hunt, the first in a long while.

Taken from Penang's fandom pages:

Chowrasta Market at Penang Road, within George Town's UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of Malaysia's oldest markets and one of only two markets in the city centre, the other being Campbell Street Market. It is also notable for the wide variety of Penang's fresh produce sold within, from pickled nutmegs to tau sar pneah (Penang's famous bean paste pastry). 

The area where the market now stands was originally part of a massive Indian area in George Town. In particular, ethnic Tamils from southern India began settling around the area in the mid-19th. century. It was within the vicinity of the present market where the Tamils sold fresh produce and livestock.

In 1890, the George Town Municipal Council built the single-storey Chowrasta Market. It was eventually replaced with the present Chowrasta Market in the 1960s. The market building was later renovated between 2013 and 2017, as part of efforts to rejuvenate and expand the aging market. The renovation works were completed as of January 2017.

We began our stroll along Jalan Chowrasta from the intersection with Jalan Penang to its end, before doubling back. A great assortment of items and wares were on sale, but nothing struck our fancy.

We then entered Chowrasta Market proper, and Cat stopped by a pickles stall to get a packet of pickled mango and papaya that cost RM7 each (USD/EUR1.60).

We then strolled its length all the way to the back. Here we found all kinds of fresh meat and poultry on sale artfully arranged in one corner of the wet market. To the other end were freshly caught fish, squid, and all manner of food from the sea.

Alas, we were not able to buy anything here since we did not have the ability nor the inclination to cook during our trip to Penang. We then rode an escalator up to the first floor but found only two clothes stalls doing business.

We quickly made our way down and walked out of the market onto Lebuh Tamil headed southeast to its end. We then turned right onto Jalan Kuala Kangsar to take in the sights of the morning vendors selling a variety of items and wares including clothing.

We reached the intersection with Lebuh Kimberley and turned around to walk down to the other end. Cat found a quaint batik blouse and shorts suit that she fancied and paid the shop keeper RM30.00 (approximately USD/EUR7) for it.

We then made our way out of Chowrasta but stopped by a fruit stall to get a bunch of bananas and half a watermelon for RM13 (approximately USD/EUR7).

We then headed back to the hotel, but be out and about again, going on a run-around, so please stay tuned.

Lastly, we feel that it is our civic duty to remind everyone that while masks are now optional outdoors, it is still mandatory indoors!

(Do visit our YouTube Channel Have Perut Will Travel)

We do what we can to support local businesses, and it's always good to know that everyone here observes all related SOPs, it helps make us feel safer and reassured.

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