Lorong Kulit Flea Market
An absolute must-visit on any visit to Penang, Lorong Kulit Flea Market just bursts with life and colour. A shopping experience just made for the budget shopper, you will find quite an eclectic collection of knick knacks here, indeed stalls selling lethal-looking hunting knives, vintage binoculars, compasses and flasks, are set up right beside booths with records, Mickey Mouse figurines, stationery and more.
An integral part of many locals’ life in Georgetown, it is a great place to grab a bargain on anything and everything, especially if you arrive early and carefully look through the selections available. On our last visit we found some hard-to-find used book titles for less than RM10 each, as well as great quality second hand clothes at great value prices.
Pulau Tikis Market
Photo Lok Lok_Smartdory
Pulau Tikus Market is a tightly packed market that seems to offer everything a quintessential Penang market can. So much is contained within the market that it has burst at the seams and spilled into the surrounding streets.
Despite being jam-packed, the market is well laid-out and we had no problems making our way through the different areas of the market including the “wet” areas that contain a good meat, seafood, and poultry selection. There is an excellent range of fruits and vegetables, with a good selection certified organic, as well a couple of stalls selling one of my favourite treats, nyonya keuh. Also, if you are a fan of roasted meats, head to stall 43, where Seang Kee Enterprise sells roasted duck, pork, and chicken.
Little Penang Street Market
The cool Little Penang Street Market is a monthly bazaar that takes place along Upper Penang Road every last Sunday of the month from 10:00 – 17:00. A non-profit community venture operated voluntarily by locals, under the aegis of the Penang Arts Council, this lively and diverse market can only be described as culturally hip.
Largely frequented by the island’s young, urban crowd, the focus of this market is to support small, local businesses and artists, so most spaces are allocated for up-and-coming vendors. They sell personally-sourced antiques, homemade jewellery, homeware and food, and visual artists who seek to display and sell their work, like on-the-spot batik prints. The market also has designated spots for hourly book readings, and traditional music and dance performances.
Visit Chowrasta Bazaar if you want to really see how locals live (particularly housewives), purchasing their daily groceries and mingling in friendly company. In operation since the late 1800s, the front section of the market is dominated by vendors selling sweets, pickled fruits and local fried chips, and the back of the souk is a wet space dedicated to fresh (and occasionally smelly) meats.
Tourists will visit for the sweets, but do head upstairs of this indoor market where you will see a fantastic collection of second hand books, you will find titles ranging from old Archie comics to classics by Ernest Hemingway. In fact, on our last visit, we purchased a copy of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men and Jack London’s Call of the Wild for just RM3 each.
Cecil Street Market
Cecil Street Market should definitely be on your list if you are looking for the most famous things to buy in Georgetown, Penang. The street is divided into two sections, one for the household groceries, meat stalls fruits and vegetables and the other for clothes and eateries. So, if you like shopping and binge eating, the Cecil Street market is simply perfect for you.