Butterworth your time
The tropical port town of Butterworth is one the oldest urban settlements in Malaysia, having been established by the British colonial administration almost two centuries ago. The relatively idyllic and unchanged pace of life it is known for belies the town’s significance in the history of the region. For with its diverse cultures, streetscapes and landmarks, Butterworth has evolved to become a microcosm not just of life in the state of Penang but also of the multifarious essence of peninsular Malaysia itself.
It is timely then that Think City and Majlis Perbandaran Seberang Perai (Seberang Perai Municipal Council or MPSP) are now collaborating on the Butterworth Baharu (New Butterworth) programme. The initiative aims to strengthen the local environment, and enhance the tangible and intangible urban assets of this important secondary city.
Butterworth is verily poised for a wave of rejuvenation and “reintroduction” of sorts - for its long-held secrets to be finally told and its colourful riches to be revealed anew to the rest of the world. Take a journey today and unlock the trove of surprises in the rich cultural landmarks, delicious fuss-free food and vibrant flea market. You may be pleasantly surprised that Butterworth is indeed worth your time to explore.
Cherok To’ Kun’s healing village air
The ancient village with forgotten intrigues of the past today embodies the rural and natural charm of Bukit Mertajam.
More than a century ago, there lived at the end of a rural path south of Bukit Mertajam town a highly respected elderly Siamese healer named Kun. Known for his medicinal and shamanistic abilities, Dato’ Kun or To’ Kun as he was called, was sought by many who made their way to his quiet alcove near a foothill for treatment of various ailments.
The mysterious relic of Cherok To’kun
Where a strange communique from a distant era in history lives on silently in the present through the remnant of an ancient writing on a rock.
It is among the most ancient – if not the absolute oldest – written message from the past to still exist in Malaysia.
Lying unassumingly on the grounds of the St Anne’s Church in Bukit Mertajam, and screened from one’s sight along the main road by the grand new church building, is a boulder the size of a small lorry that bears the remnant of a mysterious inscription from centuries ago.
Church of St Anne: monument to faith and enduring legacy
The humble legacy of 19th century French missionaries that has become among the greatest pilgrimage centres of the region.
One of the most alluring landmarks of Bukit Mertajam is a little white church perched conspicuously on the side of a small hill, above a flight of stone steps seen afar from the road.
Air Hitam Dalam Educational Forest, Tasek Gelugor
Ecological haven within a fertile riverside mangrove swamp
Who would have thought that somewhere on mainland Penang lies a little world just the size of three football fields but has sheltered more than a hundred species of birds, and scores upon scores of reptiles, insects and mammals? Sited just twenty kilometres from the Penang Bridge nestles Air Hitam Dalam, a secret forest of surprises, a dense mangrove wetland that houses a rich ecological realm waiting to be explored.