Butterworth – step across & explore

Penang Ferry service

Just across the channel from George Town, this principal town of Seberang Perai (also called Province Wellesley) sits on the northern bank of the Prai River.

Flourishing gradually since its establishment in the mid-1800s – thanks to the port, the railway, sugar plantations and industries from colonial times – Butterworth has from the margins undoubtedly complemented the economic rise of the more prominent island.The town was named after  William John Butterworth, Governor of the Straits Settlements from 1843 to 1855.

Today, the idyllic pace of Butterworth is a welcome relief from the bustle of metropolitan city life. With the exception of a handful of new buildings in the core area that have sprouted over the terrain, much of the streetscape, sensibility and architecture have remained.

But it may not remain thus for long.Construction for Penang Sentral – a multi-billion Ringgit integrated transportation hub – has already begun near the ferry terminal, fanning anticipation over a wave of new development to be spurred in the rest of  the town.

Rope Walk at Taman Selat

This quick guide is designed to provide a friendly record and compendium of the significant sites that exist here. Many of them are well-suited to visit in a drive-about. The website focuses on the most traditional and familiar thoroughfares in the core part of town. The principal emphasis is on Jalan Bagan Luar – the first avenue that one touches upon disembarking from the ferry that arrives from Penang island. The road runs from south to north before intersecting with Jalan Telaga Air.

Beyond this artery, the guide includes neighbouring sites selected for their uniqueness and relevance such as places at Jalan New Ferry in the south and Jalan Raja Uda in the north.

As a town that quietly played a pivotal role in Malaysian history Butterworth certainly has many treasures that are simply waiting to be discovered.