Shops and marketplace
From flower garlands to gold bracelets and fresh water spinach
About two kilometres north of the Butterworth ferry terminal, around the main traffic artery of Jalan Bagan Luar, is a sprawling hub of street shops and terrace shophouses. Here one finds the highest concentration of shops in this old town.
The Kampung Benggali area got its name from a village where there were many Punjabis (‘Benggali’ was a loose, though inaccurate, local reference to Punjabis) which is no longer here. The street named Jalan Kampung Benggali today features a number of restaurants, cafes and hotels.
A small but growing ‘Little India’ commercial quarter is sited before the junction of Jalan Bagan Luar and Jalan Telaga Air, featuring several south Indian restaurants and stores. The old Cathay cinema here, which now features Tamil films, is the only operational movie theatre to survive in Penang today.
The junction itself teems with an array of traditional trades amid the ageing low-rise shophouses – old jewellery shops, colourful Indian florist stalls, Chinese medicine halls and others.
West of the enclave along Jalan Pasar is the Old Butterworth Public Market which is now a wholesale market selling meat, vegetables, fish and spices. Beyond that is a short isolated line of abandoned but picturesque Straits Eclectic terrace shophouses at Jalan Tokong, near the Maha Mariamman Temple.