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Little Penang Street Market

The Little Penang Street Market is unique in its own kind. The market is a mix of stalls selling local stuff, food and art plus a mix of performances by locals and foreigners alike. Few islands have such a broad mix of things to do as Penang and the market shows only the tip of the so called cultural iceberg.

Little Penang Street Market handicrafts

Location and time at Upper Penang Road

The location of the market is convenient for locals and travelers alike: Upper Penang Road. There are several hotels in the area and apart of that, after the market finishes, the clubs and restaurants open. As Little Penang is primarily meant for tourists, the location is very well chosen.

The Little Penang Street Market is held every last Sunday of the month.

Litte Penang, Kimono try Litte Penang Pottery demonstration
Left: Japanese kimono try
Right: Pottery demonstration at the stage

More details about the Penang Cultural Market

Lets have a look at the general program. I've been several times to the street market and every time the program was different but you can find similar things happening. There are always performances. This can be a group of local Indian dancers, local musicians but also, like on Sunday 28 June, a demonstration by locals how to wear a Japanese kimono. There was a pottery demonstration. Once there was a Silambam Nilaikalakki demonstration (see the video below), another time Johny Chee and his Nyonya dancers gave performance of Nyonya poetry and dancing.

Silambam Nilaikalakki demonstration

The Little Penang Street Market is a project by volunteers (non government or tourist organisation involved). Every last Sunday of the month they are able to bring an interesting program with art, dance, music on the open podium. And there is of course the market itself.

Nyonya dancers at the Little Penang Street Market

Nyonya dancers at the Little Penang Street Market

Local artists like Shamsul Bahari are sometimes at the market promoting their own work or giving classes. Galleries will show some of their work and there is of course the local handicrafts.

Little Penang street market

A good example of local businesses and handicrafts available at almost every market is Sentuhan, an organisation of single mothers who have a shop at No. 90, Armenian Street with handmade soaps in handmade packages, very stylish done.

Little Penang street market

Searching for antique bargains, books? The Little Penang Street Market might fulfil your wishes. And what would a market, especially in Penang, be without food. Try the local Po Piah, if you're lucky the seller does his singing trick (if not, go to the food stalls at the northern end of Gurney Drive where he sells his Po Piah every night). Other local dishes as chicken pie (which is highly recommended) and of course nasi lemak are available. Some days you will find ginseng tea and soybean drinks.

Chinese New Year at Little Penang: Chinese drumming performance

Chinese New Year at Little Penang: Chinese drumming performance

Children are not forgotten. It can be in performances by children and/or activities as drawing classes. Shamsul Bahari does kid drawing classes every once in a while. Other activities can include watercoloring and mug painting. The program is never the same.

Local artist Shamsul  Bahari teaches painting to a young student at the Little Penang Street Market
Local artist Shamsul Bahari teaches painting to a young student at the Little Penang Street Market

All the more reasons if you are in town to visit the Little Penang Street Market.

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