Three Historical Markets of George Town

loading Campbell Street Market.

Markets may have started out simply as places where traders sell their wares. But each develops its own identity based on its unique qualities. Penang Monthly takes a look at three of George Town’s markets.

Alongside amenities such as post offices, town halls, playing fields, schools and hospitals, Malaysian towns always had markets at their heart. Their size and shape often reflected the stature of the town. Studying the surviving market halls in Penang allows us to easily trace the history of its urban development.

There are generally three types of market halls in Penang: the iron-and wood “open shed”, which usually does not have walls but only pillars holding up the roof; the “bazaar”, which is an enclosed marketplace built with bricks, with walls or at least balustrades for walls, and a grand entrance; and the “market complex” which has multiple levels, and offers modern amenities such as loading bays, shop lots and toilets.

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