Bukit Mertajam offers some rare authenticity


Bukit Mertajam might be well off the tourist map, but it has much more to offer than what its reputation as George Town’s satellite suggests. We take a walk to the town’s centre and meet its protagonists.

If you ask any of George Town’s foreign tourists what they think of Bukit Mertajam, at best you’d get a vacuous stare. “Bukit what? Is that a food dish?”

This answer should not be surprising. In fact, this vibrant and historical town in Seberang Perai has been totally forgotten by both the Lonely Planet and the Rough Guides. And if foreigners are nowhere to be found, don’t think that Penang’s islanders are in excess in Bukit Mertajam either; to them, Bukit Mertajam – or colloquially known as BM – means principally Auto City, Juru’s bustling artery of dance clubs, fancy diners and car showrooms.

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