Lorong Kulit – flea market

Lorong Kulit is known to most Penangites as the place for cheap things. However, I had never been there because it is always very jammed packed with vehicles and huge crowds.

Today is the first time I go to the place because my children have their school sport at the Penang Stadium. Nothing impress me but I am sure visitors to the island will be amazed with the quirky things on sale there.

Firstly, one has to brave the crowd, as can be seen from the rows of bikes here. Note that this is not a safe place to go as I believe pickpockets are plenty.


I do not have much to comment but Fishtail has written a very long blog about his visit to the ‘Thieves Market’.

However, a visit there can be a humbling experience to many of us. Tattered toys, broken electrical equipment, soiled clothes, torn shoes, things that most of us would have thrown into the rubbish dump without any second thoughts end up in Lorong Kulit.

I do not know if the traders are really sitting there in the hot sun with hope to sell those stuffs or they are just merely passing time with something to do. It would pain me if indeed there are buyers for these things. When you look at the faces of the traders who are very, very old, feeble men, you have the compulsion to just hand them some money just so that they would have a proper meal and take a rest. But I suppose they may have their brotherhood of traders who hang around passing time.

You can practically buy just anything from there. Literally speaking, everything including the kitchen sink.

There is another section selling fresh fruits and local delicacies. Medicine men are also busy putting on stunt shows to sell their traditional herbs and medicines. Especially, those than can ‘enhance the malehood’. It is a pretty interesting place to go if you do not mind getting squashed.

Go along Jalan Dato’ Kramat (from Georgetown towards Air Itam) until you see the Penang Prison on your right. Watch out for Tenaga Nasional office and turn into Lorong Kulit, which is on your left.

Does anyone know if the old traders there are serious in earning a living? I certainly would not mind giving away my stuffs f.o.c. for them to sell if they really rely on selling those things to buy their meals.

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6 thoughts on “Lorong Kulit – flea market


    (May 1, 2005 - 9:09 am)

    With negative comments like yours and Fishtail’s, no wonder the tourists are staying away from Penang. I was there a year ago, and pick up some so-called antique. I don’t know the stigma and history attached to the place; I see it only as a flea market, where junks and gems (whichever way you see it)can be found, same as Portobello Rd. in London. I wasn’t aware about pickpockets then; I came out unscratched.


    (May 1, 2005 - 6:26 pm)

    If our mango tree lost all its fruit overnight, we know we can find them there. If all our shoes disappeared, they will end up there. That’s why Penangites had labelled the place as such.

    However, I must say that Penang is still very tame compared to touristy cities like Paris and Rome. Oh boy, those places are notorious. Especially Rome. And in Pisa, we could see the pickpockets ‘working’ in broad-daylight. Now that you mentioned it, Penang is still safe. Do come again.

    ali allah ditta

    (May 2, 2005 - 12:22 am)

    Lorong Kulit is not as what it use to be during the 70s & 80s. During that period of time most of the peddlers are really selling antics,use or scondhand or unwanted goods at a cheap & reasonable price.

    Todays’s Lorong Kulit is filled up with freelance businessman selling handphones,fruits auto accessories etc,etc. Price wise are much dearer compared to some of the department stores on the island. The poor peddlers are pushed to the side & roadwalks,while these businessman occupies the main space thanks to MPPP for their brilliant work.Obviously money played an important part.


    (June 26, 2005 - 4:36 pm)

    Thank you for an educational and very enjoyable blog. This is the first time I write you and I apologise for being so forward as to make a request.
    Would you please write instructions for weaving the ketupat basket? I have photos of the process, but they aren’t detailed and the instructions are even less informative. These are the ketupat containers woven from two palm fronds.
    I look forward to your tutorial. Thank you.


    (June 26, 2005 - 8:50 pm)

    Kanani – I am sorry I have no idea how to make ketupats.

    […] Lorong Kulit is behind Jalan Dato’ Keramat TNB and the Penang Stadium. The morning market sells everything from stolen goods (or suspected to be), broken toys to antiques to fruits and vegetables at wholesale prices and lots of things. I have another post on Lorong Kulit in Penang Faces. […]

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