Translated by SOONG PHUI JEE
Guang Ming Daily
After centuries of changes, Kuala Kurau remains a quiet small fishing village. Like a dividing line, the Kurau river separates the village from the opposite shore, leaving it with its unique style and features.
It was said that the Kurau fishing village was an alluvial plain in the early years and it gradually turned into a large mangrove swamp rich in marine biological resources. The village was named after a fish species from the Indian Ocean called "Kurau".
Instead of bustling and flourishing, the small village is relaxing and calm.
Old coffee shop a witness of history
There is a traditional coffee shop which has opened for business since August 31, 1957 in Kurau. It is a witness of the country's independence, as well as the village's changes. There was another coffee shop adjacent to it, which was formerly a cinema.
A cross-over bridge for bicycles and pedestrians could be found nearby to facilitate those who wish to cross the Kurau river. Before the bridge was built, people relied merely on ferry services which started its operation in 1933. The ferry services became part of history after finishing its last trip in the evening of April 30, 2007.
Before the Penang's free port status was abolished, a port and a Customs office were built to facilitate the cargo discharge and taxation. The vast and deep Kurau river was a main transportation artery filled with all kinds of vessels bringing out local products and bringing necessities.
Commercial activities and vigorous inland transportation development attracted villagers to do business along the main street and the population surged after some residents from the opposite shore moved into Kurau. The street was then divided into three parts, with the middle part occupied by mostly Teochew people and the last part occupied by mostly Hokkien people.
Popular spots for wedding photography
The magnificent Kurau Bridge is another attraction of the village. It is a curved bridge connecting Kurau and the opposite shore.
In recent years, the Kurau Bridge and the Ban Pecah have become popular spots for wedding photography.
Standing on the Kurau Bridge, traditional floating houses built along the coastline could be seen, as well as fishing boats and fish farms.
The Ban Pecah, meanwhile, is a good place to enjoy sunset.
Many years ago, the coast was covered with mangroves but deforestation had led to ecological imbalance and a vast mangrove swamp was swallowed by the sea. Inland rice fields also disappeared due to sea erosion.
To curb sea erosion, the government piled large stones along the coastline and the abrasion prevention measure has later become a good place to enjoy sunset, the rhythm of waves, and fishing.