Penang is known for its nutmeg products, and Chowrasta Market is the best place to pick them up. You can find nutmeg in many forms here – fresh, pickled, as an oil etc.
I frequently purchase the oils as gifts for family and friends as nutmeg oil has therapeutic benefits, like providing stress relief and easing indigestion (Google it)!
While you’re there, don’t forget to make a trip to the second floor to discover a whole row of used bookshops with an inventory that will surprise you. I can spend a long time here just browsing through the titles.
For the most action, I recommend visiting the market during the first half of the day.
All sorts of local preserved fruits to try, like papaya, mango, and of course nutmeg.
This market is also great for shopping on a budget. Plus, you get to interact with friendly shopkeepers too!
The second-hand book stores here are amazing. They stock all sorts of books, sometimes even titles that you cannot find at bookstores. The booksellers here keep the shelves well-organised, and even have all the titles in their heads!
Bonus – if you visit Chowrasta early in the day, pop by to Kedai Kopi Baru, a coffee shop next door that opens only in the a.m. for your morning kopi.