Gurney Drive hawkers happy with holiday crowd


Crowds enjoying their meals at the hawker centre during a recent school holiday weekend.

AFTER being in the doldrums for two years, the Anjung Gurney hawker centre in Gurney Drive, Penang, is starting to see the return of crowds.

During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, the popular hawker joint was silent, with many stalls virtually deserted.

Filepic of hawkers waiting for customers at the deserted Anjung Gurney hawker centre in Penang in November 2020. Filepic of hawkers waiting for customers at the deserted Anjung Gurney hawker centre in Penang in November 2020.

Now, tables start filling up by sundown as holidaymakers and locals stop to enjoy a vast variety of street fare.

Many hawkers can be seen doing brisk business throughout the night.

An apom seller, who wanted to be known only as Ang, said things had improved significantly for vendors here since the relaxation of Covid-19 rules and the reopening of borders.

“Over long weekends, we can get about 80% of the business we used to enjoy before the pandemic began.

“However, it will take a long while for things to return to pre-pandemic times, if ever,” said the 64-year-old who has been operating here for almost 30 years.

A drinks seller in his 40s, known as Ah Loon, said holiday periods brought a lot of tourists, which was good for the hawkers.

“Though business is not the same as before, at least we can still make some profit,” he said.

Technician Hamzah Bakri, 37, who was visiting with his wife and two children, could not get enough of Penang’s street food.

“It’s good to have so many choices,” he said. – By JEREMY TAN

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