Batu Ferringhi

Along the sandy strip of Batu Ferringhi

Batu Ferringhi is a beach town in Penang, Malaysia. Together with the nearby beach town of Tanjung Bungah and the local fishing village of Teluk Bahang, make up the northern coast of Pulau Pinang.

Understand

Probably the single most heavily developed stretch of tourist resorts in the entire country, the scenery and the beaches have undeniably suffered under the assault of all that concrete. Still, while the beaches aren't the best in Malaysia, there are still miles of white sand and palm trees left. Fierce competition keeps hotel prices low and there's some great food to be found too. Also a notable fact making the decision to visit Batu Ferringhi an easier one is, that the more you approach to the west, the less the touristisation has infected the beaches. Beaches near the famous night-market are very nice, though with less than perfect water quality because of the extensive powered water sports and infestations of jellyfish.

Orientation

From east to west (that is, moving further 'out' from George Town and the airport), the main beaches are Tanjung Bungah, Batu Ferringhi proper, and Teluk Bahang.

Get in

From Kuala Lumpur, a 45 minute flight to Penang Airport, or several hours by bus or car. On Penang Island (and neighbouring Butterworth), Penang's Rapid Transit bus system is very efficient, with a fleet of modern buses (some even have free wi-fi). It's possible to catch a bus all the way to Batu Ferringhi from the airport, or you might have to go to the central transport hub, Komtar in Georgetown, first. Bus drivers are usually quite helpful. Taxis are the alternative - they almost never use the meter, so negotiate a price first.

Get around

Taxis trawl up and down the windy roads of the north coast. Fares are negotiable but tourists will have a hard time getting anywhere for less than RM 15. Most hotels have shuttle services too. Penang Rapid Transit buses are fairly regular till about 11PM, plying the route from Georgetown through Tanjung Bungah, Batu Ferringhi to Teluk Bahang. One bus route goes down the western coast from Teluk Bahang, but with an average frequency of 2 hours at best, and reputedly can't be relied on. 7-day Rapid Transit Passport cards (30RM) give unlimited travel, though are available from limited locations including Komtar and the airport (see website for complete details). Rapid Transit has a useful iPhone app, which is linked to GPS-equipped buses to estimate arrival of buses at a bus stop. Bus stops can be unmarked, so ask a local.

See

Do

Festivals

Buy

Eat

Butter Prawns from a hawker in Batu Feringhi

There are plenty of places to eat all around, although discerning gourmands might want to explore less watered-down Malaysian cuisine in George Town.

One option worth a special trip are the seafood restaurants at the pier of Teluk Bahang, at the northwestern tip of the island, past the hotels and the little village. The famed "End of the World" has closed, but quite a few have sprung up to take its place.

For families, or those who just want to get out of the resort, you can't go past the hawker centres and fresh fruit stalls on the side of the road. At the hawker centres the kids can pick and choose what they like from the different shops, you just pay the bill when it is delivered to your table. For best results, stick with the Asian cuisines, the attempts at Western food are not worth eating.

Drink

Fresh juice at the hawker centre about halfway through the markets. At RM2 each, these are a bargain and there are many different combinations, helpful if you are travelling with fussy kids!

Sleep

There are lots of options with rack rates above RM500, but only in peak season (notably Christmas/New Year) will you have to pay this much. The cheaper places charge around RM50.

Budget

Almost all backpacker accommodation, in the form of local guest houses opposite the beach past the Parkroyal Resort has been destroyed and it's really difficult to find some cheap bed. A simple room with a fan begin at around RM15-60 per night, it is some times cheaper to sleep in Georgetown (also much more services and better local meals) and travel back and forth by public bus. If arriving by bus get off at the post office and walk down to the beach.

Offering fully furnished units with basic amenities for rental.

Mid-range

Splurge

Go next

There is still plenty more of Penang to visit, simply hop on one of the local Rapid Penang buses and explore.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, September 02, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.