Batu Ferringhi, situated along the coastal road north-west of Georgetown and lined with a string of five-star resorts, is the most popular beach in Penang, and probably the single most heavily developed stretch of tourist resorts in Malaysia.
The beach itself is quite good, thought not up there with Malaysia’s best and the water is not of the tropically clear variety you might expect. The beach is kept clean, even on weekends when hordes of day-trippers visit. While the scenery and the beaches have undeniably suffered under the assault of all that concrete, there are still miles of white sand and palm trees left.
Soak in the sun or unwind on the beach while you enjoy a host of aquatic thrills from wind-surfing to canoeing.
Watersports are on the agenda for many visitors, although the waters are a bit too murky for scuba diving and a bit too calm for surfing or more extreme pursuits. For a spine-tingling adventure, try parasailing to enjoy the view of the beach from the sky.
Bathing areas are often cordoned off by floating buoys to protect swimmers from speeding jet-skis and water-skiers.
Jellyfish, particularly at rainy times, can be a problem. Beware of that! If stung, apply vinegar and if you experience chest pain, consider seeing the doctor for something to combat the allergic reaction.
Sunbathe on the beach or enjoying the foot or body massage could be also a good idea to rest and relax.
As the sun sets, Batu Ferringhi comes alive with a carnival-like atmosphere with an open-air bazaar selling anything from ornate curios to enticing souvenir items. Watch local artisans demonstrate the intricate art of craft-making and batik-painting. Dubbed the Feringghi Walk, the Pasar Malam (or bazaar) offers shoppers a host of attractions.
Depending on your budgets, a number of souvenir shops, restaurants, bars and discos are also promising an unforgettable experiences. There’s some great food to be found too.
Fierce competition has kept the hotel prices low as well. You can easily find a dozen or so international-standard joints, and many more down the grades. Batu Ferringhi has a several large resort, like Rasa Sayang, Golden Sands, Park Royal, Bayview etc. It looks like a new village, but it’s very old. It used to be a kampong with a little fishing village. If you want to see a part of this old village you have to turn right when you have passed the Park Royal. Here you’ll find the backpackers guesthouses of Ah Beng, Baba’s, and the best place, Ali’s, which has a relaxing open-air cafe and garden, and better rooms than the other ones. The guesthouses are facing the sea. Visit Penang Hotels for more information.
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.
The main road runs more or less straight along the coast for 3km, on which all the hotels, tourist shop, internet cafe’s, motorcycle rental offices and restaurants (House of Kampong, Deep Sea or The Last Drop e.o.), are lined up side by side. In the centre you’ll find the Telekom office, post office, police station and clinic.
How to get there:
You can get to Batu Ferringhi by taxi, car or bus. It takes a thirty-minute bus ride west of Georgetown on Transitlink #202 or Transitlink air-con #93.
There is no bus straight from the airport (Bayan Lepas) to Batu Ferringhi. A taxi ride will cost you RM60.- You’ll have to buy a coupon for the taxi when leave the arrival hall after collecting your luggage.
Butterfly Farm : More than just a tourist attraction, it is set up as a ‘live museum’ to educate the public as well as a research centre to develop breeding methods. The farm houses about 4000 Malaysian butterflies of 120 different species, including most famouse in Malaysia the Rajah Brooke’s Bird wing of the Papilionidae family. The farm also exhibits dead-leaf mantis, orchid mantis and Trogonoptera.
Muka Head Lighthouse: is located at the northwestern cape of the Penang island, this impressive lighthouse serves as a beacon to sailors and ships in the region. The tower, while not as accessible as other structures on the island, offers spectacular ocean views. There is 2 ways to reach the site: taking boat from Teluk Bahang jetty or climb over the hills by foot.
Toy Museum: This is the latest attraction in Penang, located at in front of Copthrone Orchid Hotel. Rank as Asia’s first and World’s largest toy museum, the owner Ir Loh Lean Cheng spends his 30 years to collect over 100,000 toys, dolls, models and other fun collections. The vast collection includes characters from cartoons, comics, computer games, sports, movies, novels, shows and the music world. Dozens of amazingly realistic, life-size figures add to the Fun.
Tropical Fruit Farm: In this 25-acre tropical fruit farm, about 200 types of tropical and sub-tropical fruits are planted. Durian, the King of Fruits, despite their odour, are undeniably rich, sweet and creamy. There is a shuttle bus service that picking visitors from few hotels to the farm and vise versa.