Penang is one of Malaysia’s most famous resort destinations. The state consists of Penang Island and a strip of the mainland known as Seberang Perai. Georgetown, its capital, is a fascinating metropolitan city with historical buildings and cultural landmarks. Penang is characterized by lovely beach resorts, old-world charm and colorful cultures. It is an island paradise in full blown and aptly hailed as the Pearl of the Orient. Penang’s northern shoreline, characterized by expensive stretches of golden sand and glittering waters, is a vacation spot for foreign and local visitors alike.
Batu Ferringhi, situated along the coastal road northwest of Georgetown, is the most popular beach in Penang. It is lined with a string of international-standard hotels and resorts.
Soak in the sun or unwind on the beach and enjoy a host of aquatic thrills from banana boat rides to canoeing and jet-skiing. For a spine-tingling adventure, try parasailing to enjoy the view of the beach from the sky.
As the sun sets, Batu Ferringghi 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 Ferringhi Walk, the bazaar offers shoppers a host of attractions.
Tanjung Bunga is another popular beach resort in Penang. The numerous luxury resorts here offer a relaxing seaside vacation. The most charming feature of Tanjung Bunga is its many secluded coves, nestled within the shelter of overhanging cliffs and gigantic rocks.
At the northwestern end of the coastal road lies Teluk Bahang. Its idyllic beach offers a solitary luxury hotel promising a tranquil ambience for those who prefer privacy. Nearby is the Tropical Spice Garden, a living collection of more than 500 varieties of flora from Malaysia and around the world. The eight-acre valley is reputedly the largest showcase of tropical herbs and spices in the region.
Further west from Teluk Bahang are several beaches which lie off the beaten track. Situated in Penang’s National Park, these pristine beaches make for excellent excursion to get a glimpse into the vast variety of the islands flora and fauna.
Monkey Beach, a secluded spot in the northwest of the island, is ideal for quiet picnics under shady casuarinas. Adventure lovers can explore the jungle trail from Monkey Beach to the Muka Head Lighthouse, perched atop a 785-feet-high cliff.
Further away, Kerachut Beach offers an unspoilt environment and picturesque views. In the hinterland, a lake containing distinct layers of freshwater and seawater is an added attraction. Both of these beaches are only accessible by boat or by hiking trails from Teluk Bahang. Enquire with the respective resorts or private boat operators. Avid birdwatchers or outdoor lovers can delight in taking the jungle trail to observe monkeys, squirrels and other small animals along the way.
Jerejak Island, off the island’s east coast, makes an interesting escapade. This tiny island resort offers total privacy amidst lush greenery.
To experience the charms of Penang, take a city tour for a glimpse into its nostalgic past. The Esplanade in Georgetown is a delightful seafront for an evening stroll. Distinctive landmark here is the Fort Cornwallis, erected by Captain Francis Light in the early 19th century. Hawker-style dining is the norm here and further up along Gurney Drive, a popular haunt for tourists.
Little India and Campbell Street delight with an endless assortment of bric-a-brac, souvenirs and antiques.
Getting To Penang
Penang Island is accessible by road via the Penang Bridge. A toll is levied on the mainland’s side of the bridge.
Malaysia Airlines operates direct air services to Penang from Singapore, Bangkok, Medan, Xiamen and Taipei. The airline also provides daily shuttle services between Kuala Lumpur and Penang. AirAsia flies to Penang from Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok.
KTM or Malayan Railway provides train services to Butterworth from Kuala Lumpur, Alor Star and Padang Besar, as well as from Haadyai and Bangkok in Thailand.
From Butterworth, ferry services are available for both passengers and vehicles. Fares are collected at the Butterworth terminal.
Please visit the following flick photostream for more beautiful pictures of Penang.
Location, Map and Driving Direction to Batu Ferringhi:
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