Batu Ferringhi – Malaysia’s urban Resortbeach on Penang Island

Written by Frank on November 26th, 2009

© Frank P. Schneidewind




Batu Ferringhi nestles on the northern section of Penang Island and is viewed by Penangnites as a Suburb of Georgetown. It’s sandy shores attract a multitude of visitors, although it is hidden from the pathes and views of most tourists, which come to this place for it’s vibrant nightlife and multitude of ethnic cousines. Penang in Malaysia is dominated by liberal people of all backgrounds, religious beliefs and the mix works fine here, it all seems to operate friction free.

Batu Ferringhi is their closest weekend getaway and you may not be able to find a room on the beach on popular long weekends or holidays. Several Kilometer of fine sand beach never escape unnoticed in the world anymore, the long and winding road from Georgetown and it’s traffic proove that fact. This beach also doubles as one of the least expensive ocean playgrounds for all sorts of watersport activities. Parasailing is a big winner with the guests here and so is Jetski rental, Bananaboat riding and horseback fun on the beach.

The “flying” adventure on a chute, dragged behind a powerful sportboat is still much less costly here, than in the “developed” resorts like Phuket or Samui further up north in Thailand. We liked to bring friends and family here for their inauguration into a fun sport called “Parasailing” in the past and they all got a real kick out of this attraction for the brave. Melona did her first flight here years ago and she still treasures the memory of it.

ATV’s or Quads can be rented too, there is hardly a limit on the options. Sun seekers or visitors out for a tan on a blanket do not need to go anywhere else for their share of the free fun.

The parasailing operators have first class imported (not copied!) gear, and in all our years there we have never seen an accident or real bad landing. The operators instruct all participants well across any language barriers and people in Malaysia do have a real command of English, not just a handfull of snapped up words in their repertoire. Another feature, which is very beneficial to most visitors.

Safety features are explained, a life-vest is mandatory here, no wild rocks may disturb soft sand landings as well.

Melonas dad before the first flight on a chute of his life, a real brave man.

Some untangling has to be executed before take off. This beach has plenty of room for everybody, nobody feels bothered by this here.

Take off requires a wind filled chute and a few quick steps towards the tugging boat, clear signals on what to do are given as well.

Take off happens with dry feet, the speed of the boat and the aerodynamics of the chute quickly deploy the flyer into the air.

A long line secures the set-up and the boat operators do their business with the needed professionalism, no doped beach-bums here in the market for some quick tourist cash.

Turns have been jacked up in price recently, the arrivals of the uninformed first mass tourists here have begun to taint the fun for others. Just like in any other place in Southeastasia, the dreaded mass tourists spoil long established prices with their readiness to fork over inflated prices. Those, who have first-hand witnessed the developments in Pattaya, Jomtien, Phuket or Samui know exactly, what I’m talking about here.

The horses for rent offered here are real horses, not the ponies or donkeys as at other locations in Asia. Melona and I used to like to exchange our bike for a real horse here to do our beloved beachcruises. But that was again before the arrival of the dreaded mass-tourists, which now wave 50 Ringgit bills (500 Baht) for a few minutes on horseback. 20 Ringgit was all we were asked for in the old days (2005-2007) for a nice 30 minute ride.

Rides are now guided by the horseboys, the dawn of Hotels to cater for the richer here has chased many cheap Guesthouses away, whole groups of them make room at once for megaroom resorts. We still go there to see it, when in Penang – as the public bus still takes us for 3 Ringgit to that nice beach. Not the old KGN diesel stinkers anymore, but super decked-out DeLuxe cityliners with great seating and WiFi on board! Komtar Tower is the starting point, look for bus number 201 and have the fare available in coins or small bills.

Hard Rock Hotel and Cafe is somewhat spectacular, but the owners of this and our readers deserve a serperate and exclusive SIAMPEDIA report, which again will be unbiased as with all our writeups. So expect a lengthy photo review, which shows a great pool concept but doesn’t shy away from some deserved criticism as well!

Another SIAMPEDIA report is featuring Penang the City  –  Penang, “The Pearl of the Orient” – George Town, Malaysia


1 Comments so far ↓

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