The name Batu Ferringhi historically attests Penang’s brushes with several different foreign powers. They include the British, the Dutch and the Portuguese. Ferringhi also derived from the foreign language to refer to ‘foreigners’.
Popularly known as ‘Foreigners Rock’, Batu Ferringhi holds the distinction of being one of the most frequently visited tourist spots in Penang. Penang is the second smallest state in Malaysia after Perlis and it is situated on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia by the Strait of Malacca.
The sun kissed Batu Ferringhi which is located along the coastal road north west of George Town, has a rich cultural heritage with splendid culinary amusement and shopping grandeur.
Batu Ferringhi attractions
Although Batu Ferringhi beach may not be as gorgeous as Lang Tengah beach on the east coast islands of Malaysia, nevertheless, Batu has a lot more conveniences a visitor should want – an easy and hassle free holiday is assured here.
A great variety of shops, restaurants, cafes, convenient stores, mobile phone shops and souvenir shops can be found near the beach. A combination of a great location, easy access, ample accommodation facilities make Batu Ferringhi a sure-fire choice for a holiday.
Malay and Chinese fishing villages with affectionate and sociable people invite the tourists visiting Batu Ferrangi. Exotic hotels and restaurants with mouth watering delicacies make this beach a perfect choice for a pleasant holiday destination with family and friends.
An adventure zoo with indoor playground and drop slides, a Toy museum which is Asia’s first and World’s largest are located in Batu Ferrangi.
The Muka Head Lighthouse provides a fantastic view of the ocean to the enthusiastic visitor.
Other than the beach, Batu Ferringhi is shoppers’ delight. A sidewalk bazaar, which opens at 6 pm daily and remains open until midnight should enthuse tourists.
The host of shops with various items from elaborate knick-knacks to memorable gifts, intricate work of art and batik paintings are popular with buyers from abroad.
Traders and buyers can be seen negotiating for best bargain deals for a great variety of items on sale from imitation designer T shirts to fashion jewelry to colorful buoys and fragile exotic curios.
Plenty of trishaw ply the length of the Batu Ferringhi sidewalk bazaar and they can ferry the tourist to the desired destination after the side walk shopping is completed.
Places like Pasar Malam road sell clothes, fabrics, souvenirs, electronic items, watches, DVDs and CDs at very economical prices. Whereas shopping complexes in George Town – the Komtar, Pranging Mall etc, are bound to cost more.
Batu Ferringhi resorts and hotels
There are several large resorts like Rasa Sayang, Golden Sands, Park Royal and Bay view among others in Batu Ferringhi for tourists to stay in comfort. Batu Ferringhi is quite an old fishing hamlet and there are backpackers’ guesthouses of Ah Beng, Baba’s and Ali’s with relaxing open air café and garden and good rooms for the discerning. Guest houses facing the sea are popular.
The hotel rates at Batu Ferringhi are quite expensive. Hawker centers should be less costly but noisy. There are quite a few economic hotels as well and they include Tanjon Bungah, Copthorne Orchid, and Paradise Sandy Bay. Family hotels like Golden Sand have a number of social activity programs with several swimming pools. Restaurants located on the coast for about 3 km include House of Kampong, Deep Sea and The Last Drop, all lined up side by side. Visit Batu Ferringhi.
In sharp contrast to George Town, which is predominantly Chinese, Batu Ferringhi has mixed ethnicity of residents with lots of Malay and Chinese fishing villages. This can be seen in the sidewalk shops; run by people of all races.
An incredible range of cuisine from popular Western spreads to Mediterranean specialties and hearty German meals abound on the coastline of Batu Ferrangi. A large variety of snacks are sold in street side stalls - a popular weekend retreat for local visitors.
June is the ideal time to visit Batu Ferringhi beach so that the tourist does not miss out on all the fun during the weeklong Penang Beach Carnival. This annual carnival held in Batu Ferringhi features food promotions, cultural shows, and fashion parades, and cuisine fares, inviting and interesting with loads of fun for western tourists.
Batu Ferringhi is a great place for sidewalk shopping; but remember to bargain for the best price. Never pay the first price quoted by the vendor. The street vendors are usually good natured when it comes to bargaining. Perhaps the best way to get to Batu Ferringhi beach is by taxi; for buses are infrequent and it is not practical to cycle in hot weather.
Since Penang enjoys tropical rainforest climate, Batu Ferringhi is quite warm and sunny combined with abundant rainfall.