Penang's Famed Beaches
Penang's northern shoreline is famous for its beautiful beaches of golden sand and deep blue seas. The Tanjung Bungah, Batu Ferringhi and Teluk Bahang beaches offer expansive stretches of glittering sand interspersed with secluded coves within the shelter of gigantic rocks. It is along this famous coastline that resorts of international standard have sprouted up, offering a host of water-based recreational facilities.
If you crave for privacy, head for Teluk Duyung, Monkey Beach, Pantai Keracut and Pantai Mas accessible via the trails in the Pantai Acheh Forest Reserve from Teluk Bahang. The Pasir Panjang Beach at the southwestern tip of the island is a good clean stretch for swimming and can be reached after a 25-minute hike over hilly land from Betong.
Batu Ferringhi Beach (Northern Coast of Penang Island)A little further along the coast towards Georgetown, Batu Ferringhi (Foreigner's Rock) is a resort strip lined with big hotels, tourist shops, restaurants and car and motorcycle rental offices. They are also plenty of moneychangers to welcome you.
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.
Batu Ferringhi has the drawbacks of a large resort, it can be crowded and much of the greenery has been replaced by concrete, but also the advantages (plenty of restaurants, watering holes and recreation facilities). It has quite a lively resort feel, and there is a good night markets on the main road selling trinkets. The big hotels offer good deals at times and cheaper accommodation is available if you want a few days by the beach.
Tanjung Bungah Beaches
The closest beach to George Town is Tanjung Bungah beach. The shoreline here is packed with lush greenery and dotted with large boulders. You can also sunbathe in the shadow of the overhanging cliffs.
The ocean view at Tanjung Bungah beach is said to be one of the best on the island! Even better yet, visitors do not need to forgo luxury while visiting Tanjung Bungah? beach as there are many world-class resorts and hotels here.
Teluk Bahang Beach
Beautiful sunsets grace the beach of Teluk Bahang--Bay of Embers--where the rustic kampung (village) charms is exemplified by an intact fishing village rumbling with life. Chickens, dogs, cats and children frolic around and under the stilted attap houses and a jetty stretches some distance into the sea to welcome home the fishermen and their day's catch. A rare quixotic scene comes alive at the twinkle of an eye, otherwise found only in the best canvasses of Penang's thriving arts trade. At the distal end this idyllic beach, the paradisiacal Mutiara Beach Resort takes physical domicile.
Fishing, water sports and jungle trekking are some of the popular activities of holiday-makers on the island. Places of interest, each with their own fascinating story to tell, await the exploration of the adventurous.
Places of Interest
Some stones resembling gold were once found at "Telaga Emas". This well is unique because it never runs dry even during the worst drought and its water continue to remain fresh even when mixed with sea water. "Batu Perompak" literally means "Pirate's Rock" and in the olden days it was the haunt of pirates who plundered the waters around the island.
There is also an old grave at the top of the hill near Batu Perompak which is believed to be the final resting place of a pirate chief called Panglima Garang. Near the beach of Pulau Gedong is "Gua Lanun" or "Pirates' Cave" where pirates sheltered and hoarded their loot.
Pulau Jerejak (Jerejak Island)
Jerejak Island or Pulau Jerejak, as it is locally known, is an islet located off the island of Penang, Malaysia. A virtually undisturbed island graced with the rich diversity of 362ha of over 210 species of flora and fauna. Towering tropical trees, lingering lianas and exotic orchids prove to be shelters to some of the most remarkable living creatures, such as the Monitor Lizard and the White-Bellied Sea Eagle. Pulau Jerejak has a unique flora and fauna and is home to a certain species of the sea eagle which has chosen to roost on the island.
The island also boasts of an ancient emerald environment, older than the equatorial forests of the Amazon, thus producing a marvelous ecosystem that is both inspiring and engaging. Equally intriguing is the island's history as a penal colony - a mystical touch to the surrounding pristine nature.
Pulau Jerejak is only minutes away from Penang city life yet tucked away among the magnificence of a lush tropical rainforest; also known as the "virgin jungle" island as it is one of the few remaining preserves of primary forest in Malaysia.