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Batu Feringgi Beach Regeneration /Modernization

Nottingham, United...
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Batu Feringgi Beach Regeneration /Modernization
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We travelled to Batu Ferringhi many times and on our last visit in 2019, we realized the area around Batu Feringgi Beach, look a little 'tired' and not in the best condition. It didnt have the same buzz as we remember in our trips 15-20 years ago.

We were advised some regeneration of Batu Feringgi Beach was due to take place (new shops, indoor malls, better side walks). Can anyone verify if this has been completed? Has the area been developed or is it still the same?

We would love to visit in Summer 2022, on the basis it has changed for the better.

26 replies to this topic
Bain Boeuf
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for Penang, Penang Island, George Town, Tanjung Bungah, Batu Ferringhi
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1. Re: Batu Feringgi Beach Regeneration /Modernization
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You do know that since your last visit we’ve had Covid here? It put paid to a lot of plans and dreams.

There had been some desultory building of a new wet market ( but too expensive rent wise to attract much interest), the Holiday Inn has closed, the I Love You food court has closed and is in the process of being demolished for a new hotel complex and shops ( which may or may not get built), much of the beach got washed away but otherwise Batu Ferringhi looks just as tatty as it always has!

Until the travel restrictions for domestic tourists were lifted recently, Batu Ferringhi was beginning to resemble a Wild West film set - you could almost see the tumble weed blowing down the main road. Since then domestic tourists have been back in droves, with almost 100% occupancy of hotels at times. Some hotels, and the Rasa Sayang is one, have been rebuilding their beach fronts with massive boulders to stop further sea erosion. There is still some beach, just perhaps not as much as previously. However the beach boys are still selling water sports.

The pavements are once again being taken over by the night market vendors, but there aren’t quite as many vendors as before which is probably no bad thing. Once you’d seen the wares on 6 stalls you’d seen the complete range of what was on offer. Quite a few vendors found more lucrative employment elsewhere and a lot of the Thai workers went home. However the state of the pavements hasn’t changed and due to the narrow road can’t really have much done to them.

Quite a lot of the existing shops and restaurants are now targeting the Middle Eastern visitors. It’s surprising how much Arabic you now see on the frontages.

Due to the Pandemic Entopia was forced to close but is due to reopen soon. The Tropical Spice Garden had a financial crisis and appealed for donations to try and stay open. Most of the other places you probably remember have survived - Frandys, Bora Bora, Andrew’s, etc. kept going throughout. Lebanon opened up a new restaurant and Starbucks remained open.

There is a new road planned to go up to Batu Ferringhi, but I think it’s the 3rd or 4th version of such plans that I’ve seen in about the last 20 years. It is however desperately needed as the traffic now is back to the old days pre Covid with the road in and out of Batu Ferringhi jammed with out station cars from Kuala Lumpur and other places on the mainland.

Not sure if this is what you want to hear or not!

Nottingham, United...
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2. Re: Batu Feringgi Beach Regeneration /Modernization
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Thanks for your comprehensive response. Our family had gotten used to the slightly dated appearance that Battu Ferenghi had to offer. But your ‘ Wild West ‘ comment makes me wonder if it’s gone even further back in time!

Not sure if my family would enjoy it as they once used to. To you ur point about night market selling same wares, I quite enjoyed the buzz those markets offered . Having less night markets would make that entire road very quiet and slightly eerie. I can’t believe the holiday inn closed down!

I would love take my family back to Penang and relive some fond memories. But I worry that we would be disappointed with our trip.

Bain Boeuf
Destination Expert
for Penang, Penang Island, George Town, Tanjung Bungah, Batu Ferringhi
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18,957 posts
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3. Re: Batu Feringgi Beach Regeneration /Modernization
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I think that going back to anywhere can always be disappointing - nowhere stays the same.

Until recently, when interstate travel was allowed and all the KL visitors came flooding back, Batu Ferringhi was basically completely shut up. With no visitors, it was not worth any restaurant or hawker centre opening up. Hence it looked like a deserted wild west town!

I've see as many people love Batu Ferringhi as hate it, so it really comes down to what your family like and want. I'm guessing the Anghsana and Bahang Bay hotels further up in Teluk Bahang were not open when you were here last? If your children (assuming you have some) want to spend a jot of time at Escape they're better placed hotels.

Just make sure you avoid any of the Malaysian School holidays and festival dates if you're coming in summer 2022 otherwise you'll spend your time cursing traffic. It has certainly got worse since you were last here.

Bristol UK
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4. Re: Batu Feringgi Beach Regeneration /Modernization
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Interesting reading through these posts as I am hoping to get back to Malaysia possibly in 2023. I stayed with my parents in the Lone Pine in Batu Ferringhi as a teenager in the 1960s. My memories of it are of a fairly quiet place with a nice beach. I went back in the late 1980s and it was more developed but not massively. Reading through other posts it seems that the Lone Pine is quite highly rated. It looks as though it has retained some of its character? I haven't made up my mind yet - sometimes it is, as you say, PaperStoneScissors better to keep your memories. I certainly didn't recognise our old area just outside Malacca when I visited in 2011. Are there any quiet traditional type beach areas in Penang or would it better to go somewhere like the Perhentian Islands.

Bain Boeuf
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for Penang, Penang Island, George Town, Tanjung Bungah, Batu Ferringhi
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18,957 posts
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5. Re: Batu Feringgi Beach Regeneration /Modernization
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“are there any quiet traditional type beach areas”

Yes, but not with hotels!

If you’re just interested in a good hotel with a quiet beach and no food shacks/hawker carts/night market stalls then have a look at the Angsana in Teluk Bahang.

The east coast of Malaysia is also getting quite busy these days so it’s difficult to know if you’ll be disappointed over there too. The Perhentian Islands and Pulau Redang have retained some charm but hotels are springing up.

Have you considered Pangkor Island? Lots of inexpensive accommodation there if that’s what you want.

Bristol UK
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6. Re: Batu Feringgi Beach Regeneration /Modernization
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Thanks PSS. The Angsana looks good - I would have to check out the price. I will have a look at Pangkor - yes inexpensive would be better and somewhere to stay is essential as I am long past the age of sleeping on the the beach! The Malaysia of my memories in the 1960s of sleepy kampongs, rice padis, bullock carts and towns with very little traffic is long gone. I visited the East Coast in the 1980s and it was still very traditional but that was a long time ago. I will have to look into it carefully. I have time to do that as I won't be booking a long haul trip until 2023 as things are too uncertain.

Scotland, United...
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7. Re: Batu Feringgi Beach Regeneration /Modernization
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I like to throw my tuppence worth in now and then and know that PSS is a local expert on Penang Island. I read his advice 3 years ago past November when we had 2 short visits to Penang Island, too and from Bali where the 2nd visit was to BF for 4 days staying at the Holiday Inn Resort on the beach. We were happy with the facilities in the hotel and hawker centres near by. What does PSS think of the hotel now that we stayed in 3 years ago?

Nottingham, United...
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8. Re: Batu Feringgi Beach Regeneration /Modernization
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Thanks to everyone for their responses.

So where can a family go longing for that ‘ battu ferrenghi’ feel, but without the Wild west sort of image? Looking for good hotels , clean beach , night market , good food etc

Scotland, United...
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9. Re: Batu Feringgi Beach Regeneration /Modernization
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The Tree Monkey restaurant is a short bus ride from BF and if timed right the kids might witness local monkeys visiting from the trees above.

Bain Boeuf
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for Penang, Penang Island, George Town, Tanjung Bungah, Batu Ferringhi
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10. Re: Batu Feringgi Beach Regeneration /Modernization
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@ John m, the Holiday Inn closed over a year ago and is sitting empty. The Tree Monkey restaurant at the Tropical Spice Garden suffered the same fate but the owners now run Chilli Head at Straits Quay

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