sunset over batu ferringhi beach with a parasailer

Batu Ferringhi Beach Penang | Honest Review & Photos 2024

I’m Wendy, and over the years, my family and I have visited Batu Ferringhi Beach, on the northern coast of Penang Island, Malaysia.

Batu Ferringhi is a vibrant tapestry of culture, cuisine, and adventure, seamlessly woven together to create a destination that appeals to most kinds of travellers. If you’re a thrill-seeker looking to paraglide over the emerald waters, a food enthusiast eager to taste the local street food, or simply someone seeking a tranquil spot to unwind with a good book under the shade of a palm tree, does Batu Ferringhi deliver?

Penang Airport to Batu Ferringhi

Batu Ferringhi is on the northern coast of Penang in Malaysia. The island is just off the mainland and accessible by bridge, ferry or plane. The flight from Kuala Lumpur is 45 minutes.

Upon arrival, we went straight to the taxi desk to arrange our taxi to Batu Ferringhi. The cost was RM85 and fitted in the four of us as well as our two large suitcases and hand luggage. The fares are set and paid for at the airport counter in return for a voucher to give to the driver. The journey took about an hour but it was scenic and our driver told us a bit about the island.

batu ferringhi beach in penang with a boat in the ocean and trees backing the beach

Batu Ferringhi Beach

The beach itself isn’t as nice as other beaches we have been to. There is a lot of pollution in the ocean from the number of water sports and plastic as well as jellyfish.

Sadly, the beach is eroding away and a creek runs through part of the beach, which can smell at times. The erosion has caused the beach itself to narrow too.

Efforts have been made to address and mitigate the impact of beach erosion at Batu Ferringhi. These include beach nourishment projects, where sand is artificially added to the beach to replace lost materials. Additionally, there are initiatives aimed at preserving and restoring natural vegetation along the coastline to help stabilize the beach.

The Penang state government and environmental organizations are actively involved in seeking sustainable solutions to protect Batu Ferringhi Beach and its surrounding natural beauty. These efforts are crucial for ensuring that the beach remains a vibrant and attractive destination for both locals and tourists in the years to come.

However, it’s still a lovely place to watch the sunset and the resorts that line the beach have first-class amenities.

paragliding in the ocean on batu ferringhi beach

Things To Do near Batu Ferringhi Beach

Water Sports

For thrill-seekers, the beach is a haven of water sports. From jet skiing and parasailing to banana boat rides, there’s no shortage of adrenaline-pumping experiences. The government cracked down on water sport operators due to the number of accidents on this beach. Boats are now required to use a winch for parasailing and operators can be suspended if they flout the rules.

Horseback Riding on the Beach

Along the beach, you will see horses taking tourists up and down the beach. There have been reports of scamming where visitors are told the ride is free but they’re not. Also, these animals are working for long hours in the heat – I do not support this, but I will let you make up your own mind.

resort restaurant overlooking batu ferringhi beach with a horse riding on the sand

The Night Market

As the sun sets, the famous Batu Ferringhi Night Market comes alive. This bustling bazaar stretches along the main road, just a stone’s throw from the beach. It’s a place where you can find everything from souvenirs and handmade crafts to local street food. Wandering through the market, haggling with vendors, and sampling local delicacies became a nightly ritual for me. The vibrant energy and colorful displays make for an unforgettable cultural experience.

Relaxation and Leisure

Batu Ferringhi Beach offers plenty of space to unwind. I’d often spend time just lounging, reading, and watching the world go by from the resort.

bars and restaurants along the beach at Batu Ferringhi Penang

Eating out in Batu Ferringhi

The food and dining options in and around Batu Ferringhi reflect the Malaysian cuisine, with influences from Malay, Chinese, Indian, and even international flavours.

Street Food

One of the highlights of our family trips to Batu Ferringhi has always been the exploration of local street food. The area comes alive in the evening, with vendors setting up stalls along the streets and the night market. From the aromatic Penang Laksa to the sizzling Char Kway Teow, each dish offers a burst of flavours that are distinctly Malaysian. A personal favorite of ours is the Satay, skewered and grilled meat served with a rich peanut sauce.

Beachfront Cafes and Restaurants

If you want a more relaxed dining experience, the main street is dotted with cafes and restaurants. These establishments serve a range of cuisines, from fresh seafood to Italian and Mediterranean dishes. Enjoying a meal as the sun sets over the horizon is a wonderful experience that adds to the charm of Batu Ferringhi.

Fine Dining Options

Batu Ferringhi is also home to several upscale restaurants located within the luxury resorts and hotels. These venues offer a more refined dining experience, featuring international menus curated by skilled chefs. Although we tend to favour the local street food and casual beachfront eateries, we have tried a couple of these fine dining establishments.

Local Markets and Food Courts

For an authentic taste of local life, the nearby markets are a must-visit. These bustling hubs offer an array of local dishes at affordable prices, allowing you to sample a variety of foods in one spot.

Culinary Tours and Cooking Classes

For those interested in diving deeper into the culinary culture of Penang, Batu Ferringhi and its surrounding areas offer culinary tours. These experiences provide insights into the ingredients and techniques behind the famous dishes of the region. Although we’ve yet to participate in a cooking class, it’s on our list for future visits, eager to bring a taste of Malaysia back home with us.

Dining in Batu Ferringhi is an adventure in itself, offering something for every palate. Whether you’re sampling street food, enjoying a beachfront meal, indulging in fine dining, or exploring local markets, the flavours of Batu Ferringhi are sure to leave a lasting impression.

sunset over the ocean at batu ferringhi beach

Best Time to Visit

Penang enjoys a tropical climate, meaning it’s warm year-round, but the best time to visit Batu Ferringhi is between November and February. Humidity rarely drops below 75% during the day and 65% during the night. September and October the most humid months when the humidity rises to the low 80’s%.

From November to February, the weather is cooler and drier, making it ideal for beach activities and exploring the area. We’ve found that visiting during the shoulder seasons can also be rewarding, with fewer crowds and often more comfortable temperatures.

We went in October and found it hard with young children getting around in the humidity. Even what we thought would be a short stroll up the road from the The Park Royal to The Hard Rock took a long time in the heat. We didn’t experience much rain though and, when it did, it was late evening.

Batu Ferringhi Accommodation

In Batu Ferringhi, the accommodation options are as diverse as the landscape, catering to the tastes and budgets of every traveller.

Batu Ferringhi is renowned for its high-end resorts along the coastline, offering guests unparalleled access to the beach. These resorts are comfortable and elegant, featuring spacious rooms with breathtaking sea views, multiple swimming pools, spa services, and on-site dining options that range from casual to gourmet.

One of our memorable stays was at The Park Royal, which was a blend of relaxation for us and entertainment for the children, making it a perfect family getaway.

For families seeking a home-away-from-home experience, vacation rentals and serviced apartments are available throughout Batu Ferringhi. These options offer more space, including multiple bedrooms, living areas, and sometimes even kitchen facilities, allowing for a more personalised and flexible stay. We found renting an apartment to be particularly convenient, giving us the freedom to prepare some of our meals and live at our own pace, all while enjoying the comfort and privacy of a personal space.


We spent most of our days by the hotel pool for half the day and sightseeing or shopping the other half. We hired a driver a couple of times to take us to Kek Lok Si Temple, Penang Hill, a tour around Georgetown and shopping at Gurney Plaza. The rates are very reasonable and our driver was very knowledgeable and reliable. His car was also new and had air conditioning which a lot of the taxis don’t!

Batu Ferringhi Beach Penang | Honest Review & Photos 2024

Tips for Visitors

Based on our family’s experiences, here are some tips for visitors to ensure you make the most of your visit to this beautiful destination.

Getting Around

Renting a car or scooter gives you the flexibility to explore Batu Ferringhi and the surrounding areas at your own pace. However, if you prefer not to drive, Grab (the Southeast Asian equivalent of Uber) is widely available and offers a convenient and affordable way to get around.

Safety Tips

Batu Ferringhi is generally safe, but like any tourist destination, it’s wise to stay vigilant, especially at night or when in crowded areas. Always keep an eye on your belongings, and be cautious when swimming, as currents can be strong. Applying sunscreen and staying hydrated are musts under the Malaysian sun. We’ve always reminded our daughters to stick together and have set meeting points whenever we’re in crowded places like the night market.

Money-Saving Tips

Eating at local food courts and street markets is not only a culinary adventure but also a way to save money. The food is delicious, authentic, and much cheaper than dining in restaurants. Additionally, many attractions in Batu Ferringhi and around Penang are free or have a minimal entrance fee, making it easy to enjoy the area without spending a lot. We’ve found that booking accommodations and activities online in advance can also lead to significant savings.

Packing Essentials

Lightweight clothing, a good sun hat, sunglasses, and a strong SPF sunscreen are essentials for Batu Ferringhi’s tropical climate. Don’t forget to pack swimwear, a beach towel, and sandals for the beach. If you plan on exploring the island’s attractions, comfortable walking shoes are a must. We always pack insect repellent and a basic first aid kit, just in case.

Cultural Respect

Malaysia is a multicultural country with a mix of Malay, Chinese, Indian, and indigenous cultures. Showing respect towards local customs and traditions is important. This includes dressing modestly when visiting temples and being mindful of local etiquette, such as removing shoes before entering someone’s home or a place of worship.

Pros & Cons

Batu Ferringhi Beach, like any travel experience, comes with its own set of pros and cons. Here’s an honest assessment based on my experience.


  • Stunning Natural Beauty: The beach itself is beautiful. Sunsets at Batu Ferringhi are particularly magical and something we look forward to on every visit.
  • Wide Range of Activities: Whether you’re into water sports, exploring night markets, or just lounging on the beach, there’s something for everyone.
  • Delicious Culinary Experiences: The food in Batu Ferringhi, and Penang in general, is a highlight. The mix of Malay, Chinese, and Indian cuisines means every meal is an adventure. The street food and night market have been particular favourites, offering authentic tastes at affordable prices.


  • Beach Erosion: Over the years, we’ve noticed the effects of beach erosion, which can detract from the beach’s natural beauty and reduce the amount of usable beach space. This is a concern that we hope will be addressed more effectively in the future.
  • Crowds During Peak Season: Batu Ferringhi can get quite crowded, especially during school holidays and festive periods. This can lead to crowded beaches, long waits at restaurants, and a generally busier atmosphere. We’ve found that visiting during off-peak times offers a more relaxed experience.
  • Environmental Impact: The development and pollution associated with tourism can impact the natural beauty and cleanliness of the area. We’ve noticed efforts to address this, but it remains a concern.

My Thoughts

Batu Ferringhi Beach offers a blend of relaxation, adventure, and culture. While there are drawbacks, as with any popular tourist spot, the positives have outweighed the negatives for us. With mindful planning and an awareness of the potential cons, a visit to Batu Ferringhi can be a great experience.

Have you been to Penang? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments.

Want to know more about Penang? Read the following guides for more information.

inside Feringgi Grill michelin restaurant in Batu Ferringhi penang

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