Batu Ferringhi Georgetown Penang

Georgetown, once a significant part of the British Colony, boasts a plethora of eighteenth-century buildings that exude rich decor and offer a glimpse into its vibrant historical background. The diverse array of mosques, churches, and temples scattered across the city showcase its unique and blended heritage.

Georgetown is an approximately 280 km drive from Kuala Lumpur. The drive is pretty straight on the freeway. However, it is advisable to take a break at Ipoh and explore a bit of Perak before going up to Penang. Ipoh lies approximately halfway between Georgetown and Kuala Lumpur.

Georgetown Historical Quarters

The Northern-Eastern Tip of Georgetown boasts a wealth of historical buildings and architecture that offer a peek into the island's illustrious past. Renowned for its beauty and historical significance, this area is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Spanning the region south and east of Lebuh Farquhar, Lebuh Cinta, and Lebuh Melayu, visitors will find themselves navigating through a labyrinth of streets lined with well-preserved shop-houses that bear the marks of time.


Georgetown's central area is well-connected by the CAT Shuttle, offering a complimentary journey through the city's historical districts, from the colonial quarter and Lebuh Mintri to Jalan Penang and Kotmar Building.

For those looking to delve into the vibrant Peranakan and Colonial heritage while discovering hidden gems like bars and cafes, staying in the Historical Quartes is ideal. This location provides convenient access to iconic sites such as striking murals, the Peranakan Mansion, Clan Jetties, and the Kotmar Building, perfect for capturing Instagram-worthy moments.

Strolling along the charming streets of the old town allows you to fully immerse yourself in the captivating cultural tapestry of this remarkable Malaysian destination.

Historical Eastern & Oriental Hotel in Penang

Stay at Eastern & Oriental Hotel Penang to experience the bygone colonial era richly preserved in the architecture and decor of the hotel. At the entrance, you are greeted by a guard in a Khaki outfit similar to that worn by the doorman when the hotel was first opened. Quietly nestled on the waterfront, it commands a great view all the way to Gurney Drive. At night time it turns into the heart of activity as No.1 Penang Street is just across the road. Beautiful lights adorn the street while music from Slippery Senoritas fills the air. 


Famous personalities such as Rita Hayworth, Rudyard Kipling, and Joseph Conrad have graced this hotel with their presence, leaving their mark on its rich history. Adorning the hall room are captivating images of Hollywood celebrities, adding a touch of glamour to the ambiance. Indulge in a delightful array of local and continental cuisine at the charming cafes and restaurants within the premises.

At Sarkies, savor a delectable lunch menu and a lavish buffet dinner offering priced at approximately RM 100. Additional facilities include the elegant Farquhar's Bar, the serene Poolside Terrace, and the cozy Planter's Lounge. Imagine basking in the warm sun, cooling off with a refreshing lemonade, and taking a dip in the picturesque pool overlooking the ocean. The overall vibe exudes a relaxed and laid-back aura, complemented by exceptional service and top-notch facilities. A visit to this historically significant location is a must for those seeking to experience the essence of Georgetown in true style.

The lobby has one of the biggest domes in the region. Speak out loud and you can hear the echo from the dome. For a more candid feel for the culture walk down Penang Road to see roadside tea stalls and local cafes and restaurants.  

You will cross a very long bridge (toll of around 7 ringgit) to get into Georgetown. Find a hotel near the northeastern tip of the island where most restaurants and places of attraction are. Some of the best places to stay in Georgetown are 

Shopping at Gurney Drive in Penang

Gurney Drive offers a vibrant nightlife scene, modern shopping opportunities, trendy cafes, and lively nightclubs. The night food market is a must-visit for delicious local seafood and Malay dishes. With upscale apartment complexes and hotels, Gurney Drive caters to those seeking a modern and luxurious stay. Don't miss out on Gurney Plaza, a premier shopping destination boasting top fashion brands, diverse food options, cinemas, banks, and more.

At night, the Gurney waterfront transforms into a mesmerizing spectacle of twinkling lights, casting a magical spell over the area. The vibrant atmosphere persists well into the midnight hours, with couples lingering along the waterfront, immersed in the romantic ambiance. A scenic 18 km drive along the beachfront road will lead you to Batu Ferringhi, where a plethora of new property developments await, offering a diverse selection of residential apartment complexes and hotels.

Eating out in Georgetown Penang

Prepare to be amazed by the abundance of restaurants lining the streets of George Town. It appears that dining is a favorite pastime for locals and visitors alike in this vibrant city. While exploring this captivating destination, be sure to indulge in the flavors of popular Nonya cuisine and discover the charm of traditional family-owned establishments. A must-visit Nonya Food gem is Little Kitchen, located at 179 Lebu Noordin, 10300 Penang, (04-2616731).

Step into a world where dishes are served in petite portions, reflecting a rich culinary tradition. The cozy ambiance, personalized service, and informative insights from owner Jay Loh on Nonya culture and cuisine truly enhance the dining experience. Don't miss the opportunity to peek into the guest room tucked away behind the main restaurant, adding a touch of intrigue to your culinary journey.


Georgetown is renowned for its traditional Indian cuisine, such as Nasi Kandar. Make sure to visit Line-Clear restaurant located near Upper Penang Street, just a short walk from the Upper tip of Penang Road by the Eastern & Oriental Hotel. Indulge in delicious rice paired with a variety of meat dishes smothered in flavorful gravy. This spot was even featured in Anthony Bourdain's travel escapades in Penang.

For a delightful dining experience, I dined at the buffet restaurant Sarkies (as shown in the pictures) for approximately 100RM. The spread of food was exceptional, with Sarkies offering a wide array of local and international desserts. The contemporary ambiance and decor of this section of the Eastern & Oriental Hotel on 1 Penang Road truly captivated me.

Looking for a more modern vibe in Georgetown? Head over to Gurney Drive. Most hotels provide complimentary bus tours to Gurney Drive, where you'll find upscale shopping centers like Plaza Gurney and Gurney Paragon boasting renowned brands and top-quality stores. Situated along the main Gurney Drive en route from Georgetown to Batu Ferringhi, Gurney Drive also features a vibrant night market offering a variety of ethnic cuisines late into the night.

Don't miss out on these must-visit attractions: Fort Cornwallis, Cathedral of the Assumption, Cheong Fatt Tze Museum, Pinang Peranakan Mansion, Penang Hill, and Batu Ferringhi Night Markets.

Visiting Batu Ferringhi in Georgetown Penang

If you are visiting Georgetown, your trip will be incomplete without visiting the beautiful coastal neighborhood of Batu Ferringhi. Home to several high-end resorts and water sports, Batu Ferringhi attracts people who want to enjoy a resort-style holiday with access to private beaches. 

I drove along the coastal road connecting Batu Ferringhi and Gurney Drive. The population along the road has increased substantially and you can see several resorts and holiday homes more suited for long-term stay.


I stopped at the floating mosque of Tunjung Bunga. The amazing architecture set against the aquamarine ocean backdrop catches your eyes from the distance. The interior of the mosque has a great atmosphere and offers a serene environment for worshippers. Driving along the ocean you enjoy beautiful shades of water against the stony outcrops and rock formations. I stopped at several locations to enjoy great views of the ocean and took some photographs. 

I stayed for a night at Hard Rock Resort and thoroughly enjoyed the night activity at the night market. The restaurants along the beach sell exceptional seafood. I enjoy a hearty meal at Golden Thai Seafood Restaurant. The restaurant has a good collection of local and imported live seafood. You can have the fish, prawns and lobster cooked in several different sauces and cooking styles. 


There are several budget hotels in Batu Ferringhi catering to price-conscious travelers. You can also find plenty of restaurants and cafes serving a mix of local and international dishes.  

At Batu Ferringhi Beach you can enjoy speedboats, water scooters, banana boats, and paragliding facilities. The night markets on the weekends are quite fun and you can explore the local colors of Penang. 

Back at the Eastern and Oriental Hotel, I enjoyed the weekend fun on 1 Penang Street which has several bars and clubs including Slippery Senoritas and Les Mois. The atmosphere is very lively and the fun and commotion continue till late at night. 

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