After a short break in our room and some coffee to fortify ourselves at the Planters Lounge, we left for Batu Ferringhi for some shopping. I had read the night market opens around 7 pm, but we were eager and left the hotel slightly after 4 pm which in hindsight was a mistake. The drive from the hotel to the Batu Ferringhi night market stretch was around 30 minutes and we got there well before 5! We parked at the basement of the Eden Parade, a smallish, slightly run-down mall.
Batu Ferringhi is one of Penang’s most popular places, a nice long stretch of soft, white sandy beach along a winding road named Jalan Batu Feringghi, filled with a host of accommodation and dining options. Its night market is quite legendary, while its waters are popular spots for a range of water sports activities such as parasailing and windsurfing. The road which is called Jalan Batu Feringghi comes alive every night as vendors set up stalls along this stretch offering everything from fake designer bags and inexpensive pirated DVDs, to handmade local souvenirs and local artwork. One of Penang Island’s most noteworthy attractions, it is a not-to-be-missed feature not only for its sheer size (spanning all the way from Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort all the way down to Hard Rock Hotel and beyond), but also its cool, electrifying atmosphere. I would not say the prices are cheap, but if you are a good bargainer, then you may score a good deal. Don’t buy from the first stall you see an item, walk along and see others and if you feel a particular stall gives you the best deal, go back there. I’d say start at half the price quoted and work your way up. The market opens around 7 pm and goes on till late in the night.
Since we were early, we decided to do some foot reflexology at a Thai foot reflexology place opposite the Shangri-La. We paid RM 35 per person for 30 minutes and everyone with the exception of my helper R did it. It was not the best I’ve had, but was not too bad. While doing the massage, S suddenly remembered some Coconut Oil he had to purchase for a colleague. This was apparently only found in one place in Penang and this was some 20 minutes out of Batu Ferringhi. We went back and forth about going there, but since it was almost 6 pm then, decided against it as by the time we drove there, the place would have closed.
Around 6, we started walking the Batu Ferringhi Night Market Stretch. We walked the whole stretch till after the Hard Rock Café Hotel and it was only when we completed the walk and started turning back, we saw some stalls starting to open. We walked our way back, stopping to see stalls which were interesting and buying a few things. Then hungry, we decided to go an Indian & Arabic restaurant called Maroush which had caught S’ eye earlier on. The food was not too bad, but I found it to be more expensive than Georgetown and the portions smaller. This was the second most expensive of all our meals in Penang.
If you are staying in Georgetown, or even if you stay in Batu Ferringhi, before you hit the Night Market, take a stroll along the Komtar and Prangin malls. You may be surprised to see the same items going cheaper than Batu Ferringhi. For example we saw some canvas bags in the night market selling around RM 12 per piece, which was being sold in Prangin for RM 5. Another example was miniature planes (commercial airlines) which BB loves. We brought one from Batu Ferringhi at RM 28 (the stall was a fixed price one and didn’t allow me to bargain) while in Prangin I saw it for RM 20 in one shop and RM 19 in another, both on the same floor! So don’t make the mistake we did and see what available first before buying at Batu Ferringhi. Personally I found Batu Ferringhi very touristy and so more expensive compared to other places in Penang. It’s nice for the atmosphere and some cheap buys (we brought 6 DVDs for RM 20 which was a steal, but not sure of the quality).
We got back around 9 to the hotel and were fairly exhausted. Surprisingly the place where we had parked the car did not charge us for the parking at all! We must have parked there for more than three hours, but we paid zilch! So this was our cheapest car park payment in Penang…The next day was the last full day in Penang and we had planned a day of shopping.
- Part 1: The Planning and the Preparations
- Part 2: The Hotel
- Part 3: Kek Lok Si Temple and Penang Hill
- Part 4: Armenian Street Art, Penang 3D Trick Art Museum and Penang Peranakan Mansion