370km northwest of Kuala Lumpur, Penang is an amalgamation of state and island. The island’s interior consists of a densely forested interior while the coast is punctuated by a series of bays and beaches connected by a winding road. Lining Penang’s coastline are abundant seafront lodgings ranging from simple budget-friendly A-frame huts to sprawling five-star luxury ventures with guestrooms that face the ocean and offer breathtaking views.
The wildly popular Batu Ferringhi (Foreigner’s Rock), a hippy-haven in the 1970s, is now a five-star resort territory and though expansion has taken its inevitable toll, the coastline is still gorgeous and the nightlife scene here is the best on the island. Alternatively, Tanjung Bunggah – located 12km from Georgetown – remains one of the island’s main developments and features a string of properties with isolated beaches.