Penang Beaches & Islands
Islands and Beaches in Penang
Penang beaches are plentiful and hailed as some of the most breathtaking in the country, drawing a steady crowd of tourists and locals throughout the year. Accessible within a 30-minute drive from Georgetown, most of these tranquil locales are situated along the northern part of Penang, with a few along the western, south and southwest coastline.
Some of the most famous beaches in Penang are Batu Ferringhi and Tanjung Bungah, both of which boast five-star hotels and beachfront resorts with breathtaking views and ample dining venues. The clear waters are popular spots for a wide array of recreational activities such as parasailing, jet skiing, and windsurfing. If you prefer soaking up the sun in a more tranquil setting, there are plenty of remote and quiet Penang beaches that house charming coastal fishing villages and lush greenery. Read on for our comprehensive Guide to Penang Beaches and pristine islands.
Batu Feringghi is Penang’s most developed beach, consisting of a long stretch of soft, white sandy beach that houses beautiful oceanfront resorts and affordably-priced hotels, local and international restaurants, as well as a vibrant night market with hundreds of stalls set up offering a myriad of bargain items.
Batu Feringghi is situated approximately half an hour away from Georgetown, making it an ideal getaway after a day of exploring colonial structures, vibrant street art, and centuries-old temples in the lively UNESCO World Heritage Site. Thanks to its pristine sands and clear waters, Batu Feringghi is also a popular recreational spot with good selection of thrilling water sports – guests can enjoy parasailing, windsurfing and jet skiing or simply relax by the beach and enjoy breathtaking sunset views. Read More...
Tanjung Bungah is a picturesque seaside suburb located between Gurney and Batu Feringghi. Also accessible within a half-hour’s drive from Georgetown, Tanjung Bungah was originally a sleepy fishing village that’s hidden among lush greenery and rocky landscapes. It has risen in popularity over the years to become one of Penang’s most popular destinations, housing must-visit attractions such as Penang Toy Museum and Penang Floating Mosque.
Water-based activities are the most popular things to do in Tanjung Bungah, as the Penang Water Sports Centre offers kayaks, canoes and boats for rent at very affordable rates. Visitors can also enjoy fun-filled activities such as beach volleyball, beach soccer and spot fishing or watch the annual Penang International Dragon Boat Festival, held on June or July at Tanjung Bungah. Read More...
Pulau Jerejak / Jerejak Island
Pulau Jerejak, located just off the southeast coast of Penang, is a tranquil tropical island with picturesque beaches and a pristine rainforest that’s been protected in its original state for more than 400 years. Known as the biggest of the many islands surrounding Penang, the 362-hectare island has a colourful history as the arrival point for Penang founder Francis Light in early 1786 and Malaysia’s Alcatraz from 1969 to 1993.
Over the years, this island has been transformed into Penang’s main ecotourism destination, with a rainforest resort, an onsite spa centre, restaurant, and a number of recreational facilities. While Pulau Jerajak is a great place to relax thanks to its verdant surroundings, it is also well-frequented for its myriad of activities, such as kayaking, archery, paintball, jungle-trekking, water polo, and beach volleyball. To get to the island, there is a daily ferry service from Penang Island Jerejak Jetty to the Jerejak Resort Jetty. Priced at RM300, the ferry departs from Penang Island every two to four hours from 06:30 to 22:30.
Monkey Beach is located at the fringe of Penang National Park on the northwest coastline of Penang Island. Also known as Teluk Duyung, this remote locale is accessible via a 20-minuteboat ride from Batu Ferringhi or a challenging two-hour hike from Teluk Bahang. Nearby are two islets called Pulau Song Song and Pulau Coral, both of which are great spots for snorkelling and swimming.
Named after the crab-eating macaques residing here, Monkey Beach is set against Penang’s National Park, a 2,563-hectare park which houses a number of wildlife including flying squirrels, lemurs, fruit bats, otters, and white-bellied sea eagles. This bay also has miles of white sand, clear water, campsites, and numerous fishing spots, perfect for those looking for privacy and tranquillity away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Teluk Bahang is a scenic beach in Penang that’s rocky and shady with serene surroundings - perfect for a weekend retreat minus the large crowds of nearby Batu Feringghi. A quiet fishing village at the end of an expansive coastal road along northern Penang Island, it is also home to a number of must-visit attractions such as the Penang Butterfly Farm, Penang Forest Museum, Spice Garden, and Penang Escape Theme Park.
Visitors who crave untouched and isolated beaches are advised to visit Teluk Duyung, Monkey Beach, Pantai Kerachut or Pantai Mas – all only accessible via trails around the Penang National Park in Teluk Bahang. There are camping grounds available for you to spend a night under the stars and in the morning, head to the recreational forest for jungle-trekking, or witness the return of local fishermen with their day’s catch at coastal villages within the vicinity. Also, look out for great seafood in Teluk Bahang - it's one of the best in Penang!
Pantai Teluk Kampi / Teluk Kampi Beach
Teluk Kampi, situated about an hour’s hike away from Pantai Kerachut Beach, has the longest stretch of beach in the Penang National Park. Ideal for more experienced hikers, the hiking trail to Teluk Kampi Beach is the most challenging in Penang and should only be attempted with proper hiking gear. Due to its verdant surroundings, the path is often covered with fallen leaves and branches. It is also very steep in several places, and extremely slippery during rainy seasons.
Visitors can enjoy a variety of recreational activities such as swimming and bird-watching. As Teluk Kampi Beach remains relatively calm throughout the year, camping along the expansive coastline to watch the sun set and rise makes for a very relaxing experience. Between the months of February and April, Teluk Kampi becomes a breeding ground for green turtles – an opportunity you should not miss.
Pantai Kerachut, also located in Penang National Park, is known as the most remote beach on Penang Island. As a result, it serves as a nesting ground for green turtles, hawksbill turtles, and olive Ridley turtles between the months of September and February while the formation of kelp attracts jellyfish to the shores from November until January. With quartz veins and igneous rocks forming most of its geology, this interesting locale is also home to monitor lizards, crabs, stock-billed kingfishers, and mousedeers, making it an ideal weekend destination for nature lovers.
Pantai Kerachut is also home to one of only four meromictic lakes in Asia, which consists of sea water and fresh water that do not intermix. It’s a fascinating phenomenon that occurs once a year where the top layer of fresh water is significantly colder than the sea water underneath. This pristine beach is accessible via a 20-minute boat ride from Batu Ferringhi or a two-hour hike from TelukBahang, where a suspension bridge connects the trail to the beach.
Pulau Aman (Island of Peace in Malay) is a tranquil island that houses a picturesque fishing village with a population of only 300 people. To get there, a boat departs from Bukit Tambun everyday at 10:0o, 13:00, 16:00 and 19:00. Tickets are priced at RM4 for adults and RM2.50 for children. Surrounded by a lush tropical rainforest, fishing, cycling, kayaking, and jungle-trekking are some of the most popular recreational activities on the island.
Pulau Aman also has a colourful history with plenty of sightseeing opportunities. Visit the Telaga Emas (Well of Gold), a well which dates back to 1789 that never runs dry even during the worst drought. Its neighbouring island, Pulau Gedung, is home to remnants of World War II ammunition and ‘Gua Lanun’ or ‘Pirates’ Cave’, said to have served as a shelter for pirates who plundered the waters around the island. It is accessible via boat ride from PulauAman for about RM60 (which seats a total of 12 people).
Pulau Kendi is a small inhabited island situated on the south-western tip of Penang Island. Accessible via boat ride from Gertak Sanggul, it is the farthest of the few islets around Penang Island and the only place for snorkelling and swimming without the risk of getting stung by jellyfish. Pulau Kendi is also popular for its natural and unique rock formations, which comes in an array of shapes, hues and sizes along the southern coastline of the island.
Due to its pristine waters, there are plenty of thriving coral reefs here and the best time to view them is between the months of October and March. For those who want to go snorkelling in Pulau Kendi, it’s highly recommended to do so with an experienced diver. As these are live corals with plenty of colourful fish, it is important not to damage their fragile ecology during your visit here.
Gertak Sanggul Beach is a fishing village located on the southwest coast of Penang that’s known for its breathtaking sunset views and seafood offerings. Home to plenty of swaying coconut trees, this white sandy beach is an ideal getaway from Penang’s bustling city centre. Do note that it’s not a suitable spot for swimming due to traditional fishing boats bobbling in the waters. Gertak Sanggul is accessible within a 15-minute scenic drive from Bayan Lepas or via the Rapid Penang Bus #308.
Visitors also flock to Gertak Sanggul for its fresh seafood and Hai Boey Seafood Restaurant is one of the best eateries on Penang Island. Open daily from 17:30 onwards, couples can enjoy a romantic dinner on the beach while the little ones can enjoy swings and hammocks hanging in the trees. As the eatery gets rather packed during weekends, there’s another fishing village nearby called Teluk Kumbar, another great place for seafood.
Pasir Panjang Beach, situated in Balik Pulau on the southwest Penang Island, is a stretch of sandy beach that’s quiet on most days. Due to its secluded locale, there aren’t many recreational activities apart from swimming and picnicking by the beach. However, it’s a good place to unwind and escape from the busier locales in Penang.
Great for nature lovers, the best way to get here is jungle-trekking as there are plenty of well-trodden paths and winding hills leading off to the coast. Starting from Gertak Sanggul, the two-hour trail to Pasir Panjang Beach is surrounded by a verdant jungle and rubber estates, where visitors can also enjoy a spectacular view of the Straits of Malacca. After enjoying the scenery at Pasir Panjang, visitors can either follow the same trail back to Gertak Sanggul or enjoy a 30-minute beachside walk towards Pulau Betong village.