Suburb of George Town
|• Hokkien||bâ to͘ teng gî|
|District||Northeast Penang Island|
|• Local government||Penang Island City Council|
|• Mayor of Penang Island||Yew Tung Seang|
|• Tanjong Bunga State Assemblyman||Zairil Khir Johari (DAP)|
|• Bukit Bendera Member of Parliament||Wong Hon Wai (DAP)|
|Time zone||UTC+8 (MST)|
|• Summer (DST)||Not observed|
Batu Ferringhi is a suburb of George Town in Penang, Malaysia. Located along the northern coast of Penang Island and about 11 km (6.8 mi) northwest of the city centre, it is the prime beach destination in Penang among locals and tourists. To cater to the influx of tourists, several major high-rise hotels have been established along the 4 km (2.5 mi) stretch of beaches, including Hard Rock Hotel.
The beach resorts along Batu Ferringhi also offer various water sport activities, such as parasailing. On a clear day, one could get a picturesque view of the Andaman Sea and Mount Jerai, which is located within the neighbouring state of Kedah. In addition, Batu Ferringhi is famous for its night market that offers a wide variety of merchandise and street food.
There had been human activity within Batu Ferringhi as early as 1592, when an Englishman, Sir James Lancaster, arrived and began pillaging other vessels around Penang Island. However, for much of its recent history, Batu Ferringhi was a quiet village, until the urbanisation of the area beginning in the 1970s.
The word Ferringhi is originally a Malay term for a person of Portuguese descent, but eventually came to denote all Westerners. It is, in turn, derived from Arabic ferringi, which was also used in the Middle East and Africa to mean a foreigner from the West.
Batu Ferringhi, therefore, would mean the place where Westerners had come ashore, with the Malay word batu (meaning rock) referring to the rocky shoreline of this particular area.
Batu Ferringhi was first explored in 1592, when Sir James Lancaster, an English privateer, came ashore at this particular area. This made Lancaster the first European to reach Penang Island. Having come ashore aboard the Edward Bonaventure, Lancaster and his crew proceeded to pillage every vessel they encountered for the next four months.
The urbanisation of Batu Ferringhi only began in the 1970s. This involved the construction of several hotels along the beaches, attracting locals and tourists alike. Condominiums soon followed, offering gorgeous views of the sea overlooking the Malay Peninsula. However, these developments did not come without problems, such as the deteriorating seawater quality that has led to the infestation of jellyfish around Batu Ferringhi.
The main thoroughfare within Batu Ferringhi is the coastal Batu Ferringhi Road, part of Federal Route 6. Batu Ferringhi Road continues on from Tanjung Bungah Road, cutting through the heart of the suburb until it becomes Jalan Teluk Bahang at the western edge of Batu Ferringhi. The few roads within this suburb, including Batu Ferringhi Road, are prone to traffic congestion due to its popularity as a tourist destination.
Rapid Penang buses 101 and 102 serve the residents of the suburb, by connecting Batu Ferringhi with George Town and other destinations on Penang Island, such as Tanjung Bungah, Tanjung Tokong, the Penang International Airport and Queensbay Mall.
Another bus service, the Hop-On Hop-Off service, caters primarily to tourists. This service, which utilises open-topped double decker buses, includes three stops within Batu Ferringhi - an optional stop at Miami Beach and two standard stops at Holiday Inn and Hard Rock Hotel.
The only school within the Batu Ferringhi suburb is the Uplands International School, which caters primarily to the expatriate community within this suburb as well as those from the neighbouring Tanjung Bungah suburb.
The nearest public primary and high schools are situated at Tanjung Bungah.
Although Batu Ferringhi does not have a shopping centre, the suburb is notable for its night market. Souvenirs, DVDs, artworks, jerseys, and other apparels and accessories can be found at bargain prices within the night market, which is also lined with various food stalls that sell Penang's famed street cuisine and titbits.
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