Batu Ferringhi

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Batu Ferringhi
Suburb of George Town
Other transcription(s)
 • Chinese 峇都丁宜
Skyline of Batu Ferringhi
Location of Batu Ferringhi on Penang Island
Location of Batu Ferringhi on Penang Island
Coordinates: 5°28′5.88″N 100°14′31.2″E / 5.4683000°N 100.242000°E / 5.4683000; 100.242000Coordinates: 5°28′5.88″N 100°14′31.2″E / 5.4683000°N 100.242000°E / 5.4683000; 100.242000
Country  Malaysia
State  Penang
District Northeast Penang Island
 • Local Government Penang Island City Council
 • Mayor of Penang Island Patahiyah Ismail
 • State assemblyman Teh Yee Cheu (DAP)
 • Bukit Bendera Member of Parliament Zairil Khir Johari (DAP)
Time zone Malaysian Standard Time (UTC+8)
 • Summer (DST) Not observed (UTC)
Postal code 11100

Batu Ferringhi is a suburb of George Town in Penang, Malaysia. Located along the northern coast of Penang Island, 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 4km stretch of beaches, including the Hard Rock Hotel.

The beach resorts along Batu Ferringhi also offer various water sport activities, such as parasailing.[1] 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.[2]

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.[3][4] However, for much of its recent history, Batu Ferringhi was a quiet village, until the urbanisation of the area beginning in the 1970s.

Sunset at Batu Ferringhi

Due to its location along the northern coast of Penang Island, Batu Ferringhi was hard hit by the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami.[5]

The beaches of Batu Ferringhi, interspersed by rocky outcrops


The word Ferringhi is originally a Malay term for a person of Portuguese descent, but eventually came to denote all Westerners.[1] 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.[3][4] 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.[1] 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.[6]

A beach at Batu Ferringhi

Batu Ferringhi was one of the hardest hit areas during the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami that ultimately claimed a total of 52 lives in Penang.[5]

In 2009, Hard Rock Hotel opened its Penang branch at Batu Ferringhi, adding to the list of major hotels already within the area.



  1. ^ a b c "Batu Ferringhi, Penang / Pulau Pinang". Retrieved 2016-11-11. 
  2. ^ a b "Batu Ferringhi Night Market - Shop & Dine at Night". Penang Travel Tips. 2014-11-08. Retrieved 2016-11-11. 
  3. ^ a b "The island". Retrieved 2016-11-11. 
  4. ^ a b Staff, ExpatGo (2014-06-24). "Sailing Around Penang with Three Expats in a Small Boat". ExpatGo. Retrieved 2016-11-11. 
  5. ^ a b "Boxing Day tsunami, 10 years on: 'The water came - my family is gone'". Retrieved 2016-11-11. 
  6. ^ Yee, Kow Kwan. "Sea change for Batu Ferringhi - Community | The Star Online". Retrieved 2016-11-11. 
  7. ^ "Miami Beach, Batu Ferringhi, Penang / Pulau Pinang". Retrieved 2016-11-11. 
  8. ^ "Lovers' Isle, Batu Ferringhi, Penang / Pulau Pinang". Retrieved 2016-11-11. 

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