The best beaches and islands in Penang are among the most breathtaking in Malaysia. Accessible within a 30-minute drive from Georgetown, most of these tranquil locales are on 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 have 5-star hotels and beachfront resorts with breathtaking views and ample dining venues. The clear waters are popular spots for 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 Penang beaches that house charming coastal fishing villages and lush greenery. Read on for our comprehensive guide to Penang beaches and islands.

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    Batu Feringghi

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    Batu Feringghi is one of Penang’s most developed beaches. The long stretch of soft, white sandy beach hosts beautiful oceanfront resorts and affordably-priced hotels, local and international restaurants, as well as a vibrant night market with hundreds of stalls offering a myriad of bargain items.

    Batu Feringghi is within a 30-minute drive from Georgetown, making it an ideal getaway after a day of exploring colonial structures, vibrant street art, and centuries-old temples. The beach is also great for thrilling water sports in Penang – you can enjoy parasailing, windsurfing and jet skiing, or simply relax by the beach and enjoy sunset views.

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    2

    Tanjung Bungah

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    Tanjung Bungah is a picturesque seaside suburb between Gurney and Batu Feringghi. It was originally a sleepy fishing village hidden among lush greenery and rocky landscapes. Over the years, the area has risen in popularity to become one of Penang’s most popular destinations. Must-visit attractions include the Penang Toy Museum and Penang Floating Mosque.

    Water-based activities are the most popular things to do in Tanjung Bungah. The Penang Water Sports Center offers kayaks, canoes and boats for rent at very affordable rates. You can also enjoy fun-filled activities such as beach volleyball and soccer. The Penang International Dragon Boat Festival takes place in June or July.

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    3

    Pulau Jerejak (Jerejak Island)

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    Pulau Jerejak is a tranquil tropical island just off the southeast coast of Penang. It has picturesque beaches and a pristine rainforest that’s been protected in its original state for more than 400 years. The 362-hectare island has a colorful history, serving as the arrival point for Penang founder Francis Light in early 1786 and Malaysia’s Alcatraz from 1969 to 1993.

    Over the years, Pulau Jerejak has been transformed into Penang’s main ecotourism destination, with a rainforest resort, an onsite spa center, a restaurant, and recreational facilities. It's a great place for kayaking, archery, paintball, jungle-trekking, water polo, and beach volleyball. To get to the island, there is a daily ferry service from the Penang Island Jerejak Jetty to the Jerejak Resort Jetty.

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    photo by Drhtgoon (CC0 1.0) modified

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    Monkey Beach

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    Monkey Beach is at the fringe of the Penang National Park, on the northwest coastline of Penang Island. Also known as Teluk Duyung, this remote locale is within a 20-minute boat ride from Batu Ferringhi or a challenging 2-hour hike from Teluk Bahang. Nearby are 2 islets called Pulau Song Song and Pulau Coral, both of which are great spots for snorkeling and bathing.

    Monkey Beach has miles of white sand, clear water, and campgrounds. It's great for those looking for privacy and tranquillity away from the busy city life.

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    Teluk Bahang

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    Teluk Bahang is a scenic beach with a quiet fishing village at the end of an expansive coastal road along northern Penang Island. It has several must-visit attractions, such as the Penang Forest Museum, Spice Garden, and ESCAPE Penang.

    There are camping grounds for you to spend a night under the stars. In the morning, you can enjoy jungle trekking or see local fishermen with their day’s catch at coastal villages. Teluk Bahang is also known for offering some of the best seafood in Penang. 

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    Pantai Teluk Kampi (Teluk Kampi Beach)

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    Teluk Kampi is about an hour’s hike from Pantai Kerachut Beach. It has the longest stretch of sand in the Penang National Park. Great for experienced hikers, the trail to Teluk Kampi Beach is one of the most challenging routes in Penang. Thanks to its verdant surroundings, the path is often covered with fallen leaves and branches. It is also very steep in several places and especially slippery during rainy seasons.

    You can enjoy a variety of recreational activities such as bathing and bird-watching. As the beach remains relatively calm throughout the year, camping along the expansive coastline to watch the sunset makes for a very relaxing experience. Between the months of February and April, Teluk Kampi becomes a breeding ground for green turtles.

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    photo by Alexey Komarov (CC BY 3.0) modified

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    Pantai Kerachut

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    Pantai Kerachut is one of the most remote beaches in Penang. As a result, it serves as a nesting ground for green turtles, hawksbill turtles, and Olive Ridley turtles between September and February. 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 has monitor lizards, crabs, stock-billed kingfishers, and mousedeers.

    Pantai Kerachut is also home to one of only 4 meromictic lakes in Asia, which consists of seawater and freshwater that do not intermix. It’s a fascinating phenomenon that occurs once a year, where the top layer of freshwater is significantly colder than the seawater underneath. This pristine beach is within a 20-minute boat ride from Batu Ferringhi or a 2-hour hike from Teluk Bahang, where a suspension bridge connects the trail to the beach.

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    Pulau Aman

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    Pulau Aman 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 between 10 am and 7 pm. 

    Cycling, kayaking, and trekking are some of the most popular recreational activities on the island. Pulau Aman has a colorful history with plenty of sightseeing opportunities. Visit the Telaga Emas, a well dating back to 1789 that never runs dry – even during the worst drought. Its neighboring island, Pulau Gedung, is home to remnants of WWII ammunition and Pirates’ Cave. 

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    9

    Pulau Kendi

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    Pulau Kendi is a small inhabited island on the southwestern tip of Penang. While it's the farthest of the few islets around the main island, many come here to enjoy snorkeling and bathing without the risk of getting stung by jellyfish. The island is also popular for its natural and unique rock formations, which comes in an array of shapes, hues and sizes along the southern coastline.

    Plenty of thriving coral reefs surrounds Pulau Kendi. The best time to view them is between October and March. For those who want to go snorkeling in Pulau Kendi, it’s best to do so with an experienced diver. It's important not to touch live corals and damage their fragile ecology during your visit.

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    photo by Cmglee (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

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    Gertak Sanggul

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    Gertak Sanggul is a fishing village known for its breathtaking sunset views and seafood offerings. Located on the southwest coast of Penang, its white sandy beach is a nice getaway from the island's bustling city centre. However, it’s not a suitable spot for bathing as many traditional fishing boats are moored along the shoreline. 

    Gertak Sanggul is accessible within a 15-minute drive from Bayan Lepas or via the Rapid Penang Bus #308.

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    11

    Pasir Panjang

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    Pasir Panjang is a stretch of sandy beach that’s quiet on most days. It's in Balik Pulau, on the southwestern coast of Penang. Due to its secluded locale, there aren’t many recreational activities apart from bathing and picnicking by the beach. However, it’s a good place to unwind and escape from the busier locales in Penang.

    Hikers can trek to the beach via several well-trodden paths and winding hills. A 2-hour trail from Gertak Sanggul to Pasir Panjang Beach passes through a verdant jungle and rubber estates. After enjoying the scenery, you can either follow the same trail back to Gertak Sanggul or enjoy a 30-minute beachside walk toward Pulau Betong Village.

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