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Where to live in Penang

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Penang consist of two parts – Penang Island and Seberang Perai (the mainland).  Though Penang is considered a small island, but there are several areas or neighbourhood for you to consider for your housing needs. The question of where to live in Penang depends on what you are looking for. The best answer to where to live in Penang Malaysia is to start asking yourself these few questions:

  1. Do I need to live near my work area?
  2. Do I need to live near my kids’ school or university?
  3. Am I going to buy or rent a property in Penang?
  4. Do I need to live in Penang near people of my ethnic background?
  5. Am I going to use my private car or do I need public transport to move around in Penang?
  6. Do I need to live near the area where expats normally live?

When it comes to the best place to stay in Penang for expatriates, that would be in the North part of the island. These areas are Tanjung Bungah, Tanjung Tokong and Gurney Drive. However I am still going to walk you through some of the major areas of this island on what it has to offer.

I have included a map breakdown to the different major areas. To view it in full screen, click on the top right corner of the map []. Please note that the border of all these areas are just a guess estimate and may not be the exact borderline of the area.

Neighbourhoods in Brief

Batu Ferringhi

Batu Ferringhi is located at the furthest north part of the island. It gives you a feel that you are on an island holiday. The surrounding area is close to beaches, nature park, night markets and nice large hotels. There is a large number of tourist staying here during the weekends or holidays, thus giving it a touristy feeling. There is also an international school (International School of Penang – Uplands) which was previously situated in Gurney Drive to cater for the expats living in this area. The disadvantage of staying at this part of the island is the time to commute to town (Gurney) which takes about 25-30 minutes. Batu Ferringhi can be accessed through a winding single track road from Tanjung Bungah or through the back of the island via Teluk Bahang. There are no big supermarkets here, but the nearest can be found at Tanjung Bungah or Tanjung Tokong which will roughly take about 10-15 min drive. So it really helps if you have a private car to drive around this part of the island.  A rough time estimation to travel from Batu Ferringhi to Bayan Lepas area on a normal traffic flow day will take about 1 and a half hour. Some still find this part of the island appealing if you love the panoramic views of the island’s beautiful stretch of beaches as well as the lush green hills. Some of the famous apartments or condos among expats here are Miami Green and Island Resorts.

Sunset at Batu Feringghi. Photo: Me + Camera = My
Sunset at Batu Feringghi. Photo: Me + Camera = My

Tanjung Bungah

Tanjung Bungah also spelt as Tanjong Bungah is a town that is en-route to Batu Ferringhi. This place is a favorite spot for foreigners to settle down because of the suburb neighborhood feeling and basic amenities within a short distance drive. Most of the apartments, condos and housing area are situated near the beach or near the hillside . There are two international schools located here, Dalat International School and Tenby International School. Basic amenities like supermarkets (Cold Storage) & hypermarkets (Tesco) is only a short drive to Tanjung Tokong. There is also a wet market, restaurants serving German, Belgium and Indian cuisine and convenience stores located in this area. Driving time from Tanjung Bungah to Gurney will take about 10 – 20 minutes depending on the traffic. However, if you are working in Bayan Lepas then the travelling time to the south side of the island will take you about 45min to 1.5 hour or more. Apartments and condos that are popular among the expats near the hillside are Marina Tower, Surin, The Waterfront, Coastal Towers, Twin Towers and for the one near the beach is The Cove.

Tanjung Tokong

Tanjung Tokong is a neighborhood between Gurney drive and Tanjung Bungah. This is also another place famous among expats. There has been quite a lot of development going on in this area. Penang ‘s first and only seafront retail marina, Straits Quay can be found here. It has specialty shops, trendy restaurants and bars and a performing arts center inside it. This part of the area also has a hypermarket (Tesco) and a shopping mall where you can find international grocery (Cold Storage). Basically almost all the basic amenities can be found here. Travelling to Bayan Lepas will probably take you around 45min to an hour.

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Gurney Drive

This is a good place to base yourself if you don’t want to bother with a vehicle, everything is within walking distance. Gurney drive is a popular seafront promenade in Georgetown. It is famous for the ‘hawker food’ along  Gurney drive. Most of the time tourist and locals will flock to Gurney drive for the food and the shopping malls. This is where you find major hotels, restaurant, pubs and hospitals.  There are 2 big shopping malls here – Gurney Plaza and the newly built Gurney Paragon. You can get a nice view of the sea if you are staying opposite the seafront. But sad to say, when the tides are low you can see the accretion of silt or mud off Gurney Drive. Overall, expats still love it here because of the environment and basic amenities. Rental and price of properties here are much expensive compare to other areas. Some of the famous super condos and apartments that expats usually stay are Silverton, Gurney Paragon, The Regency, Gurney Park, 8 and 11 Gurney.

Jesselton Height

This lush greenery neighborhood is Penang’s affluent housing area. You will find stunning mansions, large compounds and mostly landed properties. This resident area has a few nice parks beside it – Penang Botanical Garden and Youth park. This residential area provides good space for your morning walks, jogging, cycling or kids to run about. One thing that I like about this place is the lush greeneries surrounding this place that provides a sense of tranquility around the neighborhood. Nearest basic amenities will be at Pulau Tikus or Georgetown. Driving to these places will probably take you about 10 minutes.

Pulau Tikus

This is another affluent suburb neighborhood next to Georgetown. You can find quite a number of large houses surrounded by large compounds. But in recent year, more and more apartments or condos are being built around this area. Pulau Tikus is strategically located with the east coast facing Gurney drive and towards the south, Georgetown, therefore making it very accessible to all the main areas in town. There is an international school, SCIPs in this neighborhood and most of the major hospitals, schools, restaurants and pubs are within close proximity. This area is definitely a nice neighborhood to live in and perfect for expatriates. The residential apartment Bellisa Court is one of the sought after place due to its access to variety of eating spots within walking distance.

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Georgetown is the capital of Penang and this is where the central business district lies. In 2008, Georgetown was listed as the UNESCO World Heritage site because of its historic commercial centre that retains many of its colonial era-shophouses. Today most of these colonial architectural buildings have been converted to shoplots, banks, heritage hotels or guest houses and restaurants. The heritage site is located somewhere in between Beach Street and Penang Street. Condos and apartments are mostly at the West end of the heritage site where most of the shopping malls, major hospitals and schools are located. During the peak hour, traffic can be quite bad especially in the heart of Georgetown. Not many expatriates stay in this area except for a few that lives in their own shop-house in the heart of Georgetown.


Jelutong is a residential area at the outskirts of Georgetown. The main roads leading to this area are Jalan Jelutong and the Jelutong Expressway which is a reclaim land. In the 1970’s, Jelutong was a working class neighbourhood infamous for gangsterism. Things have pretty much changed today in this part of the neighbourhood due to the improvement of the standard of living and also development in this area. This area is predominantly inhabited by local Chinese ethnic groups. The construction of the Jelutong Expressway has helped to solve the traffic woes of travelling between town and the South part of the island mainly Bayan Lepas. You can still find all the basic amenities here from wet markets to schools and the nearest hypermarket, Tesco within a stone throw away. Jelutong is strategically located but not favored by expats.

Air Itam

Air Itam is a town towards the West of Georgetown which is famous to two Penang attractions, Penang Hill and Kek Lok Si Temple. This neighborhood is densely populated which can be a nightmarish drive during rush-hour traffic thus making it not very appealing to stay. All three main access roads to this neighborhood are congested in the morning and evening during peak hours. There are basically two township here, the old and new with Farlim constituting the newer township. There are a couple of hypermarkets in this area, Air Itam wet market and business center situated mostly in Farlim.

Bayan Lepas

Most of the people leaving here in Bayan Lepas are people working in the Free Industrial Zone (FIZ). There are probably close to over 100 companies in the FIZ area, mainly in the electronic or semiconductor industry. This part of the island is one of the main labor market for the whole of Penang. For those that work in FIZ and hate the traffic of travelling between town, than the better option would be to stay at this part of the island. You can still get all the great amenities here. Bayan Lepas has one of the biggest mall, Queensbay and also some smaller malls like Sunshine and Bukit Jambul. It is also home to the Penang International Airport and University Science of Malaysia (USM). Travelling time from here to Gurney Drive will roughly take 30~45 minutes on a normal traffic day. Rental here is also much cheaper compare to Gurney or areas up North. If you are working across the island (Penang  mainland), and still prefer to stay in an island, then Bayan Lepas would be a better choice.

Balik Pulau

Balik Pulau a direct translation from the Malay Language meaning “Back of the Island”; a small town nestled among fruit orchards and paddy fields. Houses here are much cheaper compare to the other parts of the island. Though being slightly remote, there is a Prince of Wales Island International School located here. Balik Pulau provides its residents with convenient access to public amenities and a self-sufficient township that includes a hospital, new wet market, banks, food court, post office, primary and secondary school within the vicinity. As you can see from the map, there are two routes linking to this township, Jalan Tun Sardon and Jalan Balik Pulau, a winding hilly road. Travelling time from Balik Pulau township to Georgetown takes about 30 to 45 minutes.

Where to Live in Penang - Balik Pulau
View of Balik Pulau. Picture taken in 2004

Batu Maung

This place used to be a small fishing village two decades ago, but the past couple of years Batu Maung has seen rapid development with the creation of a new township called Southbay. This area is a stone’s throw away from Queensbay Shopping Mall, Penang International Airport, FIZ, hotels, schools, hospital and other amenities. This place is easily accessible through Jelutong Expressway, Coastal Expressway and the newly constructed second Penang Bridge and it is also near to the airport. Going to Georgetown will probably take you about 20 to 30 minutes via the Jelutong Expressway. In recent years, this place has managed to attract many local upper middle class and expatriates who are working in the nearby Bayan Lepas Multi National Corporations. This place holds a great potential with the linkage of the 2nd Penang Bridge to Batu Kawan as in 3 yrs time a premier shopping outlet, international hotels, residential units, cafes and F&B outlets will be built around that area.

Teluk Kumbar

This is another area that is slowly developing into a new township. There are quite a number of new apartments and landed properties being developed in this area to accommodate to the population influx. Teluk Kumbar is located between Bayan Lepas and Balik Pulau. There is only one road accessible to Bayan Lepas which poses a traffic nightmare due to the bottleneck road between Permatang Damar Laut and Jalan Dato Ismail intersection. Most of the modern amenities can only be experienced in Bayan Lepas, therefore price of residential areas are much cheaper here. Teluk Kumbar is well known for its seafood along the beaches as there are quite a number of small fishing villages and also nice beaches.


Without a doubt, finding the ideal physical home to live in is perhaps one of the most daunting of all the things an expat has to face when moving to a new country. After receiving several requests regarding this, we realize there is a real need in this area. We want to help the expat community who have just arrived/ going to arrive in Penang find the right kind of home at the right kind of location which best meets all their requirements and lifestyle. Do write to us at or drop us a message on our Facebook page, and we’ll help to connect you to an experienced, reliable and trustworthy real estate agent who speaks fluent English.

So there you have it, my complete roundup of the neighbourhood in Penang. Please leave a comment here and let me know your opinions or thoughts. The more opinions we have the more we are helping others to decide. I look forward to your comment below.

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72 thoughts on “Where to live in Penang

  • Mandy

    Hi What suggestions do you have for Penang Mainland, I will be working in Jawi area Bakap being my main school. I do have a car.


    • Eric

      If you prefer a place to have plenty of amenities and night activities, then Juru Auto City is a place to stay. It’s about 25 minutes drive on the highway.

  • Sophia

    Which is a good place to open a tuition centre with expertise from Singapore? I’m from the education & publications industry.

  • LM

    We will move to Penang from Nanjing China in August. Can you tell me if there is a wet market in Batu Ferringhi? I enjoy shopping each morning for the day’s meat and vegetables.

  • Hey there Eric, I am a professional full-time consistently profitable forex trader. Please see my website. I was looking at moving to KL but it seems the word forex is banned there. Do you know the situation in Penang. I understand the government to be different there?

    Also I have a soon to be 3 year old boy and kindergarten is most important as would be TIME broadband for my business. Where would you suggest we move to? Suburbs? etc. I do like less traffic and pollution but understand may need to be in those areas for the best internet and my boys education.

    Let me know what you suggest.

    Thank you,
    Ben Thorns

    • Eric Chow

      Hi Ben, This is what I understand from a friend mine who is more knowledgeable in this area. He mentioned there is no licensed forex broker because it is not allowed and unsanctioned by BNM in the whole of Malaysia. But the act of trading currency or forex is not illegal in msia. So anyone residing here can still use overseas broker to do trading. There is no diff in the above statement between PG or KL or anywhere in msia. So if you are looking to setup shop here, then that wuld be impossible. However you can still do trading on your own via foreign forex broker and there’s nothing wrong with that.

      As for the next question, I would suggest you try looking at Tanjung Tokong or Tanjung Bungah area as the traffic there is much lesser compare to the town area.
      For pre-school you can refer here: –
      And for TIME coverage availability:

  • Hey Eric, thank you for coming back to me. Much appreciated!

    On the business front I am a professional money manager (trader). All business is online and outside of Malaysia so no issues there.

    For what I like it seems the quayside development is probably what I would go with as everything I need is more or less at my doorstep and I can walk my wife (Malaysian) and two children each night in a clean safe environment on the boardwalk etc.

    I am looking into the Odyssey for the son who will be 3 years on arrival. If any parents have had a great experience with any early childhood education center please let me know. I am looking for the physical aspect along with right brain training.

    Thank you,
    Ben Thorns

  • Todd

    Hi Eric,
    we are moving to Penang in Jan 2016 along with another family from our company.

    I will be working on the mainland but wondered what you thought would be a good area for the families ?
    Both families have children under 4 and our wives will have their own cars to get around.
    The company is providing a rental allowance (15000 per month) for each family so we should be able to find nice houses.

    We currently eat out 4 nights a week so access to food helps.
    The only other factor is we will be bringing our dogs to live with us, which has already been organised.

    • Eric Chow

      Hi Todd,
      It depends on which part of the mainland you are working at. If it is in Juru or Butterworth, you can still opt to stay on the island with your family as the distance to travel from mainland to island (Bayan Lepas) is about 20-30 minutes drive. I know of families staying in Tanjung Tokong (island) but the husbands are working in Butterworth. It depends on what is your preference like staying near your workplace or being near an expats community and so forth. Personally, I think the Island is always a better choice for families, but the only downside is the long travelling time to the mainland.

      Do you need a real estate agent to help you look for a home? If yes please drop me a note in the Contact Us.

      • Lucy

        How long is the commute from Tanjung Tokong to Butterworth Mainland if I was starting work at 7am and finishing at 3pm?

        • Eric Chow

          If there is no traffic, then it will roughly take about 30-35min. If there’s traffic, it can be quite unpredictable. This is with the assumption that you are using the Penang Bridge

  • Brendon

    Hi Eric,

    I am a Sabahan and will be working in Penang starting in August for minimum 3 years.

    My work location would be near the airport in Bayan Lepas.

    I was told that it would be best to stay at Bayan Lepas area if i work in that area.

    Could you please recommend the best areas to stay.
    I will have a car for my transportation.

    I would prefer to rent a studio kind of apartment (1 bedroom with kitchen and toilet) or a master bedroom with bathroom as the alternative.


  • Eric Chow

    Hi Brendon,

    That is absolutely right. That would also be my recommendation. Anywhere in Bayan Lepas should be fine. You can try Linear Light, Putra Place, Bayswater or 1 World. It also depends on your budget. But if you are interested for a place I can contact my real estate agent to help you to look for a good place. Just drop me a note in the Contact Us.

  • Neale

    Hi Eric
    My wife and I intend moving to Penang for a couple of years, we will not be working. We would like to be where it is busy with many restaurants and close to the beach. Where would you suggest would be the best place to live? Also do you have any tips for finding rental properties in Penang that will allow a small dog.


  • Gerald Rein

    Hi Eric,
    I have been reading your posts and answers for sometime now. It has been very informative and helpful.
    I am planning on moving to Penang soon and will be working in the FIZ area. I will be moving by myself and want to rent a 1 bed room apartment or a large enough studio. I don’t want to travel on public transport (want to walk to work), want to live in an area where there are many western style cafes, bars, pubs, restaurants (with vegetarian options). I am not planning to own a car.
    Could you please suggest some options where I can rent an apartment. I like your idea of Bayan Lepas.
    Also, how much will be the monthly rent for a 1 bed room apartment and a studio near the FIZ area. I am not looking a lavish / flashy apartment but would like a apartment with decent construction quality, amenities, and community / neighbors.

  • Gerald Rein

    Hi Eric, following up from my previous post –
    If you could give me an idea of both furnished and un-furnished / semi furnished apartment / studio that would be wonderful. Thanks

    • Eric Chow

      Hi Gerald,

      Since public transport is out of the picture, moving around Penang without your own transportation can be pretty tough. It all depends on which FIZ area you are working. Is it around phase 1, phase2 or phase 3 area? Most of the companies in the FIZ area are not within walking distance from the residential area.

      Some of the nearest apartments that I can suggest to you are Putra Place, Gold Coast, Summerton and Baystar (rank from lowest to highest pricing). Price range from RM1800 to RM6500/mth. All these apartments are close to Queensbay. Or you can also choose Elit Height or One World near PISA. Another place that has all the amenities surrounding it would be Bayswater Condo which is near to E-gate and TESCO.

      For the latest pricing, you can go to

  • tash

    we will be moving to penang soon husband will work for intel.
    we are planning to living at summerton, is there a bus route for his work so we can get away with just one car(just for family usage)?

  • William

    Hi Eric,
    I will be moving to live and work in Penang somewhere Jun’ 16 and my family will join me. I would like to stay at the areas with all other expats

    Can you recommend which condos in Penang have the highest residence of expats?

    Do you have the statistics?

    Best Regards

  • Klaus

    Hi Eric,

    I will be moving to Penang in June and start to work in Kulim. I wonder whether me and my family could live in the northern part of the island and I commuting between Kutim and Penang. What do you think would be transit time?

    Best regards,

  • Eric Chow

    Hi Klaus,

    Yes that would still be possible if you are willing to sacrifice on some of your travelling time. Assuming if you choose Tanjung Tokong area and plan to use the ferry to get across, transit time will be roughly about an hour. (+15 min traffic and waiting time for ferry -worst case). Butterworth to Kulim Hi-tech is ~45min.

  • Raj

    Hello Eric,

    Thank you for the great comprehensive article. I’ll be working near Bayan Lepas airport, I would like to live in community with a good mix of international expats, amenities, close to beach and night outing area. I would be having my own transport and I dont mind travelling maximum of 45 minute. Do you have any recommendations and do you still provide real estate services?


  • Tony Wan

    Hi All, thank you Eric for putting together a page like this to assists expat whom would be coming to work at our beautiful island. We have 1 modernly designed unit at the Light Colleciton 1, which would be suitable for expat couple or family with children. I used to work in Singapore and works in shipping, very much involved in the Western culture and hence me and my wife would prefer our unit to be rented out to expat families if at all possible. The unit is now available immediately as we have vacate and move into another bigger unit at Light Collection 3, in another words we are nearby if you need help (I worked from home). Happy to discuss directly or via Eric to compensate him for this beautifully done website. Please direct all questions to

  • fasqam


    i have an offer to internally move within my company , the pay scale is about 11-12K (take home i am falling at 28% tax bracket). i want to understand if a family of 4 ( i, wife and 2 kids 2.5 and 6 months) could have a good living and save, ideally we want to have a 3 bedroom property a good condo is OK. i will have extended visits from my father or he can stay with me as i plan to get him a residence permit too if that is available.

    i will be working in bayan lepas area – which property and area do you advise. i dont want long travel to work but would ideally need a clean area with amenities available nearby.

    we can always do weekend travel to malls etc for shopping and all.

    for preschool or school also advise what is available nearby? and what kind of fee structures are we looking at?

    • Eric Chow

      With the pay scale that you are getting, I believe you can live pretty comfortably in Penang. Since you will be working in the Bayan Lepas area, the apartment rental can range from RM1000 – RM3000 per month base on your criteria. There are a couple of apartments around Queensbay area such as Putra Place, Summerton, etc. Or the newly apartment along the coastal road:- Linear Light.

      As for pre-school, that will depend on where you are staying. I would suggest that you look for the property you want to stay first and then once you have that confirm you can start looking for a pre-school near your place. There are usually plenty around Bayan Lepas area.

  • stan stoilkov

    Hi Eric,

    I will be moving with my wife and son in December 2016 from KL to Penang (Company expand).
    I will have several places to visit on weekly basis (Komutar Tower-main and Penang Hill-one time per week) as my workd requerd. I am looking for apartment which is safe and amenities available nearby (mall or other small shops 7/11 or so), also public trasportation is important to me as i can’t drive.
    Please if you can share several option with as or areas i can check out.

  • Anna Daniel

    Hi there.. thanks for all this info… not sure if you are still providing input.. if so, or if others can chip in … I am wanting a part time base in Penang with the following criteria
    – community life ( though not too sleezy/touristy but alao not suburban
    – not a cocoon but mix of Residents and opportunities to engage w them – (Chinese, Malay, Indian and expats)
    -access to leisure sailing opportunities
    Does such a place exist ??

  • H Eric. Thanks for a very informative post. Similar to previous recent comments we too are looking for some accomodation in Penang soon. Our preference is to be within walking distance of the Interactive Museum in a child-friendly home. Can you connect us with any real-estate rental agents?

  • Leena

    Hei Eric,
    Good day! I will relocating with family to overseas sometime end of July’17 and therefore i am looking for expatriate (single (if possible)/family) to rent my full furnish unit located in Penang Island (nearby PEN airport-less 5min drive). Everything is well equipped only required to move with hand luggage/ no additional electronic, furnished item required. Can you help?

  • Lisa

    hi Eric, Very nice information.
    I am considering a job offer in Penang – Bayan Lepas area. My question: if my elderly parents stay with me for part of the time (and go back and forth from India), is it possible/affordable to get housekeeping help? My job will involve travel. I don’t want to leave them by themselves in Penang without help. So I would want a housekeeper who would either stay 7 am to 5 pm, or live-in. Please let me know if this is possible. And, if medical facilities are affordable and good standards in the Bayan Lepas area. Thanks.

    • Eric Chow

      Hi Lisa,

      There are 3 types of domestic helpers here: Amah, Cleaner and live in maid.
      Amah have set days and time to come to your place and they usually work for other families. They can cook and clean your house. It also depends on what is being agreed upon on. For cleaner, they usually work for an agency and their job is mainly to clean. They do not do other jobs such as cook or look after children/elderly. For Live in maid, the initial cost of having them is more expensive as you would need to pay the agency to get all the paper work done.

      Medical cost in government hospital is still general much cheaper compare to private hospital. You can read more about it here.

  • Carla

    HI, I will be working in Intel Factory and I want a place nearby the office. Where would be the best place especially a lady like me?

    Thank you
    Lorraine Carla Laplap

  • Mohammad Nafees

    Hi Eric, I have been reading your posts and it is quite helpful, thank you for the same.

    We are in search of a house/flat and a school for 3 years old son, my office location would be Bukit Tengah Industrial Park 14000 Bukit Mertajam Penang, Malaysia. I am looking to rent a flat for about RM 1500/month.

    I assume my office is at mainland but it would be better if I live at island, I don’t have car yet but I am planning to buy one very soon. My preference would be my living should be close to my child’s school. I have one school in my mind -St. Christopher.

    Please suggest a suitable area to live, we don’t want secluded place. Thanks for your help.


    • Eric Chow

      Hi Nafees

      St Christopher school is located in Pulau Tikus which is at the town center. You can stay somewhere around Pulau Tikus or Gurney Drive area. Since you mentioned that your work place will be in the mainland, you have two options of going across, which is either by ferry (nearer to the city center) or through the 1st bridge (Bayan Lepas). Unless you want something in between the school and the 1st bridge then you can probably look at some of the apartments in Karpal Singh drive.

  • Stacey V

    Hey Eric!

    Such a helpful guide thank you! Just curious to hear your thoughts on the best neighbourhood for a digital nomad lifestyle. We need an area with great internet, good cafes / coworking spaces to work from, close to water if possible, and close to a large grocery store.

    Thanks so much!

    • Eric Chow

      Hi Stacey,

      Welcome to Penang! Generally, the whole east side of the island of Penang has pretty good internet. Since grocery store is one of your criteria, you may want to start searching neighborhoods that are near to a grocery store as there is probably a handful in PG. Somewhere near E-gate which is close to Tesco, Queensbay area which is near to Aeon, Cold Storage which is near to Tanjung Tokong area. You can probably start with this areas.


  • Angela

    Hi Eric
    I’m so glad I found this site! My husband and I are looking at early retirement in Penang and while he’s off playing endless rounds of golf I’d like to continue my hobby/job of renovating properties. My question is around the availability of trades ie plumbers, tilers and if there’s much demand for mid priced western style apartments. Ideally I’d love to provide local employment opportunities for 3 or 4 projects per year.
    Any information you could provide would be greatly appreciated.

  • Steve S Johnson

    Hello Eric, Your information is really helpful! I`m interested in renting (Jan-May every year) a Condo near Georgetown and waterfront? Can you recommend an area where we can mostly walk and find Penang`s great street food? We are visiting this winter but just wondering if I can explore a specific part of the Island for future longer stays? Thanks, Steve

  • yara

    hi Eric, my family & i will be moving to Penang mainland soon. my husband will work at Perai. Can you suggest where we should settle down. we have our own transport. not wanting to be far from workplace. nice school & environment for family with small children. preferably guarded & gated residence with nice amenities & landed properties. Thank you

    • Eric Chow

      Hi Yara,

      The question that you asked is quite general. It all depends on what is your criteria which I have written in some of my blog post. However, you can PM me if you need more details.


  • Danny

    Hi Eric,

    Awaiting approval of MM2H but wanting to enter on 90 day tourist visa presently. Do you believe I can rent with a 3 month commitment with a view of 1 year lease upon approval in northern parts of Georgetown? Do you have a honest reliable rental agent you could recommend? Looking for condo living, fully furnished, 3 bedrooms for my wife and I .

    Thanks Danny

      • Brendon

        Hi Eric,
        You seem to be very in tune with Penang. I would like to know is it possible for someone with 18yrs of Bar experience in Asia to actually walk into a bar on the Island and find a job managing a bar as its always a position that is not advertised but being there in person and asking around always seems to be the best way to get a Job in the Hospitality industry. I have always been interested in Penang but never been there so im asking this question as i am thinking of going there in the next couple of days.
        Regards Bear.

  • Brendon

    Hi Eric,
    You seem to be very in tune with Penang. I would like to know is it possible for someone with 18yrs of Bar experience in Asia to actually walk into a bar on the Island and find a job managing a bar as its always a position that is not advertised but being there in person and asking around always seems to be the best way to get a Job in the Hospitality industry. I have always been interested in Penang but never been there so im asking this question as i am thinking of going there in the next couple of days.
    Regards Bear.

  • Diane

    Great reading Thank you.
    My husband and myself are thinking of retiring in Panang and have read up on this island. We are mid to late sixties Would like to be with expats Have heard North is the way to go. Table tennis and tennis we love and will not have a car. We would like to have a month stay to see what area we enjoy. Can we get a fully furn. Place 1bed. will be fine Good price for a month

  • Jan

    Hey Eric,

    Have been reading your blog for a while and its really giving a lot of helpful input about Penang!

    At the moment i am considering moving to Penang for work.
    Office will be on the mailnland and i am aware of the comute, but still think living on the island is worth the extra time.

    As most of the guidance for housing is in regards to families, where would you recommend to look for flats or condos for a single guy in his early 30s?

    So far i had a look at the quayside which i liked a lot.

    Any recommendations, tips or other things to consider?

    Thanks in advance

    • Eric Chow

      Which part of the mainland is your work situated at? Is it nearer to the 1st Bridge or 2nd Bridge? You can also consider checking out the area around Queensbay, Bayswater or Linear Light area if you want to avoid the traffic leading up to the town area at Georgetown.

  • Rondinne Hills

    Hi Eric, please could you send me details of the recommended estate agent/s? My email is
    It would also be great to chat via Skype or Viber with yourself or any expats who might be willing to answer some questions.
    Many thanks,

  • Adri

    Hi Eric,

    I hope you can help me as no one I’ve contacted so far has been willing to.

    My husband and I have MM2H visas and are considering making Penang Island or Butterworth our home.
    Can you perhaps tell us what the minimum purchase price is for a home in Penang for one unit on the MM2H program.

    Many thanks

    • Eric Chow

      Minimum purchase price with MM2H is RM500k and without MM2H minimum threshold will be RM2 million (Island) and RM1 million (Mainland).

  • avinash

    Hi Eric,

    Buying a car in mainland would save any money than buying it in Penang Island or it would be the same cost in both places?

    Thanks in advance

    • Eric Chow

      Hi Avinash,

      As far as I know, there shouldn’t be any difference in buying a car in the mainland or island. It all depends on how much the dealer wants to offer a good price.

  • Hello,
    Any property agent to get the apartment in Lengkok Mayang Pasir 1, Bayan Lepas area?
    Do we have Indian grocery store like (Jayam, Gorgetown / Morden Store, KL) in this area?
    Average fees of a International School? Any Suggestion which school is good?
    Indian Vegetarian restaurants? Any recommendation?

    • Eric Chow

      Hi Mohit,

      Yes there is plenty of Indian grocery store here. You can also check out places like Sunshine Market area for Indian grocery store. International school fees here can go from RM16k to RM25k per term. It varies from year to year. So the best thing to do is to ask the school for the latest tuition fees. Please visit for all the international schools.
      For Indian vegetarian restaurant, my take would be Syed Bistro, Passion of Kerala, Karaikudi Restaurant, Sri Ananda Bahwan Restaurant and Restoran Veloo Villas

  • Stephanie

    Hi Eric,
    Thanks for the helpful information that you have put up together.

    My family and I are moving to Penang. My husband works in Batu Kawan. I am unable to decide between mainland and island. I have yet to do a thorough survey. Generally, I hope that schools are not to far (approx. 20 minutes drive), traffic to workplace is not a nightmare (approx. 30-45 minutes drive), reliable amenities nearby, community library with many choices of books, safe and clean living area. Hopefully, there are choices of enrichment classes and performing arts centre within 15-20 minutes drive. For schools, we are looking at public primary schools. As for secondary, cluster or controlled public school.

    We are looking at renting a 3+1 bedroom property.

    Hope you can suggest.

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