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Malaysia Travel Diary: Batu Ferringhi

Holiday Inn Malaysia
Holiday Inn

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We spent a few days in Batu Ferringhi at the end of two weeks in Malaysia in 2010. Prior to this we were in Kuala Lumpur and George Town. Below are the details of our daily adventures in Batu Ferringhi. See also our Food Diary of Malaysia.

2nd Aug, 2010: Day 1 in Batu Ferringhi

eating beachside in batu ferringhi
eating beachside

The taxi from George Town incorrectly dropped off at the tower wing of the Holiday Inn, where we had to leave their luggage. Thankfully were actually booked into the beach side of the road in the nicer section of the hotel. They seemed a bit disorganised - we had an hour to wait for our room to be ready, a room with three double beds. We were busting to go for a swim. As Jetson slept, Rob and Olive swam until Clare swapped with rob.

There does not seem to be many cheap places to eat around here. We walked down to the cheaper part of town and enjoyed a beer on the beach at a seafood / Chinese bistro. It seems hotter here despite being next to the beach. There was plenty of action watersports going on, and nice to see the sun set over the water. We walked back through some night market stalls that were just starting to set up, and into our comfy beds, albeit in the same room.

Jetson made lots of friends
Jetson made lots of friends

3rd Aug, 2010: Day 2 in Batu Ferringhi

As we decided not to include breakfast with our hotel room booking, we had to find somewhere to eat in the surrounding streets. We headed one way along the main road, there were not many options. We found an Indian restaurant, but they were not serving any Indian Food for breakfast - we had to settle for western style, which was good for a change.

We had planned a relaxing day today - some swimming in the pool and exploring around the hotel. Clare went and bought a hat for olive, and was quite disappointed with the shopping on offer. Maybe the night markets will be better.

Fruit carving demonstration
Fruit carving

Olive spent some time in the kids' club that is at the hotel, and made a turtle racer out of a paper plate which she was very proud of. We also joined one of the hotel activities and watched a fruit carving demonstration. One of the best things about it was that we could eat the cuttings, and Olive was given a pawpaw flower to take-away.

For dinner the concierge sent us down to the Long Beach Food court, which was a great collection of hawker stalls. We wish we had found it earlier. We walked back to the hotel through the night market,and found plenty we are interested in. We will have to come back later and spend more time shopping.

4th Aug, 2010: Day 3 in Batu Ferringhi

We decided to try the big buffet breakfast that was served at the hotel this morning. Rob took a load of our washing to be laundered, then back for all of us to go for a swim in the hotel pool. We had a snack across the road at a dodgy looking shack, which we discovered served great little Chinese steamed bun dumplings. Another thing that Olive likes.

Horse riding at Batu Ferringhi
Horse riding at Batu Ferringhi

Olive spent some more time in the kid's club and did some plaster painting – another souvenir to take home. Clare had a massage. There was no cooking demo today, we were the only ones interested and they cancelled it. The hotel activities are very poorly organized.

For dinner we went back to the backpacker side of town at the beach, and struggled to find somewhere to feed us. The first place did not have any meals on offer despite a large menu. We ended up having some satays and beer, which was not too bad. The setting on the beach was great, and Olive went for a sunset horse ride along the beach. We found another place to serve us a very hot Tom Yum soup. We took the shorter walk back along the beach to our hotel, and then Clare went out to explore the night market on her own.

Spice garden swing
Spice garden swing

5th Aug, 2010: Day 4 in Batu Ferringhi

We found a great local place to eat just down the road, where they made fresh roti and juice. From there we caught the local bus to the Spice Garden, about 15 minutes away. There was no English tour (as advertised), so we had to explore the garden ourselves. They said it was easy to navigate around, but we seemed to get a bit lost. The highlights were the large swinging chair and the coffee and snacks at the cafe in the garden. Across the road at a local cafe with ocean views we got some more food before catching the bus back. For dinner we walked along the main road looking for a place to eat and were struggling to find a suitable place open, and were notified that most of the places were closed due to some police crackdown. We eventually found a nice place called the Boatman Restaurant. Tonight it was Rob's turn to explore the night market.

Butterfly farm
Butterfly farm

6th Aug, 2010: Day 5 in Batu Ferringhi

We returned to the local breakfast cafe. The workers there are very friendly, and there is another baby Jetson's age. Clare caught a bus back to George Town to do some shopping while Rob took Olive in the opposite direction to the Butterfly Farm. We caught a taxi there, but decided to walk back to the coast then bus back home. It was a long walk in the heat, and Rob had to carry Olive for a bit. She is getting a bit heavy for that sort of thing. In the town we came across the restaurant that Michael from KL had told us about, 'The Restaurant at the End of the World'. It served Chinese seafood, we had a couple of noodle dishes. Back at the hotel we had dinner with Tracy and Colin, who we had been put in touch with by Michael and Cristina in KL. They were a couple from Australia who had moved to Penang with their two children (Noah and Hayley) , and were keen to catch up and for the kids to play.

Olive eating in Batu Ferringhi
Eating Beachside

7th Aug, 2010: Day 6 in Batu Ferringhi

We started the day with another big breakfast feast at the hotel. It was a rainy morning and we did not have much planned. Unfortunately Rob had to go without getting his haircut from the relentless barber just down the road. We could not go past his shop without him pursuing us along the street calling out "haircut, haircut, haircut". In the afternoon we were picked up by our new friends Colin and Tracy, and had a swim at their place, learning a bit about their life plans of travelling and living overseas. They drove us back to Batu Ferringhi for another meal at the hawker food court.

room with a view in Batu Ferringhi
Room View

8th Aug, 2010: Day 7 in Batu Ferringhi: Going Home

We did our final pack, then into a taxi to the airport. We needed the extra bag we bought the other day to carry the extra stuff that we have accumulated over the two weeks here. Our flights back are via Singapore. We arrived at Changi airport with a few hours to wait until the flight to Perth. We had assumed we would be able to transfer within the airport, but as we were flying on non-connecting budget airlines, we had to clear customs and enter Singapore, and wait in the 'outer' airport which is not as nice and not as many facilities. At least we all got our passports stamped for another country. We had a meal and found a playground for Olive to play in. We thought we still had loads of time and were about to sit down for a coffee when we recalculated how long we had left, and discovered we had go straight away and rush to another terminal to make our check in. We were flying on Tiger Airways to Australia, and knew they are often strict with making you miss your flight if you are late. We made it to the counter just a few minutes late, and fortunately they did not say anything. A big relief. It was a long day of travel - we arrived back in Perth at 9pm, with ever-reliable Nina there to greet us at the airport and take us back home.

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