So then, it was like 5-6 years ago that I went there with a couple of friends – decent enough – did the touristy thing so to speak, visit some friends and stuff, drive pass Batu Feringghi and that was it. So for the longest time I couldn’t understand the appeal of the island – Penangnites are fiercely loyal to their dear island and the non-natives will go back time after time. Probably the appeal isn’t there for me as I am not crazy about the food – even that the old timers will lament things aren’t as good as it used to.
But going back to the place this time around, I can see for myself the changes within myself (perception) and also the island. First off, it looks scary as they are building luxurious (albeit tasteful and totally TDF) high rise residences in any and every given corner, and it aint cheap too. Overpopulated, overpriced aside, it is also an expat haven but I suppose it is more obvious right now or my eyes are just roving more. The rest of the island is fine – given the fact they changed the route of many roads from two ways to one way only.
What is more surprising is the other part of the island know as Feringghi, which is where many tourist and I went and you know it doesn’t even feel like I am in Malaysia. It’s not to say that they try and emulate things from overseas and yes the night market has been there for many years but by and by, things are beginning to look very much like our neighbour up north but with less variety, size, fun and excitement. I mean the massage and fish spa places that cropped up, the middle eastern catered outlets etc and not to mention that I get asked by the locals if I want to exchange money or go for tour which really puzzles me.
I guess I get that all the time, maybe it’s the way that I dress or it’s that ‘easy’ look on my face that attracts the tout? Or maybe the head to toe ASOS ensemble. But all said and done, it's like a bubble being in that place and it's not a bad thing, sometimes you just need to escape from your daily lives and the daily lives are outside of Feringghi area. Who wants to be reminded of real life when they on holiday, no?