Where to Live?? What Social Events?

My wife and I are from Florida, USA and will be living in Penang from mid January to mid February. We want to be near beaches, good local restaurants, a safe neighborhood, shopping including supermarkets, and local transportation. I keep reading in International Living Magazine that we can rent apartments with great amenities, including the items listed above, for under 4,000 MYR per month. What neighborhoods or parts of the island would people recommend we rent in? Are there any wonderful social events we could attend while living there? Are there any realtors that anyone would recommend to help us find a great place to live?

Suggest you join the Facebook group Expats in Penang for better response and landlords to contact you.

You should aim to live anywhere from Straits Quay northwards but will need to travel to find everything you list. For example the beaches are mainly at Batu Ferringhe or Tanjung Bungah or Miami, which are in the north/east corner but the shops are at Gurney Drive, which is between SQ and George Town. The historical centre is in GT (UNESCO area and buffer zone). The most interesting places are here but it is quite a long distance from the beach area. The beaches are so so and the water is not very clean and often has jelly fish, so ensure your accommodation has a nice pool.

Thanks for your detailed reply. From what I have seen from my short research, Batu Ferringhe seems to be the party area with beaches. I'm looking in that area, but the search site overlaps with Miami Green. Last year in Phuket Thailand we rented a motorbike for 30 days for about 750 RM. Any hope of renting one for that rate?

I have just sent a message to join that FB site.

Check out La Belle (https://www.facebook.com/VespaPenang/) on Facebook. By the way, Penang "runs" on Facebook so do search on there for information.  Penang is not really like Phuket by the way. To find accommodation for such a short term, try searching under the keyword "homestay". People rent out their condos at the Miami Beach area under that system. Looks like you are going to miss the highlight of Chinese NY 2018 but you will be in Penang for Thaipusam

Hi Dennis and Linda,
I too am from the US (California) and love living in Penang. It's a really interesting place. So I'd actually recommend that you split your time between living in Georgetown and another location, like maybe Tanjung Bungah. The beaches here aren't very nice - there's a lot of trash on the beaches and jellyfish in the water - so you may not want to spend a lot of time on the beach. If you want to get the most out of your time in Penang, I'd suggest living in locations where you can really soak up what Penang does best: culture, charming colonial architecture and food. The best place to get a great hit of all three of these things is in Georgetown. There are lots of guest houses that are very affordable. You can also search AirBnB to find someplace great to rent short-term. Georgetown is really something special and unique.

The Gurney Drive area is another popular place to live, which is kind of a shopping mall area with high rise condos and some hawker stalls. Tanjung Bungah is a residential neighborhood with a couple of okay beaches, lots of expats, a great wet market and lots of good restaurants. Batu Ferringhi is a touristy area with a night market every day of the week and a long beach that's pretty bustling with jetskis, parasailing and pony rides.

Since you're staying only a month, you don't need to use a realtor to rent a place - just go on AirBnB.

As for festivals, you'll be here for Thaipusam, which is my favorite festival in Penang.
I hope that helps!

Thanks, Gravitas and Cimeron for the good advice. I think I'll just use Batu as the party place and not live there. I've located this website and am looking there for apartments:
Pricing is better than airbnb.

Unfortunately for just one month, you probably wont find anything there as they are minimum one year lease prices (Penang is mainly a residential location not only a holiday place). Try searching on Homestay to find monthly rentals.

Penangites are very enterprising and you might just find a holiday let on Ibilik (which is mainly rooms but does have some whole units too) http://www.ibilik.my/rooms/penang

Join the FB group Expats in Penang and post a request as well.

Quayside Condominium in Tanjung Tokong is a nice place to live in..... fantastic facilities. But, probably challenging to find an owner willing to lease for just 1 month. May want to ask some housing agents if they can find for you.

But there may be serviced apartments available in Straits Quay next door for such  a short period. In fact for your budget many serviced apartments would be a possibility and of course they will have all the services laid on, such as wifi.

Yup, Straits Quay is a good choice too. Lots of restaurants just downstairs :)

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