Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Trip to the Night Market at Batu Ferringhi

I would like to apologize for not posting in a while. My extremely slow Streamyx connection prevented me from using the internet most of the day.

On August 26 Kevin and I will be going to the US for a 3 week visit with friends and family. This will be Kevin's first visit to the US and he is quite excited. In preparation for our visit we visited Batu Ferringhi to have dinner and purchase souvenirs for people back home. We had a wonderful Middle Eastern dinner at Tarbush Lebanese restaurant in Batu Ferringhi. After dinner we went to the ever famous night market.

For those who are not familiar with Batu Ferringhi, it is the tourist mecca on the north end of Penang island. Here you can buy fake Rolex watches and all kinds of fake brand named items, from purses to perfume and clothing. (For my friends and family back home who may be reading this post, no I didn't buy you any fake items!) You can also buy cheap pirated Cd's before the dealers are shut down by the police. But don't worry; about 15 minutes after the police leave they are back in business again. It is an excellent place to buy cheap souvenirs and housewares and decorations. If you are a foreigner wanting to buy something here, never pay the asking price. Always look around and bargain for the best price. If you have a local with you, you will be assured of the lowest possible price.

After spending about an hour there we bought a number of Penang tee shirts and Penang refrigerator magnets, which depicted different scenes around Penang. Actually the magnets were very nice. The most difficult part of buying the shirts was finding large sizes. For those Americans and Europeans buying shirts, you must be aware that Malaysian sizes are much smaller than western sizes. If you want to buy a large size for a friend back home you must buy an XXL size here. A small Malaysian size would be suitable for a child's shirt in the west. The night market at Batu Ferringhi is probably the best place to buy shirts and clothing, as they have a larger variety of sizes and you can bargain for the prices.

If you visit Batu Ferringhi you will notice tons of restaurants there and a lot of foreigners. Many expats choose to live here, because of the larger population of expats. If you would like authentic Malaysian food, however, you should try Georgetown and the less touristy areas of Penang. The food in Batu Ferringhi is toned down for the Caucasians who are not used to the spiciness and explosion of flavors of Malaysian food. Being a tourist area the prices here are naturally much higher than not tourist local eateries.

Regardless of whether or not you are a first time visitor to Penang or you are a permanent resident here, visiting Batu Ferringhi's Night Market and area attractions are a definite must.

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