TROPICAL PLAYGROUND

Few weeks before Gabby turned 7 last 5th October, he candidly told his mom and I that he’d like to have beach toys as birthday gift. I smiled from ear to ear because apparently, it won’t cost me and Tina our arms and legs. He already had a set which he used when he enjoyed the powdery white sand and turquoise crystal waters of Philippines' Island Paradise, BORACAY a couple of years back, but of course, we didn’t bother to bring those to Penang. Then we thought, what’s the use of beach toys without going to proper venue, right? It’s a subtle way for our kid to utter his wish to take him to where he can play his preferred birthday present. How creative! 😀

The 10th floor unit that we’re renting in Butterworth has a priceless sea view, breakwaters actually with white sand too. However, it’s such a “buwis-buhay” (read : life-threatening) to cross the highway (motorway or freeway; whatever suits you!) on foot. Thus, we found time to actually give way to Gabby’s birthday wish.

Glorious sunset view from our living room

8th October 2011, Saturday. Tina, Gabby, my dad and I hopped on Rapid Bus 101 en route to Tajung Bungah from Jetty in George Town. After almost 40 minutes, we got off the bus near Infinity condo building and saw this road sign:

Several steps more from the bus stop via the narrow street, we found the public beach that was recommended by one of my senior colleagues who lives with his family in a nearby condo unit.

PUBLIC BEACH means NO ENTRANCE FEE! One may truly enjoy the sun, the sea breeze, the waters (if you dare swim at your own risk!) without spending a cent other than bus fare and your efforts to go there. Indeed, ‘best things in life are free!’
Those upscale condo units in Penang's premiere location have monthly rental fees that start from 1,300 ringgit or USD 416 (PhP 18K) and can soar as high as 15K ringgit or USD 4,800 (PhP 207K+)!
And the 7-year-old boy became excited for some seashells and sand…
Admittedly, my first impression of the public beach in Batu Ferringhi was unpleasant. Batu Ferringhi has a stretch of beaches that comes after Tajung Bungah. Muddy, dirty, and far from Boracay and Philippine resorts’ qualities. Let me emphasize those initial insights were of public beaches in Batu Ferringhi in 2010. The sand and waters along Penang’s hotels and resorts (Shangri La’s Rasa Sayang, Hard Rock, Flamingo and many more) in Batu Ferrhingi are off topic. Nonetheless, Tajung Bungah public beach, although far from being sublime, is good enough venue to unwind. Tina professed we’re so coming back!

We strolled to look for a spot…
Then the weather became too cloudy that we thought there will be downpour. What’s great about Penang is its strategic location –we’re far from the routes of typhoon, there’s no class-suspension here; no storms yet in my more than a year stay. And so in almost a blink, the strong winds blew these dark clouds away.

A few more steps and we saw people frolicking in the beach, some were having fun on water sports -kayaking and jet skis. I am guessing they’ve availed it from the nearby Flaming hotel…

A closer look…

The place is also perfect for camping; we saw families who managed to bring and set up tents with barbecue grills, tables and other stuffs. No corkage fee here, haha!

Fun with ball games is also a possibility.


And being lazy on the sand until you appreciate the sunset and the stars is also can, can! LOL! (FYI, Malaysians commonly use the phrase, “can, can!” when they want to affirm something).


Finally, Tina removed her rubber shoes and spread our blue blanket…It could’ve been more apt if we brought a plastic mat but we don’t have it, so a soiled fleece did the job before it hits our washing machine.


Gabby followed by dropping his beach toys…

Et voila! Gabby’s masterpiece included Mr. Crab…


We stayed in Tajung Bungah public beach at almost an hour and left the place at 6 in the evening. We headed to a steamboat buffet after, that I will post on a separate entry.

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29 thoughts on “TROPICAL PLAYGROUND

    1. sa 168, divisoria or tutuban? miss ko nang magpunta at mamili doon!
      …sabay pasyal at kain sa ongpin at simba sa binondo. 🙂

      syempre pa, walang tatalo sa libre, hehe! 🙂

      thanks, grace!

    1. “kids love the beach..” –i agree! gabby likes it too despite he doesn’t know how to swim yet, he just loves being in the sand, enjoying everything in the shores.

      your baby prince is a blessing, carla!

  1. wala pa yata tayong area na ganito na beach line with a skyline. saya pag may malapit na ganito to spend time during a weekend. i love exotic beaches as much as i love the urban and busy beach.

    1. with your vast and varied experiences and exposures to most if not all beaches in the philippines, dom, you are an authority when it comes to this. so there’s nothing like tajung bungah yet in pinas where coastline meets skyline? 😀

  2. You’re lucky for having to enjoy such a beautiful place and luckier still because it’s free!
    May beach din dito sa Kuwait and it’s free and it’s just a walk away from our place pero dahil malapit din sa refinery, not sure kung malinis ang tubig (although I frequently see people bathing so malinis siguro). Hmm…will show them to you once of these days.

    1. hey, nebz, welcome to my blog! it’s a first for this site to have someone from kuwait (i think!); you’re welcome to frequent here. and because i like the post that i have read on your blog when i visited it first a while ago (INSPIRING!), i’ve linked your site already. thanks!

      will wait till you post your kind of beach in kuwait.

    1. and you certainly know the brand of her rubber shoes (or flats ba iyon?), ms. elna! obvious na expert ka sa shopping, haha! she bought 2 pairs a couple of months back and got it both at 50% discount in crocs here.

  3. hi docgelo, ang sarap talaga kapag may available na beach sa tabi tapos libre pa! bakit naman hindi kayo makatawid sa beach sa harap ninyo? wala pang pedestrian bridge? alam mo when i was in penang in the late 90s, parang hindi ko yata na realize na may beach nga pala dyan. napadpad lang kasi ako sa mga palengke at sa mga kainan, ehehe.

  4. My boy is turning 11 this Friday, and since I’m really tired and hooked up with work, I cannot seem to prepare for the beach, we’re going to the nearest pool resort instead.

  5. it’s been 2 weeks (I think) since I visited your blog (and my blog too lol) ang dami ko ng namiss hehehe, busy sa bisita kasi e hehehe….

    it’s truly indeed a nice beach and a really good place to unwind but it’s a bit gloomy when you got there ha…..I wonder if there’s still a free “nice” beach in the Philippines?? sa atin kasi binabayaran ang entrance lalo na pag pupunta ka sa magagandang resort….siguro sa boracay libre kung taga roon ka but if you’re from Manila gagastos ka para lang makapunta sa Boracay at hindi naman pwedeng balikan lang hehehe para makatipid sa lodging

    1. sobrang busy si sards, kinalimutan na kami at magblog! hehe…
      glad you found time again to visit here.

      i am not sure kung may libre pang “nice” beach sa pinas. noong bata pa kami, nagpupunta kami sa dalampasigan pero di gaanong -nice. kasi madumi at di kaaya-aya. 😦

      sadly, every nice things in pinas (and wherever) has a price.
      buti dito kahit paano, may libreng beach. we are grateful 😀

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