Penang's Nearby Islands by Don
I'm afraid I have to start with a Geography lesson. Pulau Tikus is located to the North and just before the Northern Channel. It is a deserted island, mainly rocky, with a lighthouse... nothing much unless you want to fish. Legend has it there are lots of tikus ( rats ) on the island! Pulau Jerejak, Pulau Rimau and Pulau Betong (in that order ) would be along the same route if you start off from Batu Maung. After Rimau, there is a biggish island called Pulau Kendi. Pulau Jerejak has some deserted buildings on one side of the island and on the other has our famous Penang Shipbuilding Corporation. Last heard they might be building submarines for our Navy!! You would not be able to explore the island as mainly it is deserted. Rimau has 3 nice beaches and a lighthouse. Again, deserted. Kendi also has a couple of nice beaches and that's it........ lots of iguanas though, frolicking in the sea, if you look hard enough. Jerajak is to the east of Penang, and Rimau and Kendi is to the South East and South West respectively. Pulau Betong is located on the West, near to the Western tip to the south west end of Penang. There is a nice fishing village and they rear prawns/fish there. Access by sea is by shallow draught boats of around 3 feet. I wonder what you wish to do on the islands as the first 3 are deserted. The waters aren't clear so snorkeling is out! Maybe if you tell me what you want to do and interest, I may be able to advise. With regard to Monkey beach, there are 2 bungalows and quite near, the Fisheries/University of Penang Marine station. Visitors are welcome although one should request from them to visit before arrival. The bungalows belong to the late Boon Siew of Honda fame and I'm not sure whom one should approach to use the bungalows. If you are staying in any of the Batu Ferringhi beach hotels, they can arrange a boat to visit Monkey beach as with the Song Song Islands, ..... please sea (pun intended!) below. To the north of Penang are 4 islands called Song Song Islands where the waters are crystal clear during neap tides. Again, they are mainly deserted but great for snorkeling. Further north are the Payar Islands. I can put you in touch with a few boat charterers who would be pleased to take you to all these places........ please note, I'm not a commission agent and am responding to your query because Kayes, a very good friend mailed me to respond! Don.