Thursday, 14 February 2013

Penang Districts (2): Straits Quay / Seri Tanjung Pinang

In this the second of the series providing an overview of Penang districts we look at Straits Quay, or perhaps more correctly, Seri Tanjung Pinang.  Straits Quay is actually the mall style commercial complex which is adjacent to the delightful marina whereas Seri Tanjung Pinang actually refers to the whole development.

Seri Tanjung Pinang is very new, springing up over the last few years and which is so close to Tanjung Tokong that it almost merges into it.  It is however equally distinct from Tanjung Tokong in that in order to get to it you need to turn right off Jalan Tanjung Tokong (if heading out from Georgetown) at Island Plaza and follow the road that swings down through the large development of 'courtyard' homes which straddle the dual carriageway which swings close to the coast and which is the back-bone and sole connecting road to this area.  The road actually rejoins Jalan Tanjung near to the Tesco Superstore on the outskirts of Tanjung Tokong.

Seri Tanjung Pinang is approximately 7.4 km from Georgetown, 3.6 km from Gurney Drive (Gurney Plaza), 1.3 km from Tg Tokong, 2.1 km from Tg Bungah, 10.1 km from Batu Ferringhi and 22.7 km from Penang Airport.  Being very close to Tg Tokong (see post here) the area benefits from relatively easy access to all of the amenities and facilities there and Seri Tanjung Pinang itself is largely comprised of the already mentioned Straits Quay mall and marina, the coastal walkway, (still under development) leisure park and the newly developed residential areas.

Given what the area is made up of (as per above paragraph) it's relatively easy to provide an overview of it. Given the nature of the area it does lend itself more to a pictorial rather than written review.

First off, here is a partial arial view of the semi-detached 'courtyard' homes which straddle the dual-carriageway that dissects the area.  The shot is not ideal by any means but does give an idea of the style and the density of the building for these dwellings.

The dual-carriageway road that forms the backbone of Seri Tanjung Pinang.

A shot showing the general style of the courtyard homes.

Next is the Marina itself.  Clearly it has moorings for boats and is closed in on three sides by buildings which house shops, food and beverage (F&B) outlets and the apartment style dwellings.

Another view of the Marina, this time from the walkway.  As can be seen it is quite picturesque and makes for a pleasant place for an early morning or evening stroll or even just for a visit to watch the world go by at one of the many F&B outlets.

And there is a great walkway which extends along to coast to the right of the marina which is ideal for walking and running.  This is to be extended to the left of the Marina also as a newly constructed park nears completion.

A shot showing a slightly closer view of the apartments which sit above the shopping mall area and its F&B outlets.

One of the popular F&B outlets at Straits Quay, the Irish themed 'Healy Macs' bar, shot when it was actually closed, it is usually quite busy here.

Another of the F&B outlets, 'The Library'.  Again, very popular.  Has a live band and some great deals on drinks during Happy Hour.  There will be more on the bars at Straits Quay in an upcoming feature on Penang Bars.

A view of one of the sea-front dwellings that are adjacent to the shot of the walkway in the 5th picture above.  They are quite well concealed behind hedgerows and trees etc. so a good shot is not east.  OK for privacy, not sure about the view though?

Finally, the the next few shots feature the mall itself.  Decked out here ready for Chinese New Year (CNY), the mall has a number of boutique style shops which includes the Apple reseller 'Switch', a hair stylist, fashion shops and numerous other outlets.  A significant number of the outlets here though are of the F&B variety.

This is the entrance to the Mall, again with CNY trimmings.

One of the courtyard areas outside the mall which often play host to markets, especially at weekends.

A shot showing the front of the mall which also shows the condo dwellings (left of shot) which are currently under construction.  The left side of the mall also incorporates a well used convention centre (which houses the excellent PenangPAC theatre) which often plays host to popular shows and events and a new gym, Extreme Fitness, which is very popular.

There is ample parking at the Straits Quay complex, charged at RM1 per visit, and there's normally ample spaces to accommodate visitors but the area can get VERY busy at weekends, especially if there is an event on when cars can often be seen lining the dual carriageway on both sides, including each side of the central reservation.  While there are not many non-F&B outlets at Straits Quay it's probably fair to say that wherever you live, if you want a good variety of shops and eateries all in one place your are going to need to visit one of the larger malls in Penang such as Gurney Plaza, Queensbay, Komtar/Prangin/First Avenue or even E-Gate (more a complex than a mall).  Straits Quay though does have a good range of F&B outlets in a very pleasant environment, although prices tend to be high.

Seri Tanjung Pinang is a highly sought after area for residential property and, given the 'lifestyle package' (as living in this kind of area is often called) and the coastal / marina location, the price of property here reflects this.  If it's what you want, one of the 4 styles of residence here will fit you down to the ground, at a price!!  The courtyard style of homes may be considered too high density for some and, as per the previous post on Tanjung Tokong here, I'd advise visiting at various times, the noise from yapping dogs here I have found quite noticeable when I used to walk home from the area regularly.  The marina apartments are very nice but you would need to be mindful of the noise that will come up from the F&B outlets here, especially those with live bands, albeit the music does have to be turned right down at 12 midnight.  The sea-front homes offer more peace and seclusion (at a price) and the condos are also very highly sought after.

I like to visit Seri Tanjung Pinang and especially Straits Quay but, as has been inferred from the above post, there isn't actually that much to the area, essentially it's all centred around Straits Quay.  That 'lifestyle' package may appeal to you (as clearly it does to many others) and while there is not actually much to the area beyond Straits Quay the same could likely be said about anywhere, save for places like Gurney Drive, where there is much to see and do within walking distance.  It is quite well placed though, certainly as 'strategic' as Tg Tokong and with a less urban feel to it.  The developer 'E&O' also has a very good reputation for delivering in terms of quality and fit/finish.  As an area it's certainly worth checking out and of all the areas here it probably has the most unique look and feel to it.


  1. Well you have certainly been busy. This was a very informative and interesting piece. Many people in Penang are still not aware of Straits Quay and this will help a great deal. I go there on occassion for dinner, but I find that other than one or two places, the restaurants are overpriced and the food is terrible. I have noticed since it opened that most people go there to take photos and sight see, rather than patronizing the shops. I like switch and Converse, but I would not go into any of the others. I agree with you about the apartments overlooking the marina having to withstand the loud noices from the bars and restaurants. The courtyard homes to me are way too close to each
    other and actually remind me of public housing back home, but more expensive. I also am a bit leary of the homes being built so quickly on reclaimed land. Mother nature may want it back some day!

    1. Haha, yah, thought I'd kick of the CNY with a flurry of activity. Much more to come too!!

      Thanks for the comments. I agree with all you say. Actually I haven't eaten at Straits Quay for many months now. I only really rate Blue Reef though I'm told the german fayre at, Brauhaus is it?, is good. The rest I also found to be quite lacklustre, bland and very pricey. Papa Rich is OK i suppose IF you like that kind of thing but I'd rather get my fix of local dishes in town at places that specialise in a few select dishes.

      Shops wise I actually find very little there that appeals. Switch, as you say, the sports place on the first floor and the place that does headphones. But all quite pricey. I do like the coffee place near Subway on the first floor (ah, I forgot about Subway) but again, pricey.

      The dwellings I think are very much a matter of taste, either they appeal of they don't, they sure have a rather distinct feel and it clearly appeals to many given the rapid sell out rates. I wonder how many are occupied though.

  2. One evening earlier last November, along with a couple of friends, I went looking for a restaurant in the Straits Quay mall. The place was mostly empty, with the staff looking doleful and longfaced. I recall thinking why anybody living in Penang would go to these places when outlets with greater character and authentic food taste are around. Many of the malls like this in Asia ape the American model. The irony is that shopping malls are getting boarded up all over the place in the US, because people are realizing that these seemingly glitzy places are expensive and do not offer any authentic local experience. And we ended up going to the Tandoor place in Precinct 10.


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