I started working in Penang after my graduation from USM 5 years ago. I have also stayed in mainland in my first job and have since moved to the island after landing a position with an online property company. When we talk about prime areas in Penang, Tanjung Tokong, Tanjung Bungah or Pulau Tikus is always the top choices for richer Penangites. To them, these location are best and most strategic because it is near to Gurney, close to town and seems great in every way, including seaview.
However, if you were to ask me, or most of the non- Penangite, I prefer areas like Sungai Ara, Sungai Dua, Bayan Baru, which are considered newer areas on the southern part of Penang. My reasons include but not limited to the following:
This is always my main concern. In terms of distance, of course, Tanjung Tokong is much nearer to town as compared to Sungai Ara (or any other area) to town. However, if you were to compare it in terms of duration or the time needed for you to drive from town back to your home in Sungai Ara, it would be almost the same. My colleague stays in Tanjung Bungah, and I stay in Sungai Dua, the time used for us to reach home is almost the same. You can choose not to believe, but that is a fact.
Areas like Tanjung Tokong is always too packed for me. Lots of cars, lots of buildings and many of the roads are just not wide enough. In Sungai Ara however, the roads are definitely wider in many areas and in terms of tall buildings, still lesser. Thus, I feel comfortable a lot of building, certain area the access road is not really big. Whereas, Sungai Ara, road is wider, building are lesser. The ‘packed’ feeling is not there, and that’s why I feel it’s more homey.
Shopping? Queensbay is just 10-15 minute away. Airport? 10-15 minute away. Expo at SPICE? 10 minute away. Private Hospital? First Bridge? Second Bridge? Yes. Police Station? Fire Station which is bigger than the one in Tg Tokong? Yes. Schools? Yes. Chinese Schools? Yes. Market? Yes. So, what else do you need? Friendly people? Yes! I stay there!
Of course, there is no such thing as always right or wrong. Everyone is free to choose the place that they like and feel comfortable with. To those who love Tg. Tokong, like my colleague from Johor, go stay there. As for me, it’s Sungai Ara first and Tg. Tokong perhaps just within top 10. Haha.
written by Hayley Huan, edited by Chia Lih.
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