Tanjung Tokong vs Sungai Ara by a non-Penangite

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:
1)    Traffic
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.
2)    Comfort
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.
3)    Accessibility
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.
Next suggested article: Penang properties – Tanjung Tokong


  1. i was staying at off of tanjung bungah. It was 12km away to my office. at least 10 traffic lights need to pass through. it always took me more than 1hour to get home during peak hour 🙂

  2. hello friend
    as not from penang myself i am blessed with this knowledge. thank you for sharing dear sir
    good luck bro

  3. it is true that Tanjung tokong, Bunga and Gurney are getting congested especially during peak hour and holiday, it used to happen in Gurney traffic light where there are only 2 options to transverse your traffic to town or heading south, one path is as mentioned above via Gurney and second path via cemetery area, the worse part is, especially the weekday during school dismissal time in Pheng Hwa school, it is terrible worse and it used to be long queue stuck in traffic light.
    Moreover, the high rise development is getting more and more, in the past few years, we have been seeing the sprouting of development in those area but the infrastructure remains unchanged, the situation has reached saturated threshold as more and more cars, those luxury development have had happened along the tanjung bunga by sea view, for instance, The cove, infinity, one tanjung, skyhome, HR and etc, it seems to be the population has increased but the infrastructure is not aligning with the plan and cater to the accessibility requirement. I think it has been over developed with high rise property without in consideration of infrastructure, therefore, with the current infrastructure, it is unable to cope with the current traffic, something has to be done by working out a solution.
    For Sungai Ara, Bayan Baru and those areas in South, I noticed a lot of things are changing to good direction, and foresee a lot of opportunities there. there will be more and more business activity and opportunity, for instance, BTO, SPICE, second bridge, Batu kawan, airport, Universities and so on.

    1. Ha ha. One day….. people will say say same thing for sungai ara as above.

  4. Yeah, it is just matter of time, time will prove it : )

    1. hmmm….. means I should wait first before selling? Haha….

  5. Hi Chialih,
    it depends on own risk appetite and your plan as a whole for your investment plan, ^_^, if you manage to sell the property in upper market price, any time is a good time. otherwise, you don’t have to rush for that : )

  6. […] Next suggested article: Tanjung Tokong vs Sungai Ara by a non-Penangite […]

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