How to Find a Rental Apartment in Penang - Part 1

March 01, 2012

Top tips for finding a rental home in Penang- start at the Hydro Hotel

How do you find a place to rent in Penang? What are the costs of short term rental apartments in Penang? Can you live cheaply in Georgetown? What is it like to winter in SE Asia?

We answered many of these questions in our long post, "How to Rent a Tropical Winter Home in Penang, Malaysia", but we know even more this year and you seem to want more info, so I will do a series on how we did it with loads of photos from rental homes that we looked at all over Penang from Miami Green to Time Square.See also:  Finding a Vacation Rental Apartment in Penang


It was several long flights and over 25 hours of travel from San Francisco to our tropical home in Penang, Malaysia. We left at 7pm Saturday from our home in Capitola, California and arrived Monday night around 5pm local time a bit bleary eyed, jet lagged, and exhausted, but excited and ready to hit the ground running.

We flew from San Francisco to Hong Kong, then switched planes also on Cathay Pacific to Singapore, then changed planes again to an Air Asia flight to Penang. We hated both our long Cathay Pacific flights as their planes ( despite being red eye flights) do NOT go back at all nor do the arm rests go up and are packed in VERY tight. Needless to say, we got almost no sleep, although kidlet who could lay down with her head on one of our laps and her feet on the other, managed a little sleep.

Penang's tropical Asia beauty and charm

I have been having some health problems and mostly recovered, but not 100% yet, so I was concerned about the long flights in coach and stress of long distance travel, but I did amazingly well. I do wish I had worn some warmer clothes, despite leaving a warm, sunny Med climate and going to a hot tropical climate, I froze, as the airports and airplanes were way too cold for me, even though I had my warmest clothes on including a short sleeve shirt, long sleeve velour pullover sweater, garbardine pants and Smartwool socks ( my stock plane wearing "uniform"), plus several borrowed blankets from the plane.


One of the things we missed most about Penang is our friends here and the lovely sea and jungle views. Our dear and helpful friend M. Kumar helped us arrange a short stay at the Hydro Hotel where he is the general manager. The lead photo above is the terrace of our large room overlooking the awsome Andaman sea (that we have greatly missed).

It is very close by the Miami Green Resort where we stayed last year in Batu Ferringhi and even though we were tired, we started our home hunting mission only about an hour after we arrived. Just like we did in Spain, we pre-set some viewing of apartment schedules by phone and email before leaving California, because we knew we wanted to find something very speedily to get our daughter back to her Mandarin Chinese school in Penang as quickly as possible.

Expats and travelers come and go a lot, so many of our Penang friends are no longer there, but we were thrilled that our friends from Mexico are still here and Mozart and their daughters her age ran to each other with grateful glee and hugs to see each other again. They are a really sweet family that was kind enough to keep our few belongings here for us like Mozart's Chinese school uniforms and piano.

Finding fluent, native Spanish speakers is almost impossible in Asia, so not only do the kids enjoy each other, but it is a great benefit that they can share their Spanish while immersing in other languages. ( They go to the private American International school here).


Coming up will be lots of information about how to find a place to live in Penang, with lots of photos of the diverse possibilities and the beautiful place we picked this year with outstanding, panoramic ocean and city views from every room.

Ooh Pei Hoon of New Bob realty- best agent in Penang

We used several agents as well as friends and the manager at Miami Green, but we were most happy with Ooh Pei Hoon from New Bob Realty. She is bright, very hard working, on the ball and went out of her way to make sure we found what we wanted in the time we wanted and has become our friend in the process. Here she visits us in our new kitchen and she also eats organic so was a big help in sharing resources for that and other things.

Any specific questions that you would like to ask?

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Sorry to learn that you're still not feeling 100% but trust you will continue to improve.

I Love to follow your family adventures on this blog. Makes me want to go out again myself.

Betty in Virginia

Jeanne @soultravelers3

Thanks so much Betty! Happy to hear that. ;)

I am getting better and better every day and soooo much better than I was. This had me severely ill, but I have found the natural cures that have me back about 95% and I plan to get us all healthier than we have ever been this year. ;)

I've learned a TON about health and diet so will be sharing those things here with all!

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