Welcome to the Penang Insider, the smart guide for traveling and living in Penang, the pride of Northeastern Malaysia! This site brings you first-hand living experience from a real Penang Insider who made this blessed multi-ethnic, tropical island his love nest since 2009.
That would be me, Marco Ferrarese. I help people figure out how to get to the heart of Penang, showing them the best the island has to offer. And if you don’t trust my insider knowledge because I am a foreigner, please consider that even the CNN asks me to write about Penang 🙂
If you are visiting this site, you are probably a Penang lover, like me; or you may just be looking around the web planning your first visit — there’s nothing wrong with that. With the suggestions contained in this blog, you’ll not only arrive in Penang hitting the ground running, but you’ll get to the very heart of an incredible Malaysian destination that, because of a lack of real insider knowledge, is most often only experienced superficially.
The Penang Insider’s suggestions are all honed by a decade spent living and studying on these shores. We are helped by locals to constantly update these pages. More important, we don’t simply try to promote a dying heritage using gentrification to lure in more tourist dollars. On the contrary, we try to describe Penang as it really is, with pure honesty, and a no bulls**t attitude.
Why You Should Trust the Penang Insider
I am many things, but mostly a travel writer. Besides calling Penang home, I have visited more than 60 countries on three continents and have crossed Asia overland to my native Europe twice. I am the author of Nazi Goreng: Young Malay Fanatic Skinheads — a bestseller in Malaysia, that was translated to Bahasa Malaysia before being banned by the KDN — and Banana Punk Rawk Trails. I published short fiction in Malaysia, and written book chapters on Malaysia for the world’s leading academic publishers. Since 2016, I am also working with Rough Guides on updating the Malaysian and Brunei chapters of their guidebooks, including Southeast Asia on a Budget.
I have also written about travel, culture and extreme music in Asia for a variety of international publications such as Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia, CNN Travel, BBC Travel, National Geographic Traveler (UK), South China Morning Post, Roads and Kingdoms, Southeast Asia Globe, Perceptive Travel, Time Out, Singapore Airline’s Silverkris, Bangkok101, Vagabonding, and Penang Monthly.
You can follow me on Twitter (@monkeyrockworld), on Facebook, or reach me by e-mail.
And please don’t forget to sign up to the Penang Insider mailing list. I will send you a monthly re-cap of the best stuff we published, plus exclusive tips and materials, only for those loyal subscribers.