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Your ultimate guide to comfortable living in Bukit Mertajam, Penang


Penang island may get all the spotlight, but Bukit Mertajam is slowly making a name for itself as a liveable township.

©tsyew |123rf

Heading to Penang Island for a trip soon? Stop by at Bukit Mertajam for a bit before you hop over to the island. The administrative centre of Seberang Perai in Penang was founded in the 19th century as an agricultural area initially, but it has evolved over time into a transportation hub following the completion of a railway line towards Perai at the end of the 19th century.

Over the years, while Penang Island has become more and more popular among Malaysians as a travel destination, Bukit Mertajam has been evolving into an attractive and liveable city.  The H1 Portal Demands Analytics (Rental Market) published this year saw Bukit Mertajam recording one of the highest jumps in YoY demand for most popular townships in Penang among rental seekers with a significant 29% increase.

Here, we explore some of the things that make Bukit Mertajam an attractive proposition for homebuyers.

1. Great food everywhere

©tsyew |123rf

Well, if you are talking about a neighbourhood in Penang then you can’t get very far without mentioning the wonderful food available there. Many people may think that the best food is located on the island, but Bukit Mertajam is no slouch in the food department as well.

Top of the list is the BM Yam Rice at Jalan Murthy. The experience of having a bowl of yam rice served with a piping hot bowl of pork meat and innards soup can be found all over the country but this is where you will taste the best of its league. There are other stalls around the area selling the same fare but this one edges the competition with its comforting salted vegetable broth.

Forget the popular ‘nasi kandar’ chains that have become so commercialised on the island, Ali Nasi Kandar in Bukit Mertajam is where you should be heading to get your fix of the popular Indian Muslim cuisine. Ali is an old hand at this, dishing out delectable nasi kandar since 1948. His signature dishes include ‘ayam hitam’ (black sauce chicken) and ‘kuah bawang padu’ (onion curry).

Sentosa Corner is a coffee shop that is popular amongst locals and vacationers. Most of the food here is good but one of the standout items is the ‘mee jawa’. Tangy, sweet and savoury sauce coupled with the springy noodles, fried items and fresh vegetables make this dish a must-have.

In addition to the ones we’ve singled out, duck egg Fried Kuey Teow at Jalan Pasar and the Orang Hock Rojak at Lau Pheng Yu food court are also worth visiting. If you want a one-stop meal, you can head to Jalan Danby for the BM Cup Rice (rice with duck meat and special sauce) and finish off with a refreshing bowl of cendol at BM Best Cendol. Yes, you can never starve at Bukit Mertajam.

2. Reputable educational institutions

©tsyew |123rf | Jit Sin High School

Quality education options is a crucial factor in determining an area’s liveability, especially for young families with children. Bukit Mertajam is definitely not short of options with 14 primary schools and 7 high schools to choose from.

Some of the highly reputable secondary institutions with rich histories here include Bukit Mertajam High School and Jit Sin High School. BM High School counts former Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as one of its alumni. For tertiary education, the Two Studio Multimedia Academy is an option for students looking to enter the design industry.

3. Plenty of commercial and entertainment hubs within 30 mins drive

Like all growing and fast-developing neighbourhoods, Bukit Mertajam is just a short drive away from lifestyle hubs that cater to people from all walks of life. Aeon Mall is a central hub with an array of dining, shopping, and grocery options. On the other hand, Auto City in Juru attracts a younger crowd with its outdoor shopping area and a plethora of dining options.

Icon City is also a great place to head to if you want to do a round of café hopping. For nightbirds, Vangohh Eminent is a great nightlife spot that houses a hotel, restaurants and trendy bars.

If outdoor activities are more of your thing, Cherok Tokun, also known as Bukit Mertajam Recreational Forest is one of the best places to hike in the Penang mainland. There is a Malay town nearby where you can find yummy food and refreshments to fuel up before your hike. From there, you can either take the safer tarred path up or the jungle path for people who want more of a challenge.

4. Great accessibility

©tsyew |123rf

Accessibility is without doubt a major factor when considering an area’s liveability. Bukit Mertajam is highly accessible via both the North-South Expressway and Federal Route 1, linking it with the rest of Peninsular Malaysia. It is a quick 14-minute drive to the Juru toll and a 15-minute drive to the original Penang bridge.

The railway station provides comprehensive intercity rail transportation towards other major cities and towns southbound, all the way to Woodlands in Singapore. There are also bus options at the bus terminal for travelling northbound towards Thailand and southbound towards  Singapore.

5. Easy access to healthcare

If you are going to consider living in an area, access to health care facilities would be high up on your list of things to take note of. Thankfully, Bukit Mertajam has an impressive number of healthcare facilities servicing it. These are Hospital Bukit Mertajam, Hospital Seberang Jaya and KPJ Penang Specialist Hospital. Between these three well-equipped facilities and the many private clinics peppered throughout the town, you won’t have to worry about getting quality healthcare.

6. Home to two important religious events that attract pilgrims and tourists nationwide

©tsyew |123rf

Multi-culturalism is certainly strong here in Bukit Mertajam. It is home to two important and popular religious events. The first is the very popular Bukit Mertajam Hungry Ghost Festival, featuring one of the largest Hungry Ghost effigies in Malaysia. This event attracts people from all over Malaysia.

Then there is the St. Anne’s Feast for Roman Catholics as well. Held at the iconic St. Anne’s Church, the festival celebrates the feast of the saints and pilgrims from all over Malaysia and even from other countries make their way here for the festival.

7. Bukit Mertajam property prices are a steal if you know where to look

©Aston Acacia

The attractiveness of Penang has increased tremendously over the years. Based on the aforementioned Portal Demands Analytics (Rental Market) publication, while the demand for rental properties in Penang dipped by 13.7% last year probably due to the pandemic, the rental demand has trended upwards again this year with a growth of 1.8%.  The demand over the years has caused the property prices for developments in the island state to skyrocket, making it less affordable for many people.

But that’s certainly not the case in Bukit Mertajam. Here, you get the best of both worlds, with easy accessibility to Penang Island and the properties in Bukit Mertajam remaining relatively affordable.

For example, Aston Acacia is a great property to look into if you are considering relocating to Penang. Strategically located along Persiaran Aston Indah, it is adjacent to the aforementioned Jit Sin Independent High School and is only a short drive away from The Summit Plaza.

This development by Tinggian Development Sdn. Bhd (a subsidiary of Hua Yang Bhd) offers a flexible range of layouts for families with different needs. The freehold development has units ranging from 701 sq. ft. for single or smaller families to 1,206 sq. ft. for growing families. There are 46 different types of facilities for all your lifestyle needs. There is a lap, bubble and wading pool for families, a herb garden and even a squash court. The property also features an integrated security system with round the clock multi-tier security surveillance and access cards for the lift lobby. The development also features a serene view of Bukit Mertajam.

Aston Acacia has units that are available for just below RM300,000. That is a very affordable price range for a developing township that is just a stone’s throw away from Penang Island. The centralised location of the development at the heart of Bukit Mertajam ensures that the neighbourhood is mature and has easy access to lifestyle options such as shopping malls and parks, as well as amenities like banks, schools and hospitals.

If what we’ve said about Bukit Mertajam and Aston Acacia has piqued your interest, we have something that will really sweeten the deal for you.

Developer Hua Yang is offering a Fantastic 8 savings campaign that is worth up to RM115,000. The 8 savings offered are:

  1. 10% cash rebate*
  2. Extra rebate up to RM10,000*
  3. RM2,000 referral fee*
  4. Free SPA and loan legal fees*
  5. Free MOT and stamp duty on loan agreement as part of the Home Ownership Campaign 2020/2021 by the government*
  6. 0 payment required during construction*
  7. Free IKEA voucher up to RM1,500*

*Terms and conditions apply

The promotion is valid until December 2021.

If you are interested to find out more, visit the Aston Acacia website or call 017-4978226 to schedule an appointment to visit the Aston Acacia Sales Gallery if you are living around the area.

Disclaimer: The information is provided for general information only. Malaysia Sdn Bhd makes no representations or warranties in relation to the information, including but not limited to any representation or warranty as to the fitness for any particular purpose of the information to the fullest extent permitted by law. While every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided in this article is accurate, reliable, and complete as of the time of writing, the information provided in this article should not be relied upon to make any financial, investment, real estate or legal decisions. Additionally, the information should not substitute advice from a trained professional who can take into account your personal facts and circumstances, and we accept no liability if you use the information to form decisions.

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