Tourism & Leisure

The Pearl Of The Orient

Once a bustling trading port and a British outpost, the Prince of Wales island, as Penang island was once known, has evolved and grown to befit the international city status it is working towards achieving. A melting pot of multi-cultural, multi-religious and multi-racial community, this state, which encompasses the island and also the mainland, offers more than sun, sand and sea to its visitors.

The inner city of George Town which is a true testament to the colourful history and heritage of the olden days of Penang was inscribed as a World Heritage City by UNESCO in 2008. That’s not all, this state known widely as the Pearl of the Orient has received many other accolades for its gourmet food, its lifestyle and its myriad repertoire of fascinating tourist spots.

Along with the fascinating sights, rich history and picturesque beaches, Penang’s renowned hawker fare and restaurants have attracted gourmands from near and far. The state’s food has won it the ‘Best Street Food in Asia’ mention by Time Magazine in 2004; its Assam Laksa was ranked 7th in CNN’s ‘World 50 Most Delicious Food’ in 2011; and Penang was named as one of ‘Asia’s Greatest Street Food Cities’ by in 2012.

That’s not all. It would seem, this northern state is also a preferred location by tourists and second-home seekers alike. This is evident with the following accolades it has received over the years; it was voted as the ‘Top 44 Places To Go’ by readers of The New York Times in 2009; it was also voted as the ‘10 Islands To Explore Before You Die’ by Yahoo! Travel in 2011; and it was voted for two years consecutively as the ‘8th Most Liveable City in Asia’ by ECA International in 2011 and again in 2012. Even without these accolades, any visitor who chose to explore the tightly woven tapestry of Penang’s intricate heritage, culture and environment will surely fall in love with its sights, sounds, places and people.

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