CNN recently published a list of the world’s best destinations to travel to in 2022 – and Penang is on the list.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to most of our travel plans in 2020 and 2021, we’ve still got hope for travelling again in 2022 and beyond. If anything, the past two years have shown us not to take travelling abroad for granted.
As CNN puts it, “perhaps the lesson travellers can take into 2022 is that exploring the world is a privilege, not a right.”
With this in mind, this year’s list of dream places to visit reflects this perspective. Therefore, the list includes national parks to remote islands to lesser-visited spots, fostering mindfulness and respect for the Earth as part of the journey.
Out of the 22 best places around the world to travel to in 2022, Penang is deemed one of them. We Malaysians know just how special and amazing Penang is, and it’s a delight to see that CNN has included our favourite island on the list.
With its delicious and authentic cheap eats, historic heritage spots, and friendly locals, it’s no wonder that Penang is one of the best destinations to travel to in 2022.
More than a food haven
According to the blurb by CNN, “This Malaysian island in the Andaman Sea offers a wide mix of traditional Malay, Chinese and Indian dishes. And then there’s Baba Nyonya — a.k.a. Peranakan — cuisine, which incorporates regional ingredients and Chinese and Malay cooking methods.
“All of it can be found in hawker centres and shophouses throughout Penang’s capital, George Town, which is filled with historic buildings, from old English mansions to classical Chinese shophouses and Islamic mosques. But there’s so much more than just food and architecture to sustain wanderlust appetites on this 295-square-mile island.”
Indeed, while many Malaysians take the four-hour drive to Penang just to satisfy our appetites, there is much more to Penang than just excellent culinary fare.
According to CNN, “Home to Penang’s highest point, it’s filled with excellent hiking trails that stretch from its peak down to the lovely botanical gardens, which were created in 1884 and serve as a repository of Penang Hill’s flora and fauna — including more than 200 species of orchids.
“Leading conservation efforts is The Habitat Penang Hill, a world-class rainforest discovery centre that offers guided walks and zipline tours.”So next time you visit Penang, don’t miss out on the chance to check out Penang Hill. You may want to avoid the funicular train going up though, as it’s been known to break down.
Why Penang is attractive to both tourists and expats
In December last year, Penang was also named as one of “15 Best Islands in the World to Retire On” by International Living, coming in third after Malta and Mallorca in Spain.
According to the article published on International Living, the vast English-speaking populace in Penang makes it easy for retirees and expats to fit in. Plus, retirees can live comfortably on an affordable monthly budget of $1,500 and $2,500 a month.
Another reason that Penang is so attractive for tourists and expats is that it’s situated in the middle of Southeast Asia, making it an ideal travel hub to places like Bali, Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia.
Check out Hotels in Penang on Booking.com
Main image credit: Christoph Theisinger/Unsplash