Penang is also a well-known food paradise and a major tourist destination for its beautiful beaches, nature, and historical heritage. In 2008, its capital George Town, was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Penang also added several new tourist attractions, namely The Habitat on Penang Hill (a nature-based attraction); Design Village Penang outlet mall (the first outlet mall in the northern region), and The TOP at Komtar Penang featuring the Rainbow Skywalk, which is a viewing deck with glass floor. These attractions are making Penang even more attractive to visit now. Let’s check out 10 awards and recognition of Penang.
1. CNN listed Penang as No.2 Must Visit City in 2017 out of 17 cities in the world
Penang came in second after Prince Edward Island, Canada. It is only one of three locations in Asia on the list, which includes destinations in Thailand and China. The list was compiled after consultation with CNN experts from around the world about their favourite spots. The Pearl of the Orient was singled out for its cuisine, among other factors, and acknowledged as having one of Asia’s best street foods. – CNN Travel
2. The Culture Trip named Penang as one of the best 15 cities in the world for food in 2016
As the capital of the state of Penang in Malaysia, George Town is home to some of the finest street food in the world, or hawker food as the locals call it. Many vendors use the same recipes that have been used for generations with hints of Chinese and Indian fusion. The most famous dish is called char koay teow, and it is made of flat rice noodles stir fried with prawns, cockles, scrambled egg, bean sprouts, strips of fish cake, and chilli paste. – The Culture Trip
3. Penang featured on Lonely Planet Street Art Book 2017
George Town has joined other famous street art capitals of the world to make it into the Lonely Planet book Street Art. The quaint street murals and colourful walls in the inner city of George Town, are bringing attention to this versatile city as one of the street art capitals of the world, alongside hotspots like New York, London, Barcelona, Berlin, Paris, Melbourne and San Francisco. The Street Art book, which covers 42 cities around the world, listed George Town as its only Asian destination.
4. Lonely Planet listed Penang as No.1 Food Destination in the world in 2014
Renowned travel guide publisher Lonely Planet has listed Penang as the top culinary spot for 2014. Lonely Planet’s commissioning editor Robin Barton said Penang was known for its hawker fare and the “must tries” were char kway teow, Hokkien mee, and laksa, according to the report.
5. Los Angeles Times: Penang is one of the 16 Must Visit Destinations in the World in 2016
George Town, Penang’s main city, is a UNESCO World Heritage site with a 500-year history of trading and a hotel boom in progress. With luck, this growth will leave intact the city’s most historic architecture and encourage its lively food scene. George Town was a British trading post from the early 19th century (hence its name) until Malaysian independence in 1957. It gives you British echoes, Malay essence, Chinese and Indian commercial traditions, scattered rickshaws and a stew of religions, cited from the website.
6. Forbes Ranked Penang as No.1 Budget Travel Destination in 2016
For those who love to try new food but are on a budget, George Town, Penang is the place to go. The cuisine is a blend of Malay, Chinese, and Indian specialities, and local hawker centers and street food stalls offer dozens of delicious options.
Accommodation is cheap, with an abundance of budget-friendly hostels and Airbnbs. Additionally, the city is a UNESCO World Heritage site, so when not eating you can spend hours walking around the city, visiting temples and taking in the beautiful colonial architecture and colourful street art, reported by Forbes.
7. The Guardian: George Town Has The World Best Street Art among the other top 15 cities in the world
8. Yahoo Travel: 10 Islands To Explore Before You Die
Yahoo Travel: Start your food crawl at stalls that crowd the streets of George Town, Penang’s largest city and Malaysia’s food capital. The delectable fare on offer memorably mingles Malaysian, Chinese, Indian, and European flavors. Foodie in search of supreme bliss should head to the marketplace Ayer Itam—adjacent to Kek Lok Si (the Temple of Supreme Bliss)—to dine on a variety of dishes based on rice, noodles, fish, shellfish, chicken, pork, vegetables, eggs, and coconut.
Look for lor bak (deep-fried marinated minced pork served with a chili sauce); lok-lok (skewered seafood, meats, and vegetables); and ikan bakar (grilled or barbecued fish marinated in spices and coconut milk, wrapped inside banana leaves, and grilled over hot coals). The same fusion of cultures is evident in the local architecture, which ranges from modern high-rises to buildings built by 19th-century British colonialists.
Add to the mix beach resorts, preserved mangroves, small fishing villages, and a share of temples, mosques, and churches. Kek Lok Si best exemplifies this coexistence. At seven stories, it’s the largest Buddhist temple in Southeast Asia, and it reflects the shared values of Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism—designed with a Chinese octagonal base, a Thai-accented middle tier, and a Burmese-style peak.
9. CNN Travel: Asia’s Top 10 Greatest Street Food Cities
CNN Travel listed Penang is one of the world’s top eating destinations. Street food or hawker food is the city’s big draw. Penang hawker food reflects the multicultural makeup of the town, which has citizens of Chinese, Malay and Indian descent. Oh, this one is Penang Foodie most loved recognition!
10. International Living Penang as No.5 Best Country In The World for medical tourism (healthcare) in 2017
International Living: George Town is one of the two main medical centres in Malaysia. George Town and Kuala Lumpur are the main two medical centers in Malaysia, and both cities are serviced by a multitude of international airlines from around the world. Malaysia has some of the best-trained doctors in Asia–and the majority of them were trained in the U.S., Australia, or the UK. All of them speak English too, and that takes a lot of the stress away from what is already a stressful situation.