From the best street food in Southeast Asia to its now world-famous street murals, here is a list of the top 10 things to do when you visit Penang for the first time. The Street of Harmony as it's known locally , its official title is Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling...
“Had we known how social this place is, how good the food is, how high the standard of living is, and how alike we are to the other expats who live here, I think I would have been pushing to move earlier.
“Even though I owned my own home and had worked hard all my life, I found going out and doing anything at home was prohibitively expensive,” says Cheryl Fankhauser. “A casual meal with friends, including a bottle of wine, would cost on average $80 per person."
Penang ticked all the boxes for me when I was researching a place to live overseas. This cosmopolitan island in Malaysia provides me with all the things I wanted from my new home, including a lower cost of living and friendly locals and expats.
Nick Fawcus-Robinson wakes most mornings well before the sun rises. Padding around his bungalow in bare feet to make a cup of tea, while the cocks crow outside, I'm sure he ponders his past life now and again. Maybe. Nick was an officer in the army for many years and a highly paid corporate executive in the tobacco industry after that.
Jennifer and Elisa were living in the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh. Both were aspiring entrepreneurs, and both were on the look-out for a business idea. Elisa had lived in China before moving to Cambodia in 2006 with her family. Jennifer, meanwhile, moved to the Southeast Asian country in 2001 with her partner and two children. Jennifer had worked in the tourism industry for years.
As a soft breeze gently moves the palms around me, I gaze out across a sea of green, perfectly-kept lawn tennis courts. In the distance, where the grass courts end and the playing field begins, there's an early morning cricket match kicking off—a gentle reminder of Penang’s rich colonial history.
As I meet more and more people who are interested in moving here, I think back to the day in 2009 when I made the decision to move to Malaysia. It wasn’t that I was unhappy—in fact, far from it.
When my wife Lisa and I moved to Penang, Malaysia, we decided to join The Penang Sports Club, a five-star facility boasting more lawn tennis courts than any other club in Malaysia. The tennis players there are all levels and ages—a few weeks ago I had a match with a gentleman who is 82. What I love about the club is that most evenings you can turn up on your own, register for a game, and find yourself playing with strangers who soon become friends. It’s incredibly social and we’ve been greeted warmly as new members.
After living in Penang for over six years you’d think that I might be a little blasé about everything that blew me away when I first arrived. But that’s not the case. Things that pleasantly surprised me then, still manage to make me smile now. And when they happen I remember why I moved here.