1. Lonely Planet, the world's largest travel guide book publisher, named Penang as THE top food destination of 2014
Lonely Planet's commissioning editor Robin Barton describes Penang as the pinnacle of Malaysian hawker fare, naming the state's famous char kway teow, hokkien mee and asam laksa as "must-tries".
Barton also encouraged foodies to explore the Esplanade Food Centre, "where hawker faves combine favourably with a seafront location" as well as the *pasar malam*s for exceptional street food.
2. If that's not enough to convince you of the amazing-ness of Penang's street food, Huffington Post included Penang char koay teow in its list of "must-try" local delicacies
3. Penang's capital city, Georgetown placed third in US News' list of the best exotic places to retire in
George Town is a busy, thriving city with a large expat community that has managed to retain its colonial charm (it's a UNESCO World Heritage Site). The city is affordable, with a tropical climate, an intriguing culture and gorgeous white-sand beaches.
George Town’s total population is about 740,000, small enough that it’s easy to make friends and meet people, yet big enough to mean health care that meets international standards and easy availability of the goods and services most retirees are looking for. Year-round sunshine, first world infrastructure, turn-key permanent residency and English-speaking locals make the living here easy. This is a paradise for food lovers and, all things considered, one of the most livable cities in Southeast Asia.
4. Georgetown steals the spotlight once again when it placed #10 in TIME Magazine's ranking of the world's "selfiest" cities
TIME examined over 400,000 self-shots, (selfies) taken by folks and posted on Instagram to profile their demography. Cities with highest density of selfies per capita were conferred the title of “selfiest places”.
95 Malaysians from Georgetown, out of every 100,000, took selfies during the test period.
5. Instant noodles connoisseur The Ramen Rater declared MyKuali Penang White Curry Noodle the ultimate champion in its 2014 list of Top Ten Instant Noodles Of All Time
The noodles are excellent – perfect gauge and chew. Quantity was just right, too. The broth is a luxuriant escapade for the palate – a strong curry with ferocious heat. Definitely not thin either – it’s quite hearty. It’s so neat – I’ve reviewed so many different instant noodles and the industry never fails to come up with something new and revolutionary that makes the taste buds sing! Fantastic stuff! 5.0 out of 5.0 stars.theramenrater.com
6. At the Luxury Travel Guide Global Awards 2014, which recognises and celebrates excellence across the travel and tourism industry, Hard Rock Hotel Penang was named Malaysia's Resort Of The Year
Hard Rock Hotel Penang also snagged a total of 6 awards from the Hospitality Asia Platinum Awards (HAPA) 2013-2015 Malaysia Series, namely:
HAPA Restaurant of the Year – Dining Experience(Hotels/Resorts) – Hard Rock Cafe Penang
HAPA King of Kitchens – The Ambassador of Cuisine – Chef Mohd Khairusshari Bin Ghazali
HAPA 4-Star Hotel/Resort – Exceptional Experience
HAPA Family & Recreation Hotel/Resort – Delightful Experience
HAPA Concept Restaurant – Most Innovative Guest Experience (Hotels/Resorts)
PRE HAPA Public Relations – Excellence
7. Cuvée and Soho Country House were awarded the Bronze awards in the Best Club and Best Bar categories respectively at the HAPA-GAB Excellence Awards in April this year
8. Last but definitely NOT least, Penang is set to finally regain its city status after a 13-year-long wait!
Penang originally had been a city – the first in pre-independence Malaya – but the status was lost in the 70s.
Georgetown had been declared a city by way of a charter issued on January 1, 1957, by the Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II. The status vanished in 1974 when the George Town city council was merged with the Penang rural district council to form a local government management board.