If you ask us where you can find cheap street food, a breezy sea view, and centuries of cultural heritage in one place, the answer is pretty simple – Penang!

Penang is one of the best and most popular tourist destinations not only for locals but also tourists from abroad. Each year, millions of visitors come to the island to bask in its sunny weather and enjoy the plethora of food Penang has to offer.

A haven for backpackers, Penang proves that you don’t really need to spend a bomb to get that cultured-island vacation filled with gastronomical adventures.

That is probably why TIME magazine has selected Penang as one of the “Top 10 Amazing Asian Vacations That Won't Cost a Fortune.”

According to Time, a trip to Penang for two people for a week will only set you back around US$2,669 (RM11,438).

(To be honest, we could probably organise the same trip for only a quarter of that amount)


“Penang Island’s diverse attractions—white sandy beaches, large resorts, quiet fishing villages, and a bustling urban center—are a steal right now,” reported Time.

“Most tourists will find themselves in George Town, Malaysia’s second-largest city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a jumbled mix of temples, mosques, and colonial buildings. The city is also home to some of the best food in Southeast Asia.”

The magazine also added that most dishes would only cost them about a dollar (RM4.30).

Oh, in case you were wondering: Penang placed fourth on the list after Siem Reap, Cambodia (US$2,445); Chiang Mai, Thailand (US$2,464); and Taipei, Taiwan (US$2,553).

The list was derived based on several factors such as airfare price, accommodation, food, year-over-year price drops, number of restaurants, attractions, low crime rates, pleasant weather, and ease of access to public transportation.

Way to go, Penang! Now, just thinking about the glorious food there makes us want to plan a short weekend getaway to the Pearl of the Orient.