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CNN Lists Penang as One of the World’s Best Places to Visit in 2022

Feature Image courtesy of Penang Foodie
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As the only Southeast Asian city to make the list, Penang joins the likes of Naples, Oslo, Palau Island, and Valencia.

As tourism picks up after an almost two-year long hiatus, people around the globe are looking to travel to safe and interesting destinations this year. As they do every year, CNN has published the cities and countries recommended for 2022, with Penang making the list!

The only Southeast Asian destination to make the list, Penang joins the likes of Naples, Oslo, Palau island, and Valencia.

11 Best Things To Do in Penang, Malaysia (Georgetown Guide)
Image Credit: Salt in Our Hair

Naturally, the focus for Penang is the food! CNN highlighted the island’s rich melting pot of culture, presented through the food, that is beloved not just by Malaysians, but many international visitors, too.

“The pandemic has left many of us longing for epic culinary-focused journeys, and Penang ranks up there with Asia’s best,” CNN said.

“This Malaysian island in the Andaman Sea offers a wide mix of traditional Malay, Chinese, and Indian dishes. And then there’s Baba Nyonya – also known as Peranakan – cuisine, which incorporates regional ingredients and Chinese and Malay cooking methods.”

Top Things to Do in George Town, Penang
Image Credit: TripSavvy

The feature also talks about how Penang still serves as a slice of history in this part of the world. With Georgetown having restored many of the pre-war buildings, CNN writers marveled at the preservation of “historic buildings, from old English mansions to classical Chinese shop houses and Islamic mosques.”

Penang Hill was also mentioned as an important tourist site and rightfully so, having been declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve some time ago.

“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,” said CNN.

15 Best Must Eat Street Foods When You Visit Penang
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It’s wonderful to witness Penang getting the attention the island deserves from international media and travel sites. Globally website International Living has repeatedly listed Penang as one of the best islands in the world for retirement, while Gurney Drive has been listed as one of the top streets in the world to see before you die by Traveller.

Image Credit: FlyKLIA

Ranking high as a place that celebrates delicious street food, it looks like Penang’s popularity is only increasing. Extremely chuffed over the inclusion on CNN’s list, Penang’s chief minister Chow Kon Yeow took to his Facebook page to heap more praise upon the island and its standing among the world’s best travel destinations.

PARKROYAL Loco Local Buffet at Lime Restaurant (Enjoy 15% Off) –
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“Among the many must-go destinations in 2022 across the world as listed by CNN Travel, Penang is one of the inevitable ones waiting to capture your heart,” he wrote.

“Rich in various cultures, food, heritage, and other key elements that would attract tourists from afar and near, Penang, or also known as the Pearl of the Orient by many, is proud to have made it to the world platform.”


1. Antigua and Barbuda
2. Bissagos Islands, Guinea-Bissau
3. Cape Breton, Nova Scotia
4. Chile
5. Colombo
6. Dijon, France
7. Disko Bay, Greenland
8. Gabon National Parks
9. Jordan
10. Lahti, Finland
11. Munga-Thirri-Simpson Desert, Australia
12. Naples, Italy
13. Ollantaytambo, Peru
14. Orkney Islands, UK
15. Oslo
16. Palau Island
17. Penang, Malaysia
18. South Africa
19. St. Eustatius, Netherlands
20. Tulsa, Oklahoma
21. Valencia, Spain
22. Yellowstone National Park, US

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