Relocating to another country is exciting and fun but it is a big decision and shouldn’t be taken lightly especially if you have a family moving together with you. It requires a lot of background research and planning before you can decide which location is the ideal one for you and your family. If you’re up for some adventure in a new place but can’t seem to decide where to relocate, then perhaps consider moving to the beautiful, tropical island of Penang. Here are 10 reasons why you should choose Penang as your new home.
1. Lovely beaches
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Batu Ferringhi and Tanjung Bungah are situated at the northern coast of Penang island and is famous for its stretch of beautiful beaches. Many foreigners love to set up home at this part of the island as it kind of gives a “holiday-resort” feeling when you stay here. Choices of housing here is endless as there are just so many beach resorts, luxury condominiums and holiday villas with stunning view of the sea to choose from. And the best thing is the beach is just at your doorstep. So if you are a beach lover, then this is THE place for you.
2. Great healthcare service
A hub for medical tourism in Southeast Asia, Penang offers one of the best private healthcare services in this part of the region. Due to the tremendous growth of this industry, there is an increasing demand for more hospitals and recently, quite a number of them had undergone physical expansion and renovation. With these great choices of hospitals offering top-notch treatment and facilities, it’s no wonder why Penang has become one of the best places to stay.
3. A UNESCO world heritage site with a rich multicultural history
Inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the 7th of July 2008, Penang’s capital, Georgetown is a great mix between modernity and traditional-colonial roots. This intriguing blend is contributed by the many well-preserved heritage buildings in the city center which have now turned into boutique hotels, cafés, studios and shops. Both foreigners as well as locals are naturally drawn towards the uniqueness of this landscape.
4. Haven for food lovers
If you look around in Penang, you’re bound to find almost every kind of food here. Yes…Penang is really a food haven and this place is especially well-known internationally for its street food a.k.a. hawker food as locals call it. Among some of the most popular must-try hawker food in Penang are the Char Koay Teow (stir-fried flat rice noodles), Assam Laksa (spicy, sour fish-based noodle soup from the Peranakan culture), Hokkien Mee (prawn noodles) and Curry Mee (curry noodles). But if street food is really not your thing, then fret not because here in Penang, you can find other varieties of local food and almost any kind of international food right at your doorstep. And don’t be surprised to find restaurants serving authentic international food as these businesses were started by fellow expats themselves.
5. A place of adventure and great outdoor experience
Apart from the beaches, there are a number of outdoor activities to do in the island e.g. hiking, jungle trekking, exploring Penang’s national park, going for walks around the Botanical Gardens and Youth Park, taking the train ride up Penang Hill, riding a bicycle round the island (one of the latest craze in Penang) and lots more. Now you don’t need a gym membership anymore to stay healthy and fit.
6. Perfect weather
Just the right amount of sunshine and rain throughout the year! Needless to say, Penang has the weather that most foreigners dream of living in. Here you can dress light and casual and do any outdoor activities anytime of the year. Definitely saves a lot of time dressing up to go out.
Temperature here stays at 30C – 32C during the day and 23C – 25C during the night. On average you get about 150 – 200 plus hours of sunshine each month. There’s no need to wait for summer to come to get that extra sunshine. You get it all year round here!
7. Get to hire a domestic helper or maid
Who doesn’t like the thought of a hired domestic helper or maid to take care of your home for you? You may not be able to afford one back in your home country but it definitely is much more affordable here in Penang. You can either choose a stay home helper or one that comes over just for several hours in a day….whichever arrangement you are more comfortable with.
8. An ideal base for travelling to other parts of Southeast Asia
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Malaysia is right in the center of Southeast Asia, making her one of the most strategically located places to set up base for exploring this part of the world. Travelling from Penang is really convenient as there is an international airport right on the island so you can fly directly to your destination. Malaysia is also the neighboring country to Singapore and Thailand; two of the most visited Southeast Asia countries and very popular destinations among tourists.
9. Language familiarity
Settling down in a completely new environment can be a challenge but if you can easily communicate with the locals, it is a huge advantage. Fortunately, English is widely used wherever you go in Penang. Although fluency is another matter altogether, you can still find that most people here do speak a decent amount of the language. Apart from that, Malaysians have been generally known to be a friendly bunch especially towards foreigners. So it’s not too difficult to make friends here as well.
10. Endless job opportunities
Known as the ‘Silicon Valley of the East’, Penang island has drawn in the likes of many multinational companies e.g. Intel, Agilent, Motorola, Dell, etc. As a matter of fact, it is through these companies that we get quite a number of expatriates here in Penang. Some of them are required to stay for only a certain amount of years while others have chosen to remain in this island they have fallen in love with. Those that chose to remain have even ventured into starting their own businesses here; several of whom have opened restaurants serving food from their home country.