There’s so much to love about island life in Penang, Malaysia. My wife and I rent a spacious 204-square-metre apartment—with a pool, gym and 24-hour security—for just $1,000 per month. Penang also has some of the best street food in Southeast Asia, we dine out regularly, three to four nights a week, and it costs as little as $5 each.
Deserted white-sand beaches, lush jungle-covered mountains and a bustling UNESCO-listed capital…welcome to the island of Penang. I had heard that this was an island rich in tradition and culture…but it really does have to be seen to be believed. As I wandered around the bustling market streets of the capital George Town, I saw the melting-pot heritage that Penang is famous for.
I have a smartphone but it works differently for me here. In Sydney, it was a hip thing to have, and if I didn’t answer emails a nanosecond after receiving them I would get a call asking me why. Here, my phone is a device that connects me to people. Likeminded people who moved to Malaysia for the same reasons I did. And it doesn’t matter that I don’t have the latest phone or that I answer emails a day or two after they are received.