Penang ranked as 3rd best island in the world to retire in

penang island

Penang has made it into the list of “15 Best Islands In The World To Retire On In 2021”.

Penang, also known as the Pearl of the Orient, came in third place after Malta and Mallorca, Spain.

The other Asian countries on the list were Bali in ninth place, Koh Samui, Thailand in 10th place and Phu Quoc, Vietnam in 15th place.

Also in the list were, Ambergris Caye, Belize (fourth place), Ireland (fifth), Roatan, Honduras (sixth), Isla Mujeres, Mexico (seventh), Isla Colon, Panama (eighth), Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic (11th), Crete, Greece (12th), Cozumel, Mexico (13th) and Caye Caulker, Belize (14th).

In an article published by Travel Awaits on Saturday, expert contributor Kara Williams started by saying that “if the idea of retiring to an island complete with sandy beaches, salty breezes, and a laid-back lifestyle appeals to you, the folks at International Living have you covered”.

Williams said the list was curated by “in-the-know professionals” who have been covering overseas retirement trends for decades.

The criteria for their top 15 list included the ability to live a simpler, more peaceful life without breaking the bank.

On Penang, Williams described the former British colony as home to a mix of nationalities, and welcoming to North Americans, with English widely spoken on the island.

“If you’re eager to travel in retirement, having Penang as your home base makes it easy to fly to many other countries in Southeast Asia.

“This island also appeals to foodies, with its plethora of food stalls, prominently found in the main city, George Town, as well as adventurers who like to hike, dive, and snorkel,” she had said.

Describing Malaysia’s My Second Home (MM2H) programme as a generous retirement visa, she however noted that it was now temporarily suspended due to the pandemic.

Travel Awaits described itself as “dedicated to the 50+ traveller who’s ready to cross a few items off their bucket list”.

Meanwhile, state Tourism Committee chairman Yeoh Soon Hin took to his Facebook page to share the article, saying that “Penang ranks 3rd in the world and 1st in Asia”.

In November last year, Penang was named as one of the “11 Best Islands for Retirement Abroad” by International Living, a website that covers global retirement or relocation opportunities.

In October and June the same year, Penang’s Assam laksa made it into the list of “The World’s 50 Best Foods” by CNN Travel while George Town made it into the list of “The 10 Best Destinations for Digital Nomads”, citing good cost of living, ample co-working spaces, good level of free Wi-Fi and friendliness, respectively.

Source: NST Online


  1. pokkai
    April 13th, 2021 at 11:21 | #1

    Yes, Penang, where else in the world can you find dumb @ss property owners who rent out their properties below cost value? You only find it in Penang!! :)))))

  2. Ken
    April 13th, 2021 at 15:20 | #2

    Dont call us dumb man, we the owners also victim of this situatuon, over supply, no demand from renters, we have no other choice but to lower rentals.

  3. c_________w
    April 14th, 2021 at 15:42 | #3

    Supply and demand mah, as long there is demand to own house, there will be supply. So it goes back to greedy owners loh. Demand for rental is another story, demand to own house increases supply for rental. Over supply in rental market then demand low loh.

  4. PPAP
    April 15th, 2021 at 10:31 | #4

    I agree with you. It looks like property investment in Penang can no longer be a profitable venture as, like you said, when demand goes up, supply follows, resulting in over supply after “some time”. And due to the extreme high plot ratio given to developers , this “some time” can be very fast and the volume can be very high. And that is precisely the reason so so many investors got burnt this round. :))))))

  5. ahbeng
    April 16th, 2021 at 13:18 | #5

    Penang has a serious rule of law/rasua/crony problem. Retirees must weigh up the risks carefully if they bring any money into this place.

  6. jack
    April 17th, 2021 at 09:35 | #6

    Nowadays only property developers and state gov can be considered as property investors. With such high property price and their costs for home buyers, it’s laughable to call ourselves investors as we already know the cost is high and return is bad.

  7. LEE
    April 17th, 2021 at 14:10 | #7

    best islands for retirement doesn’t mean best place for property investors, different story

  8. funny
    April 19th, 2021 at 09:32 | #8

    news like this has only one purpose — to attract (cheat) foreign retirees into buying properties in Penang island. Once they buy, they will be shocked by all the govt restriction, the tax, the traffic jam, the loudness of mosques, and the low-quality of properties in Penang.

  9. Jerome
    April 19th, 2021 at 11:35 | #9

    Haha, don’t be surprised you still have water fish who got sweet talked by agents into buying all these money loosing properties. :))

  10. +ve
    April 19th, 2021 at 15:50 | #10

    My goodness… fully of negative comments!
    You cannot expect to live a positive life if you hang with negative people.

  11. Kiong
    April 20th, 2021 at 16:32 | #11

    Yes, very negative. You can only live a positive life if you face and embrace the negativity which is, unfortunately the reality, but not ignoring it.

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