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 19 Jan 2009

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NY Times Readers’ Choice:
Penang, Phuket among must-visit destinations

Readers of The New York Times have chosen Penang as the second best destination among “44 Places To Go in 2009”, reported the Star daily.

The Malaysian paper noted that in top spot in the recommendations found on the paper’s website ( was Beirut.

The only other South-East Asian destination in the ranking is Phuket, which is in 15th place.

Other places include Washington (fourth), Rome (fifth) and Metz in France (sixth). The newspaper ranked Penang in the 22nd spot while Phuket was placed 12th.

Besides the second spot in the overall readers’ ranking, Penang is also in the top 12 places in the frugal and food categories (both readers’ and the paper’s recommendations).

The New York Times said adventurous foodies are now turning to Penang, the culinary capital of Malaysia, where they are eating their way through one of South-East Asia’s liveliest street-food scenes.

It said there are city-run hawker stands everywhere and even refined dishes like char koay teow rarely cost more than $2.

Malaysia’s State Tourism Development, Culture, Arts and Heritage committee chairman Danny Law Heng Kiang said Penang was chosen by the readers because of its good food.

“The ranking is a boost for the state as a tourist destination.

“Penang food is so famous that I know of Singaporeans who fly here just to eat,” he said.

He was speaking to reporters after launching the New World Park Chinese New Year programme at the food and beverage centre here yesterday.

A series of musical, art and dance performances are being held at the hawker-cum-cultural centre until February 9.




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