Chinese New year celebrating Jade Emperor’s birthday also known in Hokkien as Pai ti Kong.
This is the most important day for the Hokkiens during the lunar new year celebrations and it is one of my favourite festivals.
Traditionally a feast is laid out on the altar table for the Jade emperor to thank him for his protection and blessings. Offerings like gold paper are burnt to send to heaven and fireworks and firecrackers are set off at midnight.
I was born and grew up in Penang, Malaysia. It was a small sleepy island in those days and not many people knew anything about it. Today, it is consistently rated as the best place to retire. Why you might ask. Sometimes I ask the same question. So having grown up here, travelled the world searching and living in many different countries, I have decided to end up back home.
My top 10: Excluding the fact that the govt gives long term visas for Foreigners (MM2H)
1. Low cost of living
2. English speaking being an Ex British Colony
3. High standard of healthcare
4. Best street food in the world
5. Multi cultural
6. Unesco world heritage site
7. Tropical island city
8. Friendly people like me 🙂
9. Great nature trails and outdoor activities
10. Artistic and Cultural hub
Here are snippets of what international magazines have to say.
Penang in general and George Town in particular have a great deal to offer the would-be expat and foreign retiree. The natural surroundings are beautiful, and you have many options for how to spend your time. In addition, Malaysian immigration laws are welcoming, including for retirees. For these reasons, thousands of foreigners, both working and retired, have settled in the area, creating a network of support for others who’d like to follow in their footsteps.
This Asian country is known, International Living says for its “878 idyllic islands, stunning beaches and untouched rainforests.” It’s a multicultural place that’s home to a mixture of Malay, Chinese, Indian, Europeans and Americans.
The cost of living is low, the health care quality is high and IL Malaysia correspondent Keith Hockton says “the food is not just first class, but world class — and the shopping in Kuala Lumpur and Penang, where I live, is to die for.”
So finally to the point of this article. If you are thinking of retiring abroad, Penang is probably your cheapest, safest option. Did I mention that Malaysia has no worldwide tax? and no estate duty?
I highly recommend the legal services of my brother, Sam Choong of Khaw Cheow Poh and associates, if you are interested to find out more about visa requirements for Malaysia my second home (MM2H) programme. That’s what family is for! Helping promote his business 🙂
Yesterday I trekked up Penang hill for the first time this year. It is a 5km trail that goes up to 2,723 ft (833m) I used to do this really often but I haven’t been for a while so I thought it was a good idea to tick it off my new year’s list. I clocked in 1hr 06 which I think is a fairly decent time.
The view and the scenery makes the torture worthwhile. Lots of pretty flowers, monkeys and i saw a giant blue scorpion and a monitor lizard.
Penang hill is the oldest hill resort in Malaysia. There was a furnicular railway constructed in the early 1900s. Today it has been modernised and the train ride takes 4 mins.
The Bulan Lifestyle is everywhere. This cute little cafe outside our resort is called Bulan Lanta. I saw it as a sign to check it out for breakfast. I wasn’t disappointed. The homemade muesli and yoghurt with fruits and cafe latte was just what I needed.
This is my little peace of heaven on earth and below is my view for the rest of the day. Life is beautiful.
I have added colour to Kip Kip the juvenile black naped Oriole. Please Click here for the original sketch before I added colour.
After a very social week long stay in Singapore for my friends wedding celebrations. I’m finally driving home! I know I am getting old when I can’t wait to go home, crawl into bed and recover for the rest of the week. I’m looking forward to being in hibernation mode.