Well, well, well — The locale often touted as Peninsular Malaysia’s wettest town — Taiping, Perak — can now add a far more prestigious feather to their cap: They’ve been voted the third most sustainable city in the world at the ITB tourism expo in Berlin.
Yes, the same event where our Tourism Minister told a room full of journalists that there were no gays in Malaysia.
The award places Taiping just behind more the more well-known Ljubljana, Slovenia and Canada’s sea and mountain-framed Vancouver. Recognizing cities that show leadership in urban sustainability and management in over-tourism, it’s incredible to think that a town of less than 250,000 three hours outside of Kuala Lumpur, can make such an impact globally.
Having heard the announcement yesterday, Taiping’s Municipal Council president, Abd Rahim Md Ariff, expressed his delight of having his beautiful, lush town earn a spot on the world’s eco-tourism radar.
“This is the first time we received a prestigious international award,” he said. “This achievement is due to the hard work of the community and all relevant government agencies.”
Both the Perak chief minister, and the state’s Tourism Committee chairman were present in Berlin to receive the honors.
Last year, the town managed to squeeze into the top 100. What an incredible feat — congrats.
Fancy a trip to Taiping? Well, there’s an airport, but the easiest way to get there is to drive from KL along the very accessible North-South highway for about three hours. Carpool! Or if you like, there’s also a regularly scheduled KTM train that leaves from KL daily. There’s a zoo. There’s fireflies. There’s so much greenery. There’s a hell of an incredible food scene. Go go go, if you haven’t already.
This article, Malaysian town Taiping ranked #3 in world’s most sustainable cities at awards, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!