Penang – Malaysia’s best-known and most-visited destination – is an alluring blend of Indian, Chinese and sundry influences. The Pearl of the Orient is an island that features a mixture of colonial heritage buildings that rub shoulders with swanky high rise resort-style hotels; jungles, lakes and beaches surround its borders while Penang-proper is home to a jumble of British Raj-era architecture. The island’s capital city, Georgetown – a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site – is dotted with atmospheric Chinese store fronts and imposing mansions while its northern quadrant plays host to Batu Ferringhi, a resort strip dominated by huge luxury developments. All in all, the state comes across as a mishmash of Langkawi’s seaside charm and Malacca’s imposing old-fashioned legacy. Local food remains one of its top draws, most notably the hawker fare.