There are not too many places on Earth where such a vortex of conditions exist, says my guide.
The meticulously renovated Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion in Penang is one of the world's most unusual historic hotels.
Lodgings fit for a future king – Prince Charles was here a few months ago.
The island of Penang floats in the Strait of Malacca like a Chinese junk tethered to peninsula Malaysia.
This refurbished resort offers a relaxing retreat from the heady hustle of George Town.
The multi-layered and multicultural history of George Town in Malaysia is best explored on an entertaining tour.
It's easy to get to from Singapore and just a one-stop flight from Australia.