Approaching George Town – the capital of Penang state – from the Penang Strait is exciting. With a population of over 700,000 people, it is the second largest city in Malaysia. The “Pearl of the Orient” is a unique blend of colonial buildings huddled at the base of modern skyscrapers. Since Penang Island was purchased by the British East India Company in 1786, George Town has grown into the epicenter for business, culture and tourism. The entire historic section of George Town has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.