George Town is the capital of the island and state of Penang , off the west coast of peninsular Malaysia known for its mix of cultures and its delicious street hawker food. The city was founded in 1786 by the British as one of the three Straits Settlements along with Malacca and Singapore. Today its old core of well-preserved buildings provides an authentic view at this vibrant city with traditions that run deep. A mix of settlers from China, India, and beyond have created a mix of ethnic groups that each stay true to their cultures and religions. But perhaps most beloved for its street food , tourists fly in to George Town from across Asia to taste the classic hawker dishes.