Penang, famed as the Pearl of the Orient, has been the meeting place of cultural currents from India and China, as well as insular and mainland Southeast Asia. As a key commercial port of the British East India Company from 1786, it was drawn into the international trading route. Ship captains and seafaring merchants chose to retreat to this strategically situated island, while miners and planters who made their fortunes in neighbouring lands built their incredible homes here. Penang’s capital, the port city of George Town, is now a World Heritage Site, reflecting its rich history, vernacular architecture and its own unique version of multiculturalism. This book celebrates the distinctive architecture and lifestyle of the heritage houses of Penang.