George Town's Colonial District, Penang

Once abandoned by locals and dismissed by tourists, George Town has managed to cling to its relatively newfound reign as one of the region’s hottest destinations. The 2008 Unesco World Heritage declaration sparked a frenzy of cultural preservation that continues to this day, and the city’s charismatic shophouses have been turned into house museums, charming boutique hotels and chic cafes. Aggressive drivers aside, it’s also one of the most rewarding cities in Southeast Asia to explore on foot. And did we mention that George Town is also home to some of Malaysia’s best food?