If you want to experience three countries in one, you should visit Malaysia, where you’ll find Malay, Chinese and Indian culture in the same place. Which is what I did, starting from George Town. Just like in India, Malaysia was unified during the period of British rule.  Penang, like other parts of the Malay Peninsula, was a sultanate before being leased to Brits who built a port here named after King George III — George Town. George Town has always been one of the most popular tourist destinations in Malaysia. In recent years it has received numerous international accolades bringing it to attention on the world stage. Today it’s overrun with hostels, gift stores, coffee shops, bars and tourists, which didn’t really make it my cup of tea.

During the sultanate period Malaysians became open to religious influence and accepted Islam. During British rule Chinese and Indian immigrants arrived to work as labourers, diversifying Malaysia’s religious demographics. Rather than assimilating over time the Chinese and Indian minorities still speak their own languages, retain their cultural heritage and remain in their respective communities. Which made me consider Malaysia to be a fairly tolerant country. Despite being a multi-religious society, Malaysia’s constitution doesn’t guarantee freedom of religion and anyone born ethnically Malay is a de-facto Muslim, but George Town’s ethnic composition consists primarily of Chinese and then Malays.