so, so semiprecious

so, so semiprecious

so, so semiprecious

I've almost finished writing tripadvisor reviews of all the guest houses and hotels we stayed at during our month away. Only two remain: this one (the beautiful Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion in Georgetown/Penang), and our final-night splurge, the fabulous Pan Pacific in Singapore...which still, in all its glory - and with a buffet breakfast the sumptuous likes of which I have never seen - cost less than a mediocre 3* hotel in Amsterdam on a weekend night.

Yes, I'm still in a nostalgic state of mind, and this is still Southeast Asia. Hey, it's still Penang, even. Bear with me.

Taken on: 8th December, 2009. Copyright: All Rights Reserved - See :lynn:'s page of Flickr

Read more about Penang

Malaysia's second largest island, Penang is also its most developed, with the eastern coast dotted with high-rises and crammed with holiday resorts. Travellers who have experienced beaches elsewhere in Asia will probably be unimpressed with the most popular beach spots, but the island's real attraction lies in its culture, history and cuisine.

The main city of Georgetown boasts a meld of interesting architecture stretching from the British colonial era to the colourful multicultural present, as well as fascinating museums and places of worship. And the food is a fabulous blend of cuisines from around the world, spiced with plenty of local specialities.

The bustling Penang of today is a far cry from that of yesteryear. Ruled by the fractious Sultans of Kedah until the late 18th century, Penang's strategic location by the northern entrance of the Straits ... Read our complete Penang travel guide

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