Birthday celebrations in iconic Penang hotel

Our friends visiting from Australia were meeting us in Penang where we planned to spend a few days together before taking a ferry back to Langkawi – our boat being safely ensconced at Rebak Marina.

The “tin can” ferry from Langkawi to Penang
We arrived in Penang from Langkawi in a high speed ferry which was like being transported in a tin can full of people. Our allocated seats were on the lower deck and you could see very little out of the windows as we hurtled through the waves. 

The Queen Victoria Memorial Clock Tower just by the ferry terminal
As we had never used Air B and B before, and we planned to stay in Langkawi for four nights, we decided it would be a great place to experiment with this new way of getting accommodation. 

Our comfortable but slightly bizarrely decorated apartment
Hiring a two bedroom apartment for four people proved to be economical and gave us the freedom and flexibility that we required. It was easy to organise and pay for and picking up the key proved to be a simple task. 

Hard to see in a photo but our apartment building had a very “out there” design which made it look higgledy piggledy and as if a child had built it! Unnerving!
A short taxi ride from the ferry terminal to the edge of Geogetown took us to our accommodation – one of two towers of brand new apartments which from the outside looked like a futuristic fantasy building with a disconcerting illusion of being crooked. 

The view from our apartment

Inside there were floor to ceiling windows and the apartment was on two levels with a bedroom and bathroom on each level and a comfortable living room/kitchen area on the first level. 

Lovely woodpile but the fireplace was a TV – go figure!
We hired a car for the duration of our stay which proved to be very easy – our car was delivered to our apartment block the first morning and the day we left we met a representative of the hire company outside the ferry terminal and they drove the car back to base. 

Wandering through the streets of Georgetown
With the help of Google Maps we found historic Penang very easy to negotiate.

The first day we wandered the streets to get our bearings. We strolled through Little India, enjoying the spicy smells and the colourful shops. 

Typical shop houses of Penang

Colourful Penang!
That evening we had a birthday drink (for me!) at the historical Eastern Oriental Hotel, established by the same family as the Raffles Hotel in Singapore. 

In the O and E bar

In the O and E
The bar was very atmospheric and no wonder, the likes of Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Noel Coward, Rudyard Kipling, Somerset Maugham and Hermann Hesse had enjoyed a tipple or two there in the past!

Walking through the graceful corridors of the O and E Hotel
We decided to have dinner in the restaurant and enjoyed soaking up the charm and graceful elegance of this iconic hotel. 

A moment of old time romance at the O and E Hotel

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Salty tales from Bali Hai

In 2015, after a break from cruising of almost 30 years, my husband and I sailed off into the sunset - this time to the wonderful Islands of Indonesia and beyond. Three years passed and we swapped sails for wheels driving through Scandinavia and Europe in a motor home. Now we are on the brink of another adventure - buying a Lagoon 420 Catamaran in Athens. This is our story.

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