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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
We decided to have dinner in the restaurant and enjoyed soaking up the charm and graceful elegance of this iconic hotel.