An Unusual Island Get-Away
Trip Start Nov 08, 2006
209Trip End Ongoing
Penang isn’t what you'd normally imagine when someone says they’re taking an island get-away trip. Most people come to Penang for the culture rather than relaxation in a hammock. We had planned on a snorkeling and diving day out at a nearby marine park, but unseasonably rainy weather scratched that plan from the list. However, there were still plenty of other sights to occupy our time.
Back during the spice trade days, Penang was a major port because of its deep harbor. Because of the constant international trade, it became (and has remained) a cultural mixing pot of ethnic Malays, Chinese, Indians and Arabs. It was also colonized by the British for some 200 years, lending it an interesting blend of architectural styles. Most of the colonial architecture is in various states decay, but some buildings have been restored.
Our best meal though was on the last day. We had read about the Eastern and Oriental Hotel, a famous historic hotel dating back to 1885. Dane wanted to visit the E&O because many famous artists have stayed there, including one of his favorite writers – Hermann Hesse. They also serve a stunning lunch buffet for a very reasonable $15. It was fantastic and the perfect way to book-end our Penang trip.