Monday, August 23, 2010
pearl of the orient p2
I did mention that I was going for a grrlie trip with the 7D4 babes to the Pearl of the Orient last month, and finally with the day off's I've downloaded the pics from the memory card, resized them for storage, uploaded to Facebook and as motivation to eat dinner, I might as well finish up the job by sharing some stories!
Told you, I was hesitant in even getting a DSLR because there's just too much work after the pictures are taken >.< And I have yet to put them up on an online site, can't choose between Flickr and Picasa.
First off, what's Penang stories without tales of food? Too bad I was recovering from my cough and cold then, which meant I had to refrain from almost everything that Penang had to offer - prawn mee, char kuey teow, assam laksa, cendol, Nyonya food. You can imagine how torturous that was for me!
We booked into G Hotel, which has recently been nominated for the World Luxury Hotel Awards 2010, having won the Best Hotel Construction & Design Malaysia. I've only stepped into it last year but didn't know how classy it would be until we stayed there.
Their simplistic zen ambience had me thinking that budget hotel could be achieved using a minimalistic concept, but seeing Aigner toiletries in the room got me thinking they're on to something brilliantly marketable here - uncluttered hipness focused on luxurious comfort.
We decided to be tourists by visiting historical sites like the Pinang Peranakan Mansion. In my 1 year of living there, obviously I was oblivious to these kinda places, but since they recently achieved heritage status, we should do the patriotic thing by learning more about our history. (Admission Fee : RM10, free for children below 6)
Depicting the typical home of a rich Baba of more than a century ago, this stately mansion of electic design and architecture incorporates Chinese carved-wood panels with English floor tiles and Scottish iron-works. Built at the end of 19th century by one of local history's famous personalities, the "Hai Kee Chan" or Sea Remembrance Store had once served as the residence and office of Kapitan Cina Chung Keng Kwee.*
Next stop was the Khoo Kongsi, one of the more famous clanhouses which is still carefully preserved till today. No doubt our friend Geng Ying was delighted to find her clansmen had done well by building a association building, traditional theatre and rowhouses, leaving a legacy behind.
Unfortunately, amongst the row of name plaques that were hung in the clanhouse immortalising Khoo's with the names of their degrees and universities from where they've graduated from, her name was not included.
Our dinner that evening was at the hip Bagan Bar & Restaurant, a former colonial bungalow turned into an intimate venue for dining and partying. I've always loved the fact that Penang has always retained its identity by preserving architectural gems like these, and how instead of chopping down trees they build roads and buildings around centuries-old raintrees, making it really shady and idyllic.
After so many months, we were finally celebrating the birthdays of Sze Ying, Lai Ying and myself. The fairylights above us and candlelights on the table gave it a magical setting, just perfect for toasting to friendships and catching up without being rushed.
We ended the night at G Spot, the hotel's jazz bar and lounge. I must say the inhouse band fared pretty well, even to the point of "celebrating" our birthdays in a most memorable manner ever! ;p
*excerpt from brochure