Last Wednesday was a public holiday in Malaysia (it was Merdeka (independence) day and we’ve now been here for three of these holidays!) so we decided to spend the day in Penang. We left Ipoh early and got to the China House cafe in George Town in time for morning tea. We wandered around the Armenian Street part of the old town before lunch at the quiet Cafe 55 in Lorong Stewart, where we enjoyed an interesting conversation with our Filipina waitress. By then the sun was high and we retreated to the cool of our lovely room at 23 Love Lane, a beautifully restored boutique hotel (http://www.23lovelane.com/). After a rest under the whirring ceiling fan, we walked along the waterfront and ended up at the Eastern & Oriental Hotel where we indulged in an early cocktail. A walk back to the hotel in the rain, detouring to explore some of the lanes in the area, gave us an appetite for some dinner, which we had at our favourite Italian restaurant Via Pre. After a good sleep and a quick breakfast, we were on the road south and back Ipoh in time for the day’s work.