We’ve just had a long weekend in Penang and spent a lot of time in and beside this magnificent pool at the Eastern and Oriental Hotel. It feels decadent staying in this relic of the colonial era, where the sea wall hides the detritus bobbing in the Strait of Malacca from hotel guests lounging around the pool and the hard-working fishing boats are decorative additions to tourist photos. Still we thoroughly enjoyed our break here and made good use of the pool, swimming numerous lengths to justify our next meal. Lying in damp togs in the evening breeze is not possible in Auckland’s fickle spring weather! Balmy evenings are the compensation for the heat of tropical days.