Life in Laos through the lens of a diplomatic wife raising twin toddlers.
When my husband and I were working on post-tsunami reconstruction in Aceh, Indonesia in 2006-2007, we traveled to the nearby island of Penang, Malaysia for a little getaway and stayed in the picturesque Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion – originally built as a private residence in the late 1800’s by a Chinese merchant, it now serves as a home-stay for tourists. It is also a museum of sorts with on-going restoration work that has earned it many awards including a UNESCO Heritage Conservation Award. Among it’s many gorgeous architectural features, the rich indigo blue lime-wash that is used throughout the house makes it very distinctive and beautiful to photograph. Unfortunately, I was using a mediocre digital camera at the time and I’ve lost the original files since then so all I have left are smaller, less clear images that I’ve retrieved from my previous blog. Regardless, they are still timeless and beautiful to me, and looking at them conjures up the atmosphere of the romantic historical period of colonial Asia.
While it was certainly a privilege to be able to stay in this historical mansion and be surrounded by it’s beauty, it was not the most comfortable choice for a hotel. The walls were thin, the doors and floors creaky, and the air conditioning was either freezing or none at all. But if you want to immerse yourself in a unique experience steeped in history, then I would highly recommend staying here for one or two nights. We certainly did not regret it.