I stay at Muntri Mews hotel for this coming night
After a 30 mn never ending trip in a lift (stopped between the 22th and the 21th floors of my hotel in KL), a 4h bus trip from KL to Penang (Nice Bus, 74 RM), + a 20mn taxi ride (30RM, mahal lah!) from the Nice bus stop to the 77 Muntri street in George Town, I reached Muntri Mews.
Friendly welcome by the Muntri Mews staff, with a glass of fresh water and a pot of hot chinese tea. Lovely and spacious room with a fusion retro-stylish decoration.
Then I learned 2 new words : Mew and Flashpacker.
What’s a flashpacker?
Here is the answer of the “chic hotel” Ryokan opposite Muntri Mews
If you travel with your iPod, digital camera and laptop, you have officially placed yourself in the category of what we call flashpackers. If you are traveling on a budget, but you are looking for something a bit more upmarket and luxurious and as affordable as a hostel, you’re also a flashpacker.”
Both Ryokan and Muntri Mews target the flaspackers, but in different budget categories.

What are mews?

 It was a place where you store the horse carriages.
“Muntri Mews” was formerly the stables and carriageworks of the street’s grandest terraces. Carriages were kept below while drivers and staff were housed above in 12 worker’s quarters. 

Then I took the Rapid Penang bus 101 to reach Pulau Tikus area where I met Jeremy who runs, with Kelvyn, the Palanqu’inn B&B, settled in the so lovely Bangkok Lane : an other flashpacker “boutique” and heritage guesthouse, opened in nov 2010 by 2 young friendly penangites. Only 2 bedrooms there, but within 1 or 2 weeks, they will open 3 more rooms, a few blocks further in the same lane.

While there, I took the opportunity to have a look at the A2 Art gallery , also in Bangkok lane, where I have bought a nice painting 2 years ago from the local artist Kahmei. The gallery is run since 3 years by Alfred and Jeff, who promote local artists and art appreciation rather than art investment.

Tomorrow, I shall rent an old-fashioned bicycle and continue my investigations about the new heritage places to stay : Penaga Hotel, Yengkeng hotel, Straits collection Hotel, 1926 Heritage Hotel.

Did I say that I had a delicious dinner of Dim Sumat De Tai Tong restaurant (jalan Cintra) ?

By the way, an Insider’s Guide To Penang published by Time Out Magazine is now available : 38RM is quite expensive for a so called “insider guide” that is more like a listing of adverts rather than a useful guide.