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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.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Who are they and what they do

Fairview front doorThe Fairview is a family run guesthouse, ideal for the budget traveller and for families with children.
The World War II bungalow was the residence of a Chinese architect and businessman, Tan Sri Datuk William. It was turned into a guesthouse in 2003, first to keep the house alive, and secondly to generate income for its conservation, part of Kuching’s heritage.
Fairview is run by a local family, relatives of the late owner, Eric, Annie and Anson Yap. This friendly Kuching family will do their best to make you feel comfortable, and organize your journey throughout Sarawak. Read the rest of this entry »

Kuching is a perfect destination for a traveller to start exploring Sarawak in Borneo, especially if you travel with children and are aware of responsible travel.

Kuching  is a nice town offering a wide range of good museum – maybe among the best in Malaysia -, nice heritage buildings from the 19th century, wide and safe sidewalks that allow you to discover the place slowly  – everything is at a walking distance –  and the best sunset I have ever seen in Malaysia

Kuching giant spider BakoNature and wilderness – proboscis monkeys, orang-outan, turtles,birds, big spiders..- are easily accessible at less than one hour, as well as nice and quiet beaches. And no leeches waiting for your blood, that’s great! 

The place offers also many opportunities to learn about the indigenous communities of Sarawak.

Check out the 2 posts we already published :

The Society Atelier, which conducts research and promotes the traditional craft of Sarawak, especially weaving. Now you can even have your lunch in the beautiful bungalow.

The Tun Jugah Fondation, Kuching, Sarawak : a must see museum for textile lovers especially for the indigenous ikat weaving of the Iban, called Pua Kumbu.

Check out our selection of useful links before I finish my writing about Kuching. Read the rest of this entry »

GT-Armenian stWhen asked 15 years ago about conservation efforts of historic Georgetown ,  Salma Khoo, director of Areca Books – a heritage and historical books publisher based in Penang – would answer, “What really matters to Penangites is food; they simply take their heritage for granted”.

In July 2008, international recognition was given to Penang when George Town was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site; completely transforming local perception. Melaka (Malacca) and George Town (GT) are jointly inscribed on the list as “The Historic Cities of the Straits of Malacca [where] the influences of Asia and Europe have endowed the towns with a specific multicultural heritage that is both tangible and intangible. The two towns constitute a unique architectural and cultural townscape without parallel anywhere in East and Southeast Asia. Both towns bear testimony to a living multi-cultural heritage and tradition of Asia, where the many religions and cultures met and coexisted”.

This recognition is an essential milestone for the handful of Penangites who have strived for years for the preservation of the tangible and intangible heritage of GT. Read the rest of this entry »

Meet local artisans and craftspersons and support Georgetown’s intangible cultural heritage

Incense maker in Gorge TownOne of my children’s favourite activities when we visit Asian cities is to watch artisans in their workshops. Most of the time we observe – after asking permission – and then we discuss the craft at hand with the craftsperson. We can easily spend one hour in a workshop. In George Town it is even possible to return home with an illustrated brochure to remind us of the craft process and the story of the craftsperson. These brochures have been designed and illustrated by some of GT’s students involved in the Anak-Anak Kota (children of the city) project undertaken by Arts-Ed in collaboration with Penang Heraitage Trust (PHT). These traditional trades – joss stick maker, signboard engraver, beaded shoes cobbler, goldsmith – are also located on the World Heritage Site Map of Georgetown (Areca book publisher).

Read the rest of this entry »

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