We flew out of Singapore yesterday morning, bound for the UNESCO world heritage site of Georgetown. It's on the island of Penang (as in Penang curry: the food here is famously good, a contender for the best in southeast Asia). The British built a fort here in the 18th century, so it's a surprisingly old and historic place, with a fascinating fusion of British, Malay, Chinese and Indian culture.
We are staying at the absolutely beautiful Eastern & Oriental hotel, where our suite with 24-hour butler service overlooks the ocean (and it's not that expensive, cheaper than our cruddy hotel in Washington DC for instance). In some ways Malaysia is the perfect place to travel: rich enough to have amenities like air conditioning, drinkable water, good service, and easy transportation, poor enough that luxury can be yours at a reasonable price. Also I find grinding poverty really depressing to see; it makes feel happier to be surrounded by locals who can afford the little amenities like cell phones, restaurant meals and fashion.
Pre-children, I never cared where I stayed (concrete-walled bedroom with no windows and a bathroom with just a showerhead and a toilet flushed by dumping water out of a bucket? Great, then I have more money to spend on museum-visiting!), but post-baby we must spend a good portion of every day at the hotel, so it matters a lot more now. I am so glad we are staying here!
We are staying until Monday morning, and I didn't bring my computer, so posting will probably be light. Hope everyone else is having a good weekend!