Despite its curious name of "Pulau Tikus", which translates as "Rat Island", Pulau Tikus is actually a small suburb of George Town. It is neither an island nor is it infested with rats. Instead it is actually named after a small rocky islet located off the north-east coast of Penang.
Pulau Tikus has in the past been home to small Siamese and Burmese communities, and this can be seen in the road names which reflect places located in those two countries. Subsequently it has also been home to the Eurasian community and has always been considered a high end residential area by Penangites.
Bangkok Lane is one of the nicer roads in Pulau Tikus, consisting of two rows of 41 townhouses of similar design. Built in 1928, by Cheah Leong Keah, these pretty pre-war houses are still in remarkably good shape and still owned by the Cheah family.
The Palanquinn Heritage Suites occupy some of these old townhouse, while others are lived in/ rented by locals. The office is in one the townhouse in the middle of the street, we just walked in and luckily they had a suite available.
The suite we took was the Terrace Suite at no.39, which is basically on the ground floor of one of the second townhouse on the right at the start of Bangkok Lane, right near the hub-bub of the adjacent Burmah Road, which is one of the main thoroughfares in George Town. Other suites available include the Loft Suite which is on top of the Terrace Suite. There are 2 mezzanine suites at no.20, Bangkok Lane and the Dwell suites at no.17.
The Terrace Suite has its own outdoor veranda, where you can sit and watch the going-ons on the street and the mee goreng (fried noodles) stall at the kopitiam (chinese coffee shop) opposite the road. If you drive, you can park on the street side bays, which is a bit difficult during the day due to the busy daytime activities. The roadside council attendant will place a ticket on your windshield for you to pay for the use of the bay; just pass the ticket to the management of Palanquinn who will settle the parking tickets for you. At night, parking is easy, as there are hardly any cars.
The terrace suite is large, with air-cond, fan, double bed, lcd television, dresser and other period appropriate furniture. Other reviews have mentioned on the hard floors, well it is an old pre-war house. The walk-in bathroom is huge, and does not have any doors separating it from the bedroom area. Ceilings are high, as expected in these pre-wars buildings.
If you want the experience of living in an authentic pre-war house in an authentic penang street, you cannot go far wrong staying in these suites. If you need the mod-cons and do not want to be awakened by sounds of the street in the early morning, check into your run-of-the mill big chain hotels instead. For me, give me the authenticity over the hotels anytime!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Palanquinn is a captivating boutique Bed & Breakfast, comprising two lovely and private heritage suites, located on Bangkok Lane on the island of Penang, Malaysia. Our property is among the collection of colonial pre-war townhouses dating back to the 1920s, where two beautiful rows of heritage houses line this street, immortalized in time.At Palanquinn Heritage Suites, experience for yourself the legacy of its rich heritage and the intimacy of a comfortable and personalized milieu during your sojourn in Penang. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Palanquinn Heritage Suites Penang/George Town