The Newsletter 60 Summer 2012

The forgotten Penang hill station

Louis Zweers

Strategically placed between Asia and Europe, Penang Island was once dubbed the ‘Pearl of the Orient’. Four years ago UNESCO granted the World Heritage Status to the historical heart of its capital, Georgetown – giving a boost to efforts to preserve the area’s rich diversity. Beautiful colonial buildings such as the City Hall, High Court and the Eastern & Oriental Hotel have been restored, their white facades once again gleaming in the tropical heat. For the past thirty years, however, the bungalows and grounds of the famous Craig Hotel on Penang Hill (also known as the Crag Hotel), have all been allowed to go to ruin. What exactly has been happening up at this old British hill station?

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