Having just returned I was keen to get my thoughts down before they fade too much! Firstly Penang. An Island state within Malaysia it is rightly called the Pearl of the Orient. Tourist friendly without being too touristy, full of friendly people, UNESCO protected buildings and some of the best food you will ever taste. The people make you feel safe and welcome, and with the level of English being good it makes it a pretty easy way to enter Asia. Situated on the coast it is about 30 minutes from the Airport and ideally located to explore the city or the less inhabited parts of the Island. What makes Straits Quay special is its design, it stands no more than 6 floors high and its integration between the Condo's, the shopping arcade and the myriad bar and eateries. This makes for a very attractive and kind of intimate village atmosphere which is so different to high rise living. The shops are excellent although the arcade is still developing and the places to eat and drink are all uniformly good. Now, finally on to the Condo itself. Situated on the 4th floor the Condo doesn't face the sea (which I discovered may be a good thing as the sea orientated condo's also get too much sun and heat) but overlooks a little marketplace. It is private, quiet and located 90 seconds away from a well-appointed Gym and a truly fantastic pool area (which we just about had to ourselves). It is beautifully appointed and furnished, with everything you could possibly need to cook and enjoy a meal, wash or just lounge about and watch a movie or read a book on the balcony. Also for me very importantly great water pressure and a great shower!! It is a place you could walk into and enjoy for 2 days or 2 months. With a TESCO 5 minutes walk away should you need it, and a lovely marketplace on Saturdays you will want for nothing, and have a great base as well! Finally I should mention the logistics in terms of the Condo's owner and the lady who will look after you when you stay. As I live in China and this holiday was about getting my 80 year old Mum up from New Zealand and back to Asia, and in a place she could enjoy, well I was a little stressed about things. I should have relaxed. Both the owner Trevor and the local manager Patricia have obviously been doing this for years and they bent over backwards to help and to make it easy for us to just relax. I hated leaving, and definitely intend to enjoy Straits Quay again at some time in the future.