Carnarvon House Penang & My Feature in ZaoBao (联合早报)

Feature in ZaoBao

I was featured in the 5th Feb 2015 edition of ZaoBao (联合早报) wearing a cheongsam and photographed in a “vintage” setting, which is actually Carnarvon House in Penang. 🙂 I will not be reproducing the article here, as the ‘copyright’ belongs to Singapore Press Holdings.

[The gist of the article is that I quit my high-paying job at age 24, turned to blogging full-time, won a blog award in 2013, and am conducting blogging workshops now, with a 67 year old student of mine becoming a Top 10 Finalist at last year’s Singapore Blog Awards. And that student is none other than Steven Lek, who blogs at ]

Looking back, I think it is quite amazing how that picture for ZaoBao came about. It might sound like there was a divine plan. Let me explain.

One of my students, Kirbie, posted on Facebook one evening that there were cheongsams being sold cheaply on Gmarket. So I took her recommendation and went to purchase one. Little did I know that it comes with a pretty high slit at the sides (see picture below) and I knew I COULD NOT wear it in Singapore unless I wanted wolf whistles from lecherous old men everywhere I went.

Then I had a Penang trip planned almost on a whim and my blogger pal, Sock Peng from Penang, linked me up with the boss of Carnarvon House, Terry. It was a really last-minute decision, so thankfully, Carnarvon House still had a room for me. So I brought the cheongsam with me, thinking that I MIGHT be able to get some nice pictures wearing it in the really retro-looking Carnarvon House.

And while I was there, my pal (Jimmy) messaged me to ask if I’d be keen to be interviewed by a ZaoBao journalist (his friend). And of course I said yes. And when we met, the journalist didn’t bring a photographer. So I asked if she needed me to send her pictures. And guess what? I had all these “cheena” pictures of me in a cheongsam (in my phone) so I sent them to her on the spot [since it’s mainly the Chinese who read this paper]. Divine plan, yes? Didn’t know what possessed me to buy a cheongsam (of all things) till I realized it was perfect for ZaoBao. LOL!

And Carnarvon House is really beautiful. Room pictures are already up in an earlier post here. The rest of Carnarvon House looks fit for a Jay Chou-style MV. Check this out…

Carnarvon House Penang

*Crazily high slit not suitable for Singapore*

Where I am seated is the ground floor dining area. Carnarvon House does serve breakfast to its guests. The food will not be unfamiliar to Singaporeans – it just has a local, Penang twist. I had the ‘min chiang kueh‘ (you can google the term if you’d like) with peanut butter and sweet corn inside. It’s an interesting combination of ingredients you won’t get in Singapore though the kueh itself is something Singaporeans eat for breakfast too.

And here’s another picture… I’m standing on level 2 in this one:

Carnarvon House Penang

*Kind of looks like I’m a tai-tai of some sort, ya?*

For the first night at Carnarvon House, I stayed in the Carnarvon Room (behind me in this picture) and I loved how there’s a sofa in the room for lounging on and putting all my barang (stuff) on. For the second and third nights, I stayed in the Kimberley Room, which doesn’t have a sofa, but comes with a lounger.

If you are curious about the pricing, for the double rooms, the rate starts from RM128, which is about S$48. Extremely affordable and great value-for-money because the place is really clean, very good for photos (as I’ve demonstrated), and the people running the place are friendly. Eunice was a great host; she made all the guests feel at home.

Actually, staying at Carnarvon House is like staying at a close friend’s house, or at, say, your grandma’s house. Clean, homely, and feels like you have gone back to Singapore in the 60s. 😀

Carnarvon House Penang

There are a total of 7 rooms at Carnarvon House. Two of them are really big ones, which can accommodate families with children. Room rates for these start from RM328 (about S$123). Check their website for more details –

Carnarvon House Penang

If you’ve noticed, you can’t see my feet in any of the pictures in this blogpost. Hehehe. The reason for this is simple. I didn’t know what footwear would match this cheongsam. ‘Modern-looking’ heels or strappy sandals will not do. So I was wearing the slippers that Carnarvon House thoughtfully provides for guests. 😀

When you next visit Penang, I highly recommend that you stay at Carnarvon House – 28 Lorong Carnarvon, 10100 Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia. Tel: +604 262 4682. Email: 

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