Growing up on Bangkok Lane had its perks. It had its downsides too, whether or not one was related to the owner of the
estate. The shock that changes bring to a visiting former resident is a reminder of the permanent passing of daily life.
I WAS SURPRISED when I visited Penang recently to discover that there’s a boutique hotel operating on Bangkok Lane.
Called PalanquInn Heritage Suites, it’s in house number 39. Diagonally opposite it is number 38, where I lived for nearly 10 years throughout the 1970s.
From what I’d known, the two rows of houses on Bangkok Lane had been strictly residential. They belong to the estate of Cheah Leong Keah, the man who built them in 1928. Till the year 2000, they were under the Rent Control Act and people looking for cheap housing were lining up to get in.
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