Happy 2018!

We moved to Penang, another Malaysian Island 500 miles south of Langkawi for New Years.  A big British Colony in the 1800’s and George Town is another UNESCO protected zone.  (You can tell I like UNESCO places!)

Pseudo restored, downstairs for shops, homes upstairs. Reminds me of Merida Mexico or Quito Ecuador where they are also restoring the downtown’s to their old glory.

A restored traditional British/Malay building.

In a traditional Chinese mansion, evidently one of the few outside China.

The mixture of styles is everywhere.

I love the door awnings. This was an abandoned house in Penang Hill. A lovely view from here.

A few 2009 George Town started a campaign to “Mark George Town”  They ended up with a series of  50 or so wire sculptures marking important historical events in different neighborhoods.  There are also some murals and this has morphed into everyone doing sculpture, and murals.  Adds a lovely activity, looking for them.

The wire art all have a little story about their inspiration.

Found around many corners and in alleys.

Some have selfie spots

Conceived from a bicycle. An alternate art form.


Not the mouse dangling a mouse in the upper right corner.

Nice kitty….

Food, much more interesting than Langkawi.  Our street food dinner (choose a long line at it will be good.  Some sort of soup (how do you eat hot soup in 83 decrees, feels like 95 per Weather underground), dim sum and traditional Chinese Desert (beans in a sweet broth, iced or hot).

The stall where our soup emerged.

First course – some sort of soup with big rice noodles, various sorts of mystery meat, two kinds of broth, some onions,…. The beer was more expensive than the soup.

Our 2nd course – an assortment of dim sum

The desert restaurant. No pic of the food, just the surroundings.

Penang Hill, “Discovered and established by the British in the late 1700’s, it is one of the oldest colonial hills in Southeast Asia”  The locals new of the hill before discovery and how do you establish a hill….?  I love translations.  But, the British did dominate the hill as it is cool 2700 ft above sea level.  A funicular ride up (originally built around 1901, but quite modern and fast now) .

Near the top on the funicular.

A view from the top with the “Love Post” for getting they photos taken in the foreground.

A look around, lots our little touristy things to do beyond the view and then we decided to walk the jeep road the 5 km down to the Botanical Garden.  Oh my, it is paved now and … straight down.

Jim waiting for me on the road while I take a pick. Yes, it is steep!

LOTS of twists and turns to add interest to the steepness.


The steepness of the road is not a trick of photography.

About half way you can take the path that is all steps.  2 km of steps nearly straight down.

The 2 K of steps. They are as steep and narrow as they look.

But, we did see some interesting wildlife and plants (no, I won’t include a macaque pic today!)  We were tired by the time we got down!

A Dusky Leaf Monkey. We’ve seen them a few times and I love their faces. Unlike the macaques they are timid of people and do not want our food!

They grow them big around here.

I don’t know this plant, but love the leaf patterns. Carl Troy? I *know* you will know!

I have said nothing of politics.  Every where we go, people ask where we are from.  The conversations is something like, “Where are you from?”,  “US”,  “Oh….  Trump?” as they shake their heads.  Everyone wants to understand why he is president and no one has expressed a like, and many and fearful.  A little graffiti we say in George Town sums up in a much stronger form what the Asians we have met have felt.

Everyone asks about Trump. Have yet to meet a person who is excited. A more visible expression. You actually don’t see much graffiti, (most is refined painting) so this was a surprise to see.

Not to end on that…. I am getting very tired of the selfie culture.  EVERY group of people has to stop at each pretty or interesting spot and each person has to do 3 or 4 selfie glamour shots.  I am not exaggerating here.  I don’t know if this is an Asian thing at some level, I know there is plenty of selfie culture in the US, but I don’t remember seeing this level of selfie-ness when we were in France last Spring.

Not the best image for my new Selfie series, but it does sum up the concept. It is also interesting to see Muslim women, sans men, in cutie, cheesecake poses. It was not uncommon to see. Lots to understand of the Muslim world.

Crazy.  I may start a new series, “Selfie Culture” although it has probably already been done.

The original selfie camera. The mirror allows you to see your own image while taking it.

Lots of interesting incense sticks sized small to jumbo.

Some of the most treacherous streets we’ve walked. Deep “culverts” along each street with lots of other obstacles as well.