Not Working at Wandering in Bangkok

Its warm here folks. I sweat a lot. I wander the city each day and by the time I get back I’m drenched and the cold water from the fridge really makes me feel good. I could say its work but as you can see from my title its not Work. It is not even work. It’s what makes the days feel the best for me this wandering and seeing. Today was a simpler and kinder and gentler day and just saw these city streets which always engage me. The people are a mix of busy school children, day workers, young people sipping drinks, older folks doing their work and play things and always the tourists making their way.

The signs are all over that life moves along in Bangkok at its pace. Busy city streets and wondrous blocks to explore at depth. I will never tire of capturing the little things life presents each day. Hope you enjoy the day’s photographic endeavors.

Soon I will publish my Bangkok photo album so you can kind of travel along with me 🙂

Living in SE Asia has its rewards and Difficulties

I’ve been living now in various places in Southeast Asia over a year. Spent six months in Vietnam and then established and received a retirement extension of stay in Cambodia good for a year of multiple exit and entries. All of this was pretty easy stuff to get done. Visas and passports are not terribly difficult when you understand how it works. Take the entry stamp for Malaysia. If you are a US citizen, you get 90 days with no questions asked and you get the stamp in about 10 minutes. When you leave Malaysia, you get an exit stamp in the same amount of time. In Thailand, if you are a US Citizen you get 30 days exemption at the airport of entry. You can then get an extension of 30 days at the Bangkok Central Immigration Office by going there with a few things and some Baht. The whole thing will take about an hour or so even with lines but it may be longer so being patient is a virtue.

There are all those basic things to living and vagabonding around Asia which are not difficult to deal with. Its all written in blogs and expat forums pretty well. What is not covered are the “under the cover” things which can come up. Choices that I made before leaving have a way for better or worse of coming back to visit. As I left last year, it became very evident that Bank of America was not a partner in travel. This bank is probably the worst choice if you live or travel or are a digital nomad or whatever. Financial Service is a soft under the covers thing you decide early on or make changes to that better serve you. Perhaps you find a better bank or two to do your business, receive direct deposits, and protect your money. I hope you find two banks that are completely different entities to protect yourself and then establish a link between them to transfer monies. To transfer the funds, using ACH it will take up to three days between banks. Why would you want to have two though? Just more of a hassle? Easier to lose track of a card?

Look at it this way, banks are not really motivated to take good care of you. The amount you place in the bank is such a minute amount compared to their global reserves or the amounts of their big corporate and enterprise customers. You are a speck on their world. A fly on the windshield of their global ATM presence. But it does behoove you if living in another country to find a bank and presence that will act beneficially and in your interest EVEN IF they are huge multinational conglomerates. Then I think you have to find two of them. So here is why two.

Three days ago I found that a number of fraudulent charges were placed against one of my accounts to the tune of a few thousand dollars. This is the first time in almost 18 months of living in Asia this has happened. The bank then froze the card and let me know how to dispute the charges. Of course, I have to wait days for the fraudulent charges to clear and then I can call the bank and dispute them all and get what they call a provisional credit upon review. The review can take XX weeks or even months but they give me the money back I am out. They also blocked the card I use which basically means any money I have in that account is frozen unless I can move it to another bank and use a ATM debit card there. So I have two accounts in different banks which are more traveler and ex-pat friendly so I transferred an amount of money to cover myself while the bank sends me a new debit card to Thailand. That card will take up to 7 business days to get here and meanwhile the bank is blocked.

Let me ask the basic question. If you only had one card and it was blocked, corrupted, frozen or lost; what do you do? What if you have credit cards and they are blocked too? Let’s just say you use credit cards that are then corrupted or subjected to fraudulent charges. You cannot get money out is the answer. There is no way to rush the system or game it to use the card that the bank has deleted and you would not want to anyways since its been corrupted and broken.

The answer is a second card of some kind that can be used as an emergency or second card but has the same or better international support. My second card is with Charles Schwab. They pay back international ATM fees and are generally a very travel friendly bank while my primary account at CapitolOne is blocked.

So we’ve answered the basic question about problems beyond visas and passports. The money problem. The solution is to have two distinct cards and be able to transfer money between them. How do you report this to the bank if they wish you to call them? Do you use the Thai SIM card that you bought? Use Skype? How do you get the verification codes the bank will send to a US phone number? Believe me that banks are not the only ones that send these codes. Any dual factor authentication requirements for Google or Booking.com or wherever want to send a verification code to a phone. Some will do email as well so perhaps you are somewhat saved. Others though do not. What do you do?

What I’m pointing out with these two things are the under the radar things that can and will happen when you travel or live elsewhere but still do business or have business or money relationships in your country of origin.

Give it some thought. There are the big ticket items. Protect that passport. Understand the visa laws. Be careful going to places. Enjoy the times but travel with care when possible. But then there are the “under the radar” things that can and will happen. My message for the first group of things is to exercise due caution to things like passports. They are your ticket really for going somewhere. The US passport is very powerful like the Japanese passport which is Number One out there in the world today. It is your identification and right to enter and leave. So protect those things. Do not carry that passport around the city streets in a purse or bag. No one asks for it so don’t do it. You risk extending a thing at the first level to a thing at the second when someone steals the bag you are carrying that has the passport but also your entire group of debit and credit cards. Be prepared for things crossing over and stash some cash in the room or carry just enough to get through a day or two. In Vietnam, I would carry about $40 USD for a few days and always had plenty of money. ATM trips were carefully planned and I would go back and lock up the card again. Passports were also secured.

Finally watch for the “under the radar” decisions or choices you have made if you are considering moving overseas or working as a digital nomad or whatever you want to call it. I have only had a few things happen I regretted and each one has kicked a few changes into being. After this thing, I will be using the mobile apps for both cards to lock the cards between uses at an ATM. I will also never again use a debit card for a purchase. If there is something I want, I will go to an ATM, unlock the card, get the cash, and then lock the card again. It all takes just a few minutes but consider the safety you enter into by doing this.

Give the big things some thought but also consider the smaller things that can and will happen. You can never manage all of them down but you can create methods and technologies so that interactions can be easier to manage and track. Phone services, banking, mail services. All of these things have tools to help you no matter where you are. I found them and use solutions for all three.

Travel Camera Views

About a week or so give or take an hour, I purchased the Panasonic LX10 or LX15 depending on your market or location or whatever. I have been using FujiFilm gear for a few years and enjoying the cameras. Not so much the FujiFilm X-T2 which had the same problem happen twice to me around a sticky shutter button but the X100F I always thought was good until my second one became unusable due to problems with the LCD. I have to admit to getting a bit upset that the life of the FujiFilm cameras seemed pretty low to me. I took 5k frames with my last FujiFilm X100F and had it for less than a year. Good? Bad? Indifferent? I don’t know.

I do know I was not going to go out and spend another $1400 on a camera that had either a fixed lens or required a kit lens, prime lens, or whatever else added to cost and the discomfort of walking and taking the photographs of the moment. I stopped in at a smaller camera shop in George Town and looked at smaller travel cameras that were in the Sony, Canon, and Panasonic brands. Particularly I had read good things about the Sony RX100 V model for travel. Small, portable, lightweight with a good set of features. I had not read much about the Canon cameras that I would call compact. I had never read anything about the smaller Panasonix Lumix cameras other than they had great lens glass using Zeiss lens and had excellent touch screens yet some have and others do not have EVFs.

Some would say to buy a different camera for a use and travel around with a larger camera like a Nikon with its assortment of lens in some huge mega bag which just looking at some of the tourists around a temple yesterday would give me shoulder shock. Then the second camera is a smaller shooter you stick in your pocket or small over the shoulder bag. Now I would be with two cameras and I would carry an assortment of batteries, lens, etc for two different use cameras.

In the camera shop in Penang, I went over mentally my real needs. Here are a few of them and by defining them a bit, I was able to focus my discussion with the camera shop owner on a thing that would work for me:

  1. I wanted something light and that would fit in a pocket. Not a huge coat pocket because no one wears coats here but a small pocket of shorts or my over the shoulder bag I use to carry cash, a pen, and airbnb keys.
  2. I wanted something that had functionality. I wanted to have the different modes like program and aperture priority and I wanted a physical dial with a clunk for aperture since I like the tactile feel of the lens ring settling. I also wanted the functionality to quickly set sometimes and just forget and shoot the day on a program mode which would let me override when I wanted with different film settings. I like the functionality also to be able to quickly change settings and not hunt through menus of things which seem counter productive or made by someone testing my functionality needs.
  3. I wanted something that would shoot good JPEGs but little did I know at that point that would also have some features that I will want that extend that need. Things like stacking, post focus, burst modes. In other words a new camera that would deliver the known but also have some cool tricks up its lens cap.
  4. The camera had to have decent battery life. I should be able to leave for the day and not pack a second battery and shoot about 50 to 100 frames. I also should not worry incessantly about running out and just trust to the camera and its power management.
  5. In line with the functionality things above, I wanted automatic things that lessened the input of me and camera. Sometimes I just want to set and forget. I found on the LX10 the mode called Intelligent Auto which does this but you can also override and shot in Auto+ which gives you a different sets of menu controls.
  6. Finally, I wante something that was cost friendly and if it broke in a year or six months (which seems to be my current camera lifetime) I would shed a tear and go get something else because the cost was not like a FujiFilm Camera and lens at $1500 or so. Another finally moment was the fun factor. I like having fun with the camera, learning, trying different things so I want something that extends and enhances the fun feeling.

Findings and Faults

Everything has a finding and a fault folks. A camera, a smart phone, a laptop, a tablet. Each thing you purchase you do it either from gut feel because its something you just have to have or based perhaps on a need or desire. This camera, the Panasonic LX10 is no different. Its definitely a small and portable camera ideally suited for travel since it does fit in the pocket and easily so. But the camera is decidedly small. I believe that is a plus for travel because one of my points was not being worn down by trying to carry a number of almost perfect cameras or lens or other things in some huge bag. The LX10 is admirable in the findings category because it truly boils it all down to meet a number of my needs while not sacrificing the desire to shoot on aperture priority.

Each thing also has its faults. Living in Southeast Asia the way I do, I don’t have room nor desire to carry mountains of tech gadgetry. I want things which fulfill functions or numerous functions like my technology for charging devices. Multiple charge adapters are the rule that can hold two different AC plugs, three USB connectors, etc. A camera should meet this and not just add more to the mix. To get there though, the LX10 suffers a bit because of the very thing I want. The size requires some getting used to when carrying on the strap around your hand and perhaps its an argument for using the strap around the neck in the end. Its easy to brush against the lcd panel which is touch screen and touch an action area on the screen. Its not like you have to be careful each moment and when shooting bursts of photographs at a temple its all good but the gentle walking I enjoy with capturing the smaller things may mean a moment to make sure settings are okay on the camera.

A second thing which may or not be a fault is the physical carry size of the camera. Lets face it for me, I do not want a Nikon DSLR or a large FujiFilm Kit with the lens poking out. I want something that is sized for gentle movement and is not unduly noticed. I enjoy candid photography as well as street scenes, buildings, temples, parks and basically urban settings that mix and match contrasts, colors, shapes and sizes. This camera both does that and has faults around size and use.

Reaching the Zenith of Use

Here’s where we come to the moment of truth. Its a question or three.

  1. does it work for me?
  2. does it fit in with my lifestyle of living the way I do?
  3. do I find fun in using it?

Probably a bigger thing is what the cost of entry to the zenith of use. Happily the camera covers about 90% of my use cases and the cost is no barrier nor are the other costs of entry like size, use, function, ability and fun.

Will you like it? Hard to say so I won’t make recommendations. A few things though which leap out. This camera is small so if you are living a life out of hostels or hotels or airports or trains, this camera is nice. If you want something that can do a variety of things you are interested in now or may be tomorrow, the LX10 is nice. It will do 4k video and will shoot 4k photos and let you stack the photographs and choose. Is it enough and does it defeat what is called GAS or gear acquisition syndrome? Yes and no. I think photographer’s kits are full of exceptions and will often buy another camera in the view that it will do what the first one cannot. The truth is that the camera is just a piece of gear and you are the one manipulating it. One of the photographers I enjoy reading, Eric Kim, remarked on this a few times. Buying another or second camera will not make better photographs. Learning to use what you have, finding some fun and soul in it, enjoying the moments it gives you is what really matters. If you dig carrying around the DSLR camera on your world events, go for it. No blame here and I understand. For me, the goal is whether I had bought the Sony Rx100 V or this camera something that was small, mobile, fit in with my lifestyle and deal with the areas about or made it a reasonable level. I think 90% is pretty good!

I would never proselytize a camera or choice and say do this because I am this photographer of note. First thing is I am not a photographer of note and I would deny even calling me one at all. I am not a photographer nor want to be. I am someone who enjoys the capturing of moments, finding tools and things which extend that and fit well within the things I enjoy doing when living in Southeast Asian countries for extended or short times. The photographs I take are meant to share and remind me forever of a place I have been, sights seen, reasons to return.

Most of all, its the walking to me. Does it fit in the walking and lend itself to more fully experiencing the sights and sounds I uncover while on the move? I believe at 90% this camera does today. Tomorrow who knows. Perhaps I would do the Sony camera next time but from here on out I will not be buying into larger cameras that perhaps fulfill even less of my needs. I’ve posted a few pictures in collages of the camera. Here are some more to consider.

At the 90% threshold I feel the camera satisifies the itch I have. The remaining 10% could be something down the road I look at. Who really knows. The price point here also makes things easier to swallow for future choices but the technology of the small travel camera, fitting in a pocket, with decent battery life, fun to use and explore, means for me I meet that 90% head on.

Now for some more exploration in a bit around Bangkok today!

Today I did some walking :-)

Today first had some breakfast sitting on a street corner after going to a bakery at a 7/11 store. People went by and smiled and perhaps wondered a wonder why some old white guy was sitting on the sidewalk curb eating and drinking an iced latte. Most people smiled and young people nodded.

I decided to leave following my breakfast of sorts and start walking down to the Golden Buddha and the big MBP super IT mall and toy store. It was a good day for a walk as usual but I wimped out on the return and got a tuk tuk back. Of course we had to haggle the price. It cost me more than I thought it should but I am sure less than what the tuk tuk driver wanted. Thats the way life is though. Anyways, thought I would share some of the walk with you in a collage of sorts here.

The pictures are not in the order of me finding the things. The first picture of the Stadium I happened across at some point. The little roof with the building behind impressed me for some reason so did the person with all the brooms. The  big gate is the gate to China Town here in Bangkok. Finally wanted to show you the temple of the golden buddha and a quiet street because they too exist in Bangkok. People would have you believe the city is full of tourists, drunk backpackers, massage parlors, and street food vendors. Not true dear reader! I can testify to this on my walk today.

Today I put a foot in front of the other foot over and over again and I could feel that sublime joy spiral up that seems to take over when I get going. The wind gently caresses my spirit and the roads cease to have directions and the little camera has its own life. It seems to want to capture the ordinary as well as the beautiful and sublime. I have no control some of the time. I don’t pretend to be some long distance walker or on a marathon walker that crosses vast distances in their searches. My walking is more moments stitched together in cities and parks and on quiet street boulevards in so many places.

Its just proof you can find what you want, your spirit can feel that joy in it, and then you can get back to the touristy things if you so desire. For me the walking does tie the moments together as it always has. The photographs just offer a view frozen in time and space of a thing or things encountered. There is no method or madness. Its just the camera pointing and shooting and me obeying.

You should walk the cities dear readers. You may find a thing or two unknown and those things may find you.

First day in Bangkok

I spent last night getting checked in to my beautiful airbnb, finding a nicer restaurant to have dinner and then playing with the Panasonic Lumix LX10 camera more. I also did some shopping at a 7/11 and had a few beers and watched a movie or two on YouTube. Today I will venture out and started thinking about what I’ll do for my very first day exploring. I am going to do what I always do which is just take off from the condo and go explore. I also decided today to just shoot with the camera on program mode which lets it decide what to do. Its a point and shoot type camera so will let it fulfill its destiny today for a bit. I will play with the 4K stuff and some of the shooting modes the camera supports along with video.

I would like to find the little external USB charger that will charge the batteries and I think at one of the bigger malls I can do this but I am in no real hurry. The battery is rated at almost 275 shots so I should be able to get through a day easily since the most I ever do is about 50.

First thing this morning though is some coffee and breakfast. May try this local coffee shop or go a bit farther and find this coffee chain that has western food.

I’ll pick this up again this afternoon when I get back from wandering the day away.

Here we go…

It was warm here today! Or should I say hot! Temperatures running about 35 to 37 C I think. I did have a very nice walk around a few places though and tested out the Lumix camera shooting on Program Mode with automatic ISO enabled. I guess I am getting lazy. Today later when I go to eat, will set it the camera on Intelligent Auto mode and see how it does later in the day. I may walk over to the Asiatique market in the evening and take some night shots with the camera set to automatic.

I really enjoyed walking today around the areas I got to see. Tomorrow will be more of the same. I don’t have any kind of idea about what I expect to see or directions to go. I’ll find a local coffee place tomorrow morning for my morning iced latte. Here are a few pictures of today in Bangkok.

Lots of fun today with the Lumix camera and just letting it shoot in Program mode. I figure since its a very compact camera commonly called a point and shoot I should just honor that and point and shoot today too. I also set ISO to automatic which makes me a true wimp :-). That way I don’t have to think too much about any of the settings. Tonight will use another automatic mode called Intelligent Auto and see what it does in a bit more challenging lighting.

Probably if I would have bought something like a FujiFilm X-T30 I would have futzed with things today a bit since I end up doing that a lot with the Fuji cameras. I never did shoot video either with the Fuji cameras. Now I can shoot 4k video if I want. I can see myself wanting at some point. I can also do what is called stacking of images and post focus which are things I have never had before.

Anyways, soon to come! More messing around with the Lumix camera tomorrow.

Farewell Malaysia — Hello to Thailand

This is my last country on this little sojourn. I’ll be in Thailand for about 56 days including three weeks in Bangkok, one week in Phuket, and another three weeks in Chiang Mai. Then back to Cambodia for two weeks and off again to Vietnam. I was in Malaysia for 81 days and clearing customs was just as simple as getting my visa stamp for 90 days. Stood in a short customs line for 10 minutes, got the exit stamp, cleared international departures in minutes. Very nice!

Tonight I am in my rather newer airbnb in downtown Bangkok. Perhaps some pictures from the 15th floor of my condo will arrive here and there :-). I will hunt down some food tonight and kinda relax and take in the evening sights. Tomorrow will start seeing the sights in some direction.

I have been thinking about people that do what I do or perhaps something close. I’ve met a number of retirees and ex-pats who are on the road. I’ve met a few that just stay put in Phnom Penh or Penang or wherever their road stopped at. I don’t think I could just stop in a place even one as wonderful as George Town. I would get bored even with wonderful food to eat, friendly people to meet, and just about an endless supply of photography to do.

A friend of mine last night told me about the Fujifilm X-T30 and it sounds like a wonderful camera. I would not get any better with it. Cameras do not make the photography better as Eric Kim would say. It takes more or less or just applying oneself to a pursuit. The idea of a genre or a type of photography has always thrown me off. I’ve met any number of photographers that say they are this or that. I don’t really understand why a landscape photographer cannot shoot a crowded street scene in Hanoi or feel comfortable trying it. When I bought the Panasonic LX10 it dawned on me that perhaps this camera crossed over boundaries for me and it came in a smaller package. Maybe I was meant to find something that would let me experience a different life. If I could get that with what I paid, I’m grateful. I also thought of my goals with any hobby or exercise I do. Photography is one of those things which just excites me each day but its not the composition or the light or the shadow or whether the moment is an “insta moment”. Its more that it fits with the life I enjoy so I figure I finally found a worthy companion that fits in with my times spent walking the miles all around Asia.

So today on to Bangkok and goodbye to Malaysia. Its been so much fun here. If you get a chance visit here. Its so worth it.

Had to buy New Camera

I probably have the worst luck with cameras. I had a FujiFilm X100f which I mis-treated badly which finally kinda refused to work. Then I went for a FujiFil X-T2. In hindsight that was too much camera for me. No matter what, the shutter button stopped working twice and then I got rid of it. Then I got another X100F in Cambodia from a friend’s camera shop. For the last week that camera has been having a variety of problems with the view mode selector. I could not get the EVF to work most days and then when I did not want it to work, it would just start working. Soon, by touching the LCD panel the viewmode would change all on its own.

I had decided to get a Ricoh GR ii or iii but they are all but impossible to find without ordering from KL. So instead I decided I would shop around and find something smaller, cheaper, that would still be a lot of fun. I went to a local camera shop and met a really nice guy who discussed my needs and thought Panason Lumix LX10 would suit me. This camera is much smaller than my X100F and yet it has more functionality. The lcd screen articulates, it shoots 4k video and pictures and you can stack the photographs. In other words, it has some cool features for a “not so photographer” like me. I took it out today for dinner and decided to shoot around the food court I went to just to get a feel for how the camera handles and how different things work on it. Call it a day out with me and the camera :-).

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Its kind of a cute little camera and I do mean little. But yet it has all the modes I want. If I want to shoot in automatic, I can do that easily. Aperture Priority is right there too and it has a nice set of features around the whole picture and video categories.

What I really wanted was to not buy another camera that was too much for me. A FujiFilm X-T3 would be that way. I also did not want something with no compelling features or things to learn. I wanted something in-between that would last me as long as it did and if it die, I would not be out thousands of dollars. I will be sharing the photographs going forward with a new category (of course) and also learning my way through the camera and also taking video! It also has this cool post focus thing I cannot wait to try.

Perhaps all the time, what I really needed was a small travel camera that was inconspicuous and easily pocketed but yet would take images I feel are good. I don’t have high demands but I do like to shoot in black and white and have different presets to play with. This camera has a few.

So enter, learning time! Tomorrow when I fly off to Bangkok Thailand I will be reading the manual on the plane. When I hit the ground, I’ll be recording the things that are easier with a smaller and lighter camera. Soon it will be 4k video time I think.

I spent the afternoon reading some reviews and looking at how various people use the camera for travel and street photography. Its very compelling in both categories. Now I just have to “earn the camera” by “learning the camera”. On to new adventures! Bangkok awaits.

Final Days in George Town

I’m down to one full day left in Malaysia. Its been a fantastic 80 some days here and I’ve really enjoyed the people, the culture, history, and… the food! Now its Wednesday and tomorrow is my last day of wandering the city. I don’t have a particular goal tomorrow and was thinking about getting a grab to the Queensbay Mall. Its the largest mall up here but its a ride away. It would be interesting to spend a last day there I think.

Today I just wandered China Town and Little India. Got some snacks, took some pictures of this and that, and also visited a few of my favorite places which are mostly nondescript streets with small shops that lead out to the big temples. The little streets are intricate affairs that move all around between lines of shoppes and other people taking pictures by the myriad street art throughout Penang. I have never seen the variety of street art as here. Very cool!

I got done with the walk and stopped at a small Indian owned market and got some water. There’s nothing like ice cold water after wandering 5 miles in the heat and humidity here. Now I’m sitting here watching old movies on youtube and enjoying the AC in the airbnb. Two more nights and then I get a nicer place in Bangkok for three weeks. I have airbnb places for Bangkok, Phuket, and Chiang Mai. I’ll spend three weeks first off in Bangkok wandering the city doing the same basic thing as always.

I’ve had time to consider the US trip a bit more. I think two weeks to a month is all I can do comfortably there. Its not so much about the money. Its more about not having anything of substance to return to. So in the interests of not having things; I decided to fly on to Dubai for a week and then go on to Sri Lanka for awhile. I may end up back in Singapore or KL for awhile and then get back to Cambodia.

Finally, in late September I have to renew my retirement extension of stay in Cambodia. This takes about 5 days and costs about $300 USD to get done for a year. I’m not sure if I will renew it in 2020 again or perhaps will move on somewhere else for awhile.

Anyways, that’s the thoughts on the last few days in beautiful Malaysia. I’ve used up my visa exemption here just about so I’m happy with that. I would always want to come back but there are other places to visit here and I still would like to do the train trip from Singapore to Butterworth Malaysia. I would probably go on to Thailand to the other end and perhaps I do that over the course of a month or two.

Today was Fort Cornwallis and the Wonderful Old Buildings by Queen Victoria Clock Tower

George Town Malaysia is definitely a city of differences folks. You can set off and see closely knit little Chinese neighborhoods down a street.

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The wonderful thing about these little streets is that they are all encompassing. You will find beauty salons, restaurants, tailors, and hair salons both downstairs and upstairs. Men and women will sit out on a weekend and discuss perhaps the weather or what is on for dinner but they will always smile and say hello here. The little streets have a wonderful essence of completeness to them. Its like a different dimension where you walk in and time and space go different ways and you are bounded by a street, a stop sign, and the next street. Exit the street and perhaps you see bigger stores and more touristy restaurants.

However, down close to the coast is Fort Cornwallis and there we have some of the most beautiful old buildings. One could start with Queen Victoria’s Clock Tower.

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Just a beautiful and ornate structure that stands out against so well and can be seen from a distance. Down the street from the clock tower are streets lined with wonderful old buildings. They are a joy to take photographs of, to see the signs of when built, and see the beauty and the ornate wonder of each one.

You can see how beautiful the streets are too.

Then I wandered further and decided to generally head back to the direction of my airbnb. Its not a far walk but I’m always tempted to take a left or right on a street I don’t remember. The sights are always intriguing and there is always a thing or two or more that stands out or frames a picture I wish to keep about the journey here in George Town.

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There in the distance is the Komtar Building and my airbnb is not far from there.

Eating too!

This morning before all the building adventures, I went to a nice Dim Sum place for breakfast and had some very nice self service food and hot tea. You have to get there before about 230pm or it closes. Its also very busy. I knew I had to get there though. The inner me was calling for Dim Sum. Then for dinner after the walking and relaxing in the very nice AC in my little apartment, I decided to try a pretty well known spot called Hameediyah not far from my place. Normally the queue is out the door. Tonight it was not so in I went for the Briyani, Chicken, and some of the best beef rendang I can remember ever having. Serving sizes ensure you don’t leave hungry!

I’ll just summarize the food experience in Penang. and George Town. If you are hungry here, something is definitely wrong. This place has to be the foodie capital of Malaysia. If you are looking to visit Malaysia, take the time and see George Town. Bring your appetite along too. Such an amazing fusion of foods! From Dim Sim to Nasi Kandar!

Few Days Left…

Now I am down to 4 more days wandering the city and being in Malaysia. I will have been here 81 days and its been a blast. Soon I will say on to Thailand and my two months there. I can’t wait!