Penang: Atop the hill

One way to get a different perspective on Penang is to get up to the top of Penang Hill. In past years, getting to the top of the hill, a distance of almost 2 km from the lower station, took about 40 minutes. Since 2012 the trip takes only 4 1/2 minutes aboard a fast,... Continue Reading →

Penang: Thaipusam

We have the great fortune of being in Penang, Malaysia, for some of the most important celebrations of the year. Malaysian people are a colorful ethnic mix of indigenous Malays, Chinese, and Indian, primarily, and these roots are on display in the many religious and cultural festivals, and Penang is home to some of the... Continue Reading →

Penang: Social life

We took a ferry from the Kuah port in Langkawi. The port is watched over by an enormous eagle, and the terminal is very modern and large. We wandered through a few huge and empty halls (except for unused security equipment) before arriving at our waiting area. Boarding our ferry About 3 hours after leaving... Continue Reading →


We made the decision to spend a week in Langkawi, an island north of Penang in Malaysia, when we were deprived of ocean beaches. After a week in beautiful seaside Koh Lanta, and several weeks in Chiang Mai where food is wonderful and cheap, Langkawi had a lot to live up to. We stayed at... Continue Reading →

Koh Lanta to Langkawi

When our visit to the Thai island of Koh Lanta was over, we headed to Langkawi, Malaysia, by ferry. It was an interesting trip and process, and I hope that documenting it might prove useful for others who might be interested in making the same journey. The first part of the trip is the same... Continue Reading →

Koh Lanta: With family

When it was time to leave Chiang Mai, all 5 of us (our son, daughter-in-law and grandson) flew to Bangkok and then onto Krabi on the west coast of Thailand. We had pre-arranged a van to pick us up at the airport and take us to our hotel--a journey which included a short ferry ride.... Continue Reading →

Chiang Mai: With family

For our last 6 days in Chiang Mai, we were joined by our son (Kyle), daughter-in-law (Candice), and grandson (Alex). They had spent the previous 2 weeks in Indonesia on their own, and then joined us for Christmas. We had such fun introducing them to street food and some of our favourite eateries, and then... Continue Reading →

Chiang Mai: Street food tour

Having been in Chiang Mai only a few days, we have just scratched the culinary surface. The food here has an amazing reputation. Unlike when we were in Vietnam, where everyone warned us against eating the enticing street food, here visitors are encouraged to eat what is on offer. Since we can speak no Thai,... Continue Reading →

Thailand: Chiang Mai

We arrived in Chiang Mai, Thailand, at about 10:00 at night after leaving Vancouver at noon the day before. We had a short layover in Beijing, China. Our luggage, unfortunately, had a longer layover there and didn't join us for another 24 hours.  We have had our luggage disappear before, so were prepared for a... Continue Reading →

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