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Apr 202014

let sleeping dogs lie

Baler, Aurora, Philippines, July 2013

Apr 182014

signs and electric post

Baler, Aurora, Philippines, July 2013 (mobile phone photo)

Apr 142014

billiard hall 2

Manila, Philippines, April 2011

Apr 132014

Back in 2008, i went to Sanzhi and shot the pod houses there. those have been demolished since.

Wanli Pod Houses 19
Wanli Pod Houses 04 Wanli Pod Houses 79 Wanli Pod Houses 20 Wanli Pod Houses 33 Wanli Pod Houses 88 bulldozer at sunset 3 Wanli Pod Houses 50
Please click the thumbnails to open lightbox.

in October 2013, i went back to Taiwan and went to Wanli, a different town north of Taipei that had another set of these crazy pod houses.

this place was even more abandoned than Sanzhi, and it’s right beside an emptpy beach.

wanli panorama 3

abandoned resort of pod houses/ UFO houses in Wanli, Taiwan

wanli panorama 2

Click here for the rest of the album.

Apr 132014

I ushered in 2014 in Taipei City and spent a few days there. I finally got to participate in the New Year’s Eve festivities and fireworks in the Taipei 101 area.
fireworks 17
crowded subway station - new year's eve 01 crowded subway station - new year's eve 02 crowded subway station - new year's eve 03 elephant hill metro station fireworks 12 fireworks 20
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Apr 132014

Georgetown street art- painted 26

Gurney Hawker Centre 5
Gurney Hawker Centre

Hot, sticky, and named after a chewable seed that gives you a mild high, what’s not to love about Penang?

Modern Penang was founded by the British in the eighteenth century. Its name derives from the Chinese word for betel nut. It’s not normally on the must-go lists of SE Asian spots of people from the Philippines (where I’m from), but I’ve been fascinated by it since I read about its food, history, street art, and architecture.

weld quay at night
Weld Quay

I went there October 2013, and it was hotter and muggier than Manila, despite it not being summer. I normally avoid places even hotter than my homeland so the last few Southeast Asian places I went to before Penang had climates cooler than my hometown- like Chiang Mai and Bali, and I definitely did not go during summer.

Georgetown street art- painted 31
Georgetown street art- painted 18 Georgetown street art- painted 30 Georgetown street art- painted 16 Georgetown street art- painted 33 Georgetown street art- painted 21 Georgetown street art- painted 23 Georgetown street art- painted 19 Georgetown street art- painted 20 Georgetown street art- painted 13 Georgetown street art- painted 25 Georgetown street art- painted 12
Please click on the thumbnails to view gallery in lightbox.

Georgetown, a UNESCO World Heritage site, lived up to my expectations and more. I spent three days going back there to take photos of its street art and installations. A free shuttle bus takes you around Georgetown proper, and you can also rent cheap bikes to go around, which definitely helped with the scorching heat.

indian men at work

I loved how Penang architecture, named after a style called Straits Eclectic, was well preserved and still in active use today by existing businesses like dry goods shops, auto shops, and hardware stores, just like they were decades and decades ago. They weren’t just repainted and made to stand static as a tourist attraction.

Straits Eclectic architecture  02
Straits Eclectic architecture  50 Straits Eclectic architecture  07 Straits Eclectic architecture  54 Straits Eclectic architecture  36 Straits Eclectic architecture  58 Straits Eclectic architecture  04 Straits Eclectic architecture  10
Please click on the thumbnails to view gallery in lightbox.

The Penang Botanic Gardens had monkeys that were more territorial and photo-averse than the monkeys in Bali‘s Uluwatu Temple and Ubud Monkey Forest. I couldn’t get too near without them snapping and lunging at me.

Dusky Leaf Monkey/ spectacled langur monkey monkeys 07 monkeys 23 Dusky Leaf Monkey/ spectacled langur monkey monkeys 27
Please click on the thumbnails to view gallery in lightbox.

Other highlights (Please look at this Flickr album for more, like Penang Hill, Camera Museum, temples, etc.)

added these Penang pay phones to my Phone Booths of the World collection (phone booth album 1, 2):

Penang pay phone Penang pay phones 8
Penang pay phones 2 Penang pay phones 3 Penang pay phones 7 Penang pay phones 4 Penang pay phones 5

stayed at the 1926 Heritage Hotel (yes, built in 1926, originally housed mid-level staff the British government sent over)
1926 Heritage Hotel 3 1926 Heritage Hotel 1

and of course, Penang food: (Please click on the thumbnails to view gallery in lightbox.)

pumpkin porridge from Zhou restaurant noodle soup ice kacang fried rice poh piah meat rolls vegetables and curry at Hai Nan Town curry

Apr 112014

photographed a year apart:

famous iced dessert shop in Hualien 1
famous iced dessert shop, Hualien, October 2012

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Apr 082014

four photos:

office windows in the afternoon
office grilles drawn down, Quezon City, March 2011
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Apr 052014

United States Post Office, Hagatna

Hagatna, Guam, November 2012

Apr 042014

dental clinic 05

How many graphic representations of teeth do you see in this picture?

Manila, April 2011

Apr 032014

Manila, Philippines, April 2011

dental clinic 10 dental clinic 08

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Mar 262014

building in the middle of nowhere 1

Hualien, Taiwan, May 2011

Mar 242014

old man and a child

Taipei City, October 2012

Mar 212014

Quezon Avenue Graffiti 4

July, 2013

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Mar 192014

3D street art


Mar 172014

folks betting at the lottery booth in Tomas Morato, Quezon City, March 2011:

lotto outlet bettor

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Mar 152014

graffiti 1

Work! stencil graffiti, Manila, April 2011

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Mar 122014

chicken coop with Pacquiao vs. Cotto sign board as roof

San Andres, Manila, February 2010

Mar 112014

Click here for Day 1

Departing our charming old inn.


We drove to Neiwan and visited a museum dedicated to the works of Liu Hsing Chin, a famed Taiwanese comic book artist.


Neiwan Train Station 2

one of the oldest police stations
One of the oldest still-functional police stations in Taiwan. this one has japanese style architecture.

Next stop was yet another old street, where we had a Hakka cuisine lunch at an old movie theater full of retro memorabilia.

people at Neiwan old street 2

old Neiwan movie theater 8 old Neiwan movie theater 4

old Neiwan movie theater 6old Neiwan movie theater 5

Then we had a two hour drive back to Taipei City where we stopped at the old Taiwan Sugar Company factory (that’s been turned into a museum). That district, Wanhua, is undergoing gentrification and one of that district’s newer infrastructure projects is the Fashion Institute of Taipei.

old freight trains at the old Taiwan Sugar warehouse 1


Fashion Institute of Taipei- Juki Sewing Machines

old brick historical building

Wanhua used to be the capital of Taipei for wholesale garment trade. There’s still a lot of garment stores around, but not as many as in its heyday. Nowadays it’s mostly pajama stores, uniforms (military and school) shops, and clothes for older people. The borough captain of that district came out to meet us and give us some promotional swag.

Click here for Day 1

Route map:

northern taiwan map

map of the route taken during our northern tour

 Posted by on March 11, 2014
Mar 112014
 Posted by on March 11, 2014
Mar 092014

wooden vendor's cart

San Andres, Manila, February 2010

Mar 072014

all photos here from 2010:

Roosevelt Ave. graffiti 6

Roosevelt Ave., Quezon City

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Mar 052014

fruit vendor

fruits on a wooden cart with a weighing scale

Mandaluyong, Philippines, June 2010

Mar 022014

slaughterhouse four years apart- small

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Feb 282014

sandwich shop seller

Hualien, Taiwan, October 2012

Feb 232014

night skyline/ architecture
Pudong, Shanghai, August 2010

Feb 182014

I’ve seen a similar traveling fair in 2009 where the ferris wheel sign has the same design. Might be from the same company. Click here to see the 2009 photos.

All photos below taken June 2011 in San Juan. Nine photos:

ferris wheel

small amusement park 02

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Feb 162014

ferris wheel in the middle of nowhere

vacant lot, Caloocan, March 2011

Feb 132014

urinal on a stone wall in an alley

Philippines, December 2011

Feb 112014

waiting shed 1
Guam, November 2012
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Feb 092014

three photos:
lunchbox and milk from 7-11
lunchbox and milk from 7-11, Taipei, October 2012
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Feb 052014

burger with onion rings
P.S. Cafe, Ion Orchard, Singapore, February 2012

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Feb 022014

three photos:

monkey eating fruit
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Jan 312014

politicians' names on a wall

Manila, February 2010

Jan 282014

Little India 19

Singapore, September 2011

Jan 242014

Lina J Market
Lina J Market, Guam, November 2012

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