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Since there is a river in the gallery below, and tidal action above and below, I’ve decided I can label this last collection of photos taken during my June visit to Malaysia as Country Canals :-). These were all taken from the train between Kuala Lumpur and Penang.

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…and now all the remaining city-type pics from that visit in Penang back in June. 🙂

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Seems time to wrap up the photos I haven’t yet posted from my Malaysia visit back in June, given that I’m now back from my Myanmar visit and have a TON of photos still to sort then post from there and right here at home in NL, as well. In case anyone’s keeping track, WordPress tells me I’ve now posted at least one new post for 218 days in a row. I thought I might give myself a break at my birthday earlier this month…but then I realized a) that I’m seeing so many lovely things that I really should share them with y’all, and b) that having a daily post to set up gives a bit of structure to how I see or photograph what I see when I’m out and about in the world, near or far. In this post, all the remaning unposted pics from that lovely weekend hike up and back down Penang Hill.

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Despite my brother’s distaste at the muddy hillside steps, there was much beauty to behold during that Penang Hill climb recently. This morning’s post signaled I’m now in Arnhem, a part of the Netherlands where there are … hills! Soon you’ll see more photos from here, as well :-).

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Stills of some of the same group of monkeys from which came the cool video of the mom nursing a baby with which I began the current series of Malaysia photos. I’ve cropped below so the monkey is a bit more visible but you’ll still need to look for it. He’d missed the landing, or more accurately the grab, as he climbed from tree to construction scaffolding, and landed hard with an almighty thump that gave me quite a fright. He then scampered away rapidly, no doubt to hide his shame.

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Showing you a range of the walking conditions and views I had during my lovely (and strenuous) climb up Penang Hill last month. It’s almost a blessing that my computer challenges mean that I lost some of the photos I’d edited and labelled because I still have lots of these Malaysia images on the phone that I should work my way through … hope you won’t grow weary of them. I plan a break soon enough anyway.


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More views of Penang Hill. Continuing the dialogue on perceptions of contour: compared to the above, the highest point in the European portion of the Netherlands is Vaalserberg, clocking in at 322.4 meters down in the southernmost portion where the Netherlands meets Belgium and Germany in a narrow strip of land which some people, according to Wikipedia, term “the Dutch Mountains.” Hmmm….

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Above: George Town & mainland Penang State as seen from top of the hill. Below: two views of the hill as seen from the 20th floor of one of those buildings near the water, above….

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How did I end up exploring so much of Penang Hill, and thus having so many lovely photos to unfold for you? My first morning in Penang, after the train up from KL the prior evening, I awoke with urge to explore, so I thought “I’ll take the funicular up, then walk back down towards the botanic gardens.” Got an e-hail car to take me to the funicular base, stood briefly in the massive line full of tour groups and making a lot of noise. Thought “this isn’t fun.” Decided to just walk as much as I wanted, and was right that it got me away from the crowds. The story of why I also ended up walking back down in much the same, and so…we all have more photos, which you personally may or may not consider a good thing, by the time you’ve seen them all :-).

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Last weekend, I posted a video special from Penang, where I spent a week or so for work travel, from which I returned home to A’dam yesterday. Last Saturday managed to be a full off-duty day, which got me out exploring lovely Penang Hill, which rises directly behind George Town on the island of Penang. (Yes, well beyond being the name given to a style of curry often served in US Thai restaurants, Penang seems to be also a city, an island, and a state of the nation of Malaysia.)

You’re now seeing the next post from my Penang Hill exploration, which involved countless literal stair steps to climb the roughly 800 meters / 2400 feet to the top of hill, and then back down to another portion of the hill to the north and east near a landmark called “Moon Gate.” I’ll toss in explanations as I go, but just want to flag for readers that I will be mixing up locations as I work through my themes in the weeks ahead. There are still city views, urban entrances, and other posts to come from Prague, now also many from Penang including the return of Urban Garden entries since I certaily perceived that lovely hill walk as an exploration of an urban-garden style retreat…and as always there are Small Wonders, Urban Gardens, City Views and so much more from Amsterdam and other NL cities I’ve visited. So if you’re curious what you’re seeing, switch to a viewer interface that allows you to see the Labels and the Tags that I apply to all posts; or often if you can open the image itself, you’ll see (as for all three photos in this post) an informative name for the photo file. Whether you choose to find out what you’re seeing or not, I hope you’ll enjoy all the delights I’m planning to share 🙂

Video Bonus – Dusky Leaf Monkey Mother & Baby

She was having lunch at the same time and place as me, at the top of Penang Hill today during what ended up being a much longer, more strenuous and wonderful day of hiking than I expected when I set out at 9am with a small water bottle and my wallet. I just decided walking, steep hills and all, beat standing in long lines for the funicular, first at the bottom, then again at the top. 🙂

The Old & The New in KL

One of these is the side of a gorgeous modern shopping mall in the main expat and shopping district in town; the other is the back view of an old (the old? the oldest? I didn’t have a guide book…I didn’t take my tourist reponsibilties very seriously, so sorry…) mosque downtown, close to Merdeka Square, about which see more below. 🙂

The Sultan Abdul Samad building, according to our corres-pondents here at so much world, so little time, is the most photo-graphed building in Malaysia. So why should so much world, so little time be an exception?! This lovely little building was once the home of the British colonial administration and now houses, if I recall correctly, court offices. It’s across the street from Inde-pendence Square, aka Merdeka Square – home of the world’s largest flagpole, about which more later. (Are you sensing a trend here in KL?) Part of what I found so delightful about KL, to be honest, is its scale: it’s not too big, not too small. True, it lacks the extra- ordinarily vibrant street life of Bangkok or Beijing, but frankly after a year in Beijing and 17 months of China’s vibrant streets, I rather welcomed the change: KL is vibrant and multi-cultural in ways that are new to me; waking to the sound of the morning call to prayer is something I’ve not done since a week spent in Jerusalem nearly 20 years ago. There are streets full of Indian spice shops and vendors, and others full of Chinese shops and vendors. Then there are the ultra-modern ultra-chic malls peopled by anything from tight mini-skirt toting sales girls promoting Mentos to more traditional muslim families with women in full burka; and, of course, everything in between with a healthy spattering of us pasty-faced travelers, tourists and expats.

Hotel Maya

I’d decided to really treat myself to a nice hotel in KL, and I hit it dead on with the Hotel Maya. This is the staircase next to the sweet little restaurant that served the morning buffet breakfast – the whole hotel has this awesome open-column architecture, and sadly I never found time to take a shot of the pool or spa, which sort of float above the central column in the middle of the hotel.

World’s Tallest Flagpole

Size, it would appear, does matter. KL is proud to boast, at Merdeka Square, the world’s tallest flag pole in the spot where, 49 years ago this August 31, the flag of an independent Malaysia was raised for the first time.