Q – We have two weeks scheduled in early November in Thailand. We will be joined by our friends, our podiatrist and his wife. (We advise all of your readers to make friends with their podiatrist – it makes walking around overseas so much easier). We are from LA and we are, could you guess, “foodies”. We are what you might call “adventurous foodies” meaning we’ll eat almost anything standing up as long as it is delicious. We love open markets and the chance to go from stall to stall. We can change our air arrangements as we are flying First Class, so are thinking about adding five more nights in another country with a great local food scene. Love your advice. By the way, love this site but we don’t see how you make money. Do you take donations?

A – We would head to Penang, Malaysia. it is just down the road and it is home to this incredible historic mixed bag of cultures that has somehow produced some of the most exciting, and adventurous casual dining on the planet. Over the last six centuries, immigrants from Europe, Asia, and the Middle East have converged on this former British Colony and the result is a kind of foodie heaven. It does help, however, if you like your noodles spicy enough to require a cold beer in your non-eating hand. 

We want you to head over to the New Lane Hawker Center first and work your way through all twenty or so of the stalls. Make sure to give at least two nights over to exploring the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the “George Town” district. Dating back to 1786, these streets are filled with hundreds of street food emporiums, many with truly memorable specialties. We often arrange for a food-knowledgeable guide to accompany our guests so lines are minimized and the right dishes are selected. 

Finally – no, we do not take donations and these sites obviously do not produce income. But we do have a thriving worldwide vacation planning consultancy now in its 31st year. No worries: we’re doing fine. We do these sites for our clients but also for a general public that has been lied to and manipulated by travel marketers for many years. There is great joy is not taking advertising or monetizing this site. It is quite liberating. Thank you for your question and for the “travel with your podiatrist” suggestion. However, given your dining preferences, perhaps you should get friendly with a gastrologist.