National Stamp Collecting Month: Stamp Tongs

There are a number of tools used by stamp collectors and philatelists. Aside from the stamps themselves, I would argue that the most essential item needed by a collector would be a good pair of stamp tongs —  the “tweezers” used to handle postage stamps. The jaws of stamp tongs are smooth in contrast to the striated jaws of the type of tweezers one might use … Continue reading National Stamp Collecting Month: Stamp Tongs

Captain Francis Light and the Early Years of Penang

On August 11, 1786, Captain Francis Light of the British East India Company established the British Settlement of Prince of Wales Island which later became the Colony of Penang in what is now Malaysia. The capital of the colony —George Town — was the first British colony in Southeast Asia. Captain Light had previously tried to convince the East India Company to establish a settlement on Phuket … Continue reading Captain Francis Light and the Early Years of Penang

Sweet Purple Mangosteen

Earlier this month, I stayed at a resort on the west coast of Phuket island, Thailand, as part of a three-day English camp with about 50 students. I think the owners of this particular hotel may have been from Singapore due to the sheer number of “No _____ Allowed” signs with accompanying fines, something not often seen in Thailand. I was particularly puzzled by a … Continue reading Sweet Purple Mangosteen

The Borneo Elephant and Mahout

Elephants are one of the most popular animals to be portrayed on stamps and have been featured twice on A Stamp A Day in articles about Laos and Thailand, both of the Asian variety. Today’s entry describes a subspecies of the Asian elephant as well as the traditional handler, called a mahout, both pictured on a 1909 stamp issued for the British protectorate state of … Continue reading The Borneo Elephant and Mahout

Malaysia’s First Satellites

Malaysia isn’t really that far from where I live in southern Thailand, perhaps 90 minutes on an airplane will get me to the capital of Kuala Lumpur a flight I’ve made only once. I took the bus to Penang dozens of times in late 2010 (my last trips south of Phuket, actually) when my business visa expired in the midst of Bangkok’s worst flooding in … Continue reading Malaysia’s First Satellites

Wilayah Persekutuan (Federal Territories of Malaysia) #6 (1986)

Wilayah Persetutuan is Malay for “Federal Territories”, thus stamps inscribed as such are for use in the Federal Territories in Malaysia which comprise three Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan, governed directly by the federal government of Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur is the national capital of Malaysia, Putrajaya is the administrative capital, and Labuan is an offshore international financial center. Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya are enclaves in … Continue reading Wilayah Persekutuan (Federal Territories of Malaysia) #6 (1986)

North Borneo #108 (1901)

The State of North Borneo (Borneo Utara) was a British protectorate located in the northern part of the island of Borneo. The territory of North Borneo was originally established by concessions of the Sultanates of Brunei and Sulu in 1877 and 1878 to an Austrian-German businessman and diplomat, von Overbeck. Overbeck had recently purchased a small tract of land in the western coast of Borneo … Continue reading North Borneo #108 (1901)