The Full Story

Nik and two people in Osiyan, India, 2008.


I’m Nik Daum, and this is my blog. I know blogs aren’t cool anymore, but neither am I. The content here goes back to 2005 when I took my first trip to Thailand and Cambodia. It was there that I got into a blogging habit. Since then, there have been some domestic years in the United States before another interesting extended trip to Asia in 2008 involving Thailand, India, and China.

This isn’t quite a travel diary or a sitting around being narcissistic diary. It’s more to help me remember how little I do and how pointless my life is, share my mundane experiences with others, and improve my writing, photography, and promote my drawings.

For most of 2009, I was living in Shanghai, China. Most of the posts are about that megalopolis, though I was lucky enough to go on some short side trips to Seoul, Taipei, and London.

In 2010, I moved back to San Francisco. Not as exciting as China, but still a beautiful city to walk around and document.

I no longer live in SF, but I love getting non-spam comments. Feel free to leave some.


Many moons ago, I used Blogger. Since 2008, my blog has been using a custom theme I designed for WordPress. Until March 2008, all the photos were taken with a crappy Canon point and shoot. Since then, most pictures have been taken with a Nikon D40 SLR. Then in April of 2011, I upgraded cameras again to a Canon 5DmkII. I use Photoshop for saving photos and the excellent Coda web editor from Panic for hand coding and FTP.

As of 2014, I decided to start displaying images at 1000px wide and have them lazy-loaded to keep the experience reasonable for my image-filled posts. This comes at the cost of SEO for my images, but I think the larger size makes it worth it. Plus, the blog reads better on mobile devices. I have converted a few of my favorite older posts to the new format, but for the foreseeable future most of the old posts are going to be stuck in their 580px wide ways.

At the end of 2016, I decided to stop doing regular posts on daily life and save it only for special occasions/subjects. It was a sad decision, but no one reads blogs anymore other than you (thanks!).

Starting Points

There are a lot of posts on my blog, often categorized by place. I have a few favorite posts, either because of the impression the place made or the “quality” of the photos. I’ll put a list of them here soon.


Hi Nik,
I’m doing preliminary research for our upcoming tour from Shanghai to Chengdu, then south to Yunnan Province and into Laos, Cambodia and Viet Nam. I’ll look forward to anything you post that is bike and Shangha related.


Thanks for visiting Claire. If you’re in Shanghai, you should try being here on a day like Saturday. There’s some fun bike polo to be played.

hi Nik
loved your blog…jsut readthe bit on jodhpur….enjoyed your nikon D40SLR pics:)
ama fan of jodhpur…the city its people and tis art….
i am an art curator and held a contemporary art exhibit at the Mehrangarh Fort , last year, November and dec.
this year too, but in oct….any plans of coming down again?


Hi Preeti,

Thanks for the comment. I hope I can make it to Jodhpur again; it’s an ancient, beautiful place. I only got to see a small part of it last trip, so I have plenty left to explore.


Hi Nik,

I found your blog while researching about Leh, India. Your pictures are beautiful and your trip sounds incredible. My husband and I are planning to go to Leh in late September. We plan to spend 6 nights there…By any chance, were you visiting Leh in late September? Everyone is warning us that it’ll be cold – was the weather cold at night? Would you recommend Jigmet – for heating, hot water, etc.

Anyhow – I’d greatly appreciate any advice you could give. Especially if you have pointers on things we should include as a ‘must-do’. thanks!



Hi Nik,

Your Osiyan blog and pictures are awesome !!!! We plan to take a trip in Dec this yr to Jodhpur and nearby places.

Any pointers ?



Hey Vick, can’t offer any pointers other than the places I mentioned in the post. Have a great trip.

Hi Nik,

I’ve been following your blog since Mia Lipsit referred to it, what, last year some time? Anyway, great stuff! I really enjoy your photography.

I’m curious how you get so many photos embedded in each blog entry. Are there some tricks? I’m using Blogger now, but considering a change to WordPress. Feel free to post to my e-mail. I appreciate any pointers in the right direction.

Thanks chief!
Dave (currently in Delhi)


Check your email, Dave.

happy to have brought you two together (even though i don’t remember doing so).


I don’t think you did?

Blogs aren’t cool any more? I think they are! And yours is way better than average. My thanks for a fabulous site! Many of these photos are outstanding!


Thanks Ben!


Hi Nik, we just moved to Shanghai for a 2-3 year stint, and I found your blog while googling something. Thanks for sharing your experiences and photos, some of your comments cracked me up :-) Good stuff!

Came across your posts while looking for stuff on Leh. I think its great that you’re sharing your world / life experiences with all of us. I realize that all of this does take significant amount of time and energy and resources and more importantly dedication from you. I’m sure that many others along with me really appreciate it. Keep up the good work.

We’ve been following your blog when we were in Shanghai, in fact at the same time as you, in 2009.
We are two french architects, travelling from time to time.
We really appreciate your work, ‘kind of reference for us.
We’re leaving again Paris for a study on the american city. Another blog is coming :
We would be curious to go some places you suggest in SF (or elsewhere ?)
Kind regards,
Emilie & RĂ©mi

Hi Nik, I “stumbled upon” your blog. Very cool, & even cooler website.


Hi nik, been following your blog for a couple of years already, since the post about shanghai’s fuxing island. The days when you were still using your Nikon d40. You take amazing photographs. Would love to learn how you manage to get sharp colors and would love to hear your tips about a general photo workflow. Very amazing photographs. Thank you.


Hi Sui,

Thanks for reading my blog and sending me a comment. As for what my workflow is:

I just take a lot of photos organized by year/month folder.

For those I save to my blog, I save a big size and a small size, making adjustments to composition, color, etc. In photoshop. I try not to mess with the color too much though, mostly trying to match what reality felt like.

Then I apply a little unsharp mask to the images.

I think the luck of getting good photos is related to taking so many.


Hi Nik,
I came across your blog from site. I was wondering if you were interested in sharing some of your pictures with me. There are 2 from your trip to Japan, and 2 from Jodhpur that I am particularly interested in. If you want me to purchase them, we can talk about that. I live in San Bruno, so am close to you.

Hi Nik,
You have some great pictures. I would like to use one on a Facebook Cover Page. It’s on this entry and it’s called “Crappy House.” Check out Burbed and you’ll see why I think it’s perfect for us. I’d be happy to put your name on the picture and link to your blog, but that’s all I can offer. Let me know.


Whoops, here’s the entry in your blog.

Here’s the picture.

funny. thanks. Currently near that that Shanghai Tesco, possibly looking out from the same balcony. Drunk man has gone.

Dear Nik,

I love your opening under “about blog”, it helps to know that others are feeling similarly pointless in life.

I’m writing to ask permission to use your beautiful photo from here:
Credited to you and for the non profit Friends of Buena Vista Park?
I can take a screen capture and use it that way if it’s ok.
Thank you!

Hi Nik,
I just found your photos by accident, whilst looking for pictures of Giant Burger in Oakland. I looked at a lot of them, and I was completely not bored!
I am just starting an e-commerce website (clever and original idea) and I have been thinking of doing some REALLY nice photos of regular people (except kind of more attractive than regular) wearing my tee shirts at a couple of sites around Oakland. Though I suspect you might be well out of my league, I just wondered if that is something you might be interested in? I can’t tell what you do for money, a photographer or writer or artist? (Not that it’s any of my business!) But, if you are at all interested, go see my site,
Anyway, I really enjoyed the photos and especially the commentary. Yours, Mittie

I’ve been to Kauai (3) times and shot many pictures, but seeing yours refreshed how I’d shoot there again. More zoom, less wide and super-wide.

I’m going back in 2 weeks, thank you much for sharing.

Cool stuff! Love the tiny captions and big photos. Thanks! ps. Blogs will always be cool to me. :) signed, a blogger.

Leave a Comment


News Menu

About Categories Archives