Nikon Photo Adventure

Cross Border Photo Adventure to Terengganu, Malaysia .

Sunrise at Pantai Kemasik, Terengganu, Malaysia
Sunrise at Pantai Kemasik, Terengganu, Malaysia

The first of a series of Photo Adventure for Nikon Club Malaysia/Singapore. This trip is to the coastal state of Terengganu on the East Coast of Malaysia. This stretch along the coastal line are dotted with many small fishing villages with rich heritage background and a traditional way of lifes. With this as the background we spent 4-day/3-night, documenting a varieties of heritage skills that were passed down from one generation to another.

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Sukhothai & Si Satchanalai

A cold and wet January day

It was one of the coldest days i’ve experienced in Sukhothai. As it was raining for the last 2 days and with the cold northern wind blowing down south, the Northern part of Thailand down to Bangkok was suddenly under a cold spell. While The Northern part has always been cooler during January, it was exceptionally colder this year. And to make thing worst it also rain, making it inconvenient to walk in the historical parks. The sky was grey and flat without any shade of colours.  Continue reading “Sukhothai & Si Satchanalai”

Fly me to the moon

Yee Peng sky lantern festival in Chiang Mai
Yee Peng sky lantern festival in Chiang Mai

At the signal from the announce to let go the Khom Loi (floating sky lantern), we were just mesmerised by the amazing sights of the sky filled with thousands of sky lanterns floating almost in a similar pattern rushing toward the full moon. For us, the first timers attending this event was an overwhelming experience but it was soon over as the thousand of lanterns disappeared in the night sky. Yee Peng, the Northern Thai Lanna Festival is held at the same time during the Loi Krathong 25 November 2015. Continue reading “Fly me to the moon”

Bintang Walk

At the heart of Kuala Lumpur

street scene around Bukit Bintang
street scene around Bukit Bintang

Bukit Bintang is the main shopping and Hotels area including the nearby Jalan Sultan Ismail, Jalan Raja Chulan, and the older residential part of Jalan Imbi. In Jalan Imbi you can probably find some really nice and cheap local food with it’s many shophouses and kopitiam (local cafe) and a wet market too.

With the ongoing construction of MRT right in the middle of Jalan Bukit Bintang, this area is even more congested during peak hours. Its best to take the monorail or walk if you want to explore the few roads around this area. When you have enough of walking to the heat, just pop into the many malls around here for a late and cool air-con.

In the daytime this area is pretty safe to walk about but try to avoid the dark lanes behind shophouses at night.

street scene around Bukit Bintang
A old Chinese temple against modern building 
street scene around Bukit Bintang
Kuala Lumpur Tower
Kuala Lumpur city skyline
Kuala Lumpur city skyline with KLCC Twin towers
street scene around Bukit Bintang and Imbi Road
Something old and new – street scene around Bukit Bintang and Imbi Road
street scene around Bukit Bintang
street scene around Jalan Imbi Shophouses
street scene around Bukit Bintang
Outside the Lot 10 Mall

 

Nine Emperor God festival

九皇爺 or Kow Wong Yeh (in cantonese)

Chinese opera performer putting on make up
Chinese opera performer putting on make up

The Nine Emperor God festival is a nine-day Taoist celebration starting from the 1st day of the 9th lunar month. At the Nine Emperor God temple in Ampang, Selangor it is always a huge celebration where thousands of devotees goes to pray for blessings and to give thanks giving. Devotees observe a vegetarian meals even before the start of the festival. Devotees will be dressed in white will be at the temple, praying, lighting up huge incense and candles. Throughout the nine-day festival the temple ground will take on a carnival-light atmosphere. Many people will go to pray and seek divine guidance.  Traders cash in to the occasion setting up stall selling anything from vegetarian food and drinks and toys. (more…)

The blue flame of Ijen

Mid night hike to Ijen

blue fire at Ijen

blue fire at Ijen

Our next stop at Kawah Ijen is a very different volcano with the special attraction of blue fire that’s only visible in the darkness of the night. We stayed in Banyuwangi at the Ketapang Indah Hotel, which is a beach front hotel and probably one of the better hotel in this area with it’s huge well kept garden making it a good place to rest after your mid-night hike to Ijen. It took us about an hour to reach the Ijen Park where we meet up with our guides and porters before we start the 2-hour hike to reach the rim of the crater. As some parts of the 3 km hike is very steep at about 45 degrees it is better to come with a good pair of hiking shoes.

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The small but mighty volcano

Mount Bromo

morning fog at Bromo Tengger Semeru Caldera
morning fog at Bromo Tengger Semeru Caldera

It was late at night by the time the van dropped us at our hotel in the mountain village of Cemoro Lawang at the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park. After checking in we arrange for 2 jeeps to pick us up at 4am for the trip to Mount Penanjakan (2,770 m) to catch the sunrise. I was barely asleep when my alarm woke me up for the 1-hour journey to Mount Penanjakan viewpoint. From the airport to Cemoro Lawang and then to Penanjakan we travel mostly in darkness so I have no idea how the surrounding area looks like. Walking up a short distant to the viewpoint we could see in the distant sky streaks of orange and purple hues started to appear over the horizon. There were already a few people waiting for sunrise at the viewpoint. Below us thick clouds float over the huge caldera enveloping the entire valley of Cemoro Lawang. It was an amazing sight. That year was May 2005.

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Sukhothai Historical Park

From the Sanskrit meaning of “Dawn of Happiness”

Buddha in sukhothai park duirng sunset.
Buddha in sukhothai park during sunset.

Thailand’s most impressive World Heritage Sites constructed during the Kingdom of Sukhothai era from 1235-1438 AD. Spreading over an area of 5 km, this ruin is too big for you to walk within a few hours. Having your own transport is the most convenient and comfortable to get around. Your transport can drop you near the entrance where you can walk and explore on your own the nearby ruins. There are many scattered over a large area, some are quite well restored while some are just pile of bricks. Quite a number of the Buddha statures are said to be original.

An early morning tour or late afternoon is the best time to be there as it’s cooler and give you more choice of photo opportunities.

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Cruising on the wild side in Botswana

Chobe National Park

River cruise at Chobe National Park, Botswana
Evening river cruise at Chobe National Park, Botswana

There was a loud thud at the back of the boat follow by a loud splash of something big hitting the water. Almost at the same time we all turned our attention away from the group of hippopotamus less than 5 meters in front of us. We throw a questioning look at Innocent, our local guide but he gave us an equally innocent look and says “oh it just crocodile chasing fishes and hit our boat.” Oh great, in front of us a group of hippos lying half submerge and doesn’t look too happy at being disturb from their afternoon nap and beneath our tiny boat crocodiles are chasing fishes in wild abandon. Welcome to the Chobe River cruise.

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Zimbabwe

Somewhere over the rainbow

rainbow over Victoria Falls
rainbow over Victoria Falls

Somewhere over the rainbow

Way up high,

There’s a land that I heard of
Once in a lullaby.


Somewhere over the rainbow

Skies are blue,
and the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true
.

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