You’ll be surprised how close the rainforest is from Kuala Lumpur. Just 45 mins drive and you’ll be at the doorsteps of Malaysia’s oldest rainforest. Forget about your alarm clock, here you’ll be waking up to calls of the many varieties of birds and monkeys. Occasional you’ll even hear the calls of the endangered species of hornbill. In the early morning just as the sun rises you can see monkeys out looking for food along the road, at the surrounding compounds of the houses, which are well spaced out to give you all the peace, tranquility and privacy you wanted. Continue reading “Rest.Pause.Rainforest Retreat”→
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.
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.
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.
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.
Explore the rugged and wild parks, or take roller coaster ride on a 4×4 at the multiple story tall sand dunes..
…The sound of the crashing wave from the Atlantic Ocean against the sand dune, the rustlings of shifting sand in the desert to the calls of the wild in the National Parks are just some of the excitement you will find in Namibia. The diversity is there. The effect of colonization by the Germany is still evident in the building especially in Swakopmund with its German like township.
And a visit to the Himba tribe will take you back to the future. Or the a visit the huge Etosha National Park will brings you face to face with the wild side of Africa. Self drive into the park with Zebras and deer running by the side as the Giraffe and elephant move ever so slowly and occasional keeping an eye on you.
As for the king of the savannah, it will depend on your luck. We only saw a family of them sleeping lazily under the tall bushes sheltering themselves from the hot afternoon sun.
An aerial view of Kuala Lumpur and the surrounding area to Petaling Jaya. This was shot one morning flying in a helicopter over Kuala Lumpur. Taking off at the Subang Airport it takes about 30 mins to reach the city centre. As the assignment was to capture the city area of KLCC and its surrounding. The weather in the morning was hazy thus making it difficult to shoot from a far distant as visibility was bad. Continue reading “Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia”→
At the end of our Trans-Siberian Railway journey at Moscow we spend a day in Saint Petersburg before flying back to Kuala Lumpur. It is Russia’s 2nd largest city after Moscow. Getting to Saint Petersburg is quite enjoyable as the comfortable train took only 3 hrs. from Moscow to Saint Petersburg. We took a light breakfast and coffee at the restaurant coach and soon we were at Saint Petersburg. We took a taxi to our guesthouse located near the Bronzeman Statue in a block of old apartment. The rooms are small but at least are clean and comfortable and it come with a good breakfast.