Thursday, 20 December 2007

Southern Thailand # 1

Date: 20 Dec 07 - 23 Dec 07 [4D/3N]
Location: Koh Lanta, Ao-Nang,Railey Bay - Satun-Trang-Krabi, Thailand
Camera: Canon EOS 350D
Lens: Tokina AT-X 124 AF Pro DX 12-24mm f/4
Filter: none
Post editing: PS CS3
Organizer: Dan
Members: Lucy, CS Law and Sam MJ
My reason to go there: I have always wanted to drive around that region, also to visit Koh Lanta and Railey Bay.

From 20th Dec 2007 until 23rd Dec 2007, I drove from my home(Butterworth) to Krabi and places around there and than back home…
I have been to Krabi several times before, this is probably my 4th time there .... In this round I had revisited Krabi Town and Ao Nang, and explored 2 new places - they are Ko Lanta and Railey Bay. The weather there was superb for all 4 days, and the food ..... the food, ohhhh the food ...they were so good.

I took some scenery pictures with my new Tokina 12-24mm this time, what a nice lens. Other pictures was taken with my all time "best travel lens", the Sigma 18-200mm
I find Ko Lanta to be a Scuba diver’s hub … with a large concentration of dive operators on the island, lots of big and small dive boats doing day trips to near by islands, Phi Phi and Hin Deang Hin Muang….
Railey bay is very scenic, has a very nice beach, a heaven for sun worshipers. And also heaven for rock climbers, if you like rock climbing, do put this on your wish to visit list.
Ao Nang is of coz the famous concentration point for Krabi, the hub for Krabi to Phi Phi, Phuket, Krabi, Trang, Lanta, Railey, Phang Nga, etc. Lots to eat and buy here.
Krabi town is laid back, I like this place ….

My journey:
Day 1
Butterworth – Padang Besar(border) [2.5 hours]
Padang Besar – Sadao – Highway 4 – Trang – waterfall - Krabi Town [4-6 hours]
Lunch at Trang
Visit Ton Tae Waterfall
Dinner at Krabi Town
Night at Krabi Town: Chan-Cha-Lay Guesthouse, 55 Utarakit Rd. Maung Krabi [500baht/night/twin sharing]

Day 2
Breakfast at Krabi Town
Krabi Town – Railey Bay [boat 100baht/person/way] [30mins]
Lunch at Railey Bay
Railey Bay – Krabi Town [boat 100baht/person/way] [30mins]
Krabi Town – Ao Nang beach [30mins]
Dinner at Ao Nang and shopping
Night at Ao Nang: Ao Nang Thara Lodge Tel: 075-637087-89. [900baht/night/twin sharing]

Day 3
Breakfast at Ao Nang
Visit Fossil beach
Ao Nang – Ko Lanta [3 hours]
Lunch at Ban Saladan and shopping
Dinner at Lanta River Sand Resort
Night at Ko Lanta: Lanta River Sand Resort, 99 Moo 8, Ko Lanta - Thailand. Tel/Fax:(075) 697 296 [500baht/night/twin sharing]

Day 4
Lunch at Ban Saladan and some shopping there
Ko Lanta – Pak Bara Pier (Satun) [3 hours]
Pak Bara Pier – Satun City [1 hour]
Tea break at Satun City
Satun City to Kaki Bukit/Wang Kelian(border) [30 mins]
Kaki Bukit/Wang Kelian(border) – Butterworth [3 hours]


Thursday, 18 October 2007

Puerto Galera

Date: 18 Oct 07 - 20 Oct 07 [3D/2N]
Location: Sabang, Puerto Galera, Philippine
No. of dives: 6

Accessibility to dive sites: 8.5
Marine Animal Density: 8.2
Dive site terrain Quality: 8.5
Marine Animal Diversity: 8.5
Visibility: 7.5
Overall Score: 8.2

Entry: Boat
Difficulty: OW
Dive Sites: Fringing reefs/Wrecks

Camera: Canon Powershot A80
Underwater casing: Canon Waterproof Case WP-DC900 for Powershot A80 by Canon
Strobe: NIL
Oraganizer: Dan
Members: Sam, KL Tan and CS Law
My reason to go there: Have been hearing about this place for sometime, so I wanted to dive and see what’s so special about P.G. 

Puerto Galera has become the top diving destination in the Philippines. Excellent diving is found less than 5 minutes from the Sabang area. The diving generally focuses around the areas either side of Escarceo Point which is famous for its current rips. Strong currents are a feature of the diving in Puerto Galera and it is good advice to employ the services of an experienced local guide or dive centre. There are upwards of thirty dive sites all within a 5-10 minute banca ride from Sabang Beach. Marine life is highly diverse. 180+ species of nudibranchs are found in the area and most species of fish can be seen A variety of wrecks have been sunk over the years in addition to the one genuine wreck of an engine of a WWII Japanese patrol boat.

So I was in the Sabang Barangay(is the native Filipino term for a village or district) for 3 nights, and I did 6 dives. Viz wasn't good that time, with the addition overcast sky made it worst. However if you are in heaven, no matter how bad it is, it will still be good. Diving is good there, with lots of little critters to see, wrecks, cheap and best of all dives sites are only a 5-10 minutes boat ride all the time.

As I was on a backpack trip around Luzon, I couldn’t possibly have brought my own equipments, so I had to rent….. to my surprise I managed to find a dive operator that offered me 6 dives at 120.00USD, inclusive of full equipment rental. That’s like diving at Redang, good price huh!


Friday, 12 October 2007

The Philippines

Date: 12 Oct 07 - 22 Oct 07 [11D/10N]
Location: Clark - Baguio - Sagada - Bontoc - Banaue - Hapao - Batad - Manila - Sabang, Philippines
Camera: Canon EOS 350D
Lens: Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC
Filter: Hoya CPL
Post editing: PS CS3
Organizer: Dan
Members: Sam, CS Law and KL Tan
My reason to go there: Seen some really nice pictures of Banaue, Sagada, etc. I wanna dive Puerto Galera. And I have not backpacked for a long time….


11 days around the country proves one thing wrong about the misconception Malaysians have on the security in the Philippines, it is not as dangerous as said. Filipinos are very friendly, helpful and have great sense of humor.

My journey brought me deep into the heart of Luzon, where ancient 2000 years old rice terraces are still green amongst the highlands of Cordillera, and all the way to Mindoro Island where I have experienced some exciting scuba diving.

In all, my journey was very smooth; I was able to get all the public transports on time(well almost all, lol), cheap. And also lots of cheap and clean accommodations; ok it was low season anyway. Just that the food were not as cheap as I’ve expected. I brought RM1270 for 11 days, RM425 goes to diving, and I think at least RM400-500 went to food. Other than food I save a lot on other things like; I didn’t hire any guide for all my treks and visits, accommodation cost sharing with another 3 travel mates, etc

As expected …. Philippine is nice, the rice terraces are very nice, weather was very good, and we had blue sky on almost everyday. But it was a pity that the weather at Puerto Galera was not so good, however we still dive even when the sky was overcast or with a bit of rain; who cares about rain anyway.

So I was able to get all my transportations smooth almost all the way. It was just that on the 2nd day at Baguio I was not able find the correct bus to Sagada, we went round & round for a long time to get to the correct bus station, we were pointed to the east, then to the west and south and then back to the east by the locals. Mainly because in the Philippines, there is no such thing as a single concentrated location where all buses “congregate”, like something equivalent of Puduraya in KL. In the Philippines every bus company runs their own little bus station, and they are everywhere. Even locals get confused about which company goes where from where and at what time. Technically it was pretty messy! ….. After that incident I got really “smart”(haha smart!), I would not rely on the locals anymore, I would find out about the buses/jeepney/stations/time/company all siap siap by myself, well from the handy lonely planet book and some internet printouts I have. So it was ok from there on. 

The journey to Sagada was nice; along the Halsema highway. It was an 7-8 hours journey. Imagine traveling at 2200M ASL, as part of the highway was actually running along the ridge of some of the tallest mountain ranges in the region. If 2200M ASL doesn’t mean anything to you, then know this… The little pointed peak of Gunung Tahan is 2187M ASL ….. ahhh ding dong ring a bell now? Now you know. It is called a highway, but when I got there it was definitely not even an equivalent of a kampong road in Malaysian. Looking back at the eroded part of the highway, it is not unusual in the mountains but it could be paralyzing to farmers and retailers bringing business in and through these mountain roads. I heard of a huge project is currently underway to complete the Halsema Highway but it's no guarantee against mountain movements causing landslides, etc. Many parts, or I would say almost 70% of the highway remains unpaved. 

Near to Sagada the highway became really small and bad, but it was ok for me. I have enjoyed every single moment of the ride as the view along the way was simply breathtaking, together with the freshness of high altitude air I could go on for 14 hours or more. There were many landsides along the way; all of them have been cleared to make way for the occasional passing vehicles. Unfortunately our bus still got stuck at a place near to Sagada for a short while, all guys were asked to get out of the bus while the bus driver trashed forward and backward countless times to get over a big hump remnant of a recent landslide, ahh no worries… we got thru that one after 15 minutes.. no prob..

Sagada is very peaceful, it is a little town that goes to sleep at 9:00pm. 18 Celsius by night time surrounded by mountains 1450m ASL. Sounds like the perfect little place for your weekend huh? It is, trust me. Locals told me that by December night temperature may plummet as low as 5 Celsius, that’s very cold….. 
One regret I had was we never had the chance to eat at the Log Cabin, it is said to serve some of the best tomato and zucchini pesto - smoked pork loin a.k.a. etag, a local delicacy - spinach soup - herring "kinilaw" in 3 dressings: cream, blueberry vinegar, and another kind of vinegar - roasted baby - broccoli with cheese - boiled broccoli - sourdough bread - chocolate fruit and nut cake, bla bla bla in Sagada, but then I had a great time at St Jopseph's, Masferre Inn and another Japanese named restaurant, they were all very good. 
The hanging coffins in Echo Valley were interesting, to get to Echo Valley where the coffins are we have to pass by an old Catholic church, it could be 100 or 200 years old, I’m not sure, then pass thru a Catholic cemetery(yup we had some group pictures taken there), and then go down the hill where we could see lots of stone pinnacles (yup stone pinnacles. So who needs to go to Mulu to see those pinnacles anyway) and we were there, the hanging coffins are on the other side of the valley, suspended probably 10 meters from the ground we could see them from a distant…. 

The next day we trekked to the famous Bomod-Ok a.k.a Big-Falls … indeed it is a big and nice waterfall. I could probably last 30 seconds in the water at most, coz the water was freezing! The trek from Sagada to Bomod-Ok was interesting as we traverse very interesting villages like Bagaan and Fidelisan, and took pictures of the rice terraces along the way. It all started in the morning and ended around 5:00pm at St Jopseph's café(in Sagada) where I reward myself a nice bottle of icy coke, that was almost like the best thing that happened that day.
We didn’t do any caves in Sagada although highly recommended by my friends who have been there before, the local tourist office and other backpackers, mainly because 3 out of 4 of us were not interested in stalactite and stalagmites lit by colored beams of lights, going to the caves requires a guide and we will get wet/dirty … all of us have a DSLR with us, we don’t wanna get wet in a bat cave.. .and taking pictures in the caves requires a tripod, we don’t have any except Sam.

Bontoc is also very interesting …we spent a morning and lunch there .. walking around the town, into the market and into the villages. Bontoc is a much smaller town than Baguio, however still a very busy town with countless amount of tricycles bustling around and lots of pedestrians too. People here looks different from the typical Pilipino, they are more like hmmm the aboriginal people of Taiwan/Hawaii/Tibet. I think they are called the Ifugao people ..

Banaue is amazing … it has some the best views, we stayed at the Sanafe lodge, the only lodge with a dining area on a big + open balcony over looking the entire valley of Banaue, we stayed there 3 days / 2 nights and it was really good. Temperature at night = 19-20 Celsius was superb. And we had some really nice Pilipino dishes at both People’s lodge and Sanafe lodge.

Going to Batad was a bit hard coz there was a big landside blocking the way to Batad, so our jeepney could only can drop us 5 km from the Batad junction, where from Batad junction we have to hike over a mountain and down to the valley to reach the village of Batad. So all in all we’ve walked 5km 2 times and hike over a mountain 2 times that day, that’s probably over 20km distant covered.

Batad has very nice rice terraces, but because of the time taken to walk in the out, we do not have enough time to visit the falls there, pity 

Next day we went to Hapao …and Tam-an. Hapao have even more amazing rice terraces.

That night we changed our 5:30pm Manila bound bus ticket to another newer company called Florida also to Manila at 8:30pm. We got to Cubao, Manila the next morning around 5 am. From Cubao we looked for the correct station to Batangas, took a bit of time searching as everyone I asked points me a different company and direction … but in the end we managed to get one leaving at 7:15am.

Going to Batangas took like 2-3 hours I think. 
Batangas pier is busy, many tourists heading to Mindoro will be there looking for the next boat. There are many boat operators, so finding one for my intended destination wasn’t hard at all. 

Sabang beach was our next stop …. According to the information we got there are many isolated beaches around Puerto Galera, so we have to choose one to go to, so it was Sabang. Coz Sabang is the king of all the diving beaches, we wanna DIVE!

At Sabang … it took a bit of time to for me to find a nice, cheap and good room and also a good/cheap dive operator …. So I ask my friends to relax at the restaurant while I go hunt for rooms and dive packages. It took me almost 45 mins and I came back with a nice big air-con room with fridge and satellite-TV up at the hillside for 4 person costing PHP1500 per night… for 3 nights, that was like RM30/person/night. I think it is worth to have a nicer room especially near beaches where it could be very warm at night + infested by mosquitoes.

Few days of diving …. Sky always moody, overcast… but then diving was good, and over cast sky doesn’t stop us, even if it rains we will still dive …
.. .they have very nice dive sites by the way, lots of nudibranches, some interesting wrecks and crazy lots of feather stars…

And after the 3 diving days …. We head for Manila. I know there was a bomb at Makati killing 2 Koreans, 1 Taiwanese and 8 Pilipinos two days before that, so at that moment I thought I will try to avoid Makati. On the way to Ermita, I changed my mind and ask the van driver to drop us at Malate as the van will pass Malate first. So we went to "Friendly’s guesthouse", and asked for dorm beds…. Cost PHP300 / person .. .so we took it, just drop our bags and we went out lepak oledi…
First walked around Malate, then don’t know lah somehow we took a taxi to Makati. We thought we saw the bomb site as part of the mall was actually closed and the smell of burned stuffs was very strong…. Then only later to find out that there was in fact another fire at the Mall the day before, which was a 2nd case of trouble at Makati area. So well we thought Makati is not the place to stay for long and we headed for the MRT right after makan at the food court. Delicious food there by the way, and much CHEAPER than those in Sabang or up in the highlands.
After lunch? Or was it tea we went to Chinatown. There was a parade, some religion thing(Catholic). So we look look see see bit bit … makan, etc .. .then took the MRT back to Malate and visited Robinsons Mall from 6:30pm – 9:00pm …. And then back to the guesthouse. The community hall of the guesthouse was filled with people from everywhere, Korea, US, Taiwan, France, etc. I had a long day so after a shower, I zzzzzzzzzz rite away. It would be nice to stay there for a while to be able to talk to other backpackers I felt…

Next day we took a taxi to the bus station and took a bus to Clark airport directly…… we finish off our remaining pesos on donuts. They have lots of donuts outlets everywhere in the Philippines, it is like goreng pisang stalls in Malaysia … 

Saturday, 22 September 2007

Gunung Suku 1,796m

Date: 22 Sep 2007 - 23 Sep 2007 [2D/1N]
Location: Gunung Suku, Cameron Highlands, Perak
Altitude: 1,796m ASL
Difficulty: 4.6/10 (
Camera: Canon Power Shot A80
Lens: add-on wide angle adapter
Filter: none
Post editing: PS CS2
Organizer: CS Law
Members: Kiki, Miao Chin, KL Tan, YK Khor, Lucy, Dan, Kah Fai and uncle Yong
Guide: Uncle Yong
My reason to go there: I heard about the scenic view from Gunung Suku, I wanna see it for myself and photograph it.

10 of us took on Gunung Suku(1796M ASL) last weekend(22-23rd Sept 07), approx. 4 hours hike up inclusive of 1 hour break was nice and quick hike to a cooling campsite at the false peak of Gunung Suku(1745M).
A quick 7-10 minutes hike from the campsite brought us to the summit of Gunung Suku the next morning.
We had clear sky that morning, visibility was very good, therefore the sight of the surrounding mountains like Gunung Suku, Irau, Brinchang, Chabang, 6850, Korbu, Gayong, Yong Yap, Yong Blar were all clearly visible.


The Journey
Day 1
22nd Sep 07 Starting Point - Lunch point 860m-1350m 12:05 PM 1:30 PM 1:25:00
22nd Sep 07 Lunch break 1350m 1:30 PM 2:15 PM 0:45:00
22nd Sep 07 Lunch point - Water point 1350m-1425m 2:20 PM 2:30 PM 0:10:00
22nd Sep 07 Water collection break 1425m 2:30 PM 2:45 PM 0:15:00
22nd Sep 07 Water point - Campsite 1425m-1740m 2:45 PM 3:50 PM 1:05:00
** Total Break time 1:00:00
** Total Hike time 2:40:00

Day 2
23rd Sep 07 Campsite - Summit 1740m-1790m 7:25 AM 7:35 AM 0:10:00
23rd Sep 07 Summit - Campsite 1790m-1740m 8:35 AM 8:42 AM 0:07:00

Day 2
23rd Sep 07 Campsite - Water point 1740m-1425m 9:57 AM 10:45 AM 0:48:00
23rd Sep 07 Water collection break 1425m 10:45 AM 10:50 AM 0:05:00
23rd Sep 07 Water point - Lunch point 1425m-1350m 10:50 AM 10:58 AM 0:08:00
23rd Sep 07 Lunch break 1350m 10:58 AM 11:31 AM 0:33:00
23rd Sep 07 Lunch point - Starting point 1350m-860m 11:31 AM 12:25 PM 0:54:00
** Total Break time 0:38:00
** Total Hike time 1:50:00

- Guide Fees: NIL
- 4WD: NIL
- Entrance fees: NIL
- Camp site fees: NIL
- Food: RM13.00 - RM 15.00
- Transport: Passangers AA share petrol + tol cost - Drivers don't pay

Friday, 31 August 2007

Gunung Ulu Sepat 2,161m

Date: 31 Aug 2007 - 2 Sep 2007
Location: Gunung Ulu Sepat, Perak
From: Kg Lelar, Tasik Temenggor
Altitude: 2,160m ASL
Difficulty: 7.4/10

Hike duration: 3D/2N
A.K.A.: G7 of Semenanjung Malaysia
A.K.A.: G12 of Malaysia
Camera: Canon EOS 350D
Lens: Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC
Filter: Hoya CPL
Post editing: PS CS2
Organizer: CS Law
Members: Kah Fai, Sam, Kean, YK Khor, Dan, Lucy, Doreen, Uncle Yong and Uncle Lau
Guide: 1 orang asli guide
My reason to go there: To complete G12, I have to conquer it because it is one of the “G” mountains. Also because the entrance of this mountain is via the Termenggor Lake.

Ulu Sepat is the 7th highest peak in West Malaysia at 2,161m in Perak. Our journey starts from Grik -> Banding -> Tasik Temenggor -> Kg. Lelar -> Camp LanWeng -> Ulu Sepat Summit -> Camp LanWeng -> Kg. Lelar -> Tasik Temenggor -> TNB jetty -> Grik

31th Aug 07
07:15 - 08:20 (1:05:00) BKE Shell station – Grik
09:20 - 10:00 (0:40:00) Grik – Banding Jetty
10:15 - 12:00 (1:45:00) Banding Jetty – Pos Kemar
13:10 - 13:45 (0:35:00) Pos Kemar – Kg Lelar
14:14 - 18:10 (3:56:00) Kg Lelar(460m) – Camp Lanweng(1040m)

1st Sep 07
08:45 - 12:30 (3:45:00) Camp Lanweng(1040m) – Ulu Sepat Summit(2160m)
11:30 Last water point(1620m) (10mins down)
13:30 - 16:45 (3:15:00) Ulu Sepat Summit(2160m) – Camp Lanweng(1040m)

2nd Sep 07
09:30 - 12:45 (3:15:00) Camp Lanweng(1040m) – Kg. Lelar(460m)
14:00 - 14:50 (0:50:00) Kg. Lelar – Pos Kemar
15:10 - 16:30 (1:20:00) Pos Kemar – TNB Jetty
16:30 - 17:00 (0:30:00) 2nd Sep 07 TNB Jetty – Grik

Rewards of this trip
1. Beautiful beautiful mossy forest near the summit region
2. Nice river by Kem Lanweng
3. Nice boat ride on Tasik Temenggor, very scenic
4. Scenic Kg. Lelar
5. Short 45mins 4x4 ride
6. Met up with a group of 7 nice hikers from Johore/S'pore, very sporting and nice ppl

Challenges of this trip
1. Agas-agas(sand flies) at Kem Lanweng, it was very irritating. Itches for several weeks
2. Very unlucky to bump into a group of un-sporting hikers from KL who do not like to share campsite, unfriendly, talk bad about others and are so "kia-su" they would hike so fast to the summit to take up all the best places. Really disappointed to know there are such a type of hikers
3. It rained most of the time during our descend
4. It rained very heavily from Pos Kemar to TNB Jetty, it was a very cold 2 hrs on the boat.

Overall cost per person was RM166.65(driver) + RM17.65(for passenger)

- Guide Fees 3D2N: RM180.00/10pax [Orang asli guide cost RM60.00/day]
- 4WD: from Pos Kemar - Kg Lelar x 2 ways - RM200.00/10pax
- Boat: from Banding Jetty – Pos Kemar x 2 ways - RM450.00/10pax
- Van: from Grik – Banding Jetty x 2 ways - RM250.00/10pax
- Entrance fees: NIL
- Camp site fees: NIL
- Permit fees: FOC
- Food: approx. RM28.00/person
- Transport: Passangers AA share petrol + tol cost - Drivers don't pay - RM17.65 each passanger

I like Ulu Sepat. It is has some very beautiful mossy forest. The hike difficulty level is perhaps equivalent to the other G mountains like Yong Yap, slightly harder than Chamah.
But I don't think I would ever wanna go back to Ulu Sepat because of the notorious sandflies, they were ruthless.


Saturday, 18 August 2007

Bukit Kutu 1,053m & Chilling

Trip Start: 18 Aug 2007 (Day trip to Bukit Kutu and camp at Sungai Chilling)
Trip End: 19 Aug 2007 (Day trip to Chilling Waterfalls)
Location: Kuala Kubu Bharu, Selangor
Altitude: 1,053m ASL
Difficulty: 4.7/10
Camera: Canon EOS 350D
Lens: Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC
Filter: Hoya CPL
Post editing: PS CS2
Organizer: Micheal Phoon

Bukit Kutu (1053M ASL) and Sungai Chilling are both near Kuala Kubu Bharu, Selangor. It was used as a British administration station to overlook Kuala Kubu Bahru in the 1900's. It was destroyed during the war. Trekking up to the summit takes like 4 hours, moderate difficulty trail.
Sungai Chilling(Chilling River) is located between Kuala Kubu Bahru and Fraser Hill. Is just few hundred meters away from Kg. Pertak.
The place is good for people who want to camp or trek to the Chilling waterfall. A 45 minutes easy trek & few river crossing will reach the waterfall.

Credit goes to Kenneth, Zillion thank you for arranging/guiding this trip, we appreciate it a lot.


Sunday, 22 July 2007

Macro Jul 2007

Date: Jul 07
Location: Padi field beside (BKE-Butterworth Kulim Highway), Seberang Perai
Camera: Canon EOS 350D
Lens: Tamron SP AF90mm F/2.8 (Di) Macro 1:1
Filter: none
Post editing: PS CS2

Lately there are a lot of postings on macro photography in Multiply ... I just couldn't resist doing a few shots, so last Saturday morning I got up early and headed for the padi fields in search of insects ...

My focus this time was on shallow DOF, sharpness and new compositions. I find that balancing the 3 aspects together was the challenge, and requires a lot of patients, with luck I might just get that perfect moment..

here are my bounties, I hope you’ll enjoy seeing them…

Friday, 20 July 2007

Gunung Irau 2,110m 2007

Date: 20 Jul 07 - 21 Jul 07
Location: Gunung Irau, Perak/Pahang
From: Pallas BOH tea plantation, Cemeron highlands
Altitude: 2,110m ASL
Difficulty: 4.6/10

Hike duration: 2D/1N
A.K.A.: G9 of Semenanjung Malaysia
A.K.A.: G15 of Malaysia
Camera: Canon EOS 350D
Lens: Tamron SP AF90mm F/2.8 (Di) Macro 1:1
Filter: none
Post editing: PS CS2
Organizer: Kah Fai
Members: Lucy, KL Tan, Doreen, Dan, Jac, Rockson, Winnie, Kean, Lynn, Shaon, YK Khor and CS Law
Guide: Dan
My reason to go there: We wanna bring the non-hiking members of O2P to a mossy forest, Irau is the easiest.

Gunung Irau (2110m ASL) is the ninth tallest mountain in Semenanjung Malaysia and also the only >2000M mountain in Malaysia that is easiest to reach the summit as the starting point is already >1850M ASL. Hiking point starts from Sg Palas Boh Plantation(Cameron Highlands) and ends at the summit of Gunung Irau, it takes about 2.5-3.5 hours on full load for a seasoned hiker to get to the summit, newbies may take 4-6 hours to get up there. Camping at the summit is always nice with fresh cool 15-16 Celsius air.
This was my 3rd time to Irau, nothing much has changed. The mossy forest was still pretty, trail still muddy and campsite still littered with camper's waste.
I went there with only a SP90 macro lens, that's why as you can see I only have pictures of little things this round.


Thursday, 21 June 2007

East coast of Semenanjung Malaysia

Date: Jun 2007
Location: PG-Kota Bharu-Cherating-PG
Camera: Canon EOS 350D
Lens: Sigma 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC
Filter: Hoya CPL
Post editing: PS CS2

In Jun 2007, I drove along the coast of Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang just to look around. Along the way I have stopped by many places. In general I find that the tourist industry there was pretty dull, honestly. Cherating for instance was way below my expectation, again honestly. For the same amount of time and $, or may be less I would rather head north (Thailand) because of its food, people, conveniences, location, cleanliness, maintenance of their tourist spots, atmosphere(let loose feel), etc etc etc. Our beaches are actually beautiful, but they lack atmosphere, our “同胞” made them feel so restricted, conservative, controlled, etc etc. 明白我的意识吗?
But ... but, but .... those are just my personal opinion huh, it is still a place worth visiting at least once. And if you have never been to that part of Semenanjung, why not make a trip there and prove me wrong.... yeah! Do it!