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Archive for May, 2007

3 More Dives @ Redang Island [25~27th May 2007]

May 31st, 2007 No comments

Pasir Panjang, Redang IslandIt was May, and it is almost a crime to not visit the one of islands of East Coast Malaysia. This is the best time of the year to enjoy the sunny beach and calm South China Sea.

We’ve been talking about this trip since Feb and I really can’t wait anymore. Arriving the island on 25th May (Friday), I was put off by the throng of tourists (and almost all are Malaysian Chinese, go figure) on the Pasir Panjang but hey, I couldn’t care less as long as I can get my diving doses. Read more…

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Muck Diving @ Redang Island!!! [26th May 2007]

May 31st, 2007 3 comments

Sandy Bottom, Let's Go!It was after our first dive at Mak Cantik that the dive master Jan Shir was asking, “Do you guys wanna see something different?” and let us think about it during the surface interval. The ‘different’ site is called just ‘Sandy Bottom’ (and I heard the divemaster calling it ‘Twilight Zone’ but I might be wrong) and there will be no corals and no big fishes, but he guarantees we will be seeing something different. Even though Redang is not known for great muck diving site, Bill and me are all game and we want to see something different than the coral reefs. Read more…

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Redang Trip (25~27th May 2007) Expenses & Useful Trip Information

May 30th, 2007 1 comment

Expenses

Transnational Bus: RM60/pax for 2-way KL->KT, 33-seater, comfortable reclining seats. Do wear long shirts/pants or a jacket as the night journey can be very cold as the aircon is quite strong. It is recommended to buy bus tickets (2ways) few weeks ahead at Putra Bus Station.

KL->KT: We bought the night bus on Thursday night 11pm and bus arrived at KT on 5:30am. 1 stop at Chenor.

KT->KL: Sunday 2pm starts but the bus was damn slow and arriving at Putra Station, KL at 10pm. 2 stops, one at Chenor and another at Termerloh R&R.

Redang Holiday 2D1N Package: RM180/pax (including 2-way boat transfer from Merang<->Redang Island). 2 Stars.

Redang Pelangi 2D1N Package: RM120/pax. 2 Stars.

Taxi from KT -> Merang: RM40/car (i.e. RM10/pax)

Bus ride from Merang -> KT: RM10/pax (see item#1 below)

Diving package @ Redang Pelangi: RM200 for 3 dives. Normal pricing is RM50/dive w/o equipment rental. Equipment rental is RM25/dive, and flat rate RM50 for 2 or more dives. Nice people here (our dive master is Jan Shir).

Total Cost for the trip: ~RM600, which I think is pretty reasonable considering this is the super peak season (starting of school holiday and at weekend). A few other friends booked Laguna Redang Resort and that set them back almost the same amount like us, but they were snorkelling package (3 snorkelling trips) while ours included 3 dives and we sneaked in a snorkelling trip as well. Of course, Laguna is more luxurious.

General Information

1: if you don’t have pre-arrangement (well, just like us :p), just go
to the end of the Merang Jeti area where you can spot many tour buses
stopping on roadside waiting for pre-booking clients. The drivers
mostly will be having tea and ‘lepak’ at the gerai there. Approach any
of them for a bus ride back to KT, it should set you back for RM10/person.

2. Most of the Redang resorts offer 3D2N package, which includes all the 3 meals plus a tea break, 2-3 snorkelling trips and 2-way boat transfers (Merang <-> Redang). Snorkelling gear rental normally is not included in the package price and it ranges from RM20-30 per set. Fin is not recommended to be used especially for shore snorkellings to avoid damage to the coral reef. There is no discount to the package price even if you opt to not go for the snorkelling trips (well you will save the equipment rental cost, of course). Most tourists have booked tour package before coming to Redang. 4 of us probably were the only ones that didn’t have any packages and do walk-in.

Sapa Photos

May 24th, 2007 No comments

Just want to post the link of photos from my Sapa trip early May 2007. Sapa is a small town in northern Vietnam, ~8hrs train ride from Hanoi. The attraction here is the ethnic minority groups (H’mong, Dzao, Red H’mong, Flower H’mong etc) and the trekkings to the villages.

Photos are here:

http://travelgaia.com/gallery/Sapa/

Will update this again once I am back from Redang Island trip (11pm tonight!)

A Very Short Trip to Sekinchang [19th May 2007]

May 21st, 2007 No comments

Dawn over fishing villageHad a very short trip – 5 hours including the driving time – with Hiu to Sekinchang, a small fishing village just about 20km away from Kuala Selangor. Sekinchang is renowned for its fishing village and padi fields, and the sole purpose of our trip here is – what else? – to capture some photos during the dawn. It is always pleasing to be able to get out of town and breath some fresher air, and better yet, I don't have to drive (Hiu is the driver for the trip)!! Tongue out

A drive from Damansara to Sekinchang almost took us 2 hours on a Saturday afternoon. We went thru Damansara toll and then headed to Sungei Buluh and followed the Kuala Selangor sign board, and upon arriving K. Selangor, followed the Serbak Bernam direction for another 20km we arrived Sekinchang. It is impossible to miss – you will be seeing the seas of padi fields at the right side of the road while approaching the town center.

More photos from the trip is here: http://travelgaia.com/gallery/sekinchang/
 

We took some photos in the padi field while waiting for the sun to go down. The rice is not riped yet and it is just endless sea of green. The cloud was quite thick and the metering is tricky due to the huge dynamic range. The 100mm F2.8 Macro lens, like usual, didn't disappoint. It is really a sweet lens to use but I just wish the autofocus is faster. We later went to the fishing village trying to catch some of the 'magic light' of the dawn. People here are very friendly and it is just having a very nice setting around the fishing village. Well the photos turn out to be pretty good in my opinion Tongue out. We spent some time to walk around the village and take photos until it is too dark to do so. The return trip to Damansara tool only 1 hr and 15 mins but some stretches of the road were really dark. Overall a very enjoyable day trip and we had great time exploring this little town.

More photos from the trip is here: http://travelgaia.com/gallery/sekinchang/

 

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Vivaciously Red [12~13th May 2007 @ The Curve Damansara]

May 18th, 2007 No comments

Yet another fashion show in mall, this time around at The Curve, themed 'Vivaciously Red'. It is kind of the 'in' thing to do now for the malls in town to have fashion show featuring the latest outfits from the tenants. To match the theme of the show, the walkway and some decoration rectangular window frames are in red colors. I was there for one show on Saturday (12th May), and stayed whole day on Sunday (13th May).

The shows include brand names like Uluwatu (didn't even know this has presence in Malaysia, saw tons of this shop in Bali), Elements, Key Ng, Calvin Klein Jeans, Schwarzkopf (hair salon) and some others that I can't recall. Most of the shows are quite short in duration, probably about 10mins only. The Fashion On 1 felt more classy than Vivaciously Red, but the Vivaciously Red allowed a close up photos on the models (at least on Saturday; Sunday was crowded and security chain was in place). Model wise, V.Red mostly were having locals while the Fashion On 1 has mostly non-locals. And this is my favorite model, she just has something that works for me: —>

 

Another revelation is actually the Canon 100mm F2.8 Macro. I switched from 70-200mm F4L to 100mm F2.8 on one instance and the photos came out from the 100mm, even at max aperture of F2.8, are really sharp — probably too sharp for portraits, but it is really a pleasant surprise. Furthermore, I was able to use ISO400 while using the 100mm lens whereas the 70-200mm F4 required ISO800 to be bright enough.

More photos here: http://travelgaia.com/gallery/V/content/index.html

 

 

 

 

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