Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Small Wonders

Morning Glory can be easily found on the Kerachut Beach. When its pinkish colour is in contrast to whitish sandy beach, it looks very charming and outstanding, though normally it looks very ordinary.

I tried to take a distant shot at a little crab. It never moved. I moved my camera nearer, almost two feet from it, the crab seemed to be not so alert as usual. I moved another foot nearer, it stared at my lens suspiciously, put its legs half into the hole, finally decided not to be deterred by me.

It should be thinking what was the fun taking its picture, there were so much more interesting creatures around. Yes, Mr Little Crab, I would go to them next.

I found this little insect in the bushes. I did not think it was a cicada. I tried to have a close-up snap, but it rejected and flew away. It flew in the sky that I could not manage to follow.

There are a lot of wonders around. Be it a small wonder, it do bring joyfulness.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Pantai Kerachut (Kerachut Beach)

Pantai Kerachut (Kerachut Beach) is so far the most beautiful beach I have visited in Penang. You may not need any special skill or assistance of high end camera for a good photography. Of course, the pictures you are looking at are the evidences.

Kerachut Beach view is a reward in return after a long jungle trekking trail. Anyhow, explore to the nature had not ended. I climbed up a rocky hillside on the right of the beach, hoping to discover something that worth to share with you. If you like, this is the one I meant:

It was low tide at the moment. You can see from the picture, a black line of fallen leaves in front of my tent marked the level of high tide. During low tide, sea water travelled to other places of interest for sweet memories and came back during high tide, telling us stories after stories. And now is my turn to translate all these to you.

People rarely walks to here. Although rented boat is another way, but it is not so common. This is the reason why Kerachut Beach still remains in its natural unspoiled look.

The stream made a curve, flowed slowly and quietly into the sea. During rising tide, sea water will then pay a visit in return. Day in and out, months and years. They chatted and they laughed. They signed their names on the rock in white colour.

But, does mankind understand the environment? Over development and uncontrolled land reclamation will soon turn the beach another way round. The environment talks, the stream talks and the sea talks. We also talk. We never listen.

The sea talked and the sea waved its arm. This is the polite way of communication. But years back before Christmas, the sea talked in the language of Tsunami. This was a confrontation and a very bad experience.

Too much into heavy stuff. To continue in next post.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Jungle Trekking in Penang National Park

I am going to tell you stories on my new trekking trail at Penang National Park for the next few posts.

Although this is my first trip to the park, but it will never be too late if there is a start. (You see, I always need a reason to comfort myself).

Although Penang National Park is the smallest national park in Malaysia, however there are a few trekking trail alternatives available. Since I travelled with my family, some mathematics calculations had to be carried out before the journey started. The factors involved were time, distance, energy, adventure as well as fun level. The final answer we had chosen was trail toward Pantai Kerachut (Kerachut Beach). It is 5840m long and is required three and a half hours for the to and fro trip. Adventure and fun? Yet to be known.

There is another trail of total 8840m that leads to Muka Head Light House. I better keep this for the future because it is only good for overnight camping stay.

Then, what else to do? That is no other than start the journey! The time was 9:16am, air was fresh and cool, bird was chirping, cicada was singing and an ascending trek was waiting for us right from the start.

There were some early birds making their returning trip along the way. They were here solely for jungle trekking, I thought. But we were fully equipped; we even brought along a tent and some foods. You should know that was the fun part. We were ready for some extras at the end of the trekking trail before we headed back to the entrance.

The trekking trail, for most of the time, located either on the hill sides or on top of ridge. It was not safe and inadvisable to go off the road. As a matter of precaution, the visitors have to register themselves before the start and to check out before leaving the park. Approval by the authority is needed for any overnight stay at the camp site.

Some parts of the trekking trail and my usual Cerok Tokun mountain track look very much alike. Except that there are alternate ascending and descending path at the park, but I have to climb continuously to the peak before going down at Cerok Tokun. May be, there is another difference that you will not know, the breeze is salty over here.

At around 11am, can you imagine? This was what I had seen.

A fantastic view on the suspension bridge. This was not the end. Our ultimate destination that was on the other side of the bridge was so charming, so soft, so white, so beautiful and so irresistible (Anyway, I cannot continue as I have used up the adjective). I shall tell you this on my next update.

But there is no perfection in the world. I heard birds singing but saw no birds. I am sure that I have missed the beautiful birds.

Related Post:

1. Kerachut Beach

2. Small Wonders

3. Meromictic Lake, Kerachut Beach

4. The Tree With Face

5. Enjoyment Matters; Pantai Kerachut

6. Blue water

For a great selection of places to stay with discount prices visit Penang Hotel for more information

Friday, December 26, 2008

It is a very mini waterfall

It is really a very mini waterfall I do come across. It locates somewhere on my mountain trail. It does not exhibit the greatness of the famous waterfalls around us. But everything, be it huge or tiny, must have its own value. This waterfall is always one of my landmarks along the mountain trek.

I keep waiting for raining day before I can take the picture of this mini waterfall. It "runs out of water" currently. Anyhow, raining day cannot be predicted, although it rained very heavily at the beginning of December. May be I shall only be able to show off its "energy and power" later.

But then, this is only the view on up-stream. Big river originates from small streams.

As it is so small, I do not have the feeling that water is really rushing down. However, it does create some musics, I can listen everytime before I make a turn on my climbing. It is always there waiting for me.

Usually, veterans keep fast pace to finish the trekking. Newcomers on the other way always busy at finding their next breath. I do not know whether anybody has ever stopped over beside this tiny waterfall. If some of the fellow hikers happen to read my write-up, "Oh! I have seen this somewhere. This is the first close-up look I ever have", they might say.

I am glad to contribute my little effort to this.
Though little, everything starts from small.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I heard a tree talking to me

I heard a tree talking to me. It might sound ridiculous, but it was awesome to me.

Last Sunday, I had my mountain trekking alone. Usually, I went together with my wife. There was nothing extraordinary. I followed my routine trekking trail; most climbers still prefer not to use jungle trek, but crowded themselves on the easier tar road. On the other hand, my jungle trek was crowded by all the big and small trees with broad leaves. That formed a continuous canopy and limited the penetration of sunlight.

There was not much adventurous for me to hike this little mountain, unless I was brave enough not to follow the trekking trail. No one would do this as there were cases people got lost inside the jungle. But then, it still depended on how I perceived and explored the surrounding; Tiny as a mushroom or giant as an old tree could always bring wonder, as long as I had the desire and enthusiasm.

I was busy at shooting photo by then, suddenly the giant tree started to talk to me. I first thought I should have asked for permission before snapping the photo. We must respect others before we can gain respect from others.

Actually I did not understand what it said. It sounded like “iak iak iak….” for a few seconds. It never happened before.

Out in the quite and obscure jungle with no other around, without thinking much, I quickly turned around and ran away. Yes, ran away. It was not so good an experience to have heard the tree talking, though I should apologize before I leave. This must be done on my next mountain trekking.

You should know, every tree has its own spirit, this is what Chinese believes. And the spirit gets stronger and more powerful once the tree grows older.
It is also believed that no name should be called in the forest, or else the spirits will imitate and finally lead you to an unknown world in the forest.

I do not know what is Alice’s story. There are more stories from the Wonderland. Alice can even imagine that the tree was actually singing "Jingle Bells" and wishing me "Merry Christmas" in its language.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Little mushroom

I took pictures on mushrooms when I first bought my DSLR. There was no special meaning on why I tested on them. It is simply that those mushrooms belong to the mother nature and I like them.

As I could find, some mushrooms lived without a stalk, fruiting on a log.

Some of the mushrooms just emerged from the soil.

I did not know their name, same as I was a stranger to them.

They were colourful, and they were as beautiful as you.

I could easily find them that morning. They are wet and fresh after a rain-wash overnight.
They were minutes, and they were delicate.

When I went hiking the next week, they were found no more.

That short.....

Friday, December 19, 2008

In Search of Light

MyJourney started when I was driving back home. It was drizzling that late evening.

I did not like to use my wipers at this moment, mainly because of old wipers kept lines of water mark on the windscreen, and I did not like the wiping sound as well. Thirdly, I was almost home.
When I stopped before a traffic light, I made a few fast shots pointing close to my windscreen before the traffic light turned green again.
I want to know how different is the view with my naked eyes and that through a camera.

I observed water bubbles on my windscreen had absorbed the colour of street lights as well as those from surrounding. They had evolved into hundreds eyes of light, stared at me. This was only made noticeable through the interface of a camera.

And then, very soon, I reached my home sweet home. Anyhow, you know, once started, it was difficult to stop.

I continued to snap at the lamps inside my house.

I snapped at the warm white hanging lamps trying to assimilate to my friend Mickey.
Though it was not much a success, the photo of the lamps still exhibited the beauty of geometrical shapes.
But the excitement of the night came later when I turned myself to the cool white incandescent bulb.

And this was what I saw.

A face that hid inside the lampshade.
Was the bulb designer aware of what he had done?
Was he merely as normally as us, lost the eyes of a kid?
Did he intentionally hide the face code for us to explore?
Instead of drawing a face full of unknown, why did he not fill our eye sight with a smiling happy face?

Yes, too many questions are in the air.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Such a wonderful start of a new day

I love the feeling for morning sunlight passing through twigs and leaves, especially when it is misty. I can see traces of sunlight in the shape similar to a cone. It is indeed very appealing.

I always imagine this is the path our protector lands on earth.

That Saturday morning, during my mountain trekking, I thought I have captured a weak rainbow across the sunlight in my photo during preview . It happened to be not true later.

Yet, this was the first time I managed to snap a photo on morning sunlight. And it was well exposed. The reason might be due to the heavy rain at dawn. The resulted heavy mist filtered the sunlight to become softer and gentler.

In addition, I was at the right place and in the right time to witness it.

It was so good to be shined and bathed by this sunlight for the new start of a day.

Such a wonderful day.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

My Neighbourhood, My Kampong

I always ask myself when I have reached home from work, "Anything happened along my way home?" Most of the times I cannot recall. We see but actually we have never seen. The driving and the journey is so routine. The instinct is there to guide us as when to avoid a bump and where to escape from a unattended pit hole.

We have lost the heart and eyes of a little kid.

Why not experiment it with a simple mind on my neighbourhood? I asked myself one evening.

My house is nearby a small village, or a "kampong". It rained earlier and should be around 28 degree C. Such a good weather!

So, rode on my bicycle, ready with my camera, my next journey started.

There are coconut trees everywhere in my country or in my kampong. Coconut will fall down from the tree once it is ripen. But if we want to drink fresh and sweet coconut water, someone has to climb up the tree which is normally 30m tall to pluck the green and young coconut. Not to be surprise if I tell you that monkeys are used in some places. They are trained to have the ability to differentiate between young and old coconut.

If you follow my blog regularly, I have mentioned that I go mountain climbing weekly. And it was only an arm length from me by now. If you cannot figure it out, Alice will tell you to look at the reflection in the water.

I was beside a paddy field which I should have told you. But harvest season was over. We were not able to see the whole paddy field being coloured into golden colour.

But the farmer had left some stalk of paddies for me to show you. I had to thank him when I'll meet him later. He was seen busy at work at the far side. I should not disturb him right now.

Yes, right now, this is the finding from my journey: I shall be able to find wonder in my neighbourhood as long as I do not refuse to see.

If there is high cost for outstation travel, your neighbourhood always welcomes you to explore her beauty, it is simply free of charge.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Pulau Aman, Penang (episode 2)

“Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.”

I believe that we need to explore during traveling, not only touch-and-go, in order to have a deep feeling about the place. To be a traveler, we need to be a littke kid, or we will end up as a tourist.

“The traveler sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he has come to see.”

My journey continued.

I saw pineapples that did not grow on ground, but on top of tall trees. Amazing and, again, amazing. Of course, they are not pineapples. Through conversation with the local elder,

I knew that these are “Pokok Mengkuang” (Mengkuang tree).
The word “Mengkuang” has long ago come into my mind, just blankly. It even appeared in my recent post “Mengkuang Dam”, but I had never bother to find out the real thing behind.
The Mengkuang leaves are first cut in long strips and dried in the sun. Once dried, it is boiled and dyed with vegetable colours for weaving into mats, baskets, and food containers.

There was a boarding platform at the end of the jetty. By taking a few more footsteps, it allowed me to have a different view on the jetty. The Principle of wandering around always brings wonder.

There were baby jelly fish struggling against the wave at the seaside. Some were found dead......

I saw some people carried bags of clam back from seaside. After understanding from them, I tried to go to the site where they dug these clams. Luck was not by my side this time, nobody was there. I were not disappointed.
Experience on not always getting something is actually another learning experience.

But finally, I had not went to Pulau Aman.
I had spent too much time seeing what I can see over here.
Its beauty is still not yet disclosed to me.
I promised, I shall be the one to be aboard on the ferry next time. I shall bring back tonnes of beautiful pictures and sharing, solely for you.

By the way, I was first at point B to decide on my next journey that day. And finally I followed the direction of arrow to reach the seaside and the jetty.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Pulau Aman, Penang (episode 1)

One day, out of curiosity, I chose to follow my instinct to head to a place that was new to me.
Remember? I have promised you to explore everything which is within my interest.

By that time, my car stopped at a traffic island. There was no traffic in this remote area.
It was Sunday morning. I was out of factory time zone.
Most important, my petrol tank was full.

Then, let’s start my journey.

The winding road cut across the swamp areas and it crossed a river. I had to make a left-turn before a dead end. Feeling a little bit fishy, I followed the road to go uphill, not too far up and I started to descend, by then, I realised that if it was not a Wonderland, it must be a place worth going.

First Penang Bridge and fishing village

Actually I had arrived at a jetty. Pulau Aman (Aman Island) is on the other side of the straits of Melaka.

Pulau Aman in the background

Arrival hall from different angles

I got to know the entrance to future second Penang Bridge is somewhere nearby from the local people.
By the way, this is a good place for family affair, I mean, you can picnic, swim, do fishing or just wander around.

seaside, white sand, coconut trees, fishing boat

Otherwise, you can choose to do nothing. Just sit down and tune your eye balls to the sea, to your left, right or to your back. Try to appreciate the surrounding with different perspectives.

As for me, I spent my whole afternoon snapping pictures. The return of a boat which took people to off shore fishing or the departure of the boat which carried passengers to Pulau Aman created chances for me to practise my photography skill.

And all these chances came in abundance, as long as they were at the right place and in the right time.

I enjoyed. Hopefully you are as well.