Thursday, July 29, 2010

Lata Berkoh of National Park - Beautiful Tropical Nature Place

Lata Berkoh, Taman Negara
Lata Berkoh

Kuala Tahan at Dusk (IR)
Kuala Tahan at Dusk (IR)

Early this year, under the umbrella, we went for a short trip 2D1N to Lata Berkoh at National Park, Jerantut, Pahang. The trip intenary include canopy walk.. boating... bbq... short trekking to Lata Berkoh and swimming at the kelah sanctuary..

Natives of Kuala Tahan, Kuala Tahan
The main transport along the river is by boat. In this picture is Orang Asli (aborigines) with their boat.

Syok sendiri versi Taman NegaraOn our first day, we went for the canopy walk. To reach the canopy walk starting point you need to follow the wood stairs for several hundred metres (total elevation is around 50m). A good cardiac exercise :D. I took the opportunity to shoot macro photo along the way. If i remember correctly, at that time i havent shoot macro for almost 7 month already. Macro shooting need a steady hand which you can get after you keep shooting macro. During evening, most of us went for photohunting around Kuala Tahan and shooting either nature subject or landscape scenery with houseboat.. boat.. river.. etc.
Spider (wolf?) @ 5:1 (FF) magnification  closed up, Kuala Tahan
Probabily a wolf spider at 5:1 magnification

Lynx spider, Lata Berkoh
Lynx spider

BBQ, Kuala Tahan
At night, we had a big BBG feast. The grilled squid is simply delicious.

On the 2nd day we went to Lata Berkoh and a kelah sanctuary nearby.

Trees under the hot sun, Lata Berkoh
Some tree along the way towards Lata Berkoh taken from the boat

Trees (IR), Lata Berkoh
Some of the trees picture taken along the way (IR)

Lata Berkoh is one of the beautiful but very accessible waterfall in National Park. You just need ride a boat for about 45 minutes followed by 20 minutes of jungle trekking to reach the waterfall. Along the way through Sungai Tahan, you can see many huge leaning Neram trees forming an archway over the water which is simply wonderful.

Burung Pucong, Lata Berkoh
Small black heron

Kingfisher, Lata Berkoh

During the journey, the group in front of us managed to capture a photo of Kijang by the riverside. Our boat only manage to shoot few kingfisher along the way.

Kingmarul (IR), Lata Berkoh
After reaching the final boat point, we need to trek a bit to the waterfall. The jungle trekking is very easy and not demanding at all . You will walk through walking path along the river bank until you reach the cascade. There is a small area with toilet and facility in between if you want to take a break for a while. Half of the group (our group) keep stopping for picture taking session during the 20 minutes walk to the Lata Berkoh.. so instead of 20 minutes.. it became 30 minutes ++ due to numerous stop by us..hehhehe.. those already in front surely miss all the ke'poyo'an moment.. hehehhe... The destination, Lata Berkoh is more like a big and large river cascade instead of waterfall.

Roots, Lata Berkoh
A beautiful leading line of tree roots

After spending around an hour at Lata Berkoh, we went for swimming treat with the malaysian mahseer (kelah). Here you can swim together and feed large size of kelah. You can also observed that some of the big kelah fish has some large scar at their body. Our guide told that it is because of the eagles that try to catch the fish but failed halfway.
Astro Satellite Dish @ Kuala Tahan
The astro satellite belong to the boat restaurant. Because the house boat keep moving , they need to put the astro dish inland.

After that we went back to our chalet, check out and went to our place. Hope to revisit other part of Taman Negara someday.

Old House (IR) at dusk, Kuala Tahan
Old abandoned house at dusk, Kuala Tahan (IR)

Dedaunan (IR)
Leaves (IR)

Swallow, Kuala Tahan
Swallow.. taken from the boat restaurant

Nature (IR), Lata Berkoh
Nature (IR)

Floating house (IR), Kuala Tahan
Floating house (IR)

Perahu (IR), Kuala Tahan
Boat (IR)

Kuala Tahan (IR) , Taman Negara, Pahang Darul Makmur
Kuala Tahan (IR)

Sampan (IR), Kuala Tahan
Boat (IR)

Speed Boat @ Kuala Tahan (IR)
Boat panning

A more detailed itenary wrote by Dr Jamal (in malay)

Day 1 (Saturday)
9:15AM - Dr Jamal, Ali & Andy sampai di Jerantut
10:30AM - Rombongan KL sampai - Abah & family, Emran, Hakeim, Kingmarul, Azli, Firdaus & Zilzal
10:45AM - Khaidir & family sampai
11:00AM - Kami terus memandu ke Kuala Tahan
12:00PM - Sampai ke Aki's Chalet (owner baru Ekoton)
12:45PM - Menaiki 2 bot besar ke Pejabat Perhilitan utk ambil permit.
1:30PM - Sampai di Canopy Walkway (perjalanan ke entrance canopy lebih sukar dari canopy walkway itu sendiri wakakakaa.....50m aje vertical)
2:30PM - Ramai yg sudah selesai menyeberangi 330m canopy walkway...and layan makro sambil turun
3:15PM - Menaiki bot balik ke Kuala Tahan - layan makan tengahari....& then free & easy
4:00PM - Waja & Mat Saiko sampai.
5:00PM - Ada yg shoot makro, skodeng awek orang putih & burung
7:30PM - Nyalakan api utk BBQ
8:00PM - Gotong royong membakar BBQ - melantak sampai tak larat telan
10:00PM - Ada yg layan star trail - tak tengok pulak hasil nya, ada yg borak2

Day 2 (Sunday)
7:00AM - Jemaah taam yg diketuai oleh Azli telah memanaskan nasi goreng & ayam bakar lebihan semalam punya BBQ.....semua layan.
7:15AM - Turun ke restoran sebab nak minum. Makan tadi takde air :D tapi ada yg mengelat....order roti canai pulak walauoun dah makan nasi goreng.
8:15AM - Bertolak ke Lata Berkoh - ada yg dapat shoot rusa & kingfisher - saya dapat shoot Kingmarul aje....hampeh tul.
9:00AM - Sampai ke entrance Lata Berkoh - start trekking sejauh 700m - santai jer
10:00AM - Layan 'slow shutter'.....f18, 1/250s....takyah tripod pun takpe....ish....
11:00AM - slow2 jalan balik ke bot sampai layan makro.
12:00PM - saya, Hakeim, Azli & Abah sampai dulu....& terus naik bot ke Kelah Sanctuary
12:10PM - lain2 sampai...& memulakan acara mandi bersama kelah.... tunggu hasil video Hakeim, OP kita :D
1:00PM - Balik ke Kuala Tahan - layan patin.....ada yg layan nasi goreng pattaya.....& then balik ke hotel.
2:00PM - Mandi....tidur sekejap & check out.

Going Home..
Going home

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Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory Mosque - A Majestic Architecture

Masjid Wilayah Persekutuan (Fisheye effect)

Malaysia Federal Mosque.. I always admire the mosque architecture and design.. Located nearby my house (i can actually see the mosque from my condominium unit), the design is inspired by the Blue Mosque at Istanbul, Turkey. Build started at 1997 and completed at the end of year 2000. It is surrounded by Goverment offices, Court Complex, Matrade building and few new commercial area. It can accomodate up to 17000 prayer at the same time.

Masjid Wilayah 0001I started to take the mosque picture since 2008. I remember during my first night photography of this location after terawikh in Ramadhan 2008, i was questioned by a mosque official whether i had applied for any permission to take photo of this mosque. He keep requesting whether i had any permission letter. I was very puzzled by the way the young mosque officer acted. Maybe he prefer photographer to take pictures at Lorong Haji Taib or semi nude people at any beach instead of taking a beautiful mosque photo which can be part of small syiar. The mosque officer questioned me like i'ved commit some sort of crime taking the night photo of the mosque 'without permission'. Since when i need permission to take an outside photo of Rumah Allah. Even the strict Arab Saudi allow anyone to take a picture of Masjidil Haram or Masjid Nabawi from outside. And at that time i was taking photo from far outside of the mosque.. not from inside which i can understand if they didnt allow it. To avoid any untoward incident i just complied (albeit unwillingly) and went home. The incident repeat itself few weeks later when few friend from Pahang came to KL and while we took the night photo of the mosque the security guard keep harrassing us asking us to stop taking picture of the mosque. What a joke.

Masjid Wilayah 0005

Since then whenever i want to take photo of this mosque i will ensure i wont attract any attention from the mosque security/officer.. so first rule, i wont bring a tripod..

Last week during Friday prayer i bring a visible IR camera to the mosque and thank god the sky was beautiful on that day. Here are some of the picture (some picture still not yet uploaded.. will update this page when i upload the picture at my flickr)

Kuala Lumpur Federal Mosque
Beautiful mosque framed with the tree leaves

Silhouette of pious muslim entering prayer hall
Silhouette of male muslim entering the prayer hall

Masjid Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
My feet is burning like crazy when i want to take this picture as the marble is damn hot

Kuala Lumpur Federal Mosque Minaret (Menara Masjid Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur)
The mosque minared frame by the one of the door

View from Mosque balcony
View from mosque balcony

Side front view
Front side view of the mosque

Masjid Wilayah Persekutuan
the mosque dome & minaret

Pano Dataran Masjid Wilayah Persekutuan
the central square area

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Putrajaya Lake @ Precint 6 - From marinas to boating and the lakeshore landscapes

From 9th July till 11th July 2010 i went to Putrajaya Lake at Precint 6. The reason is to capture the Putrajaya Sailing Week competition which feature sailing boat. Previously I didnt know that there is a complete and modern marina facilities available at Putrajaya Lake which include a great grand stand facing the lake. The hotel by the lakeside (Pullman Putrajaya Lakeside Hotel) complement the world class facility. I would credit such gigantic achievement to the visionary Tun Mahathir, who without his guidance i dont think this would be a reality. At the sametime i also ponder whether Malaysian is ready to utilize such facilities. Kuala Kedah Yacht Marina is a fine example of a failed marina which became another joke for the local community. However another new marina Avillion Admiral Cove Marina at Port Dickson seem to be doing fine. I'm hoping to visit another marina at Puteri Harbour, Nusajaya, Johor Darul Takzim.

Therefore to avoid this location became another white elephant they simply must promote the place especially by organizing several event in a year. Event such as this regatta would help them to achieve that (other event include dragon boat, watersport, waterski, etc). This regatta is organized by Kelab Tasik Putrajaya with Putrajaya Corporation under the auspices of the Malaysian Yachting Association (MYA). This is the 3rd year they run this event.

The scenery around the Putrajaya Lake is beautiful complemented with modern buildings & facilities. So this entry would include the landscape around the lake and also some picture from the sailing competition. Hope you'll like it... Enjoy..

Putrajaya Lake marina bay
Scenery taken few hours before the race start

Putrajaya Lake
The Marina Bay taken from near the stand

Pullman Putrajaya Lakeside Hotel
The Pullman Putrajaya Lakeside Hotel, seem to be a five star hotel, its lemon tea juice cost us RM15.. :D

Panorama of Putrajaya Lake
Taken from a spot where i shoot the boat (2nd day)

Jetty at Putrajaya Lake
The jetty

Jetty @ Putrajaya Lake
Another jetty

Grandstand at Putrajaya Lake
The big grand stand facing the lake.. currently it is empty as this picture is taken few hours before the first race start. However this grand stand remain empty afterward... perhaps the authority need to promote this event harder.. i was told the dragon boat competition manage to attract bigger number of visitors... pity the trader

Boat launching to the lake for the Putrajaya Sailing Week opening race
Boat launching to the lake for the Putrajaya Sailing Week opening race

Putrajaya Sailing Week
The boat started to sail toward starting position

Putrajaya Sailing Week - SoloPutrajaya Sailing Week - SoloPutrajaya Sailing Week - Solo
Solo.. Duo.. Trio

Putrajaya Sailing Week
Picture with some 'sob' story behind it.. :)

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ulu Kemapan, Endau-Rompin - Its Kelah trip!

Ulu Kemapan

In mid July 2010, a total of 33 comrades (19 from, 4 guide, 2 porter the rest is kaki pancing (angler) from various forum). This is the biggest outing i ever organized under umbrella (the rest if  much more smaller scale outing such as the Bukit Tabur outing or Broga under JJCF)

Panorama - Jeram sebelum Air Terjun Kemapan
Panorama of Ulu Kemapan stream, halfway toward Air Terjun Kemapan

The idea to Ulu Kemapan pop up during Buaya Sangkut expedition (you can read the blog entry here). During Buaya Sangkut expedition, we were enthralled to see various sizes of kelah fish. But since we were in a kelah sanctuary, we were not allowed to do any kind of fishing there. During the trip, we were told by Pahat, dRali & abg naim (our Ulu Kemapan guide) about Ulu Kemapan where they said the trail is a bit easier than the whole Buaya Sangkut trail and we were allowed to catch Kelah fish there. Well...yes , it is a bit easier compared to Buaya Sangkut trail but the trekking duration is much longer as we need to trek for a total of 12.9km for about 7 hours (including rest).

Air Terjun Genat, (enroute to Ulu Kemapan ), Endau-Rompin
Air Terjun Genat

So from there we started to plan properly to go to Ulu Kemapan and finally total of 19 comrades from join this expedition. Few close angler friend and friend of friend of abg naim and his circle also join this expedition up to a total of 31 people. Add with another two porter the total is 33 people.

Jeram Sungai Kemapan

Initially we were scheduled to start trekking at 12:00am, but due to several circumstances we were only manage to start trek after subuh prayer. It is a blessing in disguise and the initial trail is very confusing even to seasoned guide as some large part of the trek has been disturbed by elephants. One main reason why we start late is one of our car from KL been sabotaged where the radiator lower hose has been cut (most probabily during our stop at R&R Seremban as the car were park a bit far from the cafetaria). After a 'mechanic' (which we suspect were part of the syndicate that sabotage the car)  replace the hose for a RM125 (normally the hose should cost only around RM30 only), the car owner sent the car to a friend house in Senawang and we manage to continue our journey by polling with another few car which coincidently and luckily not far from behind us (friends of abg naim-abg din). Thank god finally everyone manage to continue to the destination safely.

Air Terjun Ulu Kemapan
Air Terjun Kemapan

In term of photography opportunity, there is a lot beautiful river stream after Bukit Taubat but most probabily when you reach there during the trekking you're already damn tired and has no appetite for any kind of photography and your only wish is to arrive to the camp site ASAP. There is two waterfall, one is Genat Waterfall which is exactly before the start of Bukit Taubat and another waterfall is Ulu Kemapan Waterfall which is around an hour from the camp site. There is another interesting place which is called Akuarium but most of us didnt manage to go there as it is about 2.5 hour from our camp site.

Kelah Ulu Kemapan, Endau-Rompin
The main reason for most of the comrades joining this trip is the attraction of Kelah fish. And we were not dissappointed as abg naim with his crew and other angler manage to land about five large kelah fish on the 2nd day.

For some of us (including me) it is the first time we tasted kelah and the experience was amazing. Another interesting fact is even the scales of kelah fish is consumable and it tasted great!


About the trek, from the resort to sungai sekinchin (which take approximately 45-60 minutes), there is a lot of elephant trek (and their pooh!) and some part of the trek is very muddy. At one point even the guide became a bit confused when a large portion of the area is disturbed by the elephant group. Imagine fallen tree is everywhere and there is no visible human trek. Only elephant trek is available and its not going to the same destination as ours. But their experience is indispensible and after few minutes scouting the hectic area we on the right path again.

Bukit Taubat is relatively easy for most of us as it is not that high (highest point is around 220m only) and its not that steep going upward (majority of us has some mountain climbing experience) - but for first timer they definitely suffer, so never underestimate. If compared with Buaya Sangkut the trekking i believe only about 65% of the difficulty even though Ulu Kemapan is much longer. A friend of mine even quipped that 'tak sempat bertaubat dah sampai bawah bukit'.

Kelah Ulu Kemapan
In term of guide, abg naim and his crew is simply fantastic. Not only he & the crew setup the big tent for us, he also cook and even went fishing with large catch. His cook is simply fantastic and delicious even with scarce resources. If you ever think you want to go here, abg naim & his crew will surely enhance your experience. His rate is only RM200/head (inclusive of entry permit, parking fee, basic large tent with ground sheet,trekking guide and cooking - raw material not included)for 3D2N - minimum is 10 people.

In the following widget you can watch and study our trail recorded and uploaded by Dr Jamal. If not mistaken the trail is as follow

Resort --> Taman Herba --> Sungai Sekincin --> Kem 100 Plus --> Kem Bygon --> Genat --> Bukit Taubat --> Ulu Kemapan Camp Site .. total 7 hours including rest.



Everytrail - Ulu Kemapan 2010

We plan to make Ulu Kemapan an annual trip. We also plan to go to another location within the same area known as Batu Dinding which is heaven for angler. Most probabily in Jan 2011. Lets see whether there is any photographer opportunity there. And now i think i want to buy my own fishing rod.. hahahhahaha.. :P

Our Ulu Kemapan itenary (written originally by Dr Jamal..  in malay)
D1 - Jumaat
11:30PM - Jemaah Kuantan sampai ke Kuala Rompin - 2 kereta, 6 orang, belasah makan lewat malam
D2 - Sabtu
12:30AM - Jemaah Kuantan dimaklumkan Jemaah KL ada masalah - so Jemaah Kuantan iktiqaf kat masjid
1:30AM - Amir Sab Taam (Abg Naim) sampai dgn konco2 nya - buat bising kat masjid
4:30AM - Gerak ke 7-Eleven sebab Jemaah KL dah sampai
5:30AM - Lepas pack barang, gerak masuk Taman Negeri
6:00AM - Solat Subuh
6:30AM - Gerak masuk hutan
7:30AM - Sampai ke Pit Stop pertama (Sg Sekinchin)
11:30PM - Sampai ke Air Terjun Genat - first pseudo-lunch
1:30PM - Sampai ke campsite
4:30PM - First official lunch
5:00PM - Lepak & tidur
6:00PM - Mandi manda
8:00PM - Dinner

D3 - Ahad
7:00AM - Slow shutter sekitar campsite
9:00AM - Bertolak ke waterfall
11:00AM - Sampai di waterfall (tak semua sampai awal - ada yg melencong - ni jemaah yg dipimpin oleh dR Ali)
12:00PM - Lunch dalam hujan
2:00PM - Balik ke campsite
3:00PM - Kebulur kat campsite, mandi dalam hujan
4:00PM - Pasukan pemancing & memerang bawa kelah balik - Sesi fotografi bermula
9:00PM - Dinner kelah
10:00PM - Sesi foto & videografi (saya dah tidur)

D4 - Isnin
7:00AM - Ada yg layan slow shutter dgn fesyen beragam
9:00AM - Breakfast
10:30AM - Bergerak balik
3:30PM - First team (diketuai oleh Jusoh) tiba di Taman Negeri
5:00PM - Last team sampai (diketuai oleh Abu)
6:00PM - Bergerak ke kedai makan
8:00PM - Bergerak pulang ke destinasi masing2

Group photo before heading home. Taken by our porter using Dr Jamal's camera.

Another comrade (Dr Jamal) wrote about Ulu Kemapan here

Some tips for trekking
1- trek light.. if you are a photographer then bring minimum body/lenses.. because of photography equipment i normally bring around 19-22kg but this kind of weight would make your body suffer and prone to injury.. less than 15kg is ideal.. PNS with interchangeable lens (such as sony nex3/olympus pen/panasonic GF-1) might be a good alternative to your 10kg photography equipment.. if you are not sure then hire a porter for RM100/day to bring your load.
2- trekking pole might help when trekking up/trekking down a moderate hill
3- use a good shoe with stat.. the adidas kampung (only around RM6-RM8) with stat is the best option.. no sport shoes as you will need to cross 18 river and by then your sport shoes will add another 1kg to your feet load..
4- you might need to buy or sew your own leech sock if u cant stand the leeches.. BTW leech is fren... hahahha
5- Never trek alone as you might went to the wrong path alone!

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