Saturday, December 10, 2016

Tanah Aina: Farrah Soraya

Tanah Aina Farrah Soraya

After such long hiccup, with so many bad things happened in 2016, I guess I should continue this good habit of documenting my travel and experience, so that I can look back in future easily.

Do you even call it a retreat if it's not somewhere without cellphone coverage? Maybe others call it the digital detox. After some conflicting GPS coordinates given by different apps, we finally found the premise! We parked our car at the Tanah Aina's designated car park, and a pick-up truck appeared and ready to get us all on-board, for a 5 minutes bumpy hilly ride into the Tanah Aina Farrah Soraya.

Inside pickup truck

The same old group of friends:

BFFs

Good thing about this place is, they serve vegetable and herbs made from the produces planted inside the premise! I got to learn about what's Ulam Raja (also the name of the suite we stayed in) which was served every meal there. Best thing is, the dining place is right beside the river!

The Leap of Faith swimming hole is only a short hike from our base, but the 15 minutes journey is full of fun: trekking across river in waist deep water, climbing up and down the hills with the wet boots, and then finally, a swim towards the Leap of faith with water as deep as 6 feet. Of course, during the hike, we totally trusted the little "waterproof" sports bag that is supposed to protect things inside from the water. Too bad, we got two phones damaged by water without knowing that there was a leak in the bottom of the bag.

Lesson learnt: never bring phones and cameras without waterproof.

Friends with vests

Getting familiar with Yintse's new toy, the shiny GoPro Hero 5 Black.

Super wide GoPro

And sometimes it's fun to take video, especially the super-wide kinda angle:

Only moving pics can show how awesome here

Time to practice some Dolphin pose, on a slab of stone in the middle of the stream!

Having fun as Dolphin

Night falls. We felt like it was raining for the whole night outside but it was actually the river. So soothing.

Flowing Water

And soon the dawn.

Dawn

I am very happy with my experience here. Definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a place to chill and relax with a group of friends and family!

Friday, December 2, 2016

New Zealand: South Island's landscape in our wedding pictures

At the Eglinton Valley

We did it, capturing the beauties of South Island landscapes into the photos of us that are to last forever.

Though many of the photos are not exactly well done, but I am happy enough with the outcome.

Eglinton Valley:
Kiss at Eglinton Valley

Queenstown Hill:
Queenstown Hill

Wanaka:
Wanaka is beautiful

Tekapo Lake:
By the lake

By the Church of the Good Shepherd

Starry Sky

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Shooting our own Pre-Wedding: First Take

Although the DIY photoshoot is far from perfect, we enjoyed doing it and got excited and surprised at the outcome of some. The sense of achievement is not something that is easily obtained from engaging professional photographer or paying someone else to do it.

We have a lot to learn from our first. From the hair, make-up, preparation, style matching, postures, lighting to getting help from friends and family. This was when I felt that my family all came together to make this possible, tolerating my eccentricity and temper.

The favourite spot of mine near grandparents' house, the Permaisuri bridge, is of course in my list of locations. The good thing is, it is just 5 minutes' drive away.

Love the Natural Curls

Breaking the ice was not easy, we had tough time posing with each other.

Permaisuri

Fresh Take

From the Heart

In the end, we were not satisfied with most of the pictures at the bridge, especially couple photos. We drove back feeling a bit fed up but decided we should try more, at the comfort of the house!

The Flower

The Reflection

The end result is kinda surprising, with this photo shot inside the living room of my grandparents' house, with my grandparents, mum and dad watching, while my aunt helped to press the shutter.

Engulfed

Second take of the day with the same dress and same suit, was in the evening of the same day. This time my sis and her boyfriend joined us and contributed to the style and poses. The flowers, freshly plucked from my grandma's little patch of decorative garden, also lift up the whole mood of the photos.

With our homegrown flowers

At the end of the day, I think this might be our favourite photo of DIY first take:

Kampung House

We would continue to shoot, and have more and more choices.

Monday, January 26, 2015

First Taste of Nepal

Dhampur Village

Our most favourite mountain lodge of the trek in Dharmpus village, where we spent our last day of 5 nights trek, relaxing here with a view of Annapurna.

I ventured into the trails of Nepal, cutting ourselves off from the world outside, and I am still loving it and missing it now, although I did the tourist track of Poon Hill. The trails that we passed by were so surreal and peaceful even though they are heavily trekked.

Talk about the touristy Poon Hill. The view from Poon Hill towards the Annarpurna mountain range:

The Annapurna

There was even a night without any electricity and light in Landruk. We stayed inside the homestay's dining lounge, with candles and other foreigner friends. We did not complain, even appreciated a night like this.

Annapurna South

We thought that Pokhara is already amazing, with all the good food before we started the trek. We came during the Deepavali festival week, and our first day in Pokhara was the day of Human. Dogs were decorated, some with a red dot on their forehead, the local Nepali danced everywhere inside the town, with Hindi music blaring in the background as they danced. The whole town had become so alive!

The iconic Lake Phewa of Pokhara, did not disappoint us at all when we toured around the lake with bicycles.

Lake Phewa, boating

Lake Phewa, herding

I will definitely do more write-ups on this Nepal trip, and there will be a second time visiting Nepal for sure!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Revisiting Angkor

Faces of Bayon

This is not my first time traveling to Cambodia. The memory of Angkor Wat from the first visit 4 years ago though, was fading away slowly.

For this time, as with the last trip to Japan, I went there again because I followed YN to the conference, only this time I was not on my own to explore the Angkor but with my 3 other friends.

How could I forget the Bayon temple, with the faces of Avalokitesvara looming all over the towers? Being the center of Angkor Thom, it doesn't disappoint me that it was once the capital city of Khmer empire.

Bayon, before we left

Bayon evening

Mr Vonny and Me

The jungle temples: Preah Khan and Ta Prohm. I would have thought that Ta Prohm would be more impressive because of the fame it gained from Tomb Raider's movie, but Preah Khan, or the Sacred Sword proved that they are equally impressive.

Preah Khan:

Preah Khan

Mr Vonny and a Tourist girl

One of Preah Khan's trees

Ta Prohm:

Ta Prohm

Ta Prohm

Ta Prohm

In my previous visit to Angkor Wat, I missed Beng Mealea, and did not even know about its existence. This time, it became my must-go. Together with Me Chrei, both out of the way from the main temple complex but definitely worth visiting.

Beng Mealea

Beng Mealea and me

Me Chrei, slightly off the main road not far from Beng Mealea.

Me Chrei

Me Chrei

Inside Me Chrei


I hate crowd. Other than Me Chrei, Tanei temple inside the Angkor archaeological complex that Mr Vonny introduced us to is so quiet and isolated. And I love that.

Tanei

The Silver Tree

I actually made a photobook to document these 5 days short break. Nepal's trip? Next to go!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Children of Mabul

Mabul island has a lot of children. A lot of them. Also, cats. In the village, the children, and grown-ups, roam around the village like time has stopped there since many years ago. The village and its rustic charm.

Right outside our homestay, a Mabul boy swam to us with his prizes from the sea and showed me to ask if we would be interested to buy some. Although we just smiled and told him that we were not buying, he politely thanked us and swam away.

Mabul Kid

Children in the village seems to love patronising this little shop that sell snacks. Even after the sky turned dark and no more snacks available to buy, some children still loitered at this little blue shop.

Choosing treats

Shopping boy

Friends

The children are lovely, they are not really camera-shy, and in fact they are not a bit evasive as me to the camera lens at all.

Little Girl of Mabul

Lovely children

As these three girls are just outside our homestay, I got to see them one more time on the last day before we left.

Sweet local girl

Looking at the scene below, it hits the nostalgic part of me. I miss seeing babies being cradled. I guess they no longer do this nowadays in our town. Cats, people, taking afternoon nap in the hot days.

Cradling in early afternoon

Cats, everywhere on the island

It's like smiles everywhere. Sometimes when you are not exposed to too much, you retain the purity and kindness. Also, feel contented easily.

Toddlers

Grocery Shop Toddler

Portrait of a Mabul Family

Interesting sighting. The children are actually gathering to watch a movie together.

TV gathering

Only in Mabul.

Houses on sea

It's a big world