My petite Panasonic GM-1 is dwarfed by a giant leaf in an isolated and remote rain forest trail. I was on my way to the unknown Sungai Sendat Waterfalls located in the Batang Kali Forest Reserve. In the land of giant leaves and trees, the Lilliputian GM-1 camera belies its sophistication.
It is a very capable m43 mirrorless system camera. Serving as my backup and secondary camera.
My love and fascination for giant jungle leaves started when I was a kid spending my school holidays up in Cameron Highlands. My uncle worked at the power station there and he would stop his car for me to marvel at giant fallen leaves strewn by the roadside. For a young boy, everything was gigantic in Cameron Highlands, from giant trees, giant leaves, massive waterfalls, very wide Rajah Brooke birdwing butterflies to enormous rhinoceros beetles.
Penang Peranakan Mansion museum director and author, Lillian Tong, is seen here using a giant leaf as umbrella or shade. Picture copyright Lilian Tong and used with her permission. I will feature some of her dressed up pics in future.
The gorgeous Peranakan (nyonya) culture expert from Penang is normally prim and proper in stunning kebayas. You can read more of her expertise at her Naughty Nyonya blog http://naughtynyonya.blogspot.my/ She was in a jungle trek in Teluk Bahang near Batu Ferringhi and Monkey Beach of the Penang National Park. She went for “jungle bathing” – a new hipster fad or trend, I think.
The giant leaves are disappearing like old culture and is getting harder to see with the depletion of primary jungles.
Love for the environment and nature ought to be inculcated from young.
Happy Earth Day.
See over 132 hotels in Cameron Highlands here. In Ringlet, Brinchang and Tanah Rata. Availability may depend on your booking dates.
#earthday #jungle #rainforest #nyonya #penang #selangor #pahang #cameronhighlands
Met a Chinese family swimming in the river and they asked me where I am from. I told them KL and they asked: “How on earth did you manage to find this place?”. They said even though they are locals, they got lost getting here the second time around.
Since it is a weekday, the place is almost deserted. I was told on crowded weekends, it is also visited by locals mostly. Nice that the locals have their own secret and very remote hideout for recreation and picnics. Maybe not (so secret) anymore.
I went to look for the hot springs on another side. It is channeled into a pool and inside was sweet Sheela with the coy smile, and splashing hot water Kollywood-style. She’s also a local and works in an office in Batang Kali.
Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f11, 1/400 sec.
I was told there is a nice waterfall and hot springs in the jungles of Kerling. There is a sign by the main road but it turned out to be quite a long road in. The drive started parallel to a railway track, twisted through rustic villages and ended up alongside rolling hills.
With such picturesque scenery, is easy to miss a follow-through sign, if there was one in the first place. At certain crossroad, road split or T-junction you are on your own.
You can either make a wild guess or an educated guess. At one sign-less junction, I stopped by the roadside and waited a bit. Sure enough, two helmet-less village girls on a motorcycle came flying out. They were speed-drying their wet hair in the wind. By following the road they rocketed out from, it should take me to a swimming area.
The deeper I went, the narrower and lonelier the road became. I think most people driving alone would have turned back. Somewhere along the way, I saw a rusty bridge over a river. Was quite wobbly to walk on but its appearance against the sunny landscape today made the stopover worthwhile.
Panasonic GM-1, ISO 200, f10, 1/400 sec.
This is one of my favourite pics and was captured during a previous trip. Autumn at the Sungai Liam Waterfalls in Ulu Yam.
The lonely spot is only about 15 to 20 minutes from Federal Route 1 via Ulu Yam Bharu. It is literally the backyard of Klang Valley.
Olympus OM-D, ISO 125, f5, 1/200 sec.
Under clear blue skies, flowering blady grass patches appear like stalks from golden wheat fields. I was waylaid by charming Serendah for a few wonderful days. Happy to encounter new places, good food, four-legged friends and hospitable locals there.
From waterfalls to lakes to the rural landscape; Serendah bristle with natural beauty. It is such an under-promoted and unsung eco-tourism destination.
At the rate I am going, I don’t know when I will even reach the Perak border. But that’s alright. The little detours and surprise finds will make this photo essay even more interesting. Thank you and goodbye Serendah.
Next Stop: Ulu Yam.
Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f5.6, 1/640 sec.