Sunday, January 03, 2010

Project Pangkor Island: Part 1


It was the New Year 2010, that the young, crazy, nearly insane engineers who worked their asses off for a their "beloved" company and they decided after all the sweat and blood sacrificed, they do deserve some vacation, and a gateway. We formed our own group, called IJUCOM, which was an un-official organization that binds the young engineers together, making really cool activities and outings happening, exclusively for junior engineers only. The latest IJUCOM project was Project Pangkor Island, which took place over the New Years Day 2010. Pulau Pangkor is one of many islands in Malaysia, and relatively the costs of travel and expenditure there are a lot less in comparison with other more prominent islands, such as Langkawi and Redang. Less cost, means perfect spot for us, underpaid, under-acknowledged, often overlooked, and obviously overworked engineers.

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Ushering the prosperous new year, a group of nine equally wacky engineers drove our cars all the way from KL to Lumut. We started our journey at an ungodly 3am in the morning of 1st January 2010, aiming to reach the island as early as possible, to maximize our time there. This was after all a very much needed rest and time away from hectic KL, and not surprisingly we wanted to get out from the giant city as soon as we could. Arriving Lumut just as the sun rose, we bought our ferry tickets, parked and secured our cars, and headed off for some light breakfast. I have not taken a ferry for quite a long time, and thank goodness my previous sea sickness was no longer haunting me. To be honest I am a land person, and I somehow do not belong to the water world.

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Photo Note: We were greeted by a fishing village as we arrived at the Jetty at Pangkor Island end. It was quite interesting for me because I have not seen a fishing village before. Thankfully I brought along my tele-zoom lens, which I utilized to zoom in as close as I could to the boats and platforms, isolating them from the surrounding water and unwanted messy backgrounds. I have come to realized that tele-zoom lens is quite important in most shooting conditions, despite strong disagreement from my peers.

Along the ferry ride, I was standing on the outer deck, overlooking the ocean. As we were approaching the Island, I saw a really appealing fishing village welcoming us. It was a sight I have not seen before, and I was wishing for a chance, just a chance to walk around the place and have a look-see. Photographing it through the ferry did produce an overall look and feel of how the village was like, at least from far. I was yearning to get close, and scrutinize the details. The chance did come to me much later into the trip, which I shall blog in the coming entries. The view of the fishing village was rather fresh, and for some reasons the platforms standing over the water, the boats, the equipments lying around, and the housing or sheds nearby all combined into one photo have me a very inviting feeling. Or probably I was just imagining things.

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Our main transport mode was a van, Perodua Rusa, fitting 9 of us one go.

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Oh Glorious beach. This stretch was nearby to our accommodation, but not exactly the best stretch around. However the convenience was immeasurable, hence we flocked here first.


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And the camwhoring began.

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The guys: Me, Midi, Nathan and Syazwan

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The girls: Ainaa, Diana, Hayati, Azlina and Arifah.

Arriving on the island, our main means of transport was via a rented van, which could easily fit all nine of us. The van we had was Rusa, which was kind of terrible in condition. The entire Pangkor Island was hilly, and climbing those steep slopes with the ageing Rusa was no easy task. Nothing overly dramatic happened, and it was also fortunate that all the places we planned to visit were not really that far off from our accomodation. After settling our stuff in the place we rented, the first thing we attacked was none other than the nearby beach !! It was just less than 5 minutes walk away, and you could smell the ocean air and hear the waves crashing onto the shore. It was quite a joy for me to be there at a beach again, since the last time I truly visited a beach (Port Dickon is not a beach according to my classification) was the last moments in Perth, almost 2 years ago. Time flies, does it not?

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Some of the items I found lying around the beach.

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There were many local kids running around the beach, living out their care-free lives, as if untouched by the poisons of moderizations. They seemed so innocent and beautiful, to a certain extent. I cannot help it but wonder what if I was born and raised in this island instead, growing up around with these kids, swimming in the ocean all day long, and doing what the island folks love doing. Maybe life would be simpler and less traumatizing, I would like to believe.

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It was indeed nice having a sip or two of some soothing drinks, overlooking the beach landscape.


I have a lot to complain about Malaysian sky. Why does it always have to be cloudy, and often raining? Due to the ever-white ugly skies, the water remained white and ugly all the time. I longed for deep blue, clear waters, and looking at the conditions of Pangkor Island, I truly and deeply believe the waters will be blue, if the sky is blue. Probably I should refrain myself from complaining further, and should not blame the weather all the time. I may not be able to capture stunningly blue beach and skies, but hey, there are times it is how you work around the horrible shooting conditions that counts. This was no exception, and my focus was not too much on landscape shooting, but more on documenting the surrounding activities, and present my thoughts and feelings when I was there, through my photographs. Complaining about something will not bring me anywhere, and I was trying all I can to break that habit of mine.

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While we were on the beach, before getting wet, there were all sorts of camwhoring activities happening. Yes, engineers can camwhore too, there is nothing wrong in that. It was quite an interesting mix, we consist of mostly Malay, and I was the only Chinese around, together with another guy by the name of Nathan, the only Indian in the group. So yeah, call us the One Malaysia gang. This was quite an interesting opportunity to bond with each other, get to know everyone better, and just have fun with each other, enjoying the fellowship. You will be surprised by what you can learn, and gain by opening your friendship circles a little wider. There are so many wonderful people out there, and I am blessed to be part of this one.

I am just home from the Pangkor trip a couple of hours ago. It has been quite a crazy fun, and this entry is just the beginning. I will have to fit our adventures in a few more separate posts, and I assure you they will be filled with photos, photos and more photos.

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Panoramic view of a nearby smaller islands, which we visited on the following day. More details coming soon !! Stay tuned.

Man, what a way to start 2010 !! Happy New Year to you wonderful people out there. So how did you guys celebrate the New Year?


7 comments:

  1. hey aaron,
    thanks man !! Thats my favourite shot too.

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  2. Panoramic FTW!

    I want holiday at the beach too! :(

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  3. hey chong,
    ahahha panorama indeed. But UWA would have been even more awesome !!!
    Come come lets go beach sometime.

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  4. photos are nicely edited! :)

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  5. It will be great to watch Will Young, i have bought tickets from
    http://ticketfront.com/event/Will_Young-tickets looking forward to it.

    ReplyDelete