Monday, November 11, 2013

Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

I have taken six flights over the past weekend, and boy, was it exhausting! On Friday I had a whole day business trip to Singapore, which was a day visit only. The following Saturday, I took the early flight to Kota Kinabalu (KK), Sabah, which was the northern territory of Borneo island. We had the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Touch and Try session at KK on Saturday, and the following morning, Sunday, we brought the Touch and Try session to my hometown, Kuching, Sarawak. This must have been one of the craziest weekend in my life, with so many moving around, meeting so many people (amazing and beautiful people!!). Despite the hectic schedule, I managed to squeeze in a bit of time for shutter therapy. 

It was my first visit to KK Sabah, and I must admit this is one of the most beautiful places in Malaysia, and I was only at the city area, not exploring further. After the Touch and Try event, it was already 5pm, and I had about an hour before sunset. That was my only window of opportunity to shoot, because we had dinner arrangement and later appointment with friends. Though the shooting time was very brief, I made the best I can to experience the waterfront view, and take in the breathtaking scenery overlooking sunset. The place was beautiful and the people, even so heart-warming. I was standing still for quite a while doing some slow shutter speed shooting (resting the camera on flat surface), and a kind local man approached me to say hi. Initially I thought he wanted my help to take a photo of him and his friend/family, but I was surprised to see him holding a box of cigarette to me and asked me to grab one! I thought I stood still for a full 3 seconds before responding no, thank you. I was speechless. Too bad I do not smoke, but that kind gesture is rare in other parts of Malaysia, certainly something impossible to find in Kuala Lumpur. I fell in love with this place almost instantly. 


















I will return one day to KK. I will return, for a few reasons: to enjoy the delicious seafood, to experience the local laid-back, peaceful, warm culture and not to forget, shooting this incredibly beautiful place and people!

23 comments :

  1. Very nice collection of photos from the day.

    In that last shot, just over the horizon is a hint of orange from the sunset. You're 11 hours ahead of us. It's kinda cool to think while you're just finishing up shooting the sunset where you live, and probably getting ready to eat and review your shots of the day, I just wrapped up shooting the sunrise where I live and I'm probably sitting in a restaurant reviewing the shots I just took.

    Or at least that would be the case if I could wake up that early. It doesn't happen often. :)

    This looks like a really cool place to visit. When I get a chance I'll try to head over to one of the coastal towns near here (about a 3 hour drive from here) and photograph the area to share how it's different. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Hello Jamie,
      Thank you so much for the kind words.

      I agree with you, the time difference in different parts of the world does make things very interesting!
      Coastal towns are always very interesting to photograph, people are more relaxed and the sceneries.... my goodness!

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  2. You've been very busy indeed - but great that you found some time for shutter therapy. A lovely place indeed! Been there a couple of times on short stopover flights, which of course isn't sufficient to see it properly. Great that you enjoyed it too, and the pictures are -as usual- outstanding. I love the first and last ones, and of course the Robinesque portraits. Very well done!

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    1. Always, always find time for shutter therapy!
      Thanks for the compliments again, and you should definitely revisit Sabah and enjoy the place, food, culture and people!

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  3. You've just made KK more desirable as a destination for me.

    I always thought that it would be interesting because of Gunung Kinabalu, but people I knew always seemed so laid back compared to most anywhere else in M'sia. I could only imagine making the trip from Kuching to Miri, through Brunei, to KK--buses, bugs, bats and hopefully, some good food.

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    1. Oh my, your suggestion is a killer! I wish I have that much time just to do that back to back travel from Kuching all the way up to KK and beyond!

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    2. You should have done that after SPM.

      Can you imagine the Long House people traveling on foot? I forgot Sandakan, The Natural City. :-D At least, this trip sounds more interesting than the bus ride from KL to BW.

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  4. Robin,
    Your shots always bring out the beauty of the people and place.
    SiewKS

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  5. Hi Robin,
    Thank you for bringing back to memory those beautiful place and wonderful people of Sabah. It's been years since my last visit to Sabah and your images relieve my longing to be there. BTW I was in KK for three memorable years back in the 80's.
    May you have a great day.
    John Ragai

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    1. So lucky of you to have lived in KK for 3 years, I should consider getting a job there and just work for a few years too, seems like a great experience!

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  6. Robin, the last photo reminds me of one my craziest feat.
    The two islands of Manukan and Mamutik are special to me as once I have been swimming to and fro between this two island with my friend Albert. On the way back to Mamutik, I have to drag Albert as he could not swim due to his leg cramped.
    Thank you for this photo.
    John Ragai

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    1. Wonderful memories indeed! And yes crazy you were, swimming between islands!

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  7. Hi Robin,

    Great pix, as always! My favorites are the first, the last, and the second to last. Your portraits are also very good, again as always!

    I see you are getting more comfortable with the wide-angle point of view. I think the more we photograph, the more we come to appreciate the way the wide-angle lets us create relationships among different elements of our picture, in a way that you cannot do with a normal or telephoto lens.

    As with all things in photography, it can be misused and/or overused, but when used properly, the wide-angle view adds a dimension to our photos that I think is missing otherwise.

    Best regards,
    Steve

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    1. Hey Steve,
      Wide angle lens is always very important, and for emphasis on location, I will use it to show the characteristics (buildings, landscape background, etc). Of course for street photography strictly, I still prefer longer focal lengths. I acknowledge the importance of all focal lengths and that each focal length.range has its own place.
      I seldom use wide angle mainly because there is too many things to consider to make a good shot. Nonetheless when I need to, I will.

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  8. Love the pictures! :P I have to travel down to the East side of Malaysia one day. Heard so much, but never went there except to see orang utans once.

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    1. Thanks Carmen! You should visit it again with photographer's eye that appreciates the beauty even more!

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  9. I'll be there next week, and I can't wait. Your pictures are just stunning.

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    1. I am sure you will take even better images!

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  10. When are you coming over to Kuala Terengganu ? The monsoon's here, it would be great to capture the wet moments. You, influence my taking up photography and the OMD BTW. Please get in touch if you do.

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