I was away from the city last weekend to North Borneo, where the beautiful Kota Kinabalu (KK) city was at. This trip was partly conceptualized when I was visiting KK last year, in a conversation with Dr Soon Ruey (an amazing friend and great photographer). Dr Soon volunteered to organize a trip for mychiaroscuro.net members (local Olympus user forum in Malaysia), inviting us to go to KK for a weekend of shutter therapy adventures there.
Kota Kinabalu is such a beautiful place! Mount Kinabalu (opening images here, plenty of them taken at different time of the day) is the peak of South East Asia, used to be the highest mountain of South East Asia but has lost about 6 meters over the years. This was my first time being so close to the mountain and gosh, it was such a majestic sight to behold. The KK city itself is located by the sea, overlooking sunset. There were markets setup along the sea and the place was bustling with activities throughout from afternoon till evening. With whatever little time that we had in KK, we attacked these places and what a wonderful experience it was, shooting in a beautiful city with fellow Olympus users.
People in KK never failed to amaze me. I usually do not chatter up with strangers that I shoot, but one dude took off his shades, and asked me "what can I do for you, sir?". I was shocked, and was speechless for a few seconds. Then we had quite a bit of chat. Surely this kind of warmth is a rarity in Kuala Lumpur, and I sure wish KK will remain as it is for a long time to come.
Considering this was a photography-centric trip, I packed in more gear than I usually do. I have with me the OM-D E-M5 and PEN E-PL5, with 9mm F8 fisheye body cap lens, 14mm F2.5, 25mm F1.8, 45mm F1.8, and 75-300mm F4.8-6.7
Peak of Mount Kinabalu during sunrise
The mountain, zoomed in with 75-300mm lens.
Covered with dramatic clouds
My widest coverage, 9mm F8 fisheye
Houses on high ground
Driving Range with such a magnificent view
Having a dip
Joy to be photographed
Taking a nap
By the sea
Playful children 2
by the sea 2
Tinutuk Mangga - Young Mango dressed with traditional fresh herbs, lime, shrimp paste and chili.
Hinava Dasa - fresh fish fillet marinated in lime juice, shallot, ginger, sliced chili and grated badu (wild lemon seeds). A traditional Kadazan Dusun dish.
Chicken in Spices
Our gear in Zero KM, Kota Kinabalu (some sort of reference point). Photo credit - Dr Soon Ruey
Special thanks to Dr Soon for hosting us, and taking the trouble to bring us around KK, which was quite an exhausting chore.