Thursday

Melaka River by Night

Attracted by the Melaka River Fiesta banners, we decided to play tourist in the city where we live. It was my first attempt at night photography:)

Miniature of Dutch Windmill at Melaka City Center

We decided to take on a night river cruise, so went to the boat jetty...

Casa Del Rio on the banks of Sungai Melaka

Another view besides the ticket booth...

A view from the boat

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Friday

Jesselton - Kota Kinabalu

A visit to Jesselton Waterfront is a must, when you are at Kota Kinabalu the Capital of Sabah, East Malaysia. Here are some of the shots that I took during my last visit.

Entrance to the water front

Besides this landmark arch, there are beautiful fish sculptures along the Jesselton area...

Mackerel?!

The above shot is taken from the moving vehicle (cab). By the time we reached the jetty, the sky was overcast and getting ready for a downpour...

Jesselton Waterfront

Here is an old photo of Jesselton, which was displayed in the side walk of the waterfront...

Our cabby said that we could go to Signal hill and get an aerial view of Kota Kinabalu.

Clock Tower @ Signal Hill

From the observation deck, which is above the clock tower, I took this shot...

Stunning view on a overcast day!

The turquoise water, and the smell of the distant rain was very inviting, so went on a short stroll and was blessed with this view!

Aerial view of Jesselton Jetty from Signal Hill

You might also like to read/see pics of my other Borneo experiences...
Poring - Canopy Walkway Bridge
Aerial Views - Borneo
Water ways of Brunei - Air Kampung, Venice of the East
The Giant Flower - Rafflesia

Shuttle Hope - Meet the Captian

Mottai Gopuram - Towers of Meenakshiamman Temple - Madurai

Whenever I go to Madurai, my home town in India, I must go to Meenakshi Amman Temple, if not my home coming is never complete! Besides having a satisfactory darshan, I enjoy walking around the temple soaking up in the beauty of the tall கோபுரம்(towers), பொற்றாமரை குளம் (Golden Lotus Pond), and story telling sculptures! Here is a view of North Tower.

North Tower - Mottai Gopuram

All the towers are adorned with beautiful sculptures that depict stories from puranas (legand/mythology). However, this tower is almost bare and the locals call this as மொட்டை கோபுரம் (bare tower!?). The legend says that all the towers in this temple was built overnight by the bhootahganaas (Lord Shiva's heavenly followers). Sunrise occurred while building the north tower, so it was left incomplete!


View from Inside

Here is a shot of South Tower, which is filled with story telling sculptures...

South Tower

Glorious Sunrise

During my last visit to India (home town Maduari), I was staying with my parents for a couple of days. Sipping hot tea @ the balcony around 6AM is most enjoyable, that too when prepared by mom, tea tastes heavenly! Further, being near dad and mom at that time of the day feels like special gift:) On that day I felt that Heavens were sharing my thoughts, as it painted its rays gracefully, like this...

With this mood, even the ghastly mobile phone tower was not bothering me. Silver lined clouds and glorious rays made my day!

Shuttle Hope - Meet the Captian

We planned to stop over at Labuan Island (Union Territory of Malaysia), on the way from Brunei to Kota Kinabalu during our holidays in Borneo. It is a mere 1.5 hours journey by ferry from Brunei to Labuan and from there we had booked our flight (MAS Wings airline) to Kota Kinabalu. Since the day I visited the cockpit in an aircraft, I've been hoping to visit a ships' control room too.

Click on the images to enlarge

Shuttle Hope

Well, thatz exactly not a ship, but at it is a fairly big sized ferry that we took from Brunei to Labuan.

Loading vehicles @ Brunei immigration - Muara terminal

The first thing that I noticed as soon as I boarded was this chained staircase, meaning restricted area!

And, the urge to go up and take a look was too high, so I asked the one of the uniformed crew members if I could go up. "Wait mam, will check with the captain and come", he said. Within minutes, he came back and let me go up...

First I saw the captain- was not sure if he would let me in...

The Captain seemed to be busy, so I was hesitating to enter, but just then he waved at me to come in! Captain Nurniwan was soft-spoken and was not fluent in English. We managed to communicate with his broken English and my broken Malay! First off he said that Shuttle Hope was made in Japan and the capacity of this vessel is about 200 passengers and can take 45 cars at a cruising speed of 15 knots. "Got 2 engines, so can bring cars/buses from one side and drive through the other side" said the captain and walked me to the other engine in the rear...

Rear engine...

When he knew that I was from India, he commented that before heading this 'ship' he was working in large ships and used to go to ports of Kozhikode & Calcutta in India! With his permission, I started taking pictures of the gadgets and cabins in this deck.

When the captain showed me the 'eye' of the ship, I was fascinated and asked him "what can it see?"

The captain opened the GPS like EYE and said, "Look at that ship, now this 'eye' can 'see' and tell the name and other details of that ship", and we learnt that the name of that ship was Oriental! He further explained that "see this radar, can show if any boat or ship come in my way, especially during bad weather, and the transducer tells me the depth of the water and with this wireless phone can communicate with other ships or with ports..."

"How safe is this ferry, that too if it rains heavily or...?" for which the captain said, "don't worry, no tsunami in this part of the region and it is quite stable". Satisfied with this I moved on to take a couple of shots of the Brunei Bay...

Passengers boarding a small ferry

In this kind of ferries, you will be cooped up throughout the journey!

Now, I moved on to the other part of the captain's deck...

The Crew's kitchen...

For a 9 member crew, the kitchen seemed to be small, but well this ferry goes only on short trips, so it should be fine!

Shrill sound of the ferry's whistle prompted that we were about to start our journey...so I decided to go back to the passenger's deck and to my surprise, the captain was kind enough to offer any help if I needed!

Passenger deck

Coming down to the passenger deck, I realized that, practically we had the entire ferry to ourselves! Towards the rear end, I saw this...

Emergency plan showing the vessel's layout...

'Not bad' I thought, thatz why the captain had commented earlier that Shuttle Hope was safe, with all this elaborate safety measures!

You might also like to read/see pics of my other Borneo experiences...

Poring - Canopy Walkway Bridge
Aerial Views - Borneo
Water ways of Brunei - Air Kampung, Venice of the East
The Giant Flower - Rafflesia

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