Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Singapore : Clarke Quay (Happening Happening)

I was in Singapore for one reason and that was to take the opportunity while my wife was having her conference there, for me to take some pictures of Capital Land's properties for their 2011 Capital Land Photo Competition.

Clarke Quay is one such landmark and it is definitely a place to visit.

Clarke Quay is a historical riverside quay in Singapore. Long before she is what she is today, she used to be part of a busy busy river transportation system in Singapore where goods were transported from Boat Quay upstream to the many warehouses located at Clarke Quay. At the height of her golden era, one can only imagine the many bumboats (small boats used to ferry supplies from the jetty to ships moored away from the shore) jostling for space to moor at Clarke Quay.

Between 1977 to 1987, the Singapore government embarked on an exercise to clean up the Singapore River by which this time has been totally polluted. Plans were put in place to turn it into an entertainment hub. Opened in 1993, the property was later owned and managed by Capital Land.

10 years later, work commenced to revamp and upgrade this landmark further to get a better tenant mix. Today, old warehouses have been refurbished to house many top class restaurants, bars and cafes while old tongkangs (Chinese junks) moored by the jetty have also been converted into F&B outlets.

Notable restaurants and pubs here include Hooters and IndoChine. River cruises and river taxis are also easily available.

Well, enough said. If you visiting Singapore, make it a point to drop by and the best time of course would be at night (which I didn't have the opportunity to do which then gives me another reason to return for another visit soon).

Enjoying the tranquility by Clarke Quay during the day before this place burst into life once the sun sets and the lights come on .....

This worker's diligence and dedication to his work caught my eyes as he goes about, making sure that Clarke Quay is kept absolutely clean for the enjoyment of tourist such as myself ....

Monday, May 28, 2012

Singapore: Raffles Hotel (Glorious and Magnificent then and now)

I have never really fancied Singapore in my younger days. Maybe because I never really have a passion to occupy me nor to attract me to this concrete jungle back then.

Hence, although Singapore is probably the nearest oversea destination from where I live in KL, I have not make a trip there for over a decade.

Due to the nature of her work, my wife gets to travel to Singapore rather often but I have never really opted to follow. When I read about the Capital Land Photo contest last year and when I found out that most of Capital Land's landmark buildings are in Singapore, I decided to follow on one of her trips down south.

And I was pleasantly surprised on just how much I enjoyed staying in Singapore, walking the streets, watching the people, looking at her buildings, enjoying her food and having a drink (or two or probably more) at some of her current `happening' places and joints....

Although we were staying at the Hard Rock Hotel on Sentosa Island, my wife was telling me just how grand and beautiful Raffles Hotel is. I had to see it. I had to experience it for myself.

With my faithful Nikon d90 on hand, I went to explore this probably the most famous hotel in Singapore ...

Raffles Hotel, built in 1887, is a colonial styled hotel and is also one of the most famous hotel not only in Singapore but also the world, judging from the movies and books that have been written about her or on her. She was named after Singapore's founder, Sir Stamford Raffles.

Since Singapore and Malaya back then was under the jurisdiction of the British Empire and where the whites were looked upon as the powers of the world and where locals and Asians are deemed as slaves and second class citizens, NO Asians were actually permitted as hotel guests until 1930s!

Raffles Hotel survived the hardships of WWII and was also used as the transit camp for prisoners of war by then. If you walked along the corridors, one must imagine what those walls have seen and witness over more than 125 years! This hotel was declared a National Monument in 1987.

By the way, if you have drank or heard of the Singapore Sling cocktail, this very drink was invented right here at their Long Bar by bartender Mr Ngiam Tong Boon between 1910 and 1915.

Cheers !

I have intentionally captured the shots of Raffles Hotel in black and white, trying to depict the age of this magnificent hotel and hopefully to bring back the nostalgia of the good old days that she has seen ....

The center courtyard seen through one of the many arches of the building ....

Shadows cast by the rows of colonial styled pillars ....

The sun was hot and shining through from the courtyard. The huge and sharp contrast between the harsh sunlight and the cool, dark shadows made the picture in B&W so much more captivating ....

A coffee shop along the corridors of the hotel. A good setup with the old round marble top coffee table  and chairs of which we have associated with the good old kopi tiams of the past ...

Friday, May 25, 2012

New York : Trump International Hotel and Tower

Now who would not have heard of Donald Trump these days? His clever marketing strategy in positioning himself as the BOSS in the reality corporate cut throat rat race THE APPRENTICE has definitely cemented his status as a huge corporate figure not only in US but worldwide.

His famous last say at the end of each episode "You are FIRED!" has been cemented to Donald Trump as much as the word Colgate to toothpaste and Pampers to diapers.

Personally, I have never much taken a liking to this over egoistic bragging real estate mogul but then again, that is who he is and who he wanted to world to perceive him. But the fact remains that he has created a hell of a empire for himself and that is impressive.

Being in New York, it becomes inevitable that I consciously look out for his iconic property. I find the Trump International Hotel and Tower impressive. Well, I do not have the luxury to stay in this 5 star luxury hotel nor dined in her famous 3-Michelin-starred Jean Georges restaurant.

Located just opposite the Central Park, at the junction of Central Park West and Broadway right in the heart of Manhattan, this would be a good place to stay and I am certain that the view of Central Park tucked neatly among the sky scrappers of New York would have been magnificent.

Who knows, maybe one of these days, I might just find myself staying in one of those suites and looking out from her 10 foot floor to ceiling glass windows at Central Park and New York ...yupe...just maybe .....

Thursday, May 24, 2012

New York : Empire State Building (King Kong was here)

Now...what was my first memory of Empire State Building? I must said that it would be the building where King Kong made his last stand against the cruelty of humankind. Yes. Even when I don't know where New York was then, I always fondly remember this building where King Kong climbed effortlessly to the top and made his last stand, as helicopters and gunships flew frantically around him, trying to bring him down .....

So, when I was in New York, I wanted to be where King Kong was. I want to see for myself, the scene that King Kong would have seen from where he was ..right at the top of the world.

The Empire State Building - truly an icon of the USA

Construction of the Empire State Building commenced on March 17 1930 (exactly 33 years before I was born) and was completed in May 1931. With a total 102 story, standing over 1454 feet, it was the tallest building in the world between 1931 till 1972. At the height of her construction, 4.5 levels of framework were completed every week.

Since the building was completed during the Great Depression, much of the offices were left untenanted. The building only turned profitable in 1950.

The building has two observation deck. The open observation deck is located on the 86th floor while the upper closed observation deck is located on the 102th floor.

The price for tickets to the 86th floor observation deck is USD23 for adults and USD40 for the upper observation deck on the 102nd floor. Be prepared to queue for the lifts especially on weekends and public holidays. If you do not want to wait in line, you can always opt for the express line an be prepared to pay USD47.50 to the 86th main deck and USD64.50 to the main deck and top deck.

The view from the top is simply magnificent. You can experience a totally different view depending on the time of day of your visit. On a clear day, you get to see the entire Manhattan from above. You can also witness some spectacular sunset over Manhattan if your visit is during the evening. Or, you can witness a spectacular night scene of Manhattan if you choose to time your visit at night, just like we did.

A view of Chrysler Building, Manhattan, the Brooklyn Bridge and Brooklyn beyond ..

A view of the streets below from the main deck on the 86th floor of The Empire State Building

Monday, May 21, 2012

New York : Brooklyn Bridge (story of an Iron Lady)

There are two iconic bridges in New York that I believe almost every tourist who visit. They are namely the Manhattan Bridge and the Brooklyn Bridge.

I take special interest in the Brooklyn Bridge for a fact that it was built way back in the 1883 spanning 1595.5 feet across the East River and was the longest suspension bridge then until 1903 and was then the first steel wire suspension bridge. What is even more intriguing is the story of misfortune and setbacks but above all, the determination and the courage shown by a WOMAN whom in my opinion was the all important column of the success of the bridge .....

View of the Brooklyn Bridge across the East River between Manhattan and Brooklyn, taken from the Manhattan Bridge ....

The bridge was originally designed by a German immigrant by the name of John Augustus Roebling. Unfortunately, he was injured while conducting a survey during the construction and was killed subsequently as a result of the infection from the injury. The task was then passed on to his 32 year son, Washington Roebling. Shortly after taking over the project, Washington then became paralysed as a result of decompression sickness.

Now, any ordinary person would throw in the towel and gave up. After all, the construction has brought nothing but misfortune and bad luck. And if I was Washington, I would be thinking, "Who on this bloody earth now could take over such a massive project? I can't even WALK!"

With Washington paralysed, his wife, Emily Warren Roebling stepped in to take over and became the critical link between Washington and the workers. Becoming her husband assistant, she was instrumental for the following 14 years in the completion of this magnificent structure.

She was the `first female field engineer' and not only had to deal with the workers, site issues, project management but also to manage the politicians, bad press, publicity and `office politics'. 

Her devotion and determination coupled with her commitment to see the completion of the bridge earned her a special mention in the bridge opening ceremony's speech by Abram Stevens Hewitt's (Mayor of New York),

" ...an everlasting monument to the sacrificing devotion of a woman and her capacity for that higher education from which she has been too long disbarred ..."

This, my dear friends, is truly an IRON LADY of whom we must never forget nor fail to honour whenever we cross the Brooklyn Bridge ....

And to think the story ends here .....oh NO!

Six days after the opening of the bridge, a rumor that the bridge was collapsing, caused a stampede that killed 12 people! And how do you quash such rumors way back in 1903? P.T. Barnum while publicizing his circus lead 12 elephants to walk across the bridge! And the rest is history ....

Friday, May 18, 2012

New York : Statue of Liberty (A Symbol of Freedom)

How can one visit New York and not drop by the Liberty Island and pay the Statue of Liberty a visit. After all, this is probably one of the most recognizable icon of freedom of all times....

If you are planning to visit this lady, my advice is to get to the Battery Park at Lower Manhattan as early as you possibly can to queue for the ferry tickets. The crowd can be rather overwhelming especially if it is a weekend or a peak tourism season. We were there by 9:30 a.m. and the queue was already rather long. After the incident on 9-11, security check before embarking onto the ferry is extremely tight. It is as tight as if you are entering the States from any one of her international airport. And be prepared to spent almost the entire day here because there is just so much to see and experience, not to forget the time spent to queue waiting to travel to the Liberty Island and back ....

A New Yorker captured at the ferry jetty at Battery Park, Lower Manhattan......

I won't recommend grabbing a seat on the ferry if you want to grab some good shots of the Manhattan skyline or the Statue of Liberty during the ferry trip. Try to grab an unblock view on the right side of the ferry because that will allow you to grab reasonably good shots of the Statue as you get nearer to the island.

We all have seen this icon on postcards, pictures and movies dozens of time but nothing beats being here physically, seeing her in all her grandeur up close and personal. Just looking up from her feet, in all her majesty is simply awesome and indescribable ... simply breathtaking!

The Statue of Liberty (Liberty enlightening the world in French) was a gift from the French to the United States. Located on Liberty Island, this statue was dedicated in October 1886. This robed female figure, representing Libertas, the Roman Goddess of Freedom, bearing a torch and a tabula ansata (tablet invoking the law) on which was inscribed the date of the American Declaration of Independence and a broken chain lies at her feet.

Standing over 305 feet tall from the foundation of her pedestal to the tip of her torch, the height of the copper statute alone is well over 151 feet! Standing beneath her feet, one feel dwarf by her sheer size, might and presence.

This statute has always  been associated as the symbol of freedom and freewill. Freedom, many have given up their lives to pursue it while many more have sacrificed to defend it. Hence, for us who have the freedom to choose, the freedom to decide, the freedom to lead our life in the manner of which we live, let us all value that freedom and choose wisely and defend it vigorously!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

New York : Central Park (Totally Landscaped!)

Back to my post from my trip to New York 2 years back. Sorry. This is a really backdated post but I had not started this blog back then and I was caught up with blogging about our recent trips to the three different Club Meds in the region.

If anyone is to ask me to name places that I would love to visit when I am in New York, besides the famous Time Square, the next that comes to my mind is the Central Park.

Of course, we have heard some horror stories of how unsafe it was but apparently this were a thing of the past. Then again, visiting this magnificent park in broad daylight cannot be a bad idea.

Located at the center of Manhattan within walking distance from our hotel, this public park is truly a magnificent piece of work. This HUGE public park covers 843 acres of land, gardens, walkways, jogging tracks, ponds, rivers, benches and shades where one could just lie down on the green green grass and just gazed right into the clear blue skies above. And the best thing is that none of the trees there were there naturally but rather they were planted there. The fact is that Central Park is a huge landscaped garden that were made to look as natural as it can be ....

Central Park was designated as a National Historic Landmark since 1963 and is reported to receive well over 35 million visitors every year !

On our fourth day in New York, we took a stroll through this public park. Due to her vastness, we only managed to cover just a very small portion of it but enough to feel what she has to offer, the tranquility and serenity in the hustling busy New York, the sudden feel of being back to the nature and loving it, forgetting the worries and the cut throat deals that we have just left behind once we walked into the park .....

If I had more time, I would love to just sit on one of her many benches and just watched other people passing by and get totally immersed in a time zone that only Central Park New York offers ....

If you are ever in New York, don't just remember your shopping at 5th Avenue. Find and make time to experience the tranquility of this awesome public park, also reputed to be the most visited urban park in United States....

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Capital Land Photography Contest 2011

I have always love photography. If you read my first post in this blog, you would read about that passion when I was young and how it reignited when my wife bought me my Nikon D90 as my birthday gift. It is that passion for food, travelling and photography (not necessary in that order) that got this blog started in the first place.

I have always considered my pictures mediocre and I am nothing but just a novice, with very little knowledge of what actual good photography is, what constitute a good picture, the various techniques involved or all the technical jargon a photographer should know.

All I know is that if I see something good as far as I am concerned, I would like to capture that and `paint' it with my camera.

I am constantly reading new materials about photography, tricks and tips offered by many well established photographers and looking forward to seeing some constructive comments in this blog on how I could improve my photography technique.

I have never even consider entering any photography contest and I detest those where pictures are posted on some website and how good your picture is depends largely on how many people voted to like it, because more often than not, it is a gimmick by the organizers to drive traffic to these sites. These type of contest to me, becomes more of a popularity contest than an actual talent contest.

Last year however, I stumbled upon the annual Capital Land photography contest normally run between May and June. The contest was opened to all photographers to capture pictures of their buildings. I happened to be in Singapore then and since Capital Land has a number of very beautiful landmarks in Singapore, I decided to make it a point to capture pictures of some of these landmarks and enter some of them for fun. Anyway, I had time on my hand, as I was there holidaying alone while wife was attending her training.

I submitted a total of six entrees, got through the first huddle where I was informed that all six were shortlisted for the second round and that was it. I knew that I did not win anything (not that I was expecting to win anything). I was merely testing to see how far I could go in a serious contest like this.

I have forgotten about this contest till last week, when I received an email from Capital Land to invite me to participate in this year contest again. When I visited the website, there was a gallery where the winners' pictures were shown. Nope, none of mine was there ...HAHAHA (as expected). And there was the gallery where 140 pictures were the shortlisted as exhibits in their exhibition last year in Singapore where the winners were announced. Out of curiosity, I clicked to run through those pictures.

Suddenly, when I was at pictures captured on Clarke Quay, Singapore, two black and white pictures looked rather familiar to me. Hei......THESE TWO PICTURES WERE MINE! Written at the bottom of these two pictures were "Submitted by : Rodney Looi Keng Mun, Malaysia". I was overjoyed. Though I did not win any accolades or prices, just being selected as exhibits was to me an achievement.

Busy at Work (Clarke Quay, Singapore)
Captured this shot using Zoom Burst to pick up the focus of the workers manning the tourist ferries had at the job at hand along Clarke Quay, Singapore. 

The Loner (Clarke Quay, Singapore)
As I busy walking up and down Clarke Quay trying to capture the vibrant colours and activities at this popular tourist destination, I chanced upon this lone individual, sitting all by himself by the river side, oblivious to the surrounding activities, deep in thoughts and a world of his own. Loneliness can happened to anyone, anywhere... even in the busiest of all places ...

Monday, May 14, 2012

Bali : Mengwi Temple (Taman Ayun Temple)

The half day excursion tour that we took from Club Med Bali besides the Tanah Lot Temple was the Mengwi Temple, also known as the Taman Ayun Temple.

This is the royal family temple located approximately 18km from Denpasar, built in 1634AD. Taman Ayun literally means `the Beautiful Garden.'

It basically consists of 3 yards. The out most is known is the common place and less holy. The central yard is for the preparation of materials for rituals while the inner most yard is the holiest yard known as the Jeroan yard.

The Temple is surrounded by a large fish pond.

It was unfortunate that the skies were rather dull and gloomy by the time and hence, I could not really get any reasonably good bright pictures of this magnificent temple.

Then gate leading to the Temple ..

Got my son to pose his famous Kung Fu stance and with zoom burst, managed to capture this shot, imagining him as the hero in Mortal Kombat ....hehehehe

Bali is indeed a very very nice place for photography with all her diversity. Unfortunately, I do not have the time this visit to visit more places and indulged in my passion of photography. Bali, I will be surely be back for more ......

Friday, May 11, 2012

Bali : Tanah Lot Temple

When we were holidaying in Club Med Bali last year in September, we took the opportunity to take a half day guided tour to Tanah Lot Temple.

Why specifically Tanah Lot Temple? It's because it is probably one of the iconic tourist site in Bali and no one who visited Bali should miss. Secondly, I saw so many scenic pictures of this place and being a keen photographer, this is the place that I told myself that I must go and visit.

Tanah Lot is located approximately 20km from Denpasar. Tanah Lot literally means "Land in the Sea" and that is what it actually is. It is an interesting rock formation standing out from the sea, on which a temple was reportedly built in the 15th century by a priest by the name of Niratha.

Tanah Lot is reported to be one of the seven temples in Bali, all within close range of each other. The other that I managed to visit nearby is the Pura Batu Balung Temple which is within sight from Tanah Lot Temple. It is another magnificent sight, a temple built on a rocky volcano outcrop formation with a hole in the center jutting into the ocean and the name literally means that .."rock with hole"

This site is a popular spot for beautiful and awesome pcitures of sunset. I originally wanted to visit this site in the evening to catch one of those beautiful scene. However, I was advised against it as it can be very crowded in the evening and the weather might not hold to view a sunset. Hence, we took the half day tour from Club Med in the morning instead.

The journey from Club Med to Tanah Lot took us well over one hour because of the morning hour rush. This place is definitely very (if not overly commercialised). There were souvenirs selling shops and locals pushing souvenirs at every nook and corner.

But once, you get past all these, the sight of the temples, the rock formation and the seascape is simply magnificent.

I would definitely want to come back for that sunset picture that I have yet to capture.....

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Comparison between Club Med Bali, Bintan Island and Cherating (Final Part) - Service and Show

Holidaying at any Club Med is all about fun, activities and participation. To that end, Club Med organizes a host of different activities and competition throughout the day to keep you occupied. At the same time, the GOs of multiple nationality and departments are constantly on hand to make your stay a pleasant one.

Club Med is also well known for the show that they put up every night to entertain their guests and all the actors and actresses are the GOs of the village and they are such a talented bunch.

Our team, TEAM RYAN, participating in the Amazing Race at Club Med Bintan Island

For this final part of comparison, I will share on what I think about the service and the show between the three Club Med in Bali, Bintan Island and Cherating.

Club Med Bali

Being my first trip to a Club Med, I was impressed with the level of friendliness that the GOs exhibited. However, during my subsequent trip to the other Club Meds in Bintan Island and Cherating, I had a better benchmark to compare.

Club Med Bali is probably the busiest of the three Club Med that I have been. It could also be the period of which we timed our visit. I think there have the largest number of GOs as well. During our stay there, we noticed that they catered for large groups of tourists from Korea, PRC China and Australia. We honestly did not come across anybody from Malaysia during our stay there. As far as the GO is concerned, we found only one friendly lady managing the tours and excursions counter.

Although most GOs are friendly, we personally did not feel `touched' by any of them. There was not one GOs that we could honestly remembered after our 5 days stay. It is customary that GOs will sit with different guests during meal hours to chit chat. Surprisingly we were not `visited' by a single GO throughout my 5 days stay there. We find that the GOs would prefer normally to click with people of their own country mostly and since, we are the only Malaysian, I guessed we were strangely `missed out.'

The show at Bali was probably the best of the three. During our stay there, they have a spectacular song and dance show presented over their swimming pool.

Club Med Cherating

Club Med Cherating was my second trip to Club Med. Since I am from Kuala Lumpur, naturally I feel more at home in Cherating since there were more GOs from Malaysia, not to mention a host of interns from Taylor's College there having their training.

This is probably the least crowded of the three. It is also probable due to the large village ground. We find the GOs here friendly and more approachable. As far as tourist is concerned, we find more Singaporeans, Malaysians, PRC Chinese and French here. Most of the French stays here for more than a week!

During the stay there, we had the pleasure to dine with several GOs and got to know some of their jobs better. We had the head of lifeguard from Australia who has been in Malaysia for a couple of years now, we had a gypsy lady who was in charge of the trapeze, an intern from Taylor College and yes...Lucy, working at the front desk from Cheras ...Lucy was gracious enough to help take care and entertain our 3.5 years son Ryan at the beach party.

The show here is not as spectacular as the one in Bali but the hilarious. My son absolutely adores it. The only complaint that we have was the theater where the show was being held can be stuffy and hot once it is packed.

Club Med Bintan Island

This was our third Club Med in 10 months. Our expectations were higher especially after looking at the resort pictures and comments posted by some other guests.

We were determined to enroll Ryan into the Petite Club so that he could socialize with other kids while we could have some time of our own. We were glad that we did because Ryan totally enjoyed himself. For this, I must compliment the gorgeous Japanese GO who manages the Petite and Mini Club and the GOs who demonstrated so much patience handling these groups of super charged and super active children.

The super talented children from the Petite and Mini club doing their show. They were simply amazing ...

The GOs here are equally friendly but because we participated in more activities, especially the Amazing Race across the village ground on our second night there, we got to know more GOs better. Ryan, our 3.5 year son was the catalyst in most situation because he never failed to say `Hi' or `Hello' to every beautiful lady GO that walked past ...hahahaha....

Our team comprising of my wife, Ryan and myself and a bunch of GOs working at the back office ACTUALLY WON the race and came out first and we had so much fun ! Due to that Ryan was like a super star from then on and everybody seemed to know him and us of course ...:)

Throughout our stay, we had the privilege to dine with several GOs such as the in-house residence doctor, Dr Olivia, a pretty lass from Indonesia and Joanne from Malaysia. In fact, Ryan got so attached to Joanne that he just could not get enough of her ....

And I must compliment Michael, the village head from Australia who comes across as a very down to earth guy, ever walking and smiling at guests, going round the dinner tables to greet them and actively took part in some very very hilarious shows at night ...Bravo!

In terms of show, I would say that we enjoyed the show in Cherating more but then again, they were still very good ....

Overall, based on our experience, we would rank Club Med Bintan Island as the resort offering the best service of the three.

There you have it, my comparison of the three Club Med that we visited recently. One word of advise would be to try to avoid visiting them in their super peak season because, the GOs would be too busy to entertain you, the place would be overly crowded, the restaurant would be packed and you could get rather frustrated trying to get hold of a deck or beach chair .....

We are now waiting for our next Club Med this coming September ....Club Med Maldives ....

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Comparison between Club Med Bali, Bintan Island and Cherating (Part VI) - Beaches Bintan Island

Club Med Bintan Island

....and I have saved the best for last .....CLUB MED BINTAN ISLAND!

The view of the private beach of Club Med Bintan Island taken from one of her restaurants....

The beaches at Bintan Island is simply magnificent. The beach at Club Med is also a private beach and it stretches for miles! Imagine...miles of fine white sandy beaches and clear blue skies and clear blue ocean ..... it's a holiday that every travel agency will promote and every post card will try to sell you ....

The sea here is definitely calmer than that at Cherating. This is the place where you will find the white fine sandy beaches that you always dream of. Imagine your feet literally sinking into the fine white sand. That is how fine and `fluffy' the sand can be ...

Not only is the sea calmer, but during the low tide, you can actually walk out into the sea and it is still rather shallow and safe.

For me as a photographer, the beach offers a variety of options.

From the stretches of white sandy beaches to crops of interesting rock formations and sea weeds that gives that `ommmph' to the otherwise a normal picture .....

I was blessed with two days of spectacular sunrise during my five days stay there. Why only two? That is because it rained the entire day on the second day and the rest ....I overslept or simply too tired after the night partying to get up .....

Here are some of the shots I managed to captured with my Nikon d90, sigma 10-20mm F3.5 wide angle with brand new GND filter that I bought for this trip .....

The sun rises for yet another day with a fishing boat in the foreground ......

I was walking along the beach trying to find a good spot to capture the sunrise when I chanced upon this spot of rock and interesting seaweeds. The GND filter allowed me to take this shot with the built-in flash to capture the interesting seaweed and the clear water, at the same time, capturing the dramatic clouds formation and the hues of this fantastic sunrise .....

The rocks and the clear water in the foreground and the boats in the background captured my attention against a backdrop of a awesome sunrise ....

It is common when we concentrate in capturing the sunrise that we only pay attention to where the sun is rising....I took this shot when I looked away from where the sun was rising and I saw this little patch of island with some interesting tree formation and a lonely boat in the background ...The sky and her colour and hue is equally vibrant and exciting .......

This shot (to me) is one in a million ...As I was busy clicking away, something within told me to look up and lo and behold, I saw this magnificent eagle flying past ...Instinctively, I point my D90 upwards and clicked away ...(and almost fell into the water as I was standing on some rather slippery rocks). I have always wanted to capture an eagle in flight in sunrise. Why? Because I captured one when I was in my college days in Cherating using my old Yashica with my 70mm-200 zoom lens with my puppy love ..... The solitary flight of a mighty eagle zooming across the sky so free and so majestic have ALWAYS excites me ....

Finally, my next post would be on the SERVICE!....Club Med is always about fun and service. Which of the three have impressed us? Stay tuned......