Continuing from Doing Kota Kinabalu came the much anticipated visit to Gayana Eco Resort that took about 20 minutes boat ride from Jesselton Point Jetty (slightly longer than our ride to Manukan Island if my direction and navigation skills are anything to go by). If there’s one thing you’ll notice a lot in KK is the frequency of flights in and out of the airport. I could be wrong and at the risk of being absurd, it seemed as though a plane was flying over the apartment every 15-25 minutes or so. Marina Court aparment is located in the flight path so I had that impression. The picture below was taken at Manukan as a plane flew by. There are two parts to this post: The Landscape followed by The Marine Ecology Research Centre.

Despite the very wet weather the afternoon before, the weather cleared up over night and we had gray skies on the morning we made our way to Gayana. Half of the family members who had driven to KK had left and were on their long journey back home. This day the waters were calmer compared to just 24 hours ago we literally jumped off our seats given the rough waters and strong winds. Here, as you see, waters were calm enough to please the little boy in the boat.

Our visit coincided with a documentary Radio Television Malaysia (RTM) was producing of the resort and here we were filmed making our way there and there’s Linda (sales and marketing manager of Gayana) waving to us from across. She was recently in Brunei during the Sabah Tourism fair that was held at The Mall in Gadong.

↓ Expansion work in progress at the Marine Ecology Research Centre (MERC).
A common feature of the resort buildings is the thatched roof design that gives its a distinctive appeal of a “contemporary tropical style architecture”

↓ Dining at one of two restaurants: Alu Alu Seafood Restaurant and Fusion Poolside Restaurant
(see website for more information)

↓ Four types of rooms are available. Shown here is the Bayu Villas at RM1,460 per night
(see website for room rates)

The rooms are air-conditioned and luxurious with a spacious and elegant bathroom to match.

↓ Workers trimming the thatch roof of the new extension to MERC.

↓ Three scuba divers who had just returned from a morning’s dive making their way to the Gayana Dive Centre.

↓ My son Jamie sitting by the steps pondering the fate of the remaining of this long days and equally long nights how he’s been dragged from place to place and often denied of his Game Boy. If it’s any consolation, at least he has on a pair of genuine Crocs … the closest association to Marine life …  though I have a feeling that he’s the least bit genuinely interested in them.

Stay tuned for the next post on the Marine Ecology Research Centre.I hope to return to Gayana to check out its after hours illumination. I imagine it to be quite spectacular when the night lights are switched on.


Interested in other resorts?

Visit Brunei and check out our own Ulu Ulu Resort in Temburong, Brunei Darussalam.


On 26th March 2004, I drove to Kota Kinabalu (KK) for the very first time (and hopefully the last). In the car were my wife, the kids and my in-laws and we were in a convoy of 4 other cars. When we arrived, some 6-7 hours later, we stopped by the roadside curious to see what the stores were selling, you know, it’s a family must-do tradition!

As early as 2004, I had my Canon EOS 300D and thanks to EXIF, I know I had the EF28-135mm @ 75mm shot in Manual mode, 1/200 sec, f/6.3. There were times I wished blogging platform had been available as early as 2004 but that would have been just another learning curve to overcome as I had just embarked on this thing called photography.

© Jan Shim Photography

I stumbled across this photo as I was updating my archives and thought it would be interesting to post this here, for a number of reasons the key one being how this picture had been edited. Back then, I thought it was neat to be able to distinctively separate a picture by combining colour and B/W. I remember when I first posted this picture on some thought it was compositionally interesting with the kitten’s head while others thought I should remove clone the head out completely.

The girl is none other than my daughter Jewel who was, coincidentally, also 4 years old at the time and I think she was looking at the stones while the curious little kitten was looking at her. This photo is also an indication of the times when such editing technique was hip. Today, I find no real reason, creative, artistic or patience to do something like that again. I would find it tacky but in the interest of experimenting, it was OK!

At the risk of causing a stir with that remark, I commit the perfect crime having incriminated myself in the process.

In the same month of March 2007, just a year ago, we visited Japan in Spring and at the Samurai Park and so happened I had the camera focus–locked on her and a gust of wind blew parts of her delicate flower off and I got that Kodak Canon moment.

© Jan Shim Photography


Mention Singapore and it conjures up all sort of images and expectations that is as unique to the individual as its tourism tagline Uniquely Singapore suggests. The past five days that I spent in this exciting and happening city with my kids had been productive for me and most importantly for the kids, fun! This was also the first time I travelled with the kids while corporate mom stayed home due to work commitments so the opportunity to make up for lost time was not to be wasted!

So Much Food So Little Time | Nocturnally Speaking | ZoukOut 2009


↑ While standing at the lights on Orchard Road, I caught this red mini in a slow shutter pan just as she pulled away. Seems to me like an expat family having a blast on a weekday in the crowded streets.


↑ On our way to Toys R Us at the FORUM shopping centre, we stopped by a GAP store where I picked up one of their recent (RED) signature tee that reads INSPI(RED). I’ve shopped at ESPRIT stores for a while now since I dropped corporate suits and ties for the more casual and comfortable choice having permanently switched from IT to photography. It was only a couple of months back that I “discove(red)” GAP’s line of clothing to be rather interesting. Bitten by the lure of one casual item after another, I find it liberating to be able to actually make a living as a photographer in clothes that inspire creativity instead of conforming to standards that choke! Read more about GAP (PRODUCT) RED?

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↑ Conspicuous consumption is nothing new in Singapore. In my last trip, I walked along the side streets of Orchard and discovered to my amazement the sort of exotic cars that are tucked away in some garages. It has been reported that Singapore has recently seen a steady rise of millionaires and while the concept of living on credit is still a way of life not just in Singapore but in many parts of a growing economy and competitive society, Singapore has done brilliantly in every aspect of the economy and is a shining example of how SMALL CAN BE BEAUTIFUL a topic that themed a recent conference organised by Asia Inc Forum.

In any economy, food seems to be the only universal truth that brings people of all nationalities together at any time of the day and night. It’s where East meets West and vice versa when it comes to choices of fuel for the body to pull us through another day besides several shots of caffeine-induced drinks.

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↑ At home, we have regular items for breakfast such as butter on toast, half-boiled eggs, noodles, rice dumplings and maybe even other stereotypical Asian meal that I cannot recall at this time. Mac D breakfast @ basement of Centre Point along Orchard Road is one or perhaps the only western style breakfast that’s conveniently available in the early hours that we are so accustomed to getting up. So much so that during holidays, the latest we’d wake up is 8.15 am while everybody else we know love the extra hours of luxury in bed.


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↑ Besides Mac Donalds BIG Breakfast meal, I treated the kids once to an American Breakfast room service and they almost cleaned out the plates and basket.


↑ Jamie enjoying his Mc Donalds Sausage and Egg McMuffin


↑ Lunch hour at Food Republic is no less spectacular at Wisma Atria



↑ These succulent roast duck rice and gigantic wanton just the sort of lunch the kids craved. They never seem to tire of noodles and kway teow and will find all kinds of excuses not to have rice. On this day, no excuses needed and despite the insanely packed food court, a certain operator seemed to have just the seats for the three of us starved beings. The kids are happy too as barely an hour and a half ago they had picked out their toys at Toys R Us which in quite a walk from our hotel (in a typical Bruneian context, having used to parking right in front of the store, such walks may be unthinkable and downright torturous).

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↑ A bit of green never hurt anyone nor has this amount proven to be ben eficial either but it sure makes a great picture. When kids are happy they’d happily hold their food up for a pose before they disappear.

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↑ Do we need to see more pictures of these yummy roasted duck? Of course we do. I’ve also included a double sunny side up pic from our earlier room service indulgence. These sausages aren’t nearly as tasty or exciting as the exploding Chicken Cheese ones at Marché Restaurant. It’s particularly hard to tell your little one that she cannot have eggs when she is allergic to egg whites. Letting my guard down for a moment and seeing just how delighted she was, I gave her the OK but had to deal with her rashes afterwards.


↑ After breakfast and lunch came Tiramisu cake for tea @ Coffee Bean Vivo City.

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↑ Delifrance’s Cheese pastry at Sentosa became Jewel’s favourite. Next to that is what is locally called Cheng Tng, a concoction of Chinese herbs sweetened with sugar syrup served cold. Thanks David for introducing me to this.

All images © Jan Shim Photography. Commercial use of images prohibited.