Hiking Shahbandar and Photographing Tapak Kuda Roll Had Me All Crabbed Out!

Last week, I had one incredibly productive day like I sometimes do when schedules go haywire! But this time it was planned that way — a bit ambitious maybe — it wasn’t impossible to pull off, it was just be incredibly exhausting. The morning began with a drive from home to Bukit Shahbandar along the way picking up my cousin and hiking buddy Daniel at his Lumut residence. Drive took slightly over an hour, got there in time to meet our guest hiker for the first session at 8 AM. Daniel and I had two hikes that morning starting with short (warm up) hike with Lili Yong, owner of Lili Lingerie (she said to take things easy first before attempting longer ones).

6.50 AM: Left Seria to reach Shahbandar by 8 AM
8 AM to 9 AM: Bukit Shahbandar Hike 1

A beautiful scenic landscape taken at the shorter trail right after the seismic station. We finished the short 2 km trail in 55 minutes (I allocated 60 mins) in time to meet the second group for the 3.3 km trail with friends, old and new.

9 AM to 11 AM: Bukit Shahbandar Hike 2

Photo at the Lookout backdropped by forest canopy that covers most of the extended trail. Click on photo for larger version.
Daniel took this photo using his Samsung Galaxy S5 before we reached the Pondok 7 and Pondok 4 split.
You know when someone has a towel covering their head that’s usually indicate of a hot day. For our new friend Wane, it’s all about the new experience hiking Shahbandar for the first time!
As a result of land slide and erosion, a rope has been installed for the safety of hikers at this steep descent.
Photo ops make for a good opportunity to slow down and take a breather. Here we are on the concrete steps after Pondok 9, the last leg of the hike before we said our goodbyes.
Two sessions of hiking logged a total of 5.52 km burning 1,630 Calories. It’s time to grab lunch and Daniel and I were in the mood for Thien Thien chicken rice before my next assignment — photographing Mr Baker’s new Tapak Kuda Nutella roll.

11.30 AM to 3:00 PM: From Thien Thien takeout after hiking to Mr Baker’s Residence for lunch and Tapak Kuda photoshoot before an hour’s drive home to Seria

After a satisfying Thien Thien chicken rice lunch followed by not one but two shots of coffee, it was time for Mr Baker’s Tapak Kuda shoot. We cleared the living room coffee table for this shot after two hours of meticulous adjustments made to ensure the presentation was mutually agreeable.

3 PM to 4 PM: An hour’s drive home to Seria from Kampong Katok with only an hour to shower and rest) before leaving Seria at 5 PM for Pondok Sari Wangi’s crab feast.

Though we’re invited for Pondok Sari Wangi’s Sungkai Buffet the main attraction for me were the “KK” crabs and that’s all I had for dinner. I was more exhausted from the commute than I was hungry for food.
It was great meeting up with the gang even if it’s only once a year! Thank you Ridwan for hosting us and also for this memorable photo.

By the time we reached home after an hour’s drive (for the second time), it was close to midnight and my eyes could barely open. What an eventful day!

Thank You for Your Postcards

Since my Please Send Me A Postcard post from over 4 years ago, I have received box full of postcards from family and friends who traveled the world and took time out of their precious holiday itinerary to buy and mail me a postcard or two. It’s not the easiest thing to do, I know, to find a post office or a willing hotel reception when you’re overseas. Which is why I also tell them it’s not necessary to find a post office if one is out of convenient reach — pass them to me in person or if you live overseas, as do some of the cards I received are from, mail them from your local post office.

The address to send to: JAN SHIM . P O BOX 2 . SERIA POST OFFICE . KB1933 . BRUNEI DARUSSALAM

I collect postcards regardless of whether they’re stamped or not. I’m happy to reciprocate with a postcard from Brunei if you would like one (just leave me your return address on the card). I haven’t decided yet what I’m going to do with the cards once I have a lot of them but I welcome any ideas you may have.

Received this glorious sunset postcard from a Bukit Shahbandar hiking buddy from East Malaysia who visits Brunei from time to time.

Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Sea’s Amazingly Grand Dining Hall

On 6th December 2013, two weeks before my first Mount Kinabalu climb, we took a family cruise vacation on board The Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Sea in Singapore.  Pictured here is the Mariner’s main restaurant that spans three decks and features a music-themed design. Each of the three levels has an appropriate musical name — Deck 3: Rhapsody in Blue, Deck 4: Sound of Music and Deck 5: Top Hat & Tails). I traveled with my trusty PowerShot G11 and brought along a 5D Mark II with EF 17-40mm lens for wide shots. For this shot alone I am glad I packed the 5D. Fast forward to present day, it’s been one and a half years since the cruise and there are pictures from our trip I haven’t found the inclination to share. I have however found the time to share these ones on Facebook.

Main Dining Hall on the Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Sea Cruise Ship. Amazingly grand.

A photo posted by Jan Shim (@janshim) on