lake

The most unexpected northern light sighting.

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During our way back to Stockholm, we stopped by Sunsvall for a night. Sunsvall is further from the arctic circle compared to the Kiruna, Abisko, and Lofoten so we didn’t expect to be able to see the northern lights there.

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But we are wrong! After we checked in, we decided to go to the city center for our dinner, but when we got into our car, I saw the sky glowing green right above our heads.Then I realized it was the northern lights!

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We are all pumped up! we quickly googled a better location with less light pollution compared to our hotel,  we found a lake nearby and we drove there as fast as we could.

CMY_PHOTOGRAPHY-3The lake was frozen and surrounded by threes, it was a great location! When we got there the Northern light gets really intense and it was incredible to be able to see it up close, it was right above us, it was an epic experience for us! but after few minutes of northern light shooting, clouds started to came by and block our view. We are unprepared for the cold night and we headed back to our hotel.

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Our hotel is on top of a mountain, the view there is spectacular. It was quite late, all of my friends are going to bed, but I didn’t give up, I went outside and tried my luck on the northern lights. I was lucky, the sky cleared up and the aurora light show appears again, the weather and the strenght of the northern light was so great, I can see the light even on top of the city, where the light pollution is very high.

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After realizing how lucky I am, I quickly found a spot and point my camera straight up and started to take photos. When the northern lights are right above you, it is a lot more beautiful then looking at them in a distance, it was surreal!

CMY_PHOTOGRAPHY-6And this is where I got  my favorite northern light photos, the Angel.

Orang Asli Village, Belum Lake

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On our last day on the lake, we visited the Orang Asli Village (aboriginal people village). Our trip members bought some goodies for the kids there, our guide help us to hand out the treats to the kids there. At the village you can only see young children and elderly people, I’m guessing those young people went out of the jungle to work.

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They are very happy to receive such treats from us, this only make me feel more sorry for them, as Belum lake is a man-made lake from construction of  a dam. The water must have flooded many orang asli villages, a huge part of the forest was flooded and what it’s left for them is just small patches of hilly land for them to live and survive in. Jut imagine, how much they have lost.

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Some photos of the Orang Asli kids ( aboriginal children)

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Young girl taking care of her younger sibling.

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They live in a very poor condition, they already lost their homeland, now just hope that the tourism there will benefits them. 🙂

BoatHouse on Belum Lake.

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During my last trip to Belum with my uncle, we stayed on a boat house for 2 nights. Located in Gerik and covering 15,200 hectares, Belum Lake is the largest man-made lake in Perak. There are quite some activity to do there, like jungle tracking to water falls, kayaking around the boathouse. But overall this boat house experience is very relaxing.

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Our mother boat house towing her kids. 😀 We can kayak and take speed boat out to fish. The “mother ship” will normally park at somewhere and we will ride the speedboats to entrance of hiking trail.

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Butterflies are everywhere. They landed on my hand when i was trying to take photo of them, so I was also shooting them with only one hand, holding the camera. It was very challenging as the depth of field from such close focusing is very narrow, and shooting with one hand is not very stable. After some struggling with focus on the right spot, keeping my hand steady, and working out the composition of the two butterflies on my hand, I get the shot above, and I was quite happy with it. 😀

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My first time meeting with a Rafflesia plant. Apparently there are more then one type of refflesia and this type is among the smaller species, and they don’t stink as well.

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According to our guide, rafflesia need 3 and a half year to bloom from their bud form, and only for seven days, they will turn black slowly and start fermenting by the last couple of days.

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After our rafflesia hike, it’s water activity time, then fishing time before diner. I went with the other speedboat, it started to rain when we are fishing so we headed back to the “mother ship”, while the other speed boat continue fishing after the rain. After diner there are pretty much nothing else to do but snacking and chatting among ourselves. Oh ya, and also staring at hundreds of insects flying around the light bulb too. 🙂