Tag Archives: Landscapes

Gunung Machinchang

    Gunung Machinchang? What’s that you say?

Well, to cut straight through the suspense, Gunung Machinchang is a mountain peak and the dominant feature of the western end of Langkawi island. It is also the subject of this second post in a photo series featuring images from a recent holiday to Malaysia.

Destination for the first week away was Langkawi which is located on Malaysia’s west coast just inside the border with Thailand. Langkawi’s tourism has been developed around its largely unspoilt natural beauty and the island has declared itself as a UNESCO Geopark, ensuring it’s development is guided by consideration for the environment and its unique geological features.

Within Langkawi, there are three major geopark areas and a number of smaller sites. One of the major parks is the Machinchang Cambrian Geoforest Park. The park protects a geologically significant area, with the sandstone rocks that form Gunung Machinchang and the adjacent peaks representing some of the earliest land to form in the region we now know as South East Asia. The sandstones date back to the Cambrian period some 500 million years ago and were originally part of the margins of the Gondwanaland super-continent.

Langkawi folklore however ascribes the presence of Gunung Machinchang to a fight between two giants. Mid-fight, both were struck by lightning and turned into stone. One of the giants became Gunung Machinchang and the other Gunung Raya, the other significant peak on the island. Gunung, by the way, means mountain in Malay.

Park visitors can access Gunung Machinchang’s peak via a cable car that rises from near sea level all the way up to Gunung Machinchang’s 708 metre (2323 feet) peak. Built around the cable car’s base station is a tourist village area called Oriental Village which incorporates a cluster of buildings incorporating Malaysian and Oriental architecture styles. I’ll save images of that for a later post.

Langkawi Cable Car, Gunung Machinchang So, onto the cable car ride up to Gunung Machinchang.

For my first photo, I conveniently found a car coming around the base station’s turning wheel decorated with quite a pretty advertisement for Langkawi rather than one of the not so interesting ones for a local bank.

Readers of my previous post should recognise the bird featured on the front of the cable car. Quick memory test: what was it called again?

The cable cars look to be exactly the same models as used on Mt Titlus in Switzerland. I found this somewhat reassuring having previously undertaken a cable car ride up and down Mt Titlus!

If you happen to visit Langkawi and plan to use the cable car, please note that it is closed on certain days for scheduled maintenance. These days are advertised on the cable car’s website. Continue reading

Dawn Patrol

It’s not often that I get up at dawn, but my current enthusiasm for photography is encouraging me to try to see in the start of the day at least once anytime I am away on holidays . Continuing with the visit to the River Murray that has been the subject of other recent posts, this post captures the area at first light. Fortunately for me, the final day of the October long weekend was the second day of daylight saving for summer 2013-14, giving me an extra hour of sleep before the pre-dawn light started to appear 🙂

Dawn breaks over River Murray lagoon

The view from the front door of the tent a little before 6am.

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More from the Murray

Following on from the last post, some more images of the River Murray area around Morgan.

Murray River

Looking down on the river, from the top of the cliffs featured in the previous post. Although the river height wasn’t elevated, there was a fair flow of muddy water in the main channel.

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Silent Sentinels

Just back from a weekend camping up on the banks of the River Murray and thought I’d quickly post some images.

The Murray River is today a highly regulated river system with a series of weir and locks along its length.  Other than during flood events, the river level upstream of each lock is carefully managed to keep pool heights constant for both irrigation and navigation purposes. Unfortunately, this has been to the detriment of thousand upon thousands of river red gums lining the banks of the river and its flood plains.  These magnificent trees need periodic flooding over their root systems (once very few years is fine – they get by in between), but constant immersion leads to their slow death.  The river today has many patches of gums drowned by the higher and unvarying river levels that came with the locks – silent sentinels looking down upon a now disturbed ecological balance.

Drowned river red gums on the River Murray, Australia

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Himeji Garden

For some time I’ve admired the photos of the Kyoto area posted by Jeffrey Friedl in his blog. In particular, his images of Japanese gardens have a wonderful dreaminess to them.

I was recently reminded that Adelaide has a Japanese garden tucked away in a corner of the southern parklands, less than a kilometer from the centre of the city. The garden was planted out in the mid-1980’s as a sister city project between Adelaide and Himeji, a city of some 500,000 persons in the Kansai region of southern Honshu island.

I visited the garden when it was quite young, and recently went back with camera in hand. It is now some 25 years old and has matured considerably – the garden, not the camera, that is!

The excuse was to try out a brand new lens – the Pentax FA77 F1.8 Limited – one of the royalty of Pentax’s lens line-up.

So, over to the photos.

Himeji Garden, Adelaide

Entrance to the garden

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