Welcome to my homepage! If you share a keen interest in photography, travel and adventure, then I hope through this website and blog, I can share my life experiences with you. Being a keen outdoor adventurer, I love photography, mountain biking, camping, trekking and offroad expeditions. JOHN KONG
TOTAL LUNAR ECLIPSE 2015 – On the night of September 27–28, 2015 the full Moon will plunge completely through Earth’s shadow for the last time until January 2018.
If your skies are clear after the Sun sets on Sunday, September 27th, be sure to head outside to see the total lunar eclipse that happens that night. This will mark the end of a “tetrad” of four total lunar eclipses spaced a half year apart that began back in early 2014. But, perhaps more importantly, it’s the last one visible anywhere until 2018.
Unlike the lunar eclipse on April 4th, which might not even have been precisely total, this one will carry the Moon through the umbra — the dark core of Earth’s shadow — for 1 hour and 12 minutes. Moreover, it’s the biggest eclipsed Moon you’ll ever see! That’s because the closest lunar perigee of 2015 occurs just 59 minutes before mid-eclipse. The Moon (in Pisces) will appear 13% larger in diameter than it did when eclipsed last April.
Unfortunately, for those of us from Malaysia and East Asia region, we will not be able to see it this time as it will be daytime in our region. The last lunar eclipse for Malaysia was on December 10, 2011. It was the second of two such eclipses in 2011. The first occurred on June 15, 2011. That was a relatively rare central lunar eclipse, in which the center point of Earth’s shadow passes across the Moon. I manage to capture the 2011 lunar eclipse with my Nikon 500mm lens with Nikon D3x body.
John has been invited to be on the panel of judges for the upcoming wildlife photo competition launched by the Wildlife Department of Sabah in conjunction with World Wildlife Day. A total of RM7,800 worth of prizes are up for grabs! Three categories are available. The Open (18 years and older), Government Staffs and Students (13 to 17 years old) category. The highest award will be the YB Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Masidi Manjun, the Minister of Tourism, Culture & Environment Sabah Award with a prize money of RM1,500 for the winner. Submit your entries now!
TERMS & CONDITIONS OF COMPETITION:
Please download the entry forms at: http://www.wildlife.sabah.gov.my/?q=en/system/files/download/files/194/BORANG%20DAN%20KENYATAAN.pdf
For complete information, please visit: http://www.wildlife.sabah.gov.my/?q=en/announcement/peraduan-fotografi-menteri-pelancongan-kebudayaan-alam-sekitar-kepkas
Appointment Letter from the Wildlife Department:
Thank you Universiti Malaysia Sabah for entrusting us again to design and print the 2015 Prospectus. The Prospectus also comes in a digital version distributed in the form of CDs. In line with the Eco Campus concept, the design of the prospectus comes with green and nature concept where only limited hard copies are printed. Most of the copies are distributed in CDs which is a sustainable practice to minimise hard copy, a move towards digital publishing to reduce cost and saving the environment.
Work done included design, printing, cd silkscreen printing, sleeve design and packaging, photography and digital publishing.
Life is a journey, not a destination” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Overlanding as the name suggests, describes undertaking a journey over land whether with your own vehicle or on your own two feet or in an overland truck with other people. The essence of overlanding, no matter what your mode of transport, is that the journey is what is important, not the destination.
The beauty of overland travel is that you get to see and experience parts of a country or continent that would be very difficult to access, if not impossible without a vehicle. You get the opportunity in meeting new people, or simply after an affordable way to travel from one stunning location to another, an overland trip will cover the best highlights, national parks and adventure travel activities that the location has to offer.
But overall, overlanding is more about your attitude. You need all the usual attributes to enjoy travel. You need an open mind, to be tolerant of other people, a sense of humour and you must relish the idea of foreign places and unusual situations. By nature there is a lot of camping involved which makes it a cost-effective way to travel. If you enjoy camping in the open, sitting around a campfire, looking out of the window at different scene every day, and don’t mind skipping a shower every now and then, overlanding is for you.
Once you have completed building your dream overland 4WD, the next question is how do you bring your vehicle to Malaysia? The first is to drive it through the Thailand border in Peninsular Malaysia or Singapore and the other is by shipping your vehicle first into Malaysia by sea. All shipments into Malaysia will need to be shipped to Port Kelang in Peninsular Malaysia before a transhipment to other ports. So bringing your vehicle to Sabah means you have to ship your vehicle to Port Kelang and later a transhipment to Port of Kota Kinabalu.
GET YOUR ATA CARNET (VEHICLE PASSPORT) BEFORE LEAVING YOUR COUNTRY
A carnet (pronounced car-nay) is a simple customs document, which acts as a passport for your motor vehicle when you take it overseas. It allows you to temporarily import your vehicle for a limited period of time without the need to pay cash at the border, equivalent to the customs duty and other excise taxes. It helps to save time and hassle when dealing with customs officers at international borders.
The vehicle, to which the carnet refers, once having been granted temporary importation status, must be removed from the country within the time limit imposed by that country. If it is not, the country will be paid all duties and taxes that would normally be required to permanently import the vehicle.
The use of a carnet is an alternative to leaving cash security deposits with foreign governments. Use of the carnet is restricted to the countries listed on the back cover and it is valid for one year from the date of issue. There are currently 85 countries worldwide accepting carnets including Malaysia. To find out the list of countries accepting ATA Carnets, please visit: http://www.atacarnet.com/carnet-countries
HOW TO APPLY FOR YOUR ATA CARNET?
You must apply to a member of the AIT/FIA carnet network, which guarantees to Customs’ authorities around the world payment of customs duties on motor vehicles, temporarily imported for touring purposes. Generally this means your local Automobile Association or in the case of American’s The US Council for International Business. You will be asked to fill in an application form and supply relevant information about your vehicle (along with proof, like a vehicle registration document). You will also need to pay an administration fee, the cost of the carnet and often a deposit, which will be refunded after the carnet is discharged. To find out who issues ATA Carnet in your respective countries, please visit: http://www.atacarnet.com/non-us-carnet-applications
With all this information the issuing organisation will then estimate the value your vehicle and calculate the highest level of duty payable in all of the countries you plan to visit. The level of duty payable varies considerably from country to country and is usually based on the value of the vehicle, plus a percentage. For example for a USD10,000 value vehicle going to a destination country that requires 150% duties, the carnet bond will be USD15,000.
As a surety to the carnet bond, you will need to provide security to the Carnet issuing organisation which can be done is three ways.
When you have sufficiently covered your bond you will be issued with a carnet, which will be valid for one year from the date of issue. The cost of your carnet will vary depending in which country you apply and also whether you choose to pay the full amount of the bond upfront or whether you choose to use an insurance company to underwrite the amount of the bond. Please consult your local ATA carnet issuing organisation in your respective countries for more information.
HOW DOES THE CARNET DOCUMENT LOOK LIKE?
WHAT OTHER DOCUMENTS ARE NEEDED?
International Driving Permit (IDP) – This permit is a multilingual booklet that is basically a translation of your driving licence into various common languages like French, Japanese and Arabic. Although it is rarely asked for, it is required in certain countries and as it contains your photograph it is quite useful as a further piece of documentation to show border officials. It is easily obtained, for a small fee, from your National Automobile Association.
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR VEHICLE ARRIVES IN MALAYSIA
When your vehicle arrives or enters Malaysia, you will need to:-
For a processing fee of RM150, the Automobile Association of Malaysia can assist you to process/renew your ATA Carnet upon arrivals usually within 1 business day. You could also purchase your Malaysian motor insurance from them. They can be contacted at:
Automobile Association of Malaysia
225 Block 4, No 7 Persiaran Sukan, Laman Seri Business Park
Section 13, 40100 Shah Alam, Selangor Darul Ehsan
GPS Coordinate: 3.086179, 101.550544
Tel: 03-5511 1932 (General Line)
Fax: 03-5511 2519
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.aam.org.my
Office Hours: Mon-Fri: 9.00am – 5.30pm , Sat: 9.00am – 1.00pm, Sun/Public Holiday : Closed
THE BORNEO EXPEDITION – EXPERIENCE BORNEO LIKE NEVER BEFORE
Don’t miss the opportunity to capture the very Best of Sabah has to offer in the upcoming THE BORNEO EXPEDIITON event from November 29 to Dec 6 this year. This expedition is opened to anyone who has an interest to discover the island of Borneo through 4WD overlanding. This year’s route and itinerary will cover the best locations Sabah has to offer covering jungle trekking to the lost world to visit the former Camel Trophy camp (built by the Camel Trophy team in 1993), river cruise in search of wildlife, paddle the Padas River, trek to the best waterfalls, take the most nostalgic train ride (only train line in Borneo which remained very much the same since 1993), join a charity event at a remote village and get to know the ancestral guardian of the caves!
To capture the true spirit of the Camel Trophy and as a tribute to the Land Rover Defender, schedule to end in production this year, this first edition of this event is exclusively for Land Rover vehicles. At least 3 units of Camel Trophy replicas owned by passionate Camel Trophy enthusiast will be joining the expedition. You are most welcomed to dress your Land Rover for the occasion. A full sand glow yellow coloured convoy of Land Rovers will be a dream come true!!
We wish you a wonderful journey and hope to see you soon in Malaysia!
FOR MORE INFO PLEASE VISIT: WWW.THEBORNEOEXPEDTION.COM
Paid a visit today to YM Dato’ Seri Tengku Dr. Zainal Adlin, Chairman of Sabah Parks Board of Trustees to hand him the latest print of Mount Kinabalu after the Sabah quake. Also wish to thank YM Dato’ Seri for his acceptance to become the Organising Chairman and Patron of The Borneo Expedition, a 4WD event to retrace the Camel Trophy 1993 route to be held from November 29 to December 6th this year.
The concept of The Borneo Expedition is to develop, document and promote sustainable overland routes in the Borneo Island. Each expedition is designed to provide exhilarating experience to participants with breathtaking views of Borneo’s geological, ecological, historical landscapes and cultures has to offer to the world! Convoy size will also be kept less than 30 vehicles to enhance convoy team spirit and most importantly to preserve the environment through sustainable green lane practices. The mission is to promote Borneo as an EXOTIC OVERLANDING TOURISM DESTINATION in the global market.
RETRACING THE 1993 CAMEL’S TRAIL
To get the inaugural project rolling, what better way than to roll back in time to retrace the most legendary 4WD event of the century, the Camel Trophy. The Camel Trophy was held in the island of Borneo for 3 editions; the Borneo edition in 1986, the Sabah-Malaysia edition in 1993 and the Kalimantan edition again in 1996. The Camel Trophy has in fact inspired many offroading events in this region. To make this inaugural event more meaningful, former Camel Trophy participants and 4WD legends whom has been part of this legendary event in Borneo are invited to join us on this first edition of The Borneo Expedition themed “Retracing the 1993 Camel’s Trail”.
To recapture the true spirit of the Camel Trophy and as a tribute to the Land Rover Defender, schedule to end in production this year, this first edition of this event is exclusively for Land Rovers vehicles. At least 3 units of Camel Trophy replicas owned by passionate Camel Trophy enthusiast will be joining the expedition. Participants are also most welcomed to dress their Land Rover for the occasion. A full sand glow yellow coloured convoy of Land Rovers will be a dream come true!! To add in the fun, an exclusive line of expedition attires, convoy vehicle decals and adventure gears will also be designed for participants.
This year’s route and itinerary will cover the best locations Sabah has to offer covering jungle trekking to the lost world to visit the former Camel Trophy camp (built by the Camel Trophy team in 1993), river cruise in search of wildlife, paddle the Padas River, trek to the best waterfalls, take the most nostalgic train ride (only train line in Borneo which remained very much the same since 1993), join a charity event at a remote village and get to know the ancestral guardian of the caves!
PUBLICATION OF A COFFEE TABLE BOOK
After the event, a coffee table book of each expedition will be published detailing the beautiful destinations that were visited, the crew, the vehicles, the participants and detailed route maps, permits, entrance fees for overland enthusiasts who wish to revisit the routes in the future. Each participant will get a copy of the beautifully illustrated coffee table book to keep for memories and more importantly, this book will be distributed worldwide to promote overland tourism for the island of Borneo.
Wish to welcome and thank YM Dato’ Seri Tengku’s generous support toward The Borneo Expedition!
Please visit our website at: www.theborneoexpedition.com more complete information.