Thursday, October 25, 2012

Heaven On Earth

A couple months back I had the privilege of going to Pulau Layang-Layang, about 165 nautical miles from mainland Sabah. It's a very small island, really. It's in the middle of no where..well, actually it's in the middle of South China Sea but it takes about an hour to get there by charter flight.

Charter flight is the ONLY way to get to this island - unless you travel by sea. It is arranged by the resort on the island, Avillion Layang Layang. My schedule and deadline was tight. The charter flight was full and I couldn't postpone the assignment. I was lucky coz the Royal Malaysian Air Force happened to be doing night landing exercise with its Charlie C-130 during the dates I was scheduled to be there. So we hitched a ride! :)

The runway is shorter than usual - so our landing was rather rough. I was there to feature the island's very own navy people. Yeah, it has a runway, a resort AND a whole navy base. Pretty neat for a tiny island.

Sure, it was fun shooting on the island. I enjoyed the beautiful view and the navy people treated us well. But the highlight of my 4-day trip was the nearby man-made island. It was specially made for migratory birds.

Here I was able to go up close to these beautiful birds!

The story behind this bird island (which I never had the chance to share in Majalah 3):

The birds were originally on Pulau Layang-Layang and they were disrupting the flights landing and take off. The bird island was created to get the birds to move there. How did they do it? They brought the eggs and the younglings to the island. The birds, being very protective, followed where the eggs/younglings were placed. They eventually settled there until today.

So when I was there, I was reminded not to touch the eggs or the baby birds - or they might get unhappy with me. With their large number - I was afraid of the consequences.

In fact as I sat quietly just enjoying the beautiful creatures in front of me, the birds warned me to stay away by flying towards me and going really close above my head.

We had to watch our steps too coz there were eggs on the ground!

We then took the boat about 100m away from the bird island, to a historical structure.

This is what is left of the original site where the first military people were placed back in the 1980s.

These birds don't seem to mind staying in the rubble. We were quite close to it and they didn't budge. But we mind our distance anyway because they have longer necks and beaks.

Just one of the reasons why I *heart* my job. It brings me places I would've only dreamed of going, see spectacular things along the way and learn so much. And there's more to come! :)

1 comment:

Mama said...

Wow! That's a beautiful sight!