Monday, 29 July 2013

The EPL-5 ( A real World Review ) in Sungai Lembing.

Hi Folks,

After a long break from the Blogging world, I finally has enough energy to keep my two fingered typing back in track. It's a Review that's long overdue since the EPL-5 was send to me a month ago. Due to the Haze and packed schedules, I finally has the time to settle down and do a series of  short reviews starting from my trip to Sungai Lembing.

Sungai Lembing has always been a place that I wanted to visit and photograph since my Marketing days, way back in the late 2000's. It was early this year that a friend of mine from Astro suggested that I tag along for look at this Rustic and Beautiful Town. I didn't made it then and after watching the series in Astro, I was Awestruck by the Beauty and the Uniqueness of this place. So, I decided last weekend along with a old buddy of mine to go there on a 3D/2 nights stay at Sungai Lembing & Kuantan. I am not going to tell you where S.Lembing is, as most of you would have heard of it by now. All I can say is that this has to be one of the '' Most Photogenic Old Towns '' I have ever been. Believe me, it's a Haven for Shutterbugs and Nature Lovers alike.

Sungai Lembing is one of the oldest Tin Mining town in Malaysia and is famous for its @ Hanging Bridges, Mountain Top View of the rising Sun at Panorama Hill and  The Rainbow Waterfall. Besides this the town is unique with those Huge Hundreds year old Trees along the main road and most importantly, the Old Pre-War wooden Buildings and houses. As with most small towns in Malaysia, Food is a topic that (  most of the Facebook Generation ) will not miss. S.Lembing is famous for its '' Ketchup Mee , Dried Chilli Mee, and Yong Tau Foo ''.

Now for the '' Gear '' itself, the Pen EPL-5. Thanks again to John Wong of Olympus Malaysia for kindly loaning me a Mint unit for this short users review. As with the OMD, this cam share the same ( By now famous ) Sony 16.1mp sensor as its Predecessor. IQ wise, it's almost the same as the OMD EM-5. The EPL-5 is of course the Mid level line of the Pen series and hence the exclusion of the Weather sealing , the top Dials & 5 Axis stabilization. Well, you get what you pay for and don't be fooled by the compact look, this camera is Solid and a joy to hold in our small asian hands. My only gripe is that the Menus are a bit hard to access and sometimes confusing in a emergency situation. I still prefer the EPL-2's  menu as it's a lot more simple and Uncluttered. I would love to give the newly launched EP-5 a try to see the difference in a real world usage.

 And now , lets do the remaining part of the Review / walkabout in Pictures ...!!!  All done with the  EPL-5 along with the standard kit lens 14-42 ( Courtesy of Olympus Malaysia). As with all of my past Oly cameras, the OOC jpegs and its built in '' ART FILTERS '' are a joy to use and sometimes even Addictive.

The Greeting Sign of Sungai Lembing at the entrance to the town.....You won't miss those Large '' Ball Bearings '' Left of it.

After the  welcome sign on arrival at Lembing town itself, one will notice those trademark Hundred year old trees at the center of the road divider.

The other most important thing about S.Lembing is its Hanging Bridges. There are around six of them of which 4 are still in use. Here are some Pics of those wonderful Hanging Bridges.

Besides the Bridges, there is of course The Lembing River itself.  Don't let the calm fool you, at its peak ( Monsoon Season in the Late 2000's ), the River overflow its Bank and the Town was flooded in no less than 15 feet of Water. It's just a reminder of the Awesome power of Nature...!!!

Now for the Rustic side of things....All those Old buildings and the Folks here at S. Lembing Town.

Lembing is also Famous for its supply of the now World Renown '' Tongkat Ali '' and one Man even Carve and make Sculptures out of it ...??? Want to be as strong as a '' BULL '' ? Then come down here to Lembing, the Town Where '' Time '' Forgot ...!!

As with most Old Town or New Village in Malaysia, Food has always been a Major Topic of discussion. Here in Lembing , the food synonymous here are the '' Ketchup Mee, Tau Foo & Local Biscuit ''.

     The Famous '' Ketchup Noodles '' done in either '' Red ''

     or .......... Black ketchup ....!!!!

Besides this, Lembing is also Famous for its Delicious '' Tau Foo ''. With so many Waterfalls and Streams, it's not surprising that the Tau Foo here taste so Fresh and good.

And The Chef behind all this good stuff is '' Mr. Chubby ''....Ha,Ha.

One of the main reason for my coming here has to be the View from '' Panorama Hill '' or better known in Malay as '' Bukit Panorama ''. At around 300 meters it looks like a piece of cake for Young climbers, who could easily scale it in around 1/2 hour. But for us Old timers 45 minutes is the Norm here. Waking up at 5.00am is also a Norm here if you're gonna climb up the Hill just before the break of Dawn. The whole purpose is to watch and in my case '' Photograph '' the Beautiful Sunrise Scenery Surrounding the both sides of the Hill. Well, here are the Pics....!!!

And here are some Friends that I made which includes some Young Photographers from Peneng.

A Few Vertical Shots from the Hill Top.

Finally , I would like to add a couple of Pic of the Place that we stayed. There are lot of Hotels, Guest Hoses, Resorts and even Homestay here. But after reading a fellow Bloggers opnion, I decided to give  '' Lembin Village Resort '' a go. It's along the other side of the Riverbank and the main reason I picked it is because of it's serene and Quiet surroundings. More than that It was the Owners Friendliness over the Phone and in Real Life that made my decision the correct one. Without a doubt , this is the Best Place to be if you're ever thinking of making the trip here. It's not only Quiet, it's also well kept and Clean. Here are some details of the place : 

@  Lembin Village Resort
@ Contact : Mr. Vinson Chow at : 019-9011267
@ Resort No : 09-5411831

And here's the Pics ...!!!

There you go, looks like my two typing fingers are crying out for Help....Adoooiii!!! So much more to see at S. Lembing and so little time to see it all....Argh !! Those that I missed includes... The Rainbow Waterfall, The Crystal House and The Old Tin Mine. For that I will see be back at Lembing for a second time ( That's for sure ) ...!!! What a Beautiful Place this is and may I suggest you all make that trip there before the Modern World Creeps in ...!!! At Lembing, Time stand still and we the Aliens are Intruders  ....Yee Ha !!

As for my ageing opinion of the EPL-5, there are as usual the Pro's & Con's of any Camera out there. After 2 Months with it , here's my down to earth '' Personal Users Opinion '' :

What I like about the EPL-5 :

@ The EM-5s Sensor
@ Ergonomics
@ Compactness
@ OOC Jpegs

What Needs to be Improved on or changed :

@ The Whole Internal Menu Set Up ( Too Many of them are Tuck away ) and when in a rush, could be hard to find. The EPL-2 is way much simpler.
@ The 2x Teleconverter Mode still exhibits a lot of Noise and Artifacts ...!!!
@ The Price when compared to the competitions.

This is another Camera from Olympus that I could easily recommend to anyone, be it a First time user or Advance Amateurs. But for those who are on a Tight Budget, May I suggest your look at the EPM-2 or The EPL-3.

That's all for now and I will be back with an Article on '' The Old Trades of Batu Pahat '' when I have the time and energy..... Phew !!!

Take care and Remember that Time waits for no one. Go out and Live that Dream and Live Life to the Fullest ...!!!

Cheers !!!.....Uncle James.


  1. Proud to say I was there at Sungei Lembing, the town that Time forgot, with this one-and-only-one great uncle lau beh! Incredibly idyllic place, should be in every avid photograper's bucket list, ie die die must go see before it is spoiled by Progress.

  2. Hi Lau Beh,

    For a moment there I was gonna tell you posted at the wrong thread....Ha,Ha. It's a sign that we really are getting Old !! Glad you and your family did made the trip and for that I am happy for us all. Life for us Old Timers is just like a wind up Clock ...Once in a while it needs that special touch, before it Winds Down ...Yee Haa !!! Now you know why I try my best to live Life to the fullest, because Tomorrow is promise to No One ...Cheers !!

    Brother James.

  3. Uncle NB, Shanghai Opera at Kallang Theatre is on this Fri & Sat, sadly u cant make it. Without the master the pupil is a lost sheep (even with the awesome OMD) ho ho ho....hopefully c u after the Majulah S'pore Celebration, and discuss our next escapade (Bentong?) or Chengdu (guess u not keen as i didnt get any response). Incidentally last nite this bloke i told u about called to ask when can we meet to talk about the antique joint biz, i told him i will arrange for a meetup in jb or bp after NDay

  4. Hi CK,

    Yup !!... Missing that opera is Pain to my shutter Fingers !! But my missus Happiness is even more important than my itchy fingers ...Ha,Ha. As for the China trip, I would love to go as '' Jiuzhaigou '' is so Beautiful. The problem is that it's way beyond my Budget for this Year. I believe the total cost ( Including Air Fares & Misc ) is around RM 4K. My limit for the remaining part of this year is around RM 2.5K. October is the peak season over there and things are not cheap by then....Lets pray that I get lucky this month or so with my '' 4D '' Karma ...Ha,Ha !!!