Magazine article Geographical

Snap Happy in the Far East: Rob Fraser Reports Back from the Trip to Malaysia That He Won as Runner-Up in the 2004 Geographical Photographer of the Year Competition

Magazine article Geographical

Snap Happy in the Far East: Rob Fraser Reports Back from the Trip to Malaysia That He Won as Runner-Up in the 2004 Geographical Photographer of the Year Competition

Article excerpt

A myriad of colours pulsed before my eyes, as if a bucketful of rainbows had been emptied into the warm Malaysian waters surrounding me. This single heaving mass moved so swiftly that it seemed to defy focus or shape, and filled the entire 360[degrees] of turquoise void as I lazily kicked my fins and corkscrewed around. Then, thwock, and another bread ball hit the water some metres away and the kaleidoscope of several hundred fish paused, shattered and moved to the new delight.

Hauling myself into the boat, I asked Addi--our driver and the man responsible for the feeding frenzy--the names of some of the more brilliant examples. Point, point, point, went my enquiring thumb (the Malay people consider it rude to use the index finger), but each stab brought a shake of the head until, finally, he grinned and said, "I don't know, but they sure are pretty."

It was the second day of four on the Perhentian Islands, located a few kilometres off the eastern coast of the Malaysian Peninsula and already, in the space of a couple of hours, we'd seen green turtles, Napoleon wrasse, reef sharks, trigger fish and stingrays, as well as the nameless milieu. The languid island life was just one part of our tour across the peninsula, which took us from the lively and historical island of Penang to the nation's capital, Kuala Lumpur. …

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