Mario and Gareth, two Sydney-siders and photography-lovers recently went on a trip to Kuala Lumper to meet creative-mind alike friends and also discover the KL culture and its people. Discover their trip through their pictures throughout this interview and below:
The Frenchie: Hi Mario and Gareth, who are you?
Mario: My name is Mario, I’m 22 y.o. and I come from Borneo. I’m a photographer based in Sydney, and been doing a photography for the past year. I’ve been using a Nikon D750 since roughly December 2015 till now and started with Canon 7D earlier, on March 2015.
Gareth: Hi I’m Gareth, I’m 35 years old and based in Sydney. I was born in the UK and moved to Australia with my family when I was a teenager. I currently work full-time in the IT industry and do photography in my spare time. At the moment, I’m really into urban and night photography. I first picked up an Olympus M-m5 camera in late 2014 but I’ve recently migrated to a Nikon full frame and mostly shoot with prime lenses (14, 24 and 50mm)
The Frenchie: How come you went to Kuala Lumpur (KL) for a photography trip? Where did it all start?
Gareth: I’d been following @azzamchemanir from Kuala Lumpur on Instagram for ages and when I noticed he’d recently posted a shot from Sydney I hit him up to see if he was keen to shoot while he was in town. We hooked up a couple of days later and did the Bronte to Bondi walk, he was super chilled and said if I ever made it over to KL then to let him know and he’d show me around. I’m always keen to travel even if it’s just a quick trip overseas once or twice a year so a few weeks later I made the decision to go for it and hit Mario up to see if he wanted to come.
Mario: It was Sunday afternoon when Gareth, his GF Jane and I went for exploring the weekend. Gareth had a thought to go visit KL during his 1-week break from work and I thought that would be great for me to join him as I haven’t got back home (Borneo) since 2 years and the date was perfect for me to leave as I was in a break from Uni. Then we start to book up the flight and hotel, also contacted our friend @azzamchemanir who's living in KL. And it was a surprise that we ended up on a instameet that was held by @stevoxmag and sponsored by the government over there.
The Frenchie: Have you been to Kuala Lumpur before? What were your expectations?
Mario: Nope. Big city, Petronas Tower and yeah street food!
Gareth: Yeah I’d been in KL for a few days while travelling around Asia in mid-2015, I knew it was always somewhere I’d like to go back to and explore more of at some stage.
The Frenchie: What’s the coolest things in this city?
Mario: It has a lot of tall buildings, nice architecture and cheap stuffs, accommodation, beer and food compare to Sydney. The culture mix over there is also cool. You will see a lot of it on the street, start from the food, people, stores and stuffs that they sell.
Gareth: I’m a sucker for bustling Asian cities, KL has awesome streets and buildings to explore not to mention the amazing super cheap food!
The Frenchie: Anything you were surprised about? (Good or Bad)
Mario: Good thing that surprised me was the nature place called Genting Highland that you could easily go there from the city as it's less than an hour drive. There are some temples there that are really unique and bring up different vibes. Chinatown is something else, some unique to extreme foods are there. I was about to try frog meat while there, but I passed haha.
Gareth: the one thing that surprised me the most was the generosity of the people, everyone we met over there welcomed us with open arms and we were never short of an adventure.
The Frenchie: Which spots would you recommend to go take amazing photographs of? What are the must do in KL?
Mario: A view from the helipad rooftop bar during sunset is a must to try when you visit this city. There was a carpark I went to with some friends that has a crazy look of the city and you could get a view of Petronas Tower along with the building surrounding it.
Gareth: the city is full of street photography opportunities, the usual stuff like the Petronas towers are a must and there are some pretty cool carparks and rooftops you can get some new angles on them from. If you know where to look you can find some crazy staircases and vanishing points. Also south of KL is the new government office city called Putrajaya, home to some amazing buildings, mosques, and bridges. That’s definitely worth a visit.
The Frenchie: Did you meet with the locals and how was it?
Mario: Yeah! We met some of the local instagrammers (@azzamchamenir, @karyaaia, @huskar____ and many else) and also now our good friends. Also met some locals from the meet in Putrajaya that held by @stevoxmag.
Gareth: yeah for sure, while we were there we collaborated on an instameet with a local magazine crew called stevoxmag and were lucky enough to have some of the guys as our tour guides, they’re all really enthusiastic about photography, sharing knowledge, and spots so it was great!. The Instagram community there is really active and we ended up getting about 180 people to the meet despite the fact it was 45 mins drive outside of KL - it was such an awesome opportunity to meet more local like minded creatives.
The Frenchie: What’s your next adventure?
Mario: I was thinking on going to either NYC or Japan at the end of the year. But some small adventures in Australia too within the short holiday. Laurel Hill during winter is something that I have in mind as you could get snow in that pines forest area.
Gareth: next month I’ll be travelling to Brisbane to host the first #brisbanenightsquad instameet but the next big overseas adventure will be to either Hong Kong or Japan later in the year. I’m just at that initial looking at flights and working out an itinerary stage so it’s pretty exciting.
Some more photos from Mario:
Some more photos from Gareth: