While Bolivia has its Salar de Uyuni – where people come from all around the world to photograph the reflections on the thin, but seemingly endless expanse of water on the salt plain, Malaysia’s Sky Mirror is a similar natural phenomenon – in the middle of the sea.
The Sky Mirror, in the Straits of Malacca, off Kuala Selangor, a little more than an hour from Kuala Lumpur, is a new attraction for foreign tourists – still “to be discovered” by the broader community of international travel agents and tour operators, and an absolute must for photography buffs.
It is about three kilometres off the coast from the fishing village of Jeram, Selangor. Due to tidal activity, it only “appears” only a few days every month, during the first and 15th days of a lunar month, and 4 days before and after. When the tide is ideal, the sand bar emerges with a thin sheet of water on top to give a breath-taking mirror-like reflection.
Speed boats leave early in the morning for around half an hour’s ride to get to the sand bar at just the right time, as there’s only an hour or so to take photos before the tide comes back in.
While hundreds of people head to the Sky Mirror to take “crazy” photos, the sheer size of the place means it’s not at all overcrowded. Tourists are advised to wear striking coloured clothes or bring “fun” props to make their photos stand-out, with the thin sheet of water giving sometimes amazing symmetrical images.
Walking on the offshore sand flats is an eerie experience in itself, as the nearest land is quite distant, and the occasional ocean-going freighter or cruise-liner may glide past less than a kilometre away.
The tour to the Sky Mirror generally includes a number of props and photo ideas, supplied by the tour company, and a series of photos taken by their experienced photographer, adept at taking great shots in these conditions. Photo buffs also of course bring their gear and are able to “go wild” with the reflections and all the possibilities offered by this unique location.
The Sky Mirror was discovered a few years ago by Chinese fishermen in the village of Kampung Sasaran. In the Chinese language, it is known as “Shasha Lan”, and in the Malay language this is converted to “Sasaran”.
The part-time island is home to a multitude of marine flora and fauna. Along with sand dollars, the most common are sea clams and baby clams which scattered abundantly in the sand and glitter like diamonds under the sun. Other interesting marine organisms found are sea anemones, shore crabs, red crabs, soldier crabs, bamboo clams. sea grapes, bailer shells, sea snails and a variety of shellfish.
The boat tour to Sky Mirror starts in the morning, between 7 am and 10 am with return scheduled between 11 am and 2 pm.