People who seem to be standing on a giant mirror that creates fascinating reflections of them and the sky – This phenomenon can be observed in some places in Malaysia. By having only the sea in the background, it is also possible to play with distances and relations, creating fascinating optical illusions.
We were at the Sky Mirror in Kuala Selangor in Malaysia and tested how to reach it and what beautiful photos you can take there.
Where is Sky Mirror located in Malaysia?
The Sky Mirror is a sandbar off the coast of Kuala Selangor that can be reached by a boat ride of about 20 minutes. At low tide the sandbar looks like an island, at high tide the sandbar is completely submerged by the sea. Therefore, it also bears the name Hidden Beach.
Kuala Selangor itself is a small fishing village on the west coast of Malaysia, circa one hour away from Kuala Lumpur. Here there are many restaurants in which you can eat among other things fish. Otherwise, the place is unspectacular.
How do I get to the Sky Mirror in Selangor?
In principle, you have different ways to get to Sky Mirror. The first way is a tour, for example from Kuala Lumpur. These day tours cost about 100€ (€!). Another option is to go on your own from Kuala Lumpur by Grab or bus (No. 100) to Kuala Selangor and book the boat tour to the sandbar there. Grab works very well in Kuala Lumpur. Public transport in Malaysia is generally good as well. The boat tour costs about 80-100MYR, the bus to Kuala Selangor costs about 10MYR per person and a Grab costs about 115MYR. There is another similar Sky Mirror at Sekinchan and Sasaran.
How does the sky mirror effect work at Hidden Beach?
The Sky Mirror in Kuala Selangor, just like in some other places in the world such as the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, is created by a thin layer of water on the ground reflecting the sky. In Kuala Selangor, the water layer has the right thickness only during a limited period between low tide and high tide, so that the mirror images are created optimally. After that, the sandbank is either completely under water or completely dry. Due to the fact that the sea in the background is completely flat, the reflection extends to the optical horizon.
What should I look out for when touring the Sky Mirror in Kuala Selangor?
The photos of the Sky Mirror workonly when there is no strong swell . Otherwise the water ripples and there is no nice reflection. Also, in bad weather, the boat ride can get very rough. We had to cancel a tour to the sandbar because of an approaching thunderstorm and the swell made our small speedboat rock properly. Note that Kuala Selangor, we every place on the coast of Malaysia, can have in the rainy season like times sudden thunderstorms and heavy rain.
Furthermore, the mirror effect at the Sky Mirror only a few hours a day works well – Since the sandbar Hidden Beach is otherwise either too far under water or completely dry. So if your tour is delayed, as in our case by a late arriving tour group, then you have less time for photos, which you also can not somehow hang in the back. At some point, the water will just be gone.
Also, cream yourself properly with sunscreen when you visit the Sky Mirror. The reflection makes the sun’s rays even more intense and there is no shade there. A hat can’t hurt either. Also be sure to take something to drink with you.
To get out of the boat you must also knee-deep in the water, therefore no long pants on. Shoes you can leave in the boat. If you have a own camera with you, pack it during the boat trip in a drybag or plastic bag, because it can get wet already in the boat at swell.
Where can I book the sky mirror tour in Kuala Selangor?
The tour to the Sky Mirror has every tour provider in Kuala Selangor in the offer. The best thing to do is to walk around the jetties and ask for the prices. If you want to stay overnight in Kuala Selangor, ask in your accommodation if they can organize the tour to the Sky Mirror for you, because the tours are then often cheaper. Otherwise, you can find the tours bookable from Kuala Lumpur on many of the popular booking portals (e.g. AirBnb)
What photos can be taken at the Sky Mirror in Kuala Selangor?
For the photos at Sky Mirror, it looks best if you wear clothes in bright colors such as red. The most common photos are simply standing there or bouncing. The boats have some props usually with them. The standard ones are colored umbrellas, an Eiffel Tower and Godzilla for perspective games. It’s best to check out photos of the Sky Mirror in advance on Instagram, or even of the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, and get some ideas there.
One challenge with this, however, can be making sure other tourists don’t run into your photo. Because it gets crowded at times at this popular tourist attraction.
The guides take photos of all the group members with your own cell phones.They are very good at this and do a great job of capturing the reflections even when the water level is low. However, the pictures are mostly in portrait format. Also, the guides prefer IPhones. They don’t really know their way around other models, plus the reflections may not be captured as impressively due to the unfamiliar position of the camera for the guides.
If you want to take photos with your own camera, there are four things to keep in mind:
- You don’t needtoo fast a lens, it’s very bright on site.
- Photograph directly at the water’s edge to capture the most beautiful reflections and have less of the ground and sea in the background in your pictures.
- Make sure that you not only have the people and the subject all the way in the photo, but also do not cut off the reflections
- With beautiful perspective photos, it’s hard to get objects in focus at different distances. Either take an actioncam for this or do some trickery and crop two photos taken one after the other with different focus point.
Our conclusion from Sky Mirror in Kuala Selangor
We really enjoyed the tour to Sky Mirror. We stayed in Kuala Selangor for a few days and also did the firefly tour and the sea lights tour there. The photos taken at Sky Mirror are some of our favorite travel photos so far. The guides really know how to capture the location great in photos.