In the small Malaysian fishing town of Teluk Bahang, made up primarily of single-story wood and brick houses, a giant white block punctuates the skyline. An abandoned resort hotel—complete with faded, peeling walls and overgrown plants protruding out of each window—towers over the surrounding area. As soon as I saw it, I knew I would have to explore.
At 7:30am I set off along the beach, camera in hand. The first challenge of finding a spot to climb over the fence was easy. A pile of brick slabs had been stacked conveniently next to it, suggesting I wasn't the only one to satisfy curiosity. Just as I had a leg on the top of the fence, a security guard on a motorbike trundled into view. Scrambling back and watching surreptitiously from behind the fence, I watched as the guard parked up and sat down on a chair with ample view of the grounds. Sinking onto the sand and cursing my bad timing, I resigned myself to waiting for the guard to leave.
Just as I was ready to admit failure, imagining regretfully the photos I would never capture, I looked over to find the guard had disappeared. I dashed back to the pile of slabs and took a few moments to scan the area. Ignoring the “Trespassers will be prosecuted” signs, I leapt over. Exhilaration kicking in, I started snapping shots of the apocalyptic scene; the empty and dilapidated swimming pool, the broken and stained statue in the gardens, and the decayed remnants of the lobby and rooms. Having collected enough imagery to convey the desolation, I clambered over the fence, triumphant and giddy.