Cameron Highlands: the best part of Malaysia I’ve seen yet
June 19, 2011 § 3 Comments
Just got back from a 3D2N stay at Cameron Highlands! IT WAS AWESOOOME. And the best part of it was that we did most of it ourselves! We took a bus from Penang to Cameron for RM35 (about Php525). The trip was about 5 hours long, we went through the expressway, then it was a zigzag road up to Tanah Rata Town. The view at the foot of the mountain was actually surprising. It looked like they were quarrying because large chunks of the mountain were sliced off to reveal the rock face. The slopes were very steep and there were several anti-landslide measures that I saw along the way. Higher up the mountain, the farms slowly became visible. At first the view was spectacular with the thick forest and all. But then when I saw the farms and the towns and the smoke belching buses and I felt really sorry they weren’t doing enough to protect the area. We arrived around 8pm, and Sharon was dizzy from the trip. When we got down the bus station, we booked our return bus tickets and a tour for Saturday. Then we asked the tourist person to call Father’s Guesthouse to fetch us. Turns out the guy from Father’s Guesthouse had been calling us 10 times and he was pretty upset because he had to come back for us. hahaha. Eh we didn’t hear him. Anyway, on the way to the lodgings, I was pretty apprehensive what it would look like. I just relied on reviews on the internet when I did the booking. The hotels near the bus stop didn’t look good and the last thing we wanted was a view of the roof of the farms. To my surprise, we arrived at a really nice place that surpassed all my expectations! For just RM30/person/nigh (~Php450), we got 2 clean rooms with 1 clean bathroom, good food, a cozy lobby and a garden view by our window. We immediately ordered our dinner (which was self-service) since we we’re starving because we didn’t take anything for lunch to avoid getting nausea.
After dinner, we walked down to town to buy mosquito repellants because Sharon said she saw 4-inch mosquitoes! I didn’t believe her until she killed one and showed me the “body”. The guy from the hotel told us it was a male mosquito and doesn’t bite. But Sharon hated mosquitoes nonetheless so we bought the anti-mosquito stuff anyway. We slept around 12, trying to delay taking a shower because for the first time in Malaysia it was reallyyy cold. By this time, I had noticed my left eye was swollen for some reason!! T_T It really had to happen while we we’re in Cameron. pffft.
The next day, I woke up and I thought my left eye was blind!! HAHAHA. Ang dami kasing tears na naproduce and I couldn’t open it easily, but eventually nabuksan ko din, and it was really swelling now. :( I asked some medicine from Sharon and thankfully the swelling went down a bit. We ate breakfast at Father’s Guesthouse and took some pictures in the garden after.
Around 9:30, our tour van arrived, we picked up some Dutch guys and a Singaporean family and we headed off to the largest tea plantation in Cameron: Boh’s Tea Plantation & Factory. We we’re seated beside the Dutch guys from Netherlands and we made friends with them since we we’re all nice and friendly people. haha. Upon reaching the tea plantation, we went down and our guide explained to us some facts about tea, such as tea bags are trash and the best part of the tea plant to make the best tea. Nowadays, manual picking is not done anymore. They pick tea leaves once a month. Green tea and black tea are from the same leaves, they’re just processed differently. We went to the factory thereafter where they showed how black tea was made, from the grinding, to the fermentation, to the drying, to the sorting. I couldn’t help remember the impending board exam review because of this! @_@
After the tea plantation, we went to a “Mossy Rainforest”. The base is not soil, but moss!! So just jump and all the surrounding plants are going to bounce! :) We walked along a plank-path while Sadu explained and introduced some plants.
Assel: “are you tired Christine?”
me: “no, I’m just hungry”
Assel: *laughs* “you’re always thinking of food”
me: “yeah” *laughs*
Assel: “you should be a chef”
That was the end of the tour, so we decided to go down Brinchang Town and go to the Big Red Strawberry Farm ourselves. We ate lunch at a Chinese restaurant first, where we paid a whopping RM20 each for food that tasted like RM10! ugh.
From there, we walked 20 minutes to reach the farm and fill up with strawberries! They served all kinds of strawberry desserts in the farm restaurant and we each ordered a different one.
We we’re so full after that. I bought 1 bottle of strawberry jam just for a souvenir, because I still think Mountain Maid’s strawberry jam in Baguio is still the BEST!! hahaha. We walked to the night market [pasar malam] after that to check out the fruits and vegetables.
After all that walking, we took a taxi to go back to Tanah Rata. We didn’t buy dinner anymore since we splurged on lunch. We just ate strawberries and the tomatoes. While the three girls watched a movie at the lobby that night, I got tired of it [Red Hat] and used the internet for a while instead to check my mail and stuff. I sat beside a German guy who I, and eventually we, ended up talking to for more than an hour or so. He’s 26 and quit his job to travel around Asia and New Zealand for 10 months!!! NOW THAT IS TOTALLY COOOL. I soo want to do that when I’m earning my own money. If only there weren’t so many responsibilities to think about. haay, but I will do that! Eddie asked me about what’s nice to visit in the Philippines, etc. We had a good talk, until the staff asked us to talk more softly because it was already midnight and we we’re all talking so loudly :)).
The next day, we went to Rose Center, a bee farm and Raju’s Strawberry Farm. We took the 2pm bus back to Penang. The trip was really worth it! I’m just too tired to write in all the other details. I had immense fun with Assel, Sharon and Furhat! :)
Lovely place. Lovely weather. Lovely people. Lovely fruits. Lovely vegetables. Now this is what I want to see in Malaysia! <3 I loved Cameron Highlands! and to think this all started with getting interested with this place written on all the teas here.
P.S. The four of us was quite a funny group. When people ask where we’re from, it’s always a long answer : ” I’m from the Philippines, she’s from Kazakhstan, she’s from China, and she’s from Mauritius” :)). I think the best part I loved about this trip aside from bonding with my roommates is making a lot of friends with random people! :D