My Short-Break to Cameron Highland
Another place for me to cool off from Malaysia’s all year long summer besides Genting Highland is Cameron Highland, situated in the north-western corner of ‘Pahang’, about 6000 ft above the sea level; I felt like I arrived at the top of the world.
With my two other girlfriends, Kiana & Ana; three of us took a bus for approximately 4-5hours ride from Kuala Lumpur to Cameron Highland. The bus took an old high-way up to the highland. The road was really… unbelievably narrow and I think the bus driver is trying to get us all killed with his driving skills – it was so dangerous until I dare not to see. Lucky for me as I took the car-sick medicine before departing, or else, I think I will vomit non-stop.
Well, after the long ride in the bus, finally we reach to Cameron Highland. Upon arrival, as we have pre-paid our ½ Day Tour; we carried our luggage to the tour as well. We were brought to a few popular Strawberry Farms, Honey Bee Farm, some vegetables & flowers market and the Boh Tea Plantation.
For those who are die hard fans of roses like me, Cameron Highlands is the place where you can get all the roses you can afford. Absolutely cheaper than getting a bouquet of roses in the city, one could get a bundle for a part of the cost.
There were two places where we can see how roses are grown; we went to one of them, Rose Center. Of the two, Rose Center would be considered the biggest rose growing center with over a hundred varieties of roses growing on terraced ground. Unbelievably, the Rose Valley has grown up to 450 varieties of roses including the thorn-less rose, the black rose, and even the green rose, which is said to be the ugliest of the rose family.
Apart from roses, they also showcase other flowers like Lily, Gerbera, Diamond, Lady Shoe, Honeysuckle, Camellia, Gypsy Flower and many more (I didn’t get to learn the names of these flowers until I went to the center)! The cool climate of Cameron Highlands in fact provides ultimate condition to make the plants and flowers blossom. Most of the time, the plants and the flowers that were bought here never seem to grow well in the hot humid weather in the lowlands.
The local guide told us a lot of the information regarding the Tea Plantation and the sight attractions in Cameron Highland. These are two of my girlfriends, Ana (from Sarawak) & Kiana (from Iran).
The most significant part of this trip was the Boh Tea Plantation. It was the largest tea plantation in Southeast Asia. I was told by the local guide here that it was fondly known as the ‘Giant Green Carpet of Malaysia’. Wherever I look from the hills, I just see GREEEENN… A magnificent grand view of the BohTea Plantation Valley makes me want to go running around in the tea bushes.
From one hill to another, these hills were covered with tea plantations. With the breath-taking view together with non-polluted air, it was so astonishing.
There are a few tea shops overlooking the plantation, it’s a nice place to stop by and give your legs a stretch after trekking around the area.
So happen that the Tea Factory was closed on the day we went for the tour; if not, I will be able to see the process of tea-making. That’s really too bad.
However, the journey to the Boh Tea plantation was quite an adventure itself. The road was rather narrow; the bus driver had to give honks while turning a corner to let the opposite direction oncoming traffic knows that there is a car coming. It’s kind of fun indeed. =) While the driver was busy giving honks to the oncoming cars; if you can look at the right side of the view from the bus, the view of the green rolling hills, with the neat regular rows of tea plants, it’s such a peaceful sensation (forgetting about the noisy honks).
After the ½ Day Tour of the sight attractions in Cameron Highland, it’s time to check-in to the resort. We stayed in Strawberry Park Resort; they called it ‘A resort above all’ as it’s located up the hill compares to other resorts in Cameron. We took a break enjoying the view from our apartment until in the evening; we went to the weekly night market in Brinchang Town. The weather in the day was cooling already and it’s even colder when it’s at night.
When we reached the town, it was already freezing cold and it became worst when we caught in the rain; we were lucky because it was not heavy rain. In this town, this is where you can find all the produce of Cameron Highlands being sold under the stars. You can get everything cheap here if you know how to bargain. This is also a place to get some good “pasar malam” (night market) food.
Unfortunately, I was busy bargaining for the flowers, strawberries and corns until I did not manage to take photos. What a waste! BUT I was lucky enough to win over a few bargains in return when I bought some beautiful white lilies and roses. Also, from the market we bought so much of strawberries and corns as these are so sweet, it’s totally different from what I can buy from any other places. The vegetables and fruits were so fresh until we can just wash it on the spot and consume it right away; and it’s so yummy! They sell strawberries and corns even cheaper when it’s getting to midnight as the market
is closing soon. One good thing when you buy something from here is they don’t sell yesterday’s leftovers. They sell fresh fruits, fresh flowers and fresh vegetables every night. It’s no good if they throw the leftovers but I heard they will bring back and consume it themselves – this is better.
We took this ‘taxi’ back to our apartment from the town. Guess how old is this taxi? If I’m not mistaken, it’s 10years old already and it has been kept well by the taxi driver. I think nowadays you will only find these taxis in Cameron Highland and no where else in Malaysia.
At the end of the trip, we were all so tired and freezing cold; especially myself when I caught cold due to the rain. But the trip is wonderful; I will still want to go to Cameron Highland again to get some fresh juicy STRAWBERRIES – I’m missing it already!