Many a times I forget to admire the beauty of Malaysia. Malaysia’s indeed a beautiful country with every corner looking different, a culture of its own and at times, the weather slightly differs in every part of Malaysia, being a tropical country. I become so awed with other country’s beauty and just keep clicking away on my camera when I am overseas. For the first time, I admire Malaysia like I’m in a different country. Well, as they say – the grass is always greener on the other side.
Being in Cameron Highlands is like being in Mallorca, Spain or Kent, England. Why Mallorca? It has to do with the winding roads while you drive up to the hill top with lots of plants and greenery overlooking the entire landscape, really a magnificent view. Why Kent? Similar to Mallorca, there are many winding roads although you’re mostly on ground level but the atmosphere is somewhat similar with farms around and they sell lovely flowers and vegetables. Houses on the sides, must cost alot for its land.
According to my colleague Delexander who is from Cameron’s, like any community, it has its fair share of happening activities and gangsterism. One thing for sure is that Cameron’s is really scenic so it is a perfect place to be in love. Well, for us – my colleagues and I, it was the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of the congested Kuala Lumpur and the stressful, demanding workload.
Cameron Highlands was founded by William Cameron, a government surveyor while on a mapping expedition in 1885. He discovered a plateau at an elevation of 1370-1700 meters above sea level and was so enamored by the wide area of gentle slopes and plateau land. Cameron’s name was bestowed upon the highland area.
It is crucial to enjoy the journey, not necessarily the place itself. Do remember that when you travel to Cameron Highlands (especially from Kuala Lumpur), you are able to admire the things you see out of your side window. Driving along the North-South Highway is pleasant and to an extent therapeutic. Sitting in a decent car certainly helps to enhance your ride. Here are some tips for you when you go on a road trip to Cameron Highlands (just the basic):
1. Have a meal – not too much, just right.
2. Visit the gents’ or ladies’ before you step into the car.
3. Have toilet breaks at the rest area if needed as you might not know when it might suddenly rain, or if there is a sudden traffic jam which could be for hours.
4. Have a bag in case you throw up in the car, from motion sickness.
5. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes.
6. As you drive through the winding roads, you need to look straight so you don’t get dizzy. You must stop reading or turning your head frequently.
7. Have a sweet in your mouth, it helps.
8. Take sips of water from time to time as you get dehydrated.
It was our department trip and we drove in a convoy of three cars.
Spot the Oakley fans.
We had a meal break at Bidor, and we spotted this on the ground opposite the opening ceremony of a store. Chicken innards. Ewww, gross!
We had some “wu-kok”.
This same coffee shop also sold alot of biscuits.
We continued our journey to Cameron Highland.
You have to drive at a low speed and be aware of cars coming from the opposite direction.
We even drove past clouds. Clouds remind me of cotton balls.
Until it got spooky….
Tadaaa, we finally reached Cameron Highlands. It took us another 45 minutes to reach Strawberry Park.
We stayed at Strawberry Park Resort, a really nice serviced-apartment with two master bedrooms and two single bedrooms with two bathrooms and a living room. It is also equipped with hot shower, a kettle, a refrigerator and also a microwave.
Four girls and one guy on the bed. Pillow talk. Mizheal is one of us.
That night, we attended Noriko and Tokku’s wedding at SK Kuala Terla multi-purpose hall, a wedding that saw around 600 people, mostly the couples’ friends, relatives and colleagues from Cameron Highland, Kuala Lumpur and Japan. It was a simple and sweet wedding. Noriko looked so beautiful in her wedding gown. The dinner started at 7.30pm and ended at 9.30pm on the dot. That’s the good thing about small towns keeping to the stipulated time on the wedding cards.
Noriko and Tokku.
The ladies at the wedding dinner. Guys on the other side.
We drove back to Strawberry Park Resort that night.
On our way back, we saw an array of bright lights (like a giant birthday cake with candles!). They actually came from the flower nurseries to help plants grow even at night (sunlight).
The apartment is beautiful at night. Cameron Highlands, like any other places also do have its fair bit of ghost stories and mysteries.
Later on, we had a good karaoke session at the apartment.
The following morning, we checked out of our apartment to have breakfast and do some shopping.
Group photo of all the whacky people in my department.
The people in Cameron Highlands usually drive Land Rover to cater for their crops.
I caught sight of these beautiful flowers before we headed to a market near Equatorial hotel, Kea Farm.
They sold so many strawberry items because Cameron Highlands is famous for its fresh strawberries.
So cuteeeeeeeeee!!!! I was really tempted to buy I stopped myself.
However, I bought one week’s supply of vegetables. The vegetables looked really fresh and they were sold at around RM10 for 7 packets of vegetables.
The market also sold alot of key chains.
Other souvenirs include t-shirts.
Some other extraordinary plants like blue roses were sold.
Including coloured chrysanthemums (besides the usual yellow and white).
Of course not forgetting the ever-famous, succulent and fresh, red strawberries – the icon of Cameron Highlands.
Cactuses were selling at RM10 for seven.
There were many types of cactuses.
This one is particularly special. It’s male and female. Something about the growth that differs the cactuses as one.
This pink one is the favourite of many.
Mammillaria dixanthocentron. I was torn between this and the one below. The furry one with many babies sprouting out.
I just love it, so I chose this extra furry one. Its thorns are soft, like fur, but after a while (when you brush your finger over the plant), you’ll realise that the thorn sticks onto your finger. Be careful. Like having a splinter.
Some tips on taking care of cactus. Put it out in the sun for a few hours, once a week and water it three times a week (according to the cactus seller).
I also received this cactus. It’s so cute and pretty! I think I tend to go for the furry type of cactus. I chose this for its heart-shape on the top right.
Me attempting to bite on the very fresh orange with my gigi besi. Just kidding.
This is the “Monkey Cup”. The size of the pitcher varies and some species are large enough to hold up to two litres of water! The name “Monkey Cup” arises from the fact that monkeys have been seen drinking water from them in rainforests.
Aren’t plants just so wonderful? I’m going to get my hands on plants pretty soon.
The honeycomb where honey is widely sold in Cameron Highlands.
Some other funky souvenirs like fake camera keychains with light.
Other fun plants for your home decoration.
I could not miss this - sweet potatoes sold at RM2.00 for one pack (about 8 pieces). I didn’t find them very nice though, I preferred the ones I had in Kunming, China. Perhaps it had something to do with the colder weather in Kunming, that’s why I enjoyed it much more.
Boh Tea Plantation
It was a dangerous, steep and narrow road leading up to the Boh Tea Plantation where oncoming cars share the same one-lane road as you. We were really careful on the way up. It is best to keep horning your car and also have flash lights just in case, to let the cars from the opposite direction know that you’re going towards them. Bear in mind that it’s a winding road, so you may not see the oncoming cars so soon yet.
We stopped at the foot of the tea centre. I went to the ladies’ and when I came out, everyone disappeared. Perhaps all my colleagues had already walked up. So, I took a stroll while searching for them and I found a turkey behind the ladies’.
A very beautiful one in fact.
There you go, “Boh!”
Walking up the steps.
It was a long way up, but it was really fun smelling the aroma of the tea leaves and nature at its best.
A close-up view of the tea leaves.
Acres of land of tea.
Helmi in the background taking photos.
Michael, Kim and Helmi against the fantastic landscape.
It’s as if someone had faked the photo behind me but it really was that beautiful.
The tea centre.
There’s some kind of mystery in this photo – my head looked disconnected from my body. Haha.
The Da Vinci Code.
“Boh” staff checking on teapots.
Me taking the picture below…
Then sneaking to the back of the glass in the tea centre shop.
Just being cheeky!
Elsze looking at “Palas Afternoon” tea.
Some tea soaps were being sold.
There was also samples of iced tea.
No prize for guessing what I liked about the tea packaging above.
This was some kind of tea-tree pod apparently. I was really curious to see what the inside was like.
What was Delex doing, jumping?
Cameron Highlands. Ahhh…beautiful.
It was the end of our trip – although we had hoped for a colder weather (although I had a massive flu). It must be global warming. The weather in Cameron Highlands didn’t feel much different from on-ground Kuala Lumpur.
Well, where next in Malaysia?