Our Tour of the Cameron Highlands

Cameron Highlands Travel Blog

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Buddha inside Sam Po temple

We left Kuala Lumpur a little late, due to some sort of political demonstration, involving riot police and road closures. Nevertheless, we left only an hour later than expected and were very pleased to find the Super VIP bus that we had paid for was actually our bus! The seats were huge, with reclining seats, leg rests and massive arm rests. The only downside was the aircon was not at its best and we were sweltering for the best part of the journey (we still managed to sleep for pretty much the first two hours solid). The second leg of the trip was not for the faint-hearted. It was a trecherous two hours uphill climb around tight bends and there was evidence of many landslides and many buses/car going over the side of the road, i.e. wherever there were crash barriers on the turns, they were badly dented and in some cases, busted through.

White rose at the Rose Garden
When we were only about 5km away from Tanah Rata, our bus ran through and snapped clean a low-hanging telephone/powerline! Aside from a broken window by the driver's side and a missing windmirror, we escaped unscathed!

Once we arrived in Tanah Rata, we were kindly given a leaflet for Daniel's Travelodge which looked pretty decent and reasonably priced. We made the short trek and decided it was fine for us; nothing flashy, but clean enough. Not our best move.

We were pretty hungry by this point so headed to the main restaurant strip and indulged in our new favourite meal, a vegetarian curry set served on a banana leaf...very tasty. After dinner it was back to our dingey room for a couple of games of backgammon before checking out our guesthouse's very own "Jungle Bar".

Fresh strawberries from the Strawberry Farm (oh so sweet!)
The beers were cheap enough which is always a plus, but we were not picking up the atmosphere of the backpacker bonfire and the mix of french rap and house music.

By the time we got back to our room we were aware of a distinctly "shitty" smell eminating from our bathroom drain. We decided to go to sleep and try to forget about it, which was not easy as the smell grew in strength as the night wore on (and our bathroom door wouldn't shut). By the morning, we were very close to vommiting and insisted that we change rooms. It was no problem as evidently the guesthouse owners are aware of the issue. We put our bags in our new room, by which point it was time for our Cameron Highlands country tour to begin.

We were picked up right on time and the Malay friendliness and efficiency prevailled once more.

Us at the BOH tea plantation
Our driver/tour guide took us first on a flyby of the highest peak of the Highlands and then it was onto to Sam Po Buddhist Temple. It was pretty, however, having seen some incredibly impressive temples in Japan and China, we were already looking to move on to the next stop. We moved quickly on to the Rose Garden which was beautiful. We saw flowers we'd never come across before, such as the butterfly flower (see photo), as well as all the usual suspects, i.e. roses, sunflowers and the like. What was particularly interesting about the garden was the strange lifesized figures of random gnome-like creatures, zodiac statues and Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. The most impressive part of the garden was the  views from the top. We could see the garden of flowers below us as well as the tea plantations and mountains in the distance, it was absolutley breathtaking.
BOH tea plantation

Next stop was the Strawberry Farm. We weren't able to pick the strawberries ourselves, but we were able to buy a small punnet which we promptly ate. They were the sweetest strawbs we've ever eaten. We also sampled some strawberry jam and marmalade which was quite nice.

Moving on once more we arrived at BOH (Best of Highlands) tea plantation. We had a brief guided tour before being left to wander, take photographs, buy tea from their souvenir shop and taste the tea for ourselves in their cafeteria, which juts out over the plantation. We opted to share a pot of cinnamon tea and a pot of their premium variety; both were excellent (we can't wait to try the mango which we bought at the shop!). The plantations themselves were the most awesome sight; 600 hectares of lush green mazes (hopefully our photos do them justice).

BOH (Best of Highlands)tea plantation

Our tour then took a turn for the worst, but in the end actually worked out quite well for us. The next stop was a butterfly/insect/snake/lizard farm; where by the looks of it, they apparently farm the animals in order to kill them and sell them as trinkets in their souvenir shop. As we were not interested in contributing to the exploitation and cruelty of the animals, we took a little walk down the road to the vegetable market. Once there we were spoiled for choice, so decided not to choose, but to try a bit of everything! We had the sweetest sweetcorn we've ever had (no need for salt, pepper, butter, etc); we tried deep fried sweet potatoes; deep fried bananas; and deep fried broccoli with chilli sauce.

We wandered back to our tour bus in time for the next stop.

A closer view of the BOH tea plantation
..the honey bee farm! Once again, not interested in the farming of animals, so we started our walk back to the vegetable market for more delights. This time round, we had more sweetcorn, sweet potato balls and very sweet and small plum tomatoes.

We waddled back to our bus in good time to relish in our fullness before heading back to Tanah Rata and the end of the tour. All in all, we couldn't fault it. It was an exceptional morning filled with breathtaking sights and mouthwatering delights.

Once back at our guesthouse, in our new room, we realised the drain problem was not limited to our old room. We complained again and this time told them we had to leave. Lucklily, there was space available at a much more pleasant guesthouse not too far away called Cameronian Inn. We booked ourselves in for the night, dropped our bags and headed to the bus station to book our tickets to Penang for the following day.

reikkowen says:
wow both of you ate sooooo much! just like a malaysian! we always have time to stop for snacks....lol~~
Posted on: Feb 23, 2008
tvillingmarit says:
Oh I must visit Cameron Highlands, nice photos
Posted on: Feb 20, 2008
Virginiagoodings says:
I agree, the photos are amazing!!! Am especially interested in the banana leaf curries!!! Did you notice a Malaysian restaurant in Vancouver called the Banana Leaf??? Also very good food!
Love
Mum xxoo
Posted on: Feb 18, 2008
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Buddha inside Sam Po temple
Buddha inside Sam Po temple
White rose at the Rose Garden
White rose at the Rose Garden
Fresh strawberries from the Strawb…
Fresh strawberries from the Straw…
Us at the BOH tea plantation
Us at the BOH tea plantation
BOH tea plantation
BOH tea plantation
BOH (Best of Highlands)tea plantat…
BOH (Best of Highlands)tea planta…
A closer view of the BOH tea plant…
A closer view of the BOH tea plan…
BOH tea plantation
BOH tea plantation
Steph at BOH tea plantation
Steph at BOH tea plantation
Adam at the BOH tea plantation
Adam at the BOH tea plantation
BOH tea plantation
BOH tea plantation
BOH tea plantation
BOH tea plantation
Orange tree outside Sam Po temple
Orange tree outside Sam Po temple
Dragon outside Sam Po temple
Dragon outside Sam Po temple
Butterfly flower at the Rose Garden
Butterfly flower at the Rose Garden
Rows of rubber-type plants at the …
Rows of rubber-type plants at the…
Views of the Highlands from the pe…
Views of the Highlands from the p…
Views of the Rose Garden from its …
Views of the Rose Garden from its…
One of the signs at our guesthouse…
One of the signs at our guesthous…
Cameron Highlands
photo by: forevert2