Chop Shop Touring

Tanah Rata Travel Blog

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Downtown Tanah Rata
Yesterday I opted to take a half day tour that covered pretty much everything one comes to the Cameron Highlands for: strawberry farms, tea plantations, and honey bees.  The tour tacked on a rose garden, a butterfly garden, and a Chinese temple, because clearly a Chinese temple is in line with the theme of the other attractions.  I was looking forward to it, sounded like a great way to see and do everything in one fell swoop.  I suppose that should have been a dead giveaway.

The “tour” was essentially a tout who took us around to the different sites and pimped their wares for sale.  We couldn’t actually tour the strawberry farm (let alone pick our own strawberries, which is a favorite of mine) nor the tea plantation, the rose and butterfly gardens had additional entrance fees, the honey bee farm turned out to be one giant souvenir shop with some bee boxes out back.
  It was disappointing, and annoying as hell.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, our tour guide-cum-tout starts the morning (we’re talking before 8am -- early) in a far too loud and chipper tone, and gives us his first name but instructs us to call him “Mr. Singh.”  Like that bodes well.  Tell the girl with the authority problem to call you “Mister.”  He then rambles on and on, in his obnoxious loud chipper tone, about all the wonders we were going to see, as if we had signed up for a tour without bothering to check what was included.  Dude, it’s early as hell.  Shut UP.  Yammer yammer yammer, and it didn’t stop all day.  All day!  And everything he had to tell us was the MOST interesting thing we’d ever heard, and the MOST spectacular wonder we’d ever beheld.
  At some point during the rose garden I couldn’t take it anymore, and when he prompted us “Have you ever seen a green rose? No, you haven’t. Green roses are special. Look, let me show you. Let me blow your feeble little minds with a green rose that clearly you can see for yourself.” I snapped, and was like YES, WE’VE SEEN A GREEN ROSE. GET ON WITH IT.  And then later, at the butterfly garden, whose poor butterflies were so pathetic and dejected they just laid there wishing they were dead, he pulls us aside to show us “insects” and out come these massive horn beetles bigger than my fist and praying mantis and assorted amphibians with camouflage abilities and is all “Have you ever seen such creatures? No, you haven’t. Here, let ME show you.
Rose Garden
” and I’m all buddy, I’ve had enough of your antics, allow me to rain on your parade.  Yes, we’ve seen beetles.  And iguanas and frogs and chameleons too.  And those horrible pythons and scorpions you insisted on waving in our faces?  Yep, those too.  It’s the twenty-first fucking century.  And for everyone else here who doesn’t live in Miami and doesn’t have these creatures in their backyards, they’ve visited things called ZOOS.  Stop treating us like we’re six year olds.  Me and him, we got along swell.  (Before I get an email from my mom telling me I need to be more patient and accepting of others, I should clarify it wasn’t just me, it was the general consensus and increasing reaction to him.  He was OBNOXIOUS.
Rose Garden
  We couldn’t stand him.)

So on one hand, it was good to see everything in one fell swoop.  On the other, I was resentful of always being directed toward the souvenir shop and being pressed to buy something and the additional admission fees at every turn (on top of the tour fee).  But I met a fun group of people who commiserated with me over the never ending rain and the irksome tour guide, and we had a late lunch together in Tanah Rata, reviving ourselves with tasty Indian food.  The afternoon continued to rain (in fairness, it’s the beginning of the rainy season and I am in the tropics), which gave me a few hours to comb travel sites and hammer out some details for down the road.  It was a good day, and I really enjoyed being in the highlands, far away from a loud hot city.  Raincoats and long sleeves were a welcome change of pace.  Nice.
mikkismith says:
Sweet child of mine, you need to be more patient and accepting of others!
Posted on: Dec 24, 2009
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Downtown Tanah Rata
Downtown Tanah Rata
Rose Garden
Rose Garden
Rose Garden
Rose Garden
Rose Garden
Rose Garden
Rose Garden
Rose Garden
Rose Garden
Rose Garden
Rose Garden
Rose Garden
Rose Garden
Rose Garden
View from the rose garden
View from the rose garden
View from the rose garden
View from the rose garden
Rose Garden
Rose Garden
Strawberry Farm
Strawberry Farm
Horn Beetle
Horn Beetle
Leaf Mantis
Leaf Mantis
Scorpions
Scorpions
Butterfly Farm
Butterfly Farm
Tea
Tea
Tea
Tea
Tea
Tea
Tea
Tea
Boh Tea Plantation
Boh Tea Plantation
Boh Tea Plantation
Boh Tea Plantation
Workers housing in the boh tea pl…
Workers' housing in the boh tea p…
Boh Tea Plantation
Boh Tea Plantation
Honey Bee Farm
Honey Bee Farm
Lychees & Durian fruit (terrible s…
Lychees & Durian fruit (terrible …
Tanah Rata
photo by: o_mendfornd