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Cameron Highlands

Malaysia's premier hillstation

The Cameron highlands appear on most itineraries on the Malaysian peninsular so we thought we'd show mum an Asian hill station. The hill stations were set up by the colonists as a place to get away from the heat and humidity of the lowlands. We have been to several in Sri Lanka, Vietnam and the Philippines and have always enjoyed the quaint atmosphere, the cool temperatures, peace, quiet and great food.

On arrival in the main backpacker stop off for the CH, Taman Rata, Soph and I were a little put out by the traffic and high rise buildings. We found a small cafe for mum to have tea and a scone and us to have our curry roti fix. Soph did a reccy and found a couple of accommodation options and we went for a nice place on a quiet backstreet. The men of the establishment were friendly and helpful, but the women were surly and rude. The place was just what we needed though; fairly cheap and mum didn't need to be on the dog bed.

We decided to spend the afternoon/evening pottering around Taman Rata; eating, drinking and also booking flights to and from Langkawi, our chosen place to give mum some relaxation time before flying home. It took all evening to find somewhere with internet that would get us through the booking process, but we managed it in the end! We also had a good meal and a few beers.
We had priced up getting a car, 2 motorbikes or a taxi, but couldn't beat the £5 a head that the 5hr bus tour would cost. As bus tours go, it was good and fit in a lot of what we wanted to see, leaving the afternoon free for a walk.

First up was the butterfly and miscellaneous creature place:
A mantis...

Next up, the bee farm. It was a bit wet so we were the only ones to look around and then got told off by the driver for being late...

We got a taste of the honey, including one by tiny stingless bees... It was good bit not worth a tenner so we moved on...

Next, the Boh tea plantation. This had impressive views, good tea and even better cake. There is an onsite workers village with temples, church, shop, school and football pitch...

The next stop; a flower farm/attraction thing, complete with slide...

Our penultimate stop was a strawberry farm- good strawberries but better frozen strawberry pops!

And finally, a Buddhist temple...

None of the walks were particularly sold by their descriptions on the guesthouse notice board... "past the garbage falls", "through the power station" and such like... We took the one round the back of a golf course via Parit waterfall (which did have quite a bit of garbage). Once away from the river it was nice, though having not been on a golf course for 9months, I was pretty gutted to be walking without a stick in my hand following a ball! The course looks very impressive. We continued to the town of Brinchang where there are plenty more hotels in the same high rise concrete... In Brinchang we asked about getting a taxi up to Gunung Brinchang, a mountain less than 30 mins drive away. The set fare of £5 an hour was apparently insufficient so we gave up... Taxis in Malaysia carry signs saying metered taxis, no haggling, but perhaps 1 in 5 actually take you on the meter. I'm usually happy to persevere...
We went for another curry in the evening and this one was great! Very cheap and one of the best currys we've had. We ate until moving became difficult...
Mum enjoyed the Cameron Highlands and perhaps we have become snobs. The views were nice in places, but the place certainly wasn't peaceful and the large amount of building works, concrete and polly tunnels certainly detracted significantly from the natural beauty of the place. The towns lacked much of the charm that we were hoping for. We made the most of our time and enjoyed our day and a half, but don't see why it is on everyone's Malaysian itinerary...

Posted by bloorsontour 02:55 Archived in Malaysia

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