Boarding the bus to Cameron Highlands, I could feel the increasing excitement. A couple of hours later, the bus was going up and around the mountains, heading straight for Tanah Rata. I had booked accommodation at Tanah Rata, just a few weeks back at the CH Travellers Inn. I had not known I would be spending a long time here! As I am typing this, I am slowly getting bored and relaxed in this very town. Awaiting a parcel from Singapore, I can't help but anxiously ponder when would it arrive. Well then, here are some of the highlights!
1. BOH Tea Plantations
The Plantation is located about a 28 minute drive from Tanah Rata. To get there, I took a one way taxi ride (30RM) and got there just as other tourists do. The place was packed with tour groups and locals alike. Overlooking the valley, the Plantation occupied a vast area of the valley, creating a mirage of green, puffy clouds. Despite the sweltering afternoon sun, the air was cool and it remained windy at some times. After the factory tour, I visited the shop and got myself a can of BOH Tea Leaves. Soon after, I headed off to the Cafe and ordered a strawberry cheese cake and a pot of the classic BOH Tea.
To exit the Plantations, I walked out towards the main road. Along the way, I saw a few photographers and saw that it was a really good opportunity to snap some postcard-friendly images!
2. Time Tunnel
The facility was located along the main road, and costs 6RM to enter. Despite the unconvincing exteriors of the time tunnel, it was interesting to view many artifacts from the past. With toys, posters and furniture going back to the beginnings of Cameron Highlands, it was nostalgic to get close and up with them. They even have a picture of the late Mr Lee Kuan Yeo and our current Prime Minister in their younger days! An awesome place to visit.
3. Big Red Strawberry Farm
Located in Brinchang, the farm is situated within a community of other farms that produce flowers, catus and organic vegetables. As with other tourist destinations, the place was packed with tourists and locals alike. The main highlight was the picking of strawberries. However, I hadn't picked them as it was costly! A mere 25RM for half a kilogram was an outrageous price to digest. In the end, I didn't picked any strawberries, but snapped some really beautiful flowers from their garden.
4. Gunung Jasar (1,696m)
On the way to the start of the trail, I met up with another solo traveller from the Netherlands. Sieb was his name, and he has just came back from Taman Negara. We chatted along the way and we got to know each other better. The view up was amazing. What start from a gentle climb led to a steep climb. Soon, we reached a clearing that had some workers getting on with some improvement works at the power tower. From there, the path to the summit was slightly man-made and soon we reached it! At the summit, a stone demarketed the border between 2 states - Pahang and Perak.
5. Gunung Berembung (1,840m) + Parsit Waterfalls
I started the hike solo, through trail number 7. Behind me, was a German couple who strayed away when we got near the start of the trail. The journey up was indeed a journey of self doubt, getting adventurous and the constant question of 'Am I walking in the right direction?'. After heading up a hill, thick vegetation was present despite the clear path on the ground. Making markings along the way, I steadily headed up, through tiresome steep climbs and slippery moss covered roots, I made it to the top. The sense of euphoria overcame my tired soul as I see the summit signs. The view wasn't fantastic, but the hike was amazing. Reflecting back, had I not trust my instincts and stopped Midway, I wouldn't had such a wonderful experience.
From the top, I headed on to trail number 3 towards the Parsit Waterfalls. It was a treacherous and slippery journey. With wet mud, sand and gravel, it was easy to slip and fall. Nonetheless, I made it to the waterfalls, alive. Along the way, I met up with a few groups of people. One of the most noticeable was a huge, noisy group of locals that somehow got lost in the middle of trail 3. Under-prepared was seperated, the group looked like they are having a hard time of getting back. I hope they're back safe and sound! Another party was a pair of travellers with a dark toned dog that had a blue leash. It was said that the dog followed the travellers into the forest, accompaning them all the way.
Back to the waterfalls, it was disappointing to not see a waterfall. I was expecting something more beautiful than simply rapids over rocks. What more, upon walking downstream, the natural River was Channelled to a canal which was littered with trash. Despite the disappointing ending, I finished the trek with trail 4, leading me straight back to the town of Tanah Rata.
6. Bharat Tea Plantation
As the most easily accessible Plantation, the Bharat Tea Plantations is home to the brand of the Cameron Tea. Packed and stuffed with locals and tourists alike, the vast greatness of the tea Plantation create a beautiful mirage of heavenly green fields. I ordered a Strawberry Scone and a cup of hot tea from their Cafe and sat there for quite awhile... Ha. Getting there was the easy part, a taxi costing 20RM for one way. Getting back, I hitch-hiked back on a motorbike. The guy happened to be from Germany doing a solo traveling in Malaysia. Thanks for the ride!
Backpacking over several towns and cities, the route passes through the Penang, Ipoh, Cameron Highlands and Kuala Lumpur.