We just got back from our trip to Singapore & Malaysia. Well, it’s actually been one month since our return. But as soon as we got home, I have been busy baking and decorating cakes. And Fred has been busy with his new project. So yes, January is a pretty crazy month. And now I’m glad that I’ll be able to take two months off from February to March to prepare our wedding. (I actually don’t know what else to prepare, but I just found it a good reason to take two months off, lol. It’s an acceptable reason for most people). That means I have more time to read books, update my blog, and cook some awesome dishes!
Anyway, last December, we went to Singapore and spent a week there. We then thought about going to Ipoh and Penang. So we took an overnight bus to Ipoh. From there, we went on an unexpected trip to Cameron Highland for 2 nights before heading to Penang. It has been a very relaxing journey, we should say. We were really able to relax and enjoy our trip. And I didn’t get to use my phone that much. I really like it.
We never knew about Cameron Highland before, but our high school friend, @andriantohartono, mentioned about it when we were still in Ipoh. We immediately checked for the bus ticket and were quite surprised that it only costs us MYR 19 each for a one-way trip! That’s less than USD 5, and FYI, it’s an air-con bus that we took. So we thought, yeah while we’re here and Cameron Highland is just 4 hours away, why not take the chance? So we made our way there.
How We Got There
We got our bus ticket from easybook.com. We made the reservation and payment online. Super easy!
It was not a very smooth trip, though. The road is pretty much straight forward, although it gets a bit winding. So our bad experience has nothing to do with the road. It’s not about the bus or the facility, or the trip itself. It’s about the driver.
So we were sitting on the first-row seat, just exactly at the back seat of the driver. It had been a comfortable ride until the driver decided to smoke. There was clearly a big sign of “no smoking” on the rear view of the bus and everybody including the one at the very back can see it. We were very sure of that.
Fred told the driver that it’s a non-smoking bus. The driver felt confronted right away and told us to move to the back seat so that we won’t be able to smell it. Fred insisted that it’s forbidden to smoke on the bus and even mentioned about calling the hotline number if he didn’t stop smoking.
The driver then stopped smoking for awhile but then in the middle of the road, he stopped the bus. He stopped right there and asked us to move to the back seat or else he won’t drive. HE STOPPED IN THE MIDDLE OF THE HIGHWAY! Crazy.
We found it very rude and we just couldn’t understand why. So Fred found that it’s no use talking to him as he won’t understand after all, so we moved back. It’s really sad.
But anyway, Fred managed to call the hotline numbers and report the uncomfortable experience while we were sitting on the back (lol, I know). And then several weeks later, he got an email notifying that the bus company including the driver has been given a warning regarding this issue. We were really surprised (and amazed) that they took it seriously! It’s a good thing they are doing.
Where We Stayed in Cameron Highland
Two of the most popular yet touristy city in Cameron Highland are Tanah Rata (this is where we stay) and Brinchang.
Tanah Rata is the center area of Cameron Highland. The train station is there. There are hospital, schools, police station, banks, and you know, government offices. There are many hotels, resorts and also inns here. It’s a popular town to stay in Cameron Highland.
Another one is Brinchang. It’s the second most popular city in Cameron Highland. We bet it is because of the Night Market. There are Night Market in Brinchang every weekend. But on Malaysian school holidays, the night market is held every day, starting at 4 pm.
How We Got Around in Cameron Highland
So, getting around in Cameron Highland is a bit tricky. We found that it’s not comfortable to just walk (if you want to go to several natural places because they are miles and miles away). You need to at least, rent a motorbike. We won’t recommend renting a car because parking might be tricky. And also, the road might be packed up with people during the holiday season so you know, traffic jam.
We simply book a half day tour from a local travel agent (CS Travel and Tours) and went to several cool natural places in Cameron Highland. We spent the rest of our time eating and reading books in Tanah Rata.
Where We Went In Cameron Highland
The places that we went to are recommended by our local tour agent that I mentioned before, but if you need any other info or ideas about where to go, you should read this Cameron Highland Tourism Guide. It covers a lot of other places that we didn’t go to.
Peak of Mount Brinchang
Getting to the peak of Mount Brinchang was relatively easy, we just need to sit nicely in the car and voila, here we are! There’s this tower you can climb up to, and from up there, you can see a 360-degree view of Cameron Highland. But….. it was foggy that morning and all that we were able to see is fog, which is okay. We still enjoyed the trip up there nonetheless.
Mossy Forest is another story. It might not be a gigantic forest you imagine to get lost in, it’s a small “forest” at the side of the road which is covered by moss, so it’s called the Mossy Forest. What’s interesting about going in there is that we could really be able to walk ion the natural path, not a brick path. So it was a bit rainy earlier and by the time we got there, the path was all a bit muddy. We had to be extra careful not to get ourselves slipped while also keeping our clothes and shoes clean at all time, lol.
We spent roughly 30 to an hour in there, walking among the moss, taking pictures, breathing the wet fresh air. We did get out from the forest by hanging on a tree branch (just like Tarzan), and woosh! Off we landed on the side of the road.
BOH Tea Plantation
This is my favorite spot from our trip. I mean, look how beautiful it is! Our tour guide, Mr. Singh (I hope I spell it right) did give us a brief explanation about the plantation, including how it all started to the tea grade, to the process of manufacturing it. It was really interesting. We also made a visit to an old tea factory which now serves as a museum.
Then we went to BOH Cafe where we had our BOH tea and cakes. The cake was… meh We’re not happy with it. (Although it did look pretty). So avoid it if you’re not feeling hungry.
We were starving that day because we had no breakfast before heading to the forest, so we did grab some. Nothing was even slightly good.
We also went to a butterfly farm. The butterflies there were all so big and colorful, and they just hang still on the flower. For a second, we thought they were plastic! Until we found one staff there unpacking living butterflies from paper envelopes 😱 We then thought, “Oh maybe there’s another farm which actually breeds butterfly and this one we’re going is just like a showcase.” It was pretty interesting to see.
There are some local strawberry farms in Cameron Highland. We made a visit to one and grabbed two packs of fresh strawberry. Yum!
Where We Ate in Cameron Highland
Well, there’s not much to choose in Cameron Highland. We literally just pick some random restaurants (which we thought would serve good food) in Tanah Rata.
We also tried Barrack, which serves this unique creamy soup in a bread bowl. Super tasty. Then we tried My Cake Home, which serves decent local Mie Goreng. And several other local eateries. Just pick and try! 🙂
What we really like about Cameron Highland, is not the food, not the natural places, not the city. It’s the cool weather and the calming, quiet atmosphere. It really is something that you can’t get in a bigger city like Ipoh. Until next time, Cameron Highland!
P.S: Fred and I decided to make a blog together. Head over to www.fredricsharon.com to read our stories! 🙂