Thursday, May 29, 2014

A Visit to Cameron Highlands...

It was a beautiful morning May 21, 2014. We had planned to visit Cameron Highlands a town which is 1268 meter above sea level, on the top of the main range in the state of Pahang. Just after 8am in the morning I drove the Honda taking the DUKE Highway into the North South Highway toward the north. I had planned to get into the Highlands via the Simpang Pulai exit 137 in the state of Perak, just south of the town of Ipoh. My nephew who lives in Kuantan came along to help in the driving. I drove all the way to the Tapah Rest and Recreation area and had a short break there while enjoying an early lunch and refreshments. Then my nephew took the wheel. This is the first time that we took that road toward Cameron Highland and found the road is less winding than the Tapah one. In the past there was only one way to get to Cameron Highland and that is via Tapah. Now there are three new roads; one from Simpang Pulai that we are taking that day and the other two are from Gua Musang in the state of Kelantan and the latest one is from Raub in the state of Pahang. Although Cameron Highlands is in the state of Pahang before the new roads was constructed the only way to get to Cameron Highlands from any other districts in that state was by driving through the state of Selangor and Perak before one get back into the State of Pahang where the district of Cameron Highland is. After a leisure drive of one hour from Simpang Pulai we reach Kampng Raja. Then drove slowly toward the Copthorne Hotel in Brinchang where we would stay while in the highlands. The road was winding all the way but was not as bad as the Tapah Ringlet stretch and sort of heavy with local traffic collecting vegetables and other produce to the market all over the country. Cameron Highlands is the biggest producer of temperate climate vegetables for the country as well for Singapore. [Above is the view of the Bharat Tea Plantaion]

We eventually arrived at the hotel, a sprawling complex which was the former Equatorial Hotel. We had book two rooms on-line and the checking in was in a breeze. We were given two adjacent rooms on the eleventh floor. On entering the room we found it has a splendid view of the countryside below. Had a short rest and then went out for lunch at Tanah Rata, the main town of the district. After going around we soon found a place call Hotel Titiwangsa that served food. We sat down and ordered a variety of Nasi Goreng and enjoy it at the lobby of the hotel cum restaurant in the cool comfort of the mountain air. After a while we decided to drive on toward the town centre to do a bit of sightseeing of the town and the greens around. We then got back to the hotel for a rest and refresh ourselves. Just after seven in the evening we went to the town of Tanah Rata again and had dinner at a Mamak restaurant there. The place was already thronging with tourists enjoying their dinners. I saw many backpackers’ tourists around, mostly Europeans walking around and enjoying their food there. Cameron Highlands has always been popular with foreigners because the weather is always cool. We ordered Tandoori and Chicken Tikka and sat to enjoyed it. After dinner since there were hardly any night-life activities we decided to get back to the hotel and call it a day.

I woke up early at about 4.30am in the morning because of the cough that I had been having for months already. My son in law who is an ENT specialist says it because of dry throat and give me some medicine for treatment; it sort of an old age problems. I could not sleep again until around 5.30am. Then I heard my spouse who had waked up saying that there is light coming out of the mountain range and it look like a sunrise. I woke up and went to have a look and sure enough it was the sun rising. I went to wash up and took my camera and wait for the sun to slowly rise against the horizon. Slowly the sun began to make its appearance with a spectacular display of light; Orange, Yellow, Amber and Red against the dark blue sky. It was indeed a magnificent sight to watch in that early morning. The time was just past seven in the morning. Soon the whole areas from the mountain range and the lush green of the lowland was ablazed with light, thus the morning begin with a wonderful display of light from our glorious sun. It was a wonderful welcome to us on our first day here in Cameron Highlands.

Our room come with breakfast for two. Since the breakfast is served from 6.30am to 10am we decided to get ready to enjoy the breakfast at the Coffee House downstairs. Just after 8am we went to enjoy our breakfast. As usual with Malaysian hospitality industries the breakfast come with a large buffet spreads.  So it is always wise when making booking for room at the hotel in Malaysia to see to it that it includes breakfast as well. We take our time to enjoy the breakfast. I found that the local spreads including the Nasi Lemak are as good as home made. After enjoying that breakfast we then got back to our room and refresh up before going out to play tourists. The weather outside the hotel was cool and not normal to us who live in the lowland so we have to wear light jacket or sweater. And I like it, it felt really good; cool and fresh.

With my nephew driving the Honda we took a spin of the town up to Ringlet, then make a turn back to Tanah Rata. On the way we stop for tea at the Tea House of the Bharat Tea Plantation, the second largest tea plantation in Cameron Highland. From the tea house one can see a sprawling tea bushes, green, green and greens as far as the eyes could see. We ordered tea and sat at a table with a view of that sprawling tea bushes below. It was a panoramic view of lush green like a postcard. Magnificent indeed!

I felt real good sitting there enjoying that peace and tranquillity of the place, atop the world with the lush tea farm below. I was at peace with myself and felt so nice that I wanted to stay there forever. It was a feeling that touches my heart; a special feeling indeed. It felt so good. And the Teh Tarek was heaven! I had brought my camera and the necessary lens to do photography and had a field-day photographing the scenes around the tea house.

After a while we left and got to our hotel in Brinchang to freshen up. Flowers grow well in the highlands. The hotel that we are staying took advantage of this and landscapes its front with colourful flowers thus enhancing the approach of the hotel. I love to see such display of flowers and took some image of the scene. On the morning of May 23, 2014 after having a hearty breakfast at the hotel we check out and on the way to Ringlet we bought the local vegetable and Strawberry to take home. We were thinking of taking the new road that would take us back to Kuala Lumpur via Bentong but could not find the exit. Since it was only less that 50 kilometres to Tapah where exit to the North South Highway is we decided to forgo going back via Bentong but instead chose the Tapah route. On the way we stop at the Lata Iskandar to watch a Water Fall there. As usual the place was throng with tourists making a stop on the way up to the highlands or going down toward Tapah. We left the place and soon got into the highway again. We proceed south on the highway and make a stop for lunch at the Tapah Rest and Recreation area  Then proceed on and reach home at just 4pm in the afternoon.  All in all our short holiday was a colourful one indeed. We did enjoy it.

Have a nice day.

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