The year 2017 was momentous and spectacular for us. So we decided to honor ourselves with a memorable trip to Cameron Highlands, Malaysia. We found it to be the best place near Singapore to enjoy the wintry December.
We took a bus ride from Singapore to Cameron Highlands. Fortunately for us, there were bus services directly to the hotel (Copthorne Hotel) from Singapore. Hotel stay was good considering the access to nearby amenities and attractions. Rooms were clean, spacious and very well maintained although the facilities looked a bit too worn out. Food was not too impressive but we managed to eat at the nearby restaurant (Zahrat Alsham Restaurant) owned by a Syrian family. We saw many steamboat dinner places but never tried.
Weather conditions varied between 18°C to 23°C. It was very windy and chilling throughout. The entire town was misty all the time and it was drizzling in between as well. Visibility was very poor, barely a few meters only, but it was the perfect place on earth to farewell the departing year.
We rested the whole afternoon on arrival day and in the evening went to the famous flea market at Cameron Highlands, locally known as “Pasar Malam”. This popular weekend night market is surely one of the must-visit attractions and should not be missed if you plan to visit Cameron Highlands. There you will have the opportunity to explore local cultures and cuisines across Malaysia. Treat yourself to the hot and savory sweet potato or to the soothing mellow cones and let your taste buds to have a gala dinner. Or you can try ‘strawberry sauce chicken fry’ or the typical ‘nasi lemak’, options are manifold.
Land Rover saga
When you first land on Cameron, you will be amazed to see the number of outdated models of “Land Rover” vehicle buzzing up and down the hill. They served many farmers and tourists along the road and still continue to have a huge impact on local’s lives. On 26th of August 2007, Owners of 405 Land Rovers drove into the Malaysia Book of Records for being the largest Land Rover convoy ever assembled at that time. Abandoned Land Rover vehicles could also be seen along the roadside.
Our tour guide came in the legendary Land Rover at about 9 am next day morning. There are many tour agencies to show you around and most of their service can be booked online. We arranged our one-day tour through the agency “Adventoro Travel Technologies”, and their service and response are exceptional.
Tea plantation & factory
First, we went to the “BOH” tea plantation and factory. Along the way, our guide briefed to us about the history of BOH tea plantation and adversities of employees. Their wages were very minimal and they were supposed to handpick 70 to 80 Kg per day to earn a decent daily salary. He was so enthusiastic about explaining the tea making process and to teach us why tender leaves should be used for tea making; tender leaves are easy to break compared to older leaves.
We moved over to the tea factory next. It was a good experience to see different stages of tea making process in real-time. Fresh leaves are transported to the factory on the same day and will undergo a two-day process, which includes Withering, Rolling, Fermentation, Drying and Sorting.
We took a ‘BOH tea sip break’ after the factory visit and spend some time around the corner of the teashop.
Mossy forest nature walk was the highlight of our trip. It was drizzling when we reached the mossy forest. Guide asked us to leave our belongings in the car and to follow him to the forest. A massive amount of fresh green coloured mosses were attached to each of the trees and the forest looked very dense and congested. We squeezed through the branches and moved ahead. Forest floor was like a cushioned carpet because of the fallen and wet leaves. It was muddy all the way. It was a unique eco-system and had many diverse species of plants and amphibians. We were lucky to spot “pitcher plants” and “flying frog”.
We stopped over at the strawberry farm before heading to “Time Tunnel Museum”, but we didn’t spend too much time there.
Time Tunnel Museum
Everyone must drop a visit to the “Time Tunnel Museum” if going to Cameron Highlands. It will help you to have a glimpse of the past life of Cameron Highlands.
The exhibition starts with the introduction of true natives of Cameron Highlands called “Orang Asli“, means “Original People”. “They are the native dwellers who know the rainforest like the back of their hand, living on nature’s rich sustenance” (from the museum archive).
The time travel journey continues to showcase important events happened over the years. Notable among them was the missing of “Jim Thompson” – a businessman who went missing inside the jungle and never came back. No evidence of him was found later, until now. They managed to recreate the ambiance of old houses and shops and decorated it with antique accessories. We finished our time travel within half an hour and returned back to the car. It was surely one of the very few locations where the history of Cameron Highlands is still preserved in its true spirit.
We ended our day with a quick visit to both “Sam Poh Buddhist Temple” and “Parit waterfall”.
yololah location rating (3.9 / 5)
Neck of the woods
Popularly knows as: Cameron Highlands
GPS coordinates: 4.4721° N, 101.3801° E
Best for: Weekend trip
Best time to visit: December/January
How much it cost to visit?: Depends