Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Cameron Highlands Trip 2010

DAY 01

As what my wife has said to me, this trip is a budget trip. We have cut down our cost as much as possible for our transport and accomodation. We divert our money to the attractions in Cameron Highlands instead.

We reach there after Subuh and have a grand breakfast at the Strawberry Park Hotel (SBH). The wide variety of food there tasted good and the scenery simply refreshing to our tired city souls. I only wish that we could have stayed here, but the cost is almost twice for the Chua Ghin rooms we have booked earlier. SBH still has not lost its charm, grandness and overall coolness. Our kids played at the Playground and I have a good time capturing the different views seen at the SBH.

Image 1: A faraway bungalow seen from SBH


Image 2: A not so common flower nearby the playground


Image 3: My wife and Abdullah enjoying the breakfast by balcony ambience


Image 4: Another bungalow on the top of a hill


Image 5: Ahmad and Zainah playing on the swinging wheel


After breakfast, we headed down to Chua Ghin Hotel located in Brinchang to check the availability of our rooms. The SBH Van transport charged us for RM40! Only later we find out that this is too much. We were told that our rooms will only be available at 1300. As there is still three hour to go, we decided to go Tanah Rata to book a guide from Kang Travels for the next day itenary. After much discussion we settled for the following itenary:

1. Visit to the BOH tea Plantation
2. Climb to top of Brinchang Mountain
3. Simple Mountain Trekking by the side of Brinchang Mountain
4. Tea Plantation View Point
5. Raju's Strawberry Garden (A substitute to Orang Asli "Village")

Image 6: An Indian Muslim Man doing the chicken at a Tanah Rata Restaurant


The "Orang Asli" or natives has progressed a lot lately and hence their way of living has become modernized. There's hardly anything special to see - according to the Kang Travel people.

We then make our way to the Tanah Rata Park, where our tired kids played the playground there. From here, I decided to trek our way to The Parit Falls.

Image 7: The Tanah Rata Park and playgrounds. Located at the riverside of Sungei Bertam?


The trek make us walk along a pathway by the side of the river. THe pathway is made up partially of slippery bricks, mud, low branches, scrubs and other stuff that could make it unsafe. People can just slip and fell into river far below. Ater much struggling we managed to get to the Parit Falls. I am pleased to see that the amount of litter have reduced significantly. However the water is still considered to be unsafe for drinking and swimming. The whole place showed signs of neglect. The bridges cannot be used and the playgrounds are rusted and broken. Despite all this Parit Falls remain a cool secluded good resting place.

Image 8: The Parit Falls


Image 9: The pathway to the bridge suffered a landslide making it unsafe for the kids.


Image 10: The bridge over Parit Falls. Damaged and unsafe to cross.


The kids are plainly tired and worned out after reaching the Parit Falls. They easily slip and fell. Mukhtaar and Zainah had a traumatic experience with bees hovering over them. The bees are attracted to yellow and orange colours of their sweaters. We managed to get away from the bees and calm the kids down. A van from Kang travels picked us up and we returned back to Chua Ghin at a mere cost of RM15 only! We are lucky to have the rooms available before 1 pm!

After lunch at a nearby food center, the kids are knocked out...

Image 11: The Sleeping Whiny Princess


DAY 02

The second day is the most eventful and memorable of the three days. The Kang guys picked us up at the Hotel's Lobby. This is the first time me and my family get a ride in a four-wheel drive Land Rover. Seeing the Landrover itself is already thrilling.

Image 12: The kids and women get the back seat of the LandRover


By the way a typical heavily used Landrover would look like this:

Image 13: Worned out but still useable


Anyway, our first stop is the Boh Tea Plantations. The view here is simply breathtaking. Very very good ambience and climate. I wish I can stay here!

Image 14: Slopes of Green: Images of tranquility


Image 15: Ditto


Image 16: Ditto


We also visited the factory that processes the tea leaves immediately after the leaves are plucked from the fields. The guide speaks fast. Cant really catch what he says... In the old factory we see step by step how the tea is processed, graded and packed. Tea have grades. Lower grades are blended together into finer leaves found in tea bags. By the way, BOH stands for Best of Highlands and it is owned by a Scottish family. The one we visited is the Sungei Palas plantation.

Image 17: Ye old Boh Factory


Image 18: Houses owned by the big boss?


Image 19: Ye Old Smoke Shed by the factory


After completing the factory visit we climbed the Brinchang Mountain nearby using the LandRover. We went all the way to the top. At the top there is an old watch tower that overlooks the surrounding Titiwangsa range. Camreron highlands is just a dot in the Titiwangsa mountain ranges. The view up the tower is just spectacular. As the tower stairs are steep and slippery the children and women folk stayed on the ground. According to the guide we are lucky to have clear weather, most of the time its too cold and misty to see.

Image 20: The Watch Tower


Image 21: View from the top


Image 22: Ditto


Image 23: Ditto


Its a sad thing that my wife could not go up... But anyway we have a nice shot here...

Image 24: Me Family at the top of Gunung Brinchang!!!


Image 25: Abd Matin and Family


From the Top of Gunung Brinchang we climbed back down the slopes using the landrover and stopped at a spot to go for a short muddy trekking into the Mossy Forest. The trekking is really muddy. Too muddy for the children and women folk which do not wear boots. However me, my daughter Zainah and Abd Matin managed to get in and experience the mossy forest trek.

Image 26: The muddy trek


Image 27: The pitcher plant (Periuk Kera)


Image 28: Zainah, the explorer, the youngest person to go up the muddy slopes!!!


Image 29: View from the borders of Pahang and Perak


Yep, I cross to and fro Pahang and Perak territories several times in a minute. Amazing!

Image 30: Mosses are everywhere clinging to both dead and alive branches and stems.


After going through the muddy misty mossy forest trek we went down to the Tea Plantation Viewpoint. While the guide, Muhd Fazli explains, I am busy good pictures of the plantation. We can walk up and down the plantation slopes. The tea plants can stay alive for 200 years! Even the older leaves can be made into tea. The tea seeds originates from Assam, India. Cameron tea is rarely exported out. As the Malaysian consumed everything and still they have to import the rest. Like what the guide say Malaysians shower themselves in tea....

Image 31: My wife and friends at the plantation viewpoint.


After the viewpoint we visited the Raju Strawberry Garden. No pictures there coz I busy munching down the strawberry float and the strawberry cheese cake.

DAY 03
The blog stops now. In day 03 we went back. I'm too tired of writing....hehehe



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