Monday, October 4, 2010

Cameron Highlands 2

Our journey to Mount Brinchang was adventurous. The narrow road could only can fit in exactly two cars side by side, with heavy shrubs on the inner side and cliff on the other. We got our driving skill tested. Can you imagine the situation where we faced a 3000 cc Land Rover that had taken up more than half of the narrow road on a 30-degree slope? We got our car seriously scratched. By God's mercy, we reached the highest point that can be reached by road in Peninsular Malaysia!

There is a transmission station owned by Telekom Malaysia on the top of Mount Brinchang. We climbed another 25 feet onto the top of the observation post beside the station. From there, we really enjoyed great view of nature. Down to Tanah Rata, we got our car repaired, with around RM 150. Well, by comparing the price to what we had experienced, worth it!

Mount Brinchang, 2031 meters from sea level, is a place that you should not miss in Cameron Highlands. Anyway, our advice, pay a local tourism company to bring you there with their high powered land cruiser. Please don't you ever bring your new car there. Alternatively, you can hike or jog through Path 1 from Brinchang, which you can save 5 km of journey (Path 1 by jungle track, 3 km from Brinchang, while by road, 8 km).

The road to the top of Peninsular Malaysia, accompanies by ancient jungle.

On the way up to Mount Brinchang, we passed by Boh's Sungai Palas Plantation (left). The road turned hostile after the tea plantation, and getting worse somewhere near to the top of the mount. The effective road signs end after the plantation as well. In case you are at a junction without any sign, our guideline is- always follow the way on your left. The last land mark to the mount is a strawberry and vegetable farm (forgotten the name).

Time Tunnel is a unique place in Cameron Highlands. Small museum we call it, filled with the memories of the past- coins, compact discs, old clocks, table fans, barber sets, pictures, photos, native's weapons and living gadgets, black and white tv, soft drink bottles, bicycles, bikes, and many more. We could learn about the history of Cameron Highlands inside, especially about the British surveyor named William Cameron (not the one in America) who discovered the location of the highlands, and Jim Thompson, the Thai Silk King who simply vanished into thin air during his vacation in the highlands.

We really like that place and had stayed for more than an hour. For us, that's a must visit place in Cameron Highlands. Location, between Brinchang and Kea Farm, beside Kok Lim Strawberry Farm. Entrance fees- RM 5 for adult and RM 3 for child, opens 9 am-6 pm daily.

From the outside, the modest look of Time Tunnel is deceptive (left). The first showroom in the mini museum with bicycle, barber chair, television, and posters from old days.

Great, we saw and recognized some of these stuffs here, but not all of them. Old clock, telephone, and table fan (upper left), posters for movies (upper middle), photo of Lee Kwong Yew and Lee Hsien Loong during their visit to Cameron Highlands, long before we were born (upper left), table of multiplication made in 1975 (lower left), a table of soft drink (lower middle), and black and white tv (did you ever see a sphere in shape one?). This museum is lack of labelling. If you come across something that you are really have no idea of what it is, then the only thing that can help you is your imagination.

Another must visit site is Brinchang Night Market. We visited the market twice, Monday and Tuesday night. Although been named as weekend market, the market opens on every Friday, Saturday, public holidays and school holidays.

What does the night market offer? Various food, souvenirs, local crops, plants, toys, etc. We tried strawberries with chocolate, sweet potatoes, strawberry drink and bought some souvenirs on our first visit. The second night, after an hour of rain, we suprisingly found that almost everything was offered with a considerably marked-down price. The falling water was a blessing for us. The list of items that we bought- veges (6 packages RM 10, compared to 4 packages on the first day), sweet potatoes with 1.5 kg sold with 1 kg price, strawberries (RM 6 instead of RM 10 per package), and cherry tomatoes (RM 3 instead of RM 6 per package).

Well packed vegetables, local crops and fruits are all around the night market. Located opposite of Brinchang Police Station, the night market is within walking distance from our hotel. However, we went by our car, as we wanted to avoid half a kilometer walk back to our hotel with a handful of heavy stuff, in the middle of night. The night market spans around 100 meters on the both side of the main road. Heavy traffic within the area is expected.

There were two places in our list that not worth a visit. First, the poorly ran butterfly centre. The centre, just a turn away from Equatorial Hotel, keeps iguanas, snakes, tortoise, and several other reptiles. The most shocking part of the centre- a lot of dead butterflies, outnumbered the living, and the "bodies", just been left on the ground. We really felt sick about the place and pity on the butterflies. With the entrance fee of RM 5 per adult, the "center" is not worth for us to pay a single cent on it.

Boxes in Ee Feng Gu Bee Farm, serve as the houses for bees.

The second on our list- the bee farm. We visited Ee Feng Gu Bee Farm, beside butterfly center. The farm just looked like any other small bee farm, with boxes set up as bee houses, and bees are all over the place. Nope, no dead bees, no annoying buzz, nothing annoying until we discovered Aedes mosquitoes. We hurried away from the farm when we realized we were surrounded by this Dengue vector. We did advice one of the workers there to fog the area. Do you think she will tell her boss about this? If you are really dying to visiting a bee farm, then, please apply insect repellent before you proceed.

For our trip, we stayed in Titiwangsa Hotel with complementary steamboat buffet dinner. For more information about the hotel, food and beverages, and other attractions in Cameron Highlands, please click here to go to our Cameron Highland page 3.

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