Monday, October 4, 2010

Cameron Highlands 1

Tea, strawberries, vegetables, Land Rovers, together with cold climate make Cameron Highlands a good place for a short break. Three days two nights in Cameron Highlands was just nice for us, and we visited many places, led by Cameron Tourism Handbook, which we bought with RM 2 at our hotel's lobby (it was not free).

Our itinerary- first day, afternoon, way up to Cameron Highlands using Tapah's route, we stopped by at Lata Iskandar Waterfall, Boh and Cameron Valley Tea Plantations, took our buffet steamboat dinner, and visited night market at Brinchang. Second day, Big Red and Healthy strawberry farms, Cactus Valley, butterfly center, bee farm, Boh Sungai Palas Tea Plantation on our way up to Brinchang Hill, and the market at Kea Farm on our way to Rose Center. Then, we visited the night market again for second time. Third day, we visited Farmer's Market (Multicrops Central Market) and Uncle Sam Farm before our descending.

Backing the road that we came from, Boh's Habu plantation expands deep into the territory beyond visitor's reach. Photo was taken at 4:30 pm.

First day, taking Tapah's route, we reached Boh's Tea Plantation at Habu, 5 minutes after we passed by Ringlet.  There, we witnessed one of the most spectacular view of Cameron Highlands- tea trees, spanning endlessly like green mosaic throughout the hillside. Counted on our car's meter, 2 km from the entrance until we reached at the final stop for visitors, where non-authorized passes no more. From there, still the deepest edge of the plantation couldn't be seen. Monday, the factory was closed from visitors. However, we had the chance to take our afternoon tea at Ummph Tea Shop with fresh air and soft sunlight. That was 4:30 pm, 2 hours after we departed from Kampar.

Ummph Tea Shop at Boh's Tea Plantation beside the factory (left), the place we stopped for a short refreshment with Cameronian Gold Blended and Cameronian Green Tea. The factory is closed on Monday.

We passed by a long stretch of vegetable farms patched with different types of vegetables on our way to Habu's Boh Tea Plantation.

Within the highlands, there are two other tea plantations- Cameron Valley Tea Plantation (Cameron Bharat Tea) and Boh's Sungai Palas Tea Plantation. We reached Cameron Valley, sooner than we had expected- 15 minutes after we left Habu. With around 10 more kilometers to reach our hotel at Brinchang, we decided to make a stop. The tea plantation, with a tea house nicely located at the high ground overlooking the whole valley of plantation, attracted more visitors than Habu's. At that tea house, we took milk tea and lemon tea while sitting on the resting area, watching a recorded video about how the tea leaves been plucked, dried, fermented, graded, and lastly, packed. We visited Boh's Sungai Palas on our way up to Gunung Brinchang on second day.

Our photo at the entrance of Cameron Valley Tea Plantation, 1500 meters above the sea level. The plantation located just at the roadside, around 4.5 kilometers away from Tanah Rata. The tea house offers rest and nice bird eye's view over the plantation (below).


Strawberry farms, cactus gardens, vege farms, rose gardens, Time Tunnel, Gunung Brinchang, and the night market were on our list for our second day. Strawberry farms are everywhere around Cameron Highlands. We took our chance to visit two- Big Red Strawberry Farm and Healthy Strawberry Farm. Big Red located just beside Brinchang Town (10 minutes by foot from our Titiwangsa Hotel). By car, the journey took us less than three minutes. The farm is big and well run, with automated watering system planted inside the pot so we don't have to worry about wet and muddy ground. How about Healthy Strawberry Farm? It was poorly run and not attractive at all (comparatively). Locates in the middle of Tanah Rata and Brinchang with a hill to climb, the farm is inferior location wise. Our advice, go for the best one and forget about the rest (unless you have plenty of time, like us).

Photos taken from the Big Red Strawberry Farm.

Big Red is an agro-tourism farm (left). We can see a large area with strawberry plants (middle). Other veges are available as well in the farm. The entrance is free.

Cactus Valley, one of the cactus gardens in Cameron is located just in front of Big Red Strawberry Farm. For us, the garden is more to a commercial nursery than a garden, but still worth a visit. Price? Six to seven cactus for RM 10 (middle and right). That should be irresistible temptation for cactus lovers! We visited several cactus gardens and all of them looked similar, with Cactus Valley is an outstanding one.

We found a very interesting "confusion" in Cameron Highlands, for them, cactus garden= flower garden= nursery, with flowers and cactus for sale. If you visit a cactus garden, you can almost for certain that many other types of flowers will be available there. Same thing happens when you visit a rose garden- you will get a lot of cactus as well, and, almost all of them are for sale (unless there is a "not-for-sale" sign).

Among all the gardens and nursery, Rose Centre at Kea Farm is the best that you should not miss. The garden is built along a layered hillside. Each of the layers exhibits different types of landscapes. The garden, with numerous species of flowering and non-flowering plants, were well maintained by several gardeners. At the top of the hill, we gained very good view over Kea Farm down the valley. It is a must visit place in Cameron Highlands.

Flowers available in the gardens around Cameron Highlands. Flower plants for sale are available in most of the gardens.

Rose Center in Kea Farm is nicely landscaped. Each of the layers are connected by stairs (upper right) and are decorated by various types of flowers.

Our photo at one of the staircase with a lot of flowers around at Kea Farm's Rose Center.

Kea's Farm area, from the high ground at Rose Center.


Our Cameron Highlands trip continued with Mount Brinchang, Time Tunnel, and the Brinchang Night Market. We visited some unpleasant places in Cameron Highlands as well. Visit our Cameron Highland page 2 now for more.



[Cameron Highlands 1][Cameron Highlands 2][Cameron Highlands 3]

14 comments:

  1. Hi Shing & Betty.....
    Very interesting story. Very useful informations.
    Stunning photos too.
    Planning to go there in April, also wanted to stay in Titiwangsa Hotel.
    Thanks for sharing your wonderful journey with us.
    Keep writing!!!!!
    from Holland.

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  2. Thank you for your encouragement. Wish you have a enjoyable trip to Cameron Highlands :-)

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  3. Thanks for the review. Very interesting about Cameron Highlands. Will go there soon.

    Siti

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  4. Hello,

    I had book this hotel also (family super deluxe room), going in this Jun.

    Hopefully all going well ^^

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  5. Glad to know that. Wish you have a enjoyable trip.

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  6. Hi, may i ask, boh tea plantation is after ringlet? and before tanah rata town?

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  7. Actually there are two Boh Tea Plantations: one is between Ringlet & Tanah Rata, another one can be accessed through the road near to Equatorial Hotel.

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  8. Hi Betty & Shing,

    From Holland again.
    Really enjoyed our holiday in CH. Lucky with the weather too. We experienced very heavy downpours and thunderstorm during our times in M'sia.
    We're back again next year in M'sia and this time we're planning to go to Siem Reap. As I can see that you've written a wonderful report on Siem Reap. I enjoyed reading it.
    I would like to ask one question. I know that everything is in USD. In this case,we need USD to spend on everything even in the market or side streets. Don't they accept their own Riel?
    Thanks again.
    Loong

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  9. Dear Loong, glad to know that you have a nice time at CH.

    In Siem Reap, for the hawkers, they will accept Riel. What we need to do is to convert USD to Riel and pay. As most of the items (at tourist's spot) are solely mark in USD, then it will be easier for us to pay in USD.

    However, in some of the places such as the Lucky Mall and Angkor Shopping Centre, they accept only USD.

    Riel has an advantage over USD- when we pay to use the toilet (around 200-500 riel once).

    We will upload photos showing the price in USD in our blog by tonight http://bettyandlingshing.blogspot.com/2010/12/shopping-and-food-in-siem-reap.html

    Hope you find our reply useful :)

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  10. hi nice view at cameron valley tea plantation. btw how do you find driving up there? is the road as narrow as driving to sg palas tea BOH plantation?

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  11. Cameron Valley tea plantation is located just beside the main road, so it is much more easier to reach compared to sg palas Boh plantation. We can park our car beside the road and walk right to the tea house, or to the plantation.

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  12. Superb blog, I am surgeon from India, I am coming to Malaysia for three months. I was going through your blog for making my travel plans. Your blog has given a beautiful picture of places not to be missed. Thanks a lot.

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    Replies
    1. Dear friend, glad to know that you found our blog useful. Three months is definitely enough for your to cover all the places of interest in Malaysia. Do make yourself confortable and enjoy the places, the people, and especially the food in Malaysia :) Feel free to contact us if you need more advice from us.

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