Cameron Highlands; jungle, tea and strawberries?!

Posted on November 7, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

So we are now on the large islanfd of Penang, having left the area of Cameron Highlands a couple of days ago via Pangkor Island (but that's another post!). The Highlands are like the weather anomaly of Malaysia; cool, damp and drizzly since they are so far up. It made a nice change! The area was on our see list for a number of reasons; tea, jungle trekking, strawberries and butterfly farms. We set up a tour to cover most of these as they are quite far apart.

The Highlands are particularly famous for their tea plantations. We went to see one of the plantations and factories of Malaysia's biggest tea producer BOH, and it was really interesting. There was tea for miles and miles:


The paler leaves in the foreground are the ones ready for picking.

At the factory there was a guided tour through the process, a shop where you could buy some yummy tea and a cafe where you could drink it. The visitor centre visit and tour was free (but the tea we drank and took away with us wasn't!).

On the same tour we also went to visit a strawberry farm. Because of the temperate climate that doesn't really alter, it is ideal weather for strawberry growing all year round. That's a lot of strawberries! And a lot of strawberry merchandise. The picture below shows about a quarter of this shop alone, and we saw about 20 of these shops during our stay. There is such a thing as too much strawberry it turns out, but we did think of cousin Halle when we saw all the strawberry adorned things:

As part of the tour we also went to see a small butterfly farm. The one they had chosen to bring us to wasn't very well looked after though so we didn't stay long. The highlight was that I was lucky enough to capture this shot:

The Highlands was one of the places that James had been jungle trekking in his youth as an Boy Scout, and so wanted to do some more. I have done hillwalking and mountain climbing in the past, but no jungle, so this was exciting stuff! We spoke to our very helpful manager at our guesthouse and chose a trail that would take us to Robinson Waterfall and through the jungle, taking 3 -4 hours in total. The first 40mins or so was very tourist friendly as it approached the waterfall. There was even a paved footpath, which was more of a hindrance than a help as it was damp and therefore slippery. But once we got past the waterfall we got into proper jungle trekking territory. I made James do a little video as proof:

We went for 90 minutes or so along complex but fun jungle trail, stopping every now and then to look at a particularly great view or interesting plant. Unfortunately the last 30 minutes or so of the trail was not looked after well. A farmer had felled some trees almost up to the trail so it was a great deal more unstable than we would have liked, considering we were on the side of a mountain! But we got it done, and just in time for the rain to start. We walked back to civilization and caught a minibus taxi back to town. We were tired and wet but we had a whole lot of fun, and that's the point, isn't it?

Till next time,

xR

Posted via email from dreadpiratesarcas

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