After surviving five months of PA winter with barren trees, I was beyond ready to see green again. The trees had just started blooming right before I left, but either way I was on cloud nine seeing the beauty of the Cameron Highlands. Lush flourishing forests, wild goats, strawberry farms, cool breezes, & some delicious milk tea all made me a happy camper.
We woke up early on my first full day in Malaysia and set off for CH. First mistake: not taking Dramamine. I’ve been on some windy country back roads, but yowza! The ascent to CH had my stomach wrecked. We had to make it five (yes, five!) more minutes to our hotel before the motion sickness kicked in. Lesson learned: Pop that Dramamine like candy!
We got settled in and went for lunch. I had my first sip of 100 Plus and felt instantly better. That stuff is magic and the U.S. reeeeally needs to jump on the bandwagon, just sayin’! We could tell a storm was brewing, and when it rains in CH it pours. Our restaurant was quickly flooded. In Malaysia, almost every meal is eaten outside so the space we were in had a roof overhead with open sides and concrete flooring. There had been so much rain that the drain was completely full. The water rushed in quickly so our feet got a little wet, but they were pros at getting the water mopped up. They gave us fresh strawberry juice to compensate and we had a refreshing rain, so I didn’t have too much to complain about at that moment.
The Durian Fruit
I’m not one to turn down a dare, so trying this fruit was something else. Our hotel even had signs stating that if you were caught with a Durian or a Mangosteen you would be fined 200 (MYR). That’s because they smell like rotting onions, and that’s putting it lightly. If you take a small bite, then it’s not so bad. They do have a sweet flavor to them and are creamy, but if you take a huge bite it’s overpowering and you’ll try your best not too gag. The taste lingers and the after taste was not my cup of tea. It was still fun to pull over to the stand and snatch one of these up just to say we did it. They are considered a delicacy in Asia and people will travel far and wide to get their hands on one of these babies when they are perfectly in season. Whatever floats your boat, or spikes your taste buds.
Boh Tea Plantation
Boh Tea Plantation. Talk about pristine views! This was the perfect place to hang out while we waiting for the rain to stop. They have a closed in area where you can grab some famous milk tea and afternoon desserts. We shared the green tea matcha cake & peppermint cheesecake. It tasted like it was made 15 minutes before we ate it. Wonderful. Luckily, we were later greeted with clear blue skies and some sunshine! We got a little wild with taking photos on the porch of the plantation, but with that view, how could you not?!
The plantation is very informative as it has exhibits showcasing colonial harvesting machines & a small theater room that plays a short film. They also do tours to really get in to the meat of tea production. Every three weeks, leaves are harvested by machine and then left out in a cool environment to dry. This cuts moisture in half. Leaves are then heated to remove remaining moisture and kill bacteria. For more information about Boh Tea and their production, visit this link. I’m not a tea snob, so it really just tasted like any ol’ tea to me. The atmosphere with the rolling hills keeps you around and going back for a second cup.
Yet again we were on a wild and windy road…woof. The views made up for it. The highlight of the venture to the Mossy Forest was seeing wild goats! With my grandparents being avid goat farmers, I was delighted to get a little piece of home on my excursion. We made it safely to the trail head and headed for the forest. The trail is very accessible as it is all boardwalk and has a cable to use as a hand rail. This was especially important as the rain made it quite slippery out.
There is something about fog lifting off the mountains that just seems like pure magic to me. Sometimes the best way to see God’s hand in things is to get out to nature and see it all. That and I know God was watching over us since I didn’t trip over one of those enormous roots and roll down the mountain.
This particular farm we went to was quite small and quaint. The location was excellent. The farm reminded me of a U.S. greenhouse, but with nothing but strawberries. This was our last stop before heading back to K.L. so we were sure to just soak in the day. The sun was shining as we sat on their porch and had milk tea. The owner’s cat wanted to join the party and jumped on to one of the chairs at our table to hang out. I’m not a cat lover so I was a little relieved when the owner came to collect her kitty.
The strawberries at KHM Strawberry Farm were originally imported from Holland. They did a lot of trial and error to reach the perfect irrigation system. Their form of drip irrigation allows for the perfect water levels for the strawberries. Too much water could lead to nutrient leaching where as too little can reduce the yield. You can easily tell these strawberries are just right with how juicy and red they are. Shout out to KHM for getting it right!
I felt as if I saw the most when leaving! We journeyed down the mountain and saw a slew of wild dogs. Be careful as some of them will run out in front of you! I don’t like cats, but I do love dogs so I wanted to see them safe! (I’d still want a cat to be safe but you get my point.) A lot of the aboriginals live near the road in small huts. It was interesting to get a glimpse of minimalist living.
We pulled off the side of the road after stumbling upon the gorgeous waterfall as seen above. Lata Iskander is between Tapah and CH. It cascades over several tiers of granite slopes and had a small pool at the bottom where some kiddos enjoyed the cool water. I actually had to hesitate not to join them it looked so inviting.
CH’s average rainfall is about 112 inches per year so they have drainage channels put into place. We drove past the dam that housed all the water and man is that some muddy water. Leong (Yee Wen’s Dad) explained to me how CH is attempting to use the storm drain water for hydroelectric energy but they haven’t found a way to filter everything through yet. I look forward to seeing what they come up with as a solution.
Cameron Highlands was one of my favorites through out the trip and I highly recommend visiting there!