Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

11 Jun

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Cameron Highlands

May 28, 2012 – May 31, 2012

We began our journey to Cameron Highlands with a motion sickness inducing bus ride. Thankfully Jaime had forewarned us and we had packed the Gravol in an easily accessible location!

When we finally arrived our first order of business was to try to buy bus tickets from Cameron Highlands to Singapore, as after many mis-communications and a literal run-around KL to try to purchase these elusive tickets we finally learned that we would have to do so from the bus station in Cameron Highlands. Unfortunately for us it’s now school holidays in Malaysia and there were no available bus tickets to Singapore. We chose to extend our stay in Cameron Highlands and purchased our tickets to return to KL for one final night before we would fly out to Bali to meet up with Tal and Jonny as well as my other bestie, Heather (AKA Clegger).

But back to Cameron Highlands. Here are the points that sum up our getting back to nature for a few days between our big city living in KL:

  • The roads leading both in and out of Cameron highlands are winding though fairly smooth. Gravol is a necessity to keep on hand when traveling to and from Cameron Highlands as well as when venturing on day trips.
  • The scenery is so lush and green with specks of colour sprinkled about where beautiful and vibrant flowers grow and butterflies fly.
  • We did an ‘8-hour ‘ rainforest expedition tour with a group of 8 people which turned into an 11-hour day trip, but was amazing. It began with a drive out to the Malaysian rain forest where we did a 4 hour hike through the jungle. We stopped along the way to photograph a waterfall and a number of butterflies before we found the world’s third largest flower, the 5-petaled Rafflesia, named after its discoverer. We saw 2 of these half flower, half fungus plants, one light red and one dark red, as well as a dead one and several ‘baby buds’ (ie Rafflesia buds that were about the size of a mini basketball).
  • Our rainforest expedition took us to a village near where we had hiked where we received a  blow pipe hunting demonstration. The blow pipe is a long and thin wooden instrument where a poisonous dart is placed in one end and cotton in the other. You place your mouth over the end with the cotton and blow, aiming at a homemade dart-like board made of foam and Sharpie marker. J.J. got a bull’s eye!
  • We visited a tea plantation where we were able to see a tea production factory as well as some unbelievable views of tea fields. We enjoyed a pot of delicious tea with a fresh lemon scone and strawberry jam with a beautiful backdrop of rich green, rolling hills of tea leaves.
  • We walked around a butterfly and reptile farm, and while I was ok with the very large bugs that our tour guide brought out of their glass cases to show us up close (including the biggest beetle I’ve ever seen and a praying mantis) I hung out with the flowers and butterflies during snake time.
  • We went to a hydroponic strawberry farm where we were able to taste the ripened berries – very sweet!
  • We met a Canadian girl, Carly, on our rainforest expedition as well as a German guy named Sven. The 4 of us went out to dinner on our last night in Cameron Highlands and got a steamboat which is essentially a large pot of broth on a gas burner and many plates of raw chicken, fish and veggies that you add to the pot to cook. Steamboats = delicious and spicy!
  • Our hostel, Kang (or Daniel’s), was just off the main road, about a 5 minute walk from the small bus terminal. Attached to it is Jungle Bar where J.J. played pool with the locals and Carly, Sven and I enjoyed a Chiang.
  • After my one and only beer of the evening I decided to use the ladies room which turned out to be a tin hut with a squat toilet that smelled too awful to use, especially considering my room wasn’t too far. I turned to leave and slipped on the smooth wet concrete ramp slicing open my big toe so that the blood was spurting out in front of my Haviana. And that’s how you know when to call it a night.
  • The ride back to KL wasn’t as winding or motion-sickness inducing as the ride to Cameron Highlands had been.

Back in KL

We returned to KL in the afternoon and took one more quick tour of China Town and Central Market before making our way  to KLCC to try to buy advance tickets to go up to the Sky Bridge of the Petronas Towers for the following morning. Unfortunately we were too late and so we decided to make the most of our current location and have a nice dinner before heading back to Matahari Hostel.

The next day we headed to the Kuala Lumpur airport to catch our plane where we would begin the next leg of our adventure: a reunion with Tal and Jonny as well as to meet up with my other best friend, Heather, who was joining us for just over 2 weeks in Indonesia. I’m so excited!

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