Having never been to Cameron Highlands before, I decided to take a road trip to check it out. As per usual I start off with a little background about the place;
“Cameron Highlands in Pahang is one of Malaysia’s most popular tourist destinations, a collection of peaceful townships perched 1500 meters high on a nest of serene mountains. Cooling resorts, tea plantations and strawberry farms sprawl lazily across lush valleys and meandering hill slopes, the perfect setting for a relaxing holiday. The sea of tranquility, pleasant landscapes and cold climate impart a special experience upon the multitudes of visitors each year.”
The thing they don’t mention is the drive up was winding and if you have any form of motion sickness, I recommend taking some sort of medication, or to just sleep throughout the whole ordeal. Unless you want to end up like me, feeling all nauseous and sick the rest of the day The first few sights you see as soon as you reach the top is, this beautiful scenery of a tea plantation! This was the Bharat Tea Plantation. Unfortunately it was raining at this point of time, so I didn’t get to walk down but instead sat in the little tea shop that overlooks this view; No complains, I had this gorgeous view, a mug of steaming hot chocolate tea to keep me warm & scones with fresh strawberry jam and cream. The scones were warm and soft, and the jam was just incredibly tasty (ended up just eating jam after awhile). There’s really nothing quite like fresh jam.Feeling a whole lot better after the yummy tea and fresh air, we headed to the historical Bala’s Chalet where we were staying for the course of our trip. After finding them via Google and falling in love with the way it looked, I was more than keen to reach our destination. & I definitely wasn’t disappointed! Their official website explained it best with this description; “Set amidst lush grenery, rolling hills and mountains, Planters Country Hotel (formerly known as Bala’s Holiday Chalet) offers you good value for money. A charming English style inn that provides the perfect blend of old world ambience and contemporary comfort. With its serenity and country charm, the hotel captures the very essence of a highland holiday.”
I was incredibly impressed with the well maintained, overgrown (contradictory I know, but the pictures will do the explaining) plants as well as the interior of the place. The place had been preserved nicely over the years, leaving the colonial feel to it. Our room was quite a short slightly steep walk up the hill, but it was all worth it. I was beyond ecstatic when I reached the room. Even the outside was enough to leave me happy and squealing like a little girl. The little sitting area outside was a great place to sit down for tea. We got to stay at the Raffles Suite. Here’s a little peek of the inside; The bed covers, and curtains were in a pretty shade of lavender, one of my favourite colours. The interior was very rustic, with its wooden paneling, and stairs that led to a loft upstairs. Yes, a loft. How magical is that! There was also a transparent little patch of glass on the roof, letting in some sunrays and warming up the room.
After unpacking & a hot, hot shower (love the hot water against my skin when the weather is cold!), we explored the chalet a bit more and found more beautiful places; We took a short drive after to the Brinchang market. There were tons of stalls opened up selling so many different things. Here were a few favourites; Fresh fruits & vegetables. I ended up eating case loads of strawberries. They sell them with chocolate as well, sinful delight in my mouth. I also ended up eating corn (& I’m really not a fan of corn) but it was so juicy and fresh, they didn’t even need to boil it.Another must-try are the fried vegetables, I personally loved the mushrooms most. To wash it down, sea coconut juice! I’ve never tried this before as well, but loved how naturally sweet it was.
After filling up on pasar malam food, we called it a night. The nights get really chilly in Cameron (no aircond required), I was thankful I had a huge sweater and long jammie pants. The next time around, I may opt for socks as well. Also, the night gets really, really quiet and honestly quite eerie, but that’s probably the city slicker in me not accustomed to it.
The next day was dedicated to visiting the famous farms that Cameron Highlands is mostly known for. There are quite a number of farms to pick from, most with similar things. We went to Healthy Strawberry Farm; We got to savor tons of products made using strawberries. Ice-cream, jam, juice. My favourite was of course just the fruit itself. We ordered fresh juicy strawberries sprinkled with sugar, covered in whipped cream with a more than generous drizzle of Hersheys chocolate. Besides just strawberries, they also sold plants & flowers. The cactus in multiple colours were being sold at 5 for RM10. Once we were done, we headed to the Brinchang market again to have more food. I got a chance to sample fresh, pure honey; Straight from the hive. It was so delish! You can eat it whole and spit out the wax, but I suggest sucking it out or squeezing it out of the wax. Not a fan of the taste Went back to the Bharat Tea plantation since it was warm and sunny. The view this time around, was a completely different one; Started drizzling right after, so we headed back to the beautiful Bala Chalet to curl up in the loft and have more tea. Yes, we overdid the whole tea thing in Cameron, but it was really unavoidable. For dinner, we went to Ye Olde Smokehouse. Very much like the chalet, it was an English Tudor styled concept. The food was fairly decent and not worth the money (I wouldn’t recommend it). Also without reservations, there was quite a wait. I didn’t mind because I was happily sipping wine by the fireplace; I wish I had gone there for tea because they have a gorgeous garden I’m pretty sure would have been amazing during the day. Oh well
All in all, it was a great weekend getaway. I would recommend Cameron Highlands to any nature lover who just wants to getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city and wants to enjoy the cold weather, yummy tea and fresh food.