Welcome dear reader!
I wasn’t writing for a while, yeah, I know. My journey gained insane speed and going so crazily, right now I’m on Bali! However, let’s tell all the story step by step 🙂
Cameron Highlands is Malaysia’s most extensive hill station and a district of Pahang state. It occupies an area of 712.18 square km. Developed in the 1930s, the tableland is one of the oldest tourist spots in Malaysia. Apart from its tea estates, the plateau is also noted for its cool weather, orchards, nurseries, farmlands, waterfalls, rivers, lakes, wildlife, mossy forest and golf course.
My first thought there was “Yeah, it’s so chilly here!” and indeed, the temperature was around +17. Luckily as I arrived to Asia “from winter”, so I had some warm clothes 🙂
The bus from Penang arrived to Tanah Rata – the largest town in the Cameron Highlands. The name “tanah rata” means flat ground in Malay and it refers to the relatively flat area on which the town is located amidst this highland region. (c) Wikipedia
As I haven’t had any plan, I decided to stay in Tanah Rata. I found a guest house quite fast (actually guest house found me) and was ready for drinking tea!
Tea plantations. I didn’t know anything about Cameron Highlands before. In Penang when I was searching for my next destination, people told me about this amazing place. When I heard about tea plantations, I firmly decided to visit Cameron Highlands. As a big tea lover, I was already imagining myself with a cup of delicious green tea, watching on the mountains and breathing fresh air. Well…
Tea plantations indeed are everywhere and they excite! Incredible beauty and picturesque views of green hills.
I walked through some tea plantations, for excursion I went to BOH – the largest black tea manufacturer and also the largest tea plantation in Malaysia. It has a total of 8000 acres planted with tea.
The views there are charming, amount of people is hella big (in the cafe, exhibition and factory area). And tea, yeah, uhm… tea there was worse than in McDonalds (when I ordered green tea in McDonalds it tasted always like a paper in the hot water). I mean, it was not a tea, it was a bag of something tasteless in a cup of hot water. As it was cold there, cup of hot water was still nice, however, my disappointment was huge.
In my guest house there was another local tea “Cameron Valley”, which was tasteless as well. My tea expectations were destroyed so easily 😀
So I finished cup of hot water and went to check the tea factory tour. Factory looked small, with old machines and few information. I would say nothing to see there. Photographic exhibition I found more interesting, sometimes with very interesting stories.
There was one about elephants and how farmers were “fighting” against them, as elephants were destroying farms and eating fruits. People were scared and started killing elephants, some of them were caught and worked for farmers. Then organizations decided to help elephants and move them to a deep jungle: first people sedate an elephant, so it becomes less aggressive. Then it is chained between two trained elephants. The trained elephants then led the wild one out of the zone by crossing a stream to a waiting truck. People put an elephant into a truck and move to the jungle.
Some pictures from the Internet:
Strawberries. In Cameron Highlands I guess one of the symbols of this place is a strawberry. There’re plenty of souvenirs around, mini strawberries, shirts with strawberries, shoes-strawberries etc. Seeing so many strawberries I fall in love with them even more! And was always eating something strawberrish 🙂
Climate allows people to cultivate strawberries in highlands, so there’re many farms which are open for tourists. And I visited one of them 🙂
Upon entering the plantation area of the strawberries, there’re rows with wooden platforms. On the wooden platforms are plastic pots with planted strawberries (quite interesting that they grow strawberries in pots, I guess in lowlands people cultivate strawberries in the ground).
They’re selling strawberries there, cakes and ice creams, as well you can pick up strawberries on your own and eat them (of course not for free 😉 They were sweet and tasty, even though some didn’t look really ripe.
Strawberries planted in Cameron Highlands are actually smaller than the ones from European countries. Probably because plants are not getting sunlight all year round.
Butterflies and nature. Among many fruit and vegetable farms, there’re also many butterfly gardens and bee farms. Visiting butterfly garden was a very pleasant experience!
Many of butterflies looked really unusual, but all were definitely lovely 🙂
Those ones were not moving, I was sure that they’re fakes, until one finally moved and flew away:
There’re also many beautiful plants around! Walking there was a real pleasure and relaxation, plants with butterflies, calm atmosphere, just perfect 🙂
That’s a short story about visiting farms and plantations in Cameron Highlands. Generally region is very nice for relaxation, enjoying nature, hills, strawberries, forests and farms. There’s not much life happening around, towns are small, it’s quite and cozy there. I would definitely recommend to spend some days in Cameron Highlands, especially for people, who love nature and… Trekking!
And actually about trekking I’ll write next time 😉