We went to Cameron Highlands last weekend. I definitely need to come back to this place because it is one of the few places in SE Asia that is a hill station with cooler weather and rain. Reminded me so much of home with all the greenery and fog and it was absolutely fantastic to not sweat the minute you stepped outside…I actually felt cold! It really was pure heaven. The proximity to Singapore is also a big catch for me. This time we flew to KL and then took a 4 hour bus ride but there is also a direct bus from Singapore so I may have to do that next time. The buses are very comfortable and on the way there they even played two Hollywood movies which kept me entertained!
There are three main towns in the Cameron Highlands; Tanah Rata, Brinchang and Ringlet. The entire area covers about 712 sq km and from the top of the mountains or the tea estates you can really see the vastness of the area. The fog sitting on top of the mountains in the distance makes for a spectacular view. I’ve never been to a tea plantation before, it was really a relaxing experience walking through these tea plantations, smelling the sometimes faint, sometimes very strong aroma of tea (depending on how close you were to the leaves).
Tanah Rata is the main town where we stayed. It’s a pretty small town with one major road but there is a Starbucks there because of the high number of tourists. It’s on the main “banana pancake trail” (a term I’ve never heard of before) but is essentially a name given to the main cities in SE Asia that are well visited by Western tourists and/or backpackers. Because of the tourists, a number of restaurants/hotels have been established that cater to the foreigners and one of the comfort foods they all serve is a banana pancake. Usually the “pancakes” are variations of pratas or crepes but you get the idea!
We also visited a strawberry farm but it was pretty lame compared to the fields in Snohomish, WA.
There was a RIDICULOUS amount of strawberry merchandise in the towns though, it was pretty hilarious to see strawberry pillows, balloons, headbands, t-shirts. You name it, it had a strawberry on it
I continue to be amazed by the blending of cultures and religions in SE Asia. I’m taking in every moment of the experiences, from seeing Hindu temples in the middle of the tea fields to being woken up by the morning call for prayer by the major mosque in town to hearing Bollywood songs at the small roadside pitstop along the freeway – it’s all a great reminder that culture and religion transcend borders!