Monday, October 3, 2011

Cooling Camerons

We have been to Cameron Highlands many times and will keep going there till it becomes as hot as KL. Its already not as cold as before and its getting hotter. As long as you wish to escape the KL heat during the weekends, Cameron is the best place to be. Besides cold weather, what else is there in Camerons, you ask?

Before that, how to get there :

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From Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, there are three main ways to reach the Cameron Highlands that starts from the North-South Highway. The most popular route is to exit at Tapah town, then follow a narrow trunk road that cuts through a lush mountain range for about 40km (an hour's duration; drive is slow as road is windy) up to Ringlet, the first town of Camerons. From Johor Bahru, it's a 500km (five to six hours) journey while those starting from Kuala Lumpur only travel 140km (one-and-a-half hours) to reach Tapah. Simpang Pulai is the second most popular entryway, but this is used most by travellers coming from northern destinations such as Ipoh and Penang. Some travellers prefer using this route from Kuala Lumpur and Singapore despite the extra distance, as it has purportedly greater visibility and less windy roads.

Using the Simpang Pulai route adds an extra 30km to the North-South Highway journey, then the actual road itself leads up for 50km to Kampung Raja, the northernmost town of Cameron Highlands. Finally, a recent highway has been built that starts from Sungai Koyan village to Ringlet town, about 40 minutes away from either Raub and Kuala Lipis towns (both can be accessed via the Karak Highway with an hour's drive). This is the most secluded route, with few cars travelling on it as not many know of its existence. The journey is about 250km from Kuala Lumpur through Raub using this remote highway that passes by the Pos Betau Orang Asli settlements.


What can you do there?

1) Lata Iskandar Waterfall

Before you reach Ringlet, you will pass by Lata Iskandar Waterfall. You can stop to feel the breeze, dip in the cool stream, take some pictures before continuing your journey. There are also many shops here that sells products made of rattan.

2) Towns : Ringlet, Tanah Rata, Brinchang, Tringkap
First town in Camerons. Its a small town, nothing much here. Putting up here will mean you need to travel to places of interest.
Tanah Rata
Tanah Rata is a big township with lots of amenities. Places of Interest are also nearby. You can choose to stay in either Tanah Rata or Brichang. 
Brinchang is the highest township among other towns. Its easy to find a place to stay here and near to places of interest.
For those coming from north they will pass by this town before coming to Brinchang. Its a small agricultural town. Not many places to stay and far from amenities.

3) Bharat Tea

Bharat Tea Plantation has some cafes which serves splendid tea and pastries. It is located just before Tanah Rata town. You can drop by to have good tea and take beautiful pictures here.

4) Strawberry Farms
There are few strawberry farms around , you can see the sign boards by the road side. Many people like to go in just to experience picking strawberries. You also get fresh strawberry jam here along with other pastry and tea, of course.

5) Nurseries
There are many nurseries in Tanah Rata & Brinchang (Rose Valley, Cactus Valley, Cactus Point, etc). You can buy plants for much cheaper price than KL.

Even if you are not interested in bringing plants back home, just a stroll around the nursery in the cool breeze  is just fantastic.

6) Butterfly farms & Bee Farms
There are also butterfly and bee farms in Brinchang. The butterfly farms houses many butterflies of all sizes and shapes. Some really huge ones, too. 
In the bee farm, you get to see how honey is produced from these farms. You get to taste fresh honey too.

7) Time Tunnel Gallery

A visit to this Time Tunnel Gallery will bring back memories of the things we would have seen or used few years ago that is difficult to find these days. Entrance Fee is about RM 5 for adult and RM 3 for kids. Infants : FREE.

8) Gunung Brinchang

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The highest peak in Peninsular Malaysia is at Gunung Brinchang at 6,666 m. It seems any normal vehicle can reach the peak, but the roads were bad and at one point, 2 km before the peak, cars had to be parked at the side and people were hiking up by foot. This was because landslide has damaged the road there. 

So for those interested in catching the view up there, you can take the tours that are offered at Tanah Rata & Brinchang tour offices. It is about RM50 per adult and they will take you right up to the peak by 4x4. I think it should be well worth it since it is not easy to go up by normal vehicles.

9) Night Market
A MUST VISIT. There is a night market in Brinchang which is open daily from 6pm to about 9pm. Here you get to taste variety of food. We just enjoy going to this market and eating a whole load of things. These are few things that you should try:

Sweet Corn
Pic - Google Images
You can eat this raw - no joke. Its sweet and can be boiled or grilled, too. 

Chocolate Strawberries
Pic - Google Images
Simply Yummy!

Honey Comb
Pic - Google Images

They sell small pieces of these honey combs for you to taste. Just bite the comb and once you have sucked all the honey out, you can throw the balance. That's why in Malay, they say "Habis madu, sepah dibuang"

Variety of grilled & fried food
There so many to choose from - Grilled chicked, fish, prawns, crab, right up to fried vegetables. You should try all of them. I am hungry already...sigh!

Pic - Google Images

 Dried Fruits

pic - Google Images
I am not a fan of "jeruk" (dried fruits), but the ones here are worth a try. They are really tasty.

You can get a lot of souvenirs from the night market. Dont forget to get them for your family and friends.

10) Other Activities
There are also other activities like Mountain Climbing, Jungle Trekking, & Rafflesia searching. There are also other places to visit like waterfalls, hot springs, Chinese & Indian Temples. If you like photography, you can really take beautiful pictures in Cameron Highlands.

In my opinion, even if you dont go out to enjoy any of the above, just spending the whole day eating, drinking tea and sleeping in your cozy hotel room is still enjoyable due to the weather. Although not very cold, its still much better than the scorching heat in KL.

Blouse Design - Quadro Cross Back

Another Saree Blouse Design from me:

It is just the same like any other cross back, except it has four strings instead of one.