A Holiday at the Highlands
December 29, 2008, 12:54 am
Filed under: Holiday, Overseas, RL | Tags: ,
Lobby of Hotel Equatorial

Day 1: Lobby of Hotel Equatorial

A week ago I went for a short holiday trip to the Cameron Highlands, Pahang. The whole of the Cameron Highlands district is roughly two and a quarter times the size of Singapore, with a cool weather all-year round. (12-25 degrees)

It’s my second time in the Camerons in a year, the first being a semi-family trip in March. Originally this trip had more people, but in the end even after settling with four, me, Zen, dao, and py, Zen was disallowed to go on the eve of the trip.

This post will be punctuated with photos that were mostly taken by py on my sister’s Nikon P80, and also to note that the photos are independent of the trip writeup;  I tried to make it as chronological as I could, the first day starting with the photo of the lobby of Hotel Equatorial, and the second day starting with the photo of the fog-engulfed mountain slopes at the Sungai Palas ‘BOH’ Tea Plantation. Hopefully you’ll enjoy reading through this little photo memoir.

One of the many flower exhibits at a Rose Centre

One of the many flower exhibits at the Rose Centre

The start wasn’t all that smooth, especially at the customs because we totally forgot about having to complete the Arrival/ Departure Card. After successfully leaving both countries’ custom checkpoints, there were several stops (Lucky Garden or something, I can’t remember) before we finally started the bulk of the lengthy trip.

Another flower at the Rose Centre

A yellow whatsthatcalled flower at the Rose Centre

The rollercoaster trip up into the heights of the Cameron Highlands district took over an hour, especially when the driver has to manoeuvre the bus slowly and carefully up the narrow, winding roads. It was evident there were dozens of landslides recently; strips of fresh landslides scarred the sides of the mountain roads.

Delicate butterfly latched on dao's fingers

Delicate butterfly latched on dao's fingers

Even after we reached Hotel Equatorial, where we had a suite and a room at, it was only the beginning of the several hours of wait we had to go through. I remembered we were totally bored and slacked around at the hotel lobby, playing a little of pool and cards, before we finally headed to the ‘Coffee Shop’, the hotel’s restaurant, for an early lunch. The food was decent, and the restaurant has a pretty high-class feeling, but nevertheless I found the furniture uncomfortably weird compared to the apparent high-class feeling. The food quite pricey, as expected of a restaurant in a hotel, but I find the service quite impeccable. The waitress was attentive, abeit overly so, and the food came decently quick. The lunch concluded with a RM100 bill, and it was shortly after we finally got a room to rest in.

The mountain slopes of the Sungai Palas 'BOH' Tea Plantation engulfed in fog

Day 2: The mountain slopes of the Sungai Palas 'BOH' Tea Plantation engulfed in fog

The first morning of the trip didn’t go very well whatsoever; bad weather resulting in several delays, fog blurred the landscape resulting in us unable to see the otherwise beautiful scenery. Our short guided tour was supposed to end around 4 to 5, but in the end we only ended it over 6pm because the tour agency misunderstood us and didn’t put us in that day’s tour slots. In the end we went to their office and got ourselves a private driver to drive us around for that tour.

A walk into the forests of Gunung Brinchang. Jurassic Park anyone?

A walk into the forests of Gunung Brinchang. Jurassic Park anyone?

The day turned night with a irritating, consistent rain that emptied the pasar malam, or Night Market, at the town of Brinchang. Disappointment was, however, short, as we headed back to the hotel and found out the suite which we had booked, turned out really nice. The suite was quite the big one (twice that of our other room), and it was well-furnished. Coming complete with sofas, tvs, several tables, and a lot of space, our first day concluded with a pleasant night.


Some pretty good Chinese grub. Spot the Sky Juice! :P

The second morning changed for the better; less fog, better weather. Starting off with the Nature Discovery Tour, we were driven to Gunung Brinchang, or Mount Brinchang, where we stood 6,666 ft above sea level. However it was still drizzling in the morning, so we couldn’t experience the advertised panorama of the highlands due to the fog. After that was a short trek into the forest of Gunung Brinchang, and seeing I’ve already been there once, as well as knowing that it’ll be very, very muddy, I decided to nap on the tour bus while waiting for the other fellas to get in there for some mud. As I had expected, they all came out with mud-crusted shoes. ^^

Cactus Valley

Cactus Valley

Right about here at this photo, it’s after we had lunch at the Chinese restaurant. Since it was rather early in the afternoon, I decided to bring the guys around town. Subsequently we ended up at a strawberry farm beside the Cactus Valley. Complete with a souvenir shop, a cafe that sells everything strawberry, it also has a section of the farm where they grow Butterhead lettuce hydroponically.

Ripe, delicious-looking strawberry

Ripe, delicious-looking strawberry

The pasar malam usually starts at 5 in the evening on weekends and school holidays, and because we were still early at around 4pm, we took a cab back to the hotel. It cost RM15 in total for the 3 of us, and I learnt that the price goes up to RM20 during the night, before 9.30pm. Of course Titiwangsa Tours and Travels offer shuttle bus services, but they only do for three hours starting from 6.30pm.

The erm... Night Market... in the day

The erm... Night Market... in the day

Fortunately, there was a pretty well-stocked supermarket in town, so we stocked up on rations, drinks (by drinks I mean vodka, rum, and the likes. But somehow they’re carbonated… ), and even agar agar powder. Wtf eh? ^^

Local farm produce. Very fresh, very delicious

Local farm produce. Very fresh, very delicious

Plans to swim in the hotel’s indoor pool was also binned, partly my fault because I didn’t check it beforehand. It was smaller than our suite, and only at 1.4m deep. orz

I found slacking in the hotel quite a waste of time, so just as night falls, I marched everyone back out to town for the pasar malam goodness. The food there is nothing like what we have here. It’s good, cheap, and plentiful. Their whole grilled corn were absolutely delicious, with the little butter they spread bringing out the full sweetness of every bite. It’s good. Damn good. They also had these little mochi-like balls that tasted pleasant, and it was fun going around buying and tasting food, before bringing the remainder back to the hotel for a final feast.

War rations in the little hotel freezer

War rations in the little hotel freezer

The last night ended with me falling asleep after binging on all the massive pileup of food we had. The return trip the following day was pretty much uneventful, being a ten hour trip and all…

LOL at bootleg animudvd

LOL at bootleg animudvd

Overall, the trip had been thoroughly fun for me, despite the slight hiccoughs here and there. It’s a first that I went overseas only with friends, and I enjoyed it immensely. It’s just that different from holidaying with your family.

I’m looking forward to the day when I can travel to Japan with my friends… Hopefully before my National Service of course.^^;


5 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Meh wished I had gone, well at least I was braving the adventurous odds of perhaps being on the Singapore Flyer when it stopped working huh XD

Comment by Zen

well. seems like now you won’t be able to ride it anymore unless you go buy a ticket for it XD

Comment by Kronosfere

The ticket expires tomorrow >:D

Comment by Leefe

it’s great going on a holiday. be close to nature, breathe in mountain air, be away from the city. ^^;

Comment by gordon

@ gordon: Yeah I love the mountain air! Cool, crisp, fresh, and absolutely awesome for my nose. ^^

Comment by Leefe

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