I have made quite a few trips to Cameron, as it was and still is my favourite travel destination within Peninsular Malaysia, considering the temperate climate, spectacular rolling hills of tea plantations, strawberries and nice green vegetations all around; a perfect blend. Away from the hustle and bustle of city life, Cameron is the coolest highlands I can set foot on within 3-4 hours drive from the city; other than the more popular and commercialized Genting Highlands of course, but that one is a highlands without the greens and plus a few thousand people cramping into your holiday…..hmm……
Lutheran Mission Bungalow
An old bungalow nestled deep into the hills with many rooms and a fireplace, with two aged caretakers, Aunty Moi the “Kitchen Manager” and Aunty Shirley the (OCD) “Housekeeping Manager”. Two-legs-kick is the phrase for it. They did a good job at maintaining the place, admittedly. Very clean and well kept, thanks to their OCD-ness. 😉 This is a very good place to stay if you enjoy the peaceful quiet tranquillity (if there’s no other guests/ kids around!) of the secluded hilltop and the big compound.
The drive into this private land however, is a long and dark, winding and bumpy unpaved road that seems to go on and on leading nowhere…ooOooOoooOOoo… (Twilight Zone soundtrack playing in your ears 😉 ) For the first timers, don’t freak out yet, there is light at the end of the tunnel!! A small spot of bright light, which grows bigger and bigger until you finally see the cheerful bungalow in the opening! Hehe! 😉
There was a nostalgic feel to this place, as I realised I’ve been here many, many eons of years ago, when I was a kid. Only at the time I did not stay in this bungalow but the one next to it, called Sunlight, which was an even older and creepier English style stone bungalow.
I remembered the path into these bungalows. Each one was far away from the other and has a private road (maybe as long as 2-3km) leading into it. One evening we took a walk in the cool weather and didn’t pay attention to the branch offs in the roads. And instead of Sunlight, we ended up in its creepier neighbour, Moonlight! Holy cow! How did Sunlight in the daytime turned into Moonlight after dusk??!! I seriously thought I’ve landed myself in Twilight Zone! (I was a kid then, after all, and TZ was one of my favourite sci-fi series! 😉 ) At the time, I didn’t even know about the infamous mystery of Jim Thompson’s disappearance and his link to the Sunlight & Moonlight Bungalow (which is called Jim Thompson’s Cottage now. It looks bright and cheerful now, well renovated and looks and feels nothing like the creepy old stone bungalow in the 1980s).
We intended to camp outside, (just for the heck of it!) but the tent was too small only can fit 2 people. So the boys slept out there for a night. It was raining in the night and the tent leaked, so the boys were like sleeping on wet pants and shivering like wet kittens when we saw them the next morning. Hehe 😉 So that was it, no more camping the following night!
Breakfast served at 8.00am sharp. Don’t be late lest you incur the wrath of Aunty Grumpy! 😉
There was also a basketball court, a tennis court, a table tennis room, a couple of swings and a patio where you can have BBQ or picnic breakfast or just chilling out in the cold winds while enjoying a cuppa or reading a book.
It was rainy weather, always drizzling on & off. Sometimes i couldn’t even differentiate if it was rain or wind blowing the mist, coz the bungalow was located quite high up and sometimes it seemed like we were in a cloud. But i really liked this place, it is so much better than staying at a commercial hotel or apartment.
However, the rain did not dampen our holiday spirit. 😉 Since we have brought so many “equipments” up there, we might as well utilise them. So we cooked chocolate for strawberry fondue (it tasted heavenly in the cold weather 🙂 ), boiled corn (this pearl corn is really nice, can even be eaten raw) and baby sweet potatoes. Then we bought fried mushrooms- assortment types, and putu buluh, and we make chinese tea. And all these are only for tea time!! 😉
One of our friends actually makes sausages at home. So we had loads of home-made sausages and bacon for breakfast; roast chic, salad & strawberry ice cream for dinner, red wine & lots of snacks & more strawberries for supper……. yum yum!! Buurrrpp!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂
(Not to be missed!) : Aunty Moi’s homecooked roast chicken with sautéed potatoes, carrots, salad and tomato/ mushroom soup for dinner and vanilla ice cream with fresh strawberry toppings for dessert. Yummy yummy!! 🙂
A trip to Cameron is not complete without strawberries. It’s the land of strawberries, after all!
Fresh strawberries – either pluck it yourself from the farms or just buy it from the markets.
Strawberry desserts – cake, fondue, pastry, pancake, ice cream, fresh juice…etc…
We actually ate about 10 boxes of strawberries in 3 days???!! This was because we went to the strawberry farm and harvested our own strawberries. We got more & more excited and the strawberries we plucked seem to get bigger and redder towards the end! So finally we got about 2kgs worth! Haha…Then we play Uno stack at nite and the person who loses have to eat strawberries!! (That’s how we finish them all!)
We went for a short hike here in this nice rainforest but it was really muddy due to the rainy season (which was almost whole year round!)…so we came out all muddy and dirty and after I came home I have to wash my shoes for an hour and still the mud wouldn’t go off!
Sungai Palas Tea Plantation
Big and beautiful tea plantation, with a big shiny visitor centre and factory, a gift shop and a strategically located café at the hill top with a viewing platform overlooking the scenic tea plantation. Breathtaking scenery all along the journey up to the top.
There is quite a happening night market here every Saturday night. Where all sorts of local produce, fruits & vegetables, ready food, clothes, souvenirs and other knick knacks are being traded. The prices of the local produce are not exactly cheap, due to the “tourist trap”, but at least they are freshly harvested and in abundance. So they encourage bulk purchase for a better price.
Flowers of Cameron Highlands