On my recent trip to Malaysia to research the property market and visa requirements, I fitted in a trip to the Cameron Highlands.
Averaging 5,000 feet above sea level the Cameron Highlands are quite a climb from Kuala Lumpur, where the altitude is less than 100 feet.
It’s about a 4 hour drive, of which the first two hours are on the Motorway to Ipoh.
At Ipoh you turn right and head up into the mountains.
The last 80 odd Kilometers to the Camerons take as long as the first 200 to Ipoh – it’s a long and winding road, but a spectacular climb up into the mountains.
We stayed at Tanah Ratah, which is nearly the final town you go through coming from the direction we did. After Tanah Ratah the road takes you back down towards the coastal plain.
As you can imagine, the atmosphere at 5,000 feet is a lot different from the atmosphere at 100 feet – it was wonderful!
Both my friend and I had been fighting colds when we left Hong Kong and getting out into the fresh air at both Melaka and the Cameron Highlands enabled us both to shake them off.
I absolutely love Malaysian food, and being able to eat local fare at outside restaurants in that wonderfully clear, mountain atmosphere was an extended mouthgasm.
The Cameron Highlands contains, I think, the largest collection of old Land Rovers I’ve ever seen – and there were a lot where I grew up in Africa!
It’s a real Land Rover Happy Hunting Ground.
There are also two small hotels which are modelled on English Tudor style houses. One of which, Ye Olde Smoke House, we stopped at and had a drink and a look around. There are some pictures in the slide show below.
The other is the Bala and, together, they make a real bit of Olde England in the middle of Asia.
There are other hotels as well, of course. The Equatorial, the Century Pines Resort (where we stayed) and the Cameron Highlands Resort – the most expensive one up there, but very, very comfortable!
They grow all sorts of crops in the Cameron Highlands, the most famous of which is tea, with strawberries a very close second.
The tea plantations make beautiful patterns on the hill sides and the people working them must be extremely fit. They’re literally working on the sides of mountains so they’re carrying their tea baskets up and down 60 and 70 degree slopes, all day long.
I’m looking at buying a property and living in Kuala Lumpur. As much as I like KL, it is both humid and oppressive, particularly in the Summer months.
The Cameron Highlands will make a wonderful break away – I’ll definitely be visiting again, probably quite often.
There are a few pictures in the slide show below. If you want to see a bigger version of any of them, just click on the picture.