Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Calming Chills of Cameron Highlands - 2008

After going abroad for 3 times in a row for vacations, I chose to spend my holiday domestically this time. After having a lot of discussions with my sisters, and put all matters into consideration, we made up our decision. Cameron Highlands it is!

We booked a 6-room penthouse at Dahlia Apartment in Brinchang to fit my huge family members (my eldest sister, her hubby and her three kids, my youngest sister, her hubby and her daughter, my parents, my maid and my sister’s mom-in law). A lot uhh? Yeah... so that 6-room penthouse was actually a great choice. It could may well be considered as a ‘Trip of a Lifetime’ because this was probably the only, only time that we could get all of us together, holidaying.

The penthouse was equipped with kitchenette so we did our own cooking for most of the meal time. It was hilarious that one morning when my scramble eggs went way too salty that no one could eat them. But there was nothing to worry about because the dining table was always full to the brim during meal time and it has more than enough food for everyone :-).

The spacious penthouse enabled us to eract an in-house tent for the kids to play with. Thanks to my brother in-law who brought the tent along for the trip. The kids had a whale of time 'camping' in it. :-)

Our journey commenced from KL, and we took the Tapah exit to climb up the hill. The road was narrow and winding. When we stopped by at the waterfall area, Lata Iskandar, it was already half way to the top. The breezing fresh air and clear water from the waterfall was so invigorating. After a few snaps of photos, we continued our journey.

As we reached Ringlet, we came across an exclusive Lake House, a beautiful building with a colonial facade, strategically located on a hill.

We went to the Boh Tea and Bharat Tea Plantation as we arrived. It was so scenically green, as though you are actually seeing them on postcards. We had the chance to sip a cup of hot tea near the plantation, all freshly brewed. We also bought few packets of teas in different flavours to bring back home.

The strawberry farm was pleasant too. We wanted to go and pluck our own strawberries but the staff in charge for pluck-your-own-berries was not there. After a quick stroll and photo snapping, we decided to just buy the packed strawberries and the fresh strawberry jam, that we later had them with scones. It was really, really scrumptious. I guess the cold chilly weather in Cameron Highlands easily made one’s appetite grow bigger!

We went to the Butterfly Garden the next morning and kids had their whale of a time chasing this beautiful insect. There were lots of them and they were flying everywhere. The prominent one was the Rajah Brooke, which was about the size of your palm or bigger, in black and green color. I was not into insects that much. I just made a quick walk and went to the gift shop, looking for souvenirs. As usual, I bought some fridge magnets and a t-shirt for my son.

Can you spot the baby-sized Rajah Brooke behind us? Luckily they were small ones. I was actually too scared to go near the big ones! So, this small one will do for me :-). Oh, there were other insects and tortoises too at the Butterfly Garden. :-)

Talking about shopping, there’s nothing much to buy up here but Kea Farm is the best place if you ever need to shop for fresh veggies and fruits.

Various types of fresh flowers and ever-lastings were sold at a reasonably cheap price. But I didn’t buy them, afraid that they won’t last that long due to the difference in weather back home.

Shopping at Brinchang’s Night Market was really a great experience too. Night at Cameron Highlands can be really cold, so we had to put on sweaters and proper shoes with our socks on. And in cold weather, even the crispy Apam Balik tasted so yummy! We had a lot of eating there and yet when we went back to our rooms, we could still manage to munch some cookies and sandwiches :-).

One thing for sure, I never tasted fried sweet potatoes so deliciously until the one I had in Cameron Highlands. My hubby had to make a turn-back to purchase more of these sweet potatoes which is dipped in batter and simply deep-fried. The taste, voila! The scones with strawberry jam in Tanah Rata was our late supper menu for almost every night. You can have them in any restaurants, even in Mamak Shops. I wasn’t too sure how many kilos I gained throughout my 4D/3N stay in Cameron Highlands… but for sure we had a real good time and great makan-makan! :-)

Traditionally, a trip to Cameron Highlands would not be complete without a visit to "Ye Olde Smoke House". A cool trip to a cool place...

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