Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

Cameron highlands, a sleepy mountain station in Malaysia; it is a great place for a weekend getaway to escape the noises of the city or from the scorching heat of tropical weather in Singapore and Malaysia. We took an overnight bus from Singapore to spend a weekend there. The weather dropped considerably as the bus slowly climb toward the sleepy town in the early morning.

The place reminds me so much of a similar town that I lived in when I was a kid. It is called ‘Pyin Oo Lwin’, about an hour ride away from Mandalay in Myanmar. It was a colonial town built during British occupation but the town remains flourish due to the trade routes from the east toward Mandalay passes through the town and the demand from the domestic tourism.

Typical of a highland town, it feels like the entire town is inside one massive aircon; with cool breezes now and then. While there are a lot of land; most of the land are slopes of the hill and the people here had to devise ways to farm. Tea plantations, strawberry farms and flower beds are abundant; in one form of terrace farming or another due to the nature of the landscape,

One reminiscence was the lack of fresh seafood. These days we take many things for granted: refrigeration and transportation among many. The lack of demand and cost were major deterrent factors for brining fresh seafood over the highlands, you can’t really find many fresh seafood dishes and those available are pretty expensive. Vegetables are in abundance; with the town has many local produces. You can find many aspects of modern living in the town but it remains laid back and charming in its own ways.

There isn’t any public transportation system which makes going around a bit more difficult. During our stay, we joined for some half-day tours to bring us around; a visit to strawberry farms, flower plantations and of course, the tea tree plantations. We woke up very early in the morning and make our way to the highest viewing point to see the first light of the day; having coffee to warm ourselves up in the cold foggy weather and watching the sun raises was a spectacular in its own way.

Regrettably with the ending of a slow weekend, we made our way back to Singapore. It was a great weekend indeed going back to be with nature; while there are many activities or sights you can do but spending two days is just about right for the highland. It was back in 2011 when I visited this place and now it is already 2015; I wonder how much has changed or how little it moved on with time. That yet to be answered and perhaps a visit is overdue.


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