Cameron Highlands

Here I am in Tanah Rata in the Cameron Highlands, a marked contrast from KL, that’s for sure! Came up by bus which took around 5 hours, the first 2 of which were up the highway from KL to the town of Tapah, about 3/4 of the distance, the last 3 hours being up the twisty steep road making up the final 1/4 of the distance which was clerly not designed for coaches, of which there seem to be plenty going up and down and somehow passing each other.

It’s relatively cool up here at 5,000 feet elevation, and is like taking a journey back to England in some ways. I’m staying in Bala’s Chalets, an old colonial building which looks it as well, and has a sign at the front saying “Devenshire cream teas sold here” so I had to sample one in the gardens today. Took a tour of a tea plantation, they still use the same English tea press machine brought in from England in 1937 which processes 820,000 cups of tea a day. I accidentally ordered what appeared to be a cup of PG Tips made from a teabag whereas everyone else was on the plantation’s finest. Never mind…. We also stopped at an amazing cactus farm and butterfly place amongst others, a pretty decent outing by all accounts.

Tomorrow I’m planning a sunrise start to attempt a solo jungle trek, I was trying to get a guide but failed so am going it alone with a map which is basically one step up from bog roll, and has instructions such as “steep path, tough going, easy to get lost” with an arrow pointing into the middle of nowhere. Theoretically I need to get back by midday to catch the bus back to KL, which takes an hour less than the trip up (presumably because the driver just lets the brakes off down the hill) to catch the train up to Thailand. This is a total backtrack but not much I can do about it now. Besides, sleeping on the train is cheaper than sleeping in a hotel, not sure what that says about the quality of the berths but that’s tomorrow night’s adventure!

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