Travel guide for Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

 

Cameron Highland is a high estate located just about 200 km from Kuala Lumpur. Being one of the highest region in Malaysia, this place has cool weather and charming tea estates. The bungalows, gardens, and golf course are the reminiscence of the British colonisers who would come to the highland for relaxation. Check further post for things to do in Cameron Highlands which can be wrapped up in about 2-3 days if you are on a roll.

SEE

Gunung Brinchang: Ideal way to start morning at Cameron is with hike to Gunung Brinchang, which is mainly a road walk and is not very tiring due to the lovely weather. The panoramic view at the peak which is at 6666ft and is worth every step. I had the opportunity to be among the clouds and aah that feeling of mist on my cheeks. You may hike up on your own or opt for an guide which is more recommendable.

Mossy Forest: After the hike at Gunung Brinchang, Mossy forest was our next destination.  Every plant and branch is covered with moss. The forest gives us the feeling of jungles from King Kong movie – dense, mossy all over and creepers everywhere. But there were no reptiles or insects and I presume its mainly because of the therapeutic plants which grow in abundance here (the Cajeput tree from which famous Tiger balm is made, grows here).  One can also spot Pitcher plants in abundance here, but do not touch them as some variety of this plant are carnivorous. You will be lucky to spot Giant Rafflesia, an endangered flower which claims to be the largest flower in world, in this forest. Make sure to go only with a local guide or you may get lost in the forest.

Tea Plantation: Cameron highland has excellent weather for tea plantations here and ‘Boh‘ at Sungai Palas is an ideal estate to breathe in some tea vibes here (also it is the biggest). I find tea estates very romantic as there is vastness of the estate which is so green and the chill in the air makes my bare shoulder tinkle. At Boh tea plantation we took a tour of the tea factory and then got ourselves comfortable  to sip some lovely tea with sumptuous little cakes. Make sure to buy little tea boxes for yourself and friends and family.

Starwberry farm: Raju’s strawberry farm seems to be pretty famous as it was confirmed by a local person and various portals in my research – and since its strawberries it couldn’t go wrong for us in anyway. Go around and pick strawberries with your lovelies and then enjoy the joys of your pluck. Though I found this to be a bit expensive activity which costed 35RMs (for 1/2kg I guess). But I think the price is more for the experience than for the strawberries. You can find quite some local fresh fruits and vegetables shops very close to Raju’s strawberry farm.

Bee farm/ reptile farm: There are many farms that breed bees and other reptiles as well. Its a good place to look at gorgeous butterflies and vibrant snakes and hedgehogs at such farms. Its a fun activity for a reptile lover or to show the kids around.

Cactus Valley: Walk along the lovely terraces to see the varieties of flowers and vegetables and off course cactus. They are all in abundance and will stimulate all your sensory organs. I went little crazy at the site of cactus varieties.

Robinson Waterfalls: Jungle trail number 9 leads to Robinson Waterfalls – a serene place to relax and soak in the air. These are impressive falls especially in rain time (September to January) and its an off beat trail as well.

Kea Farm Market: Take a walk at this farmer’s market and buy yourself some fresh fruits. If you are in strawberry season, then you’ll find them everywhere while they will be cheaper at such farmer’s market.

Tip: For about 40RMs/ 8 hours there are motorcycles available to go around the city and relax at our own pace. Though I wouldn’t recommend taking them when going to any uphill areas. The engines might not be powerful enough to take you through high elevations.

EAT

Steamboat cuisine: Best way to enjoy this dish would be to go brunching with friends and family – because its like potluck. You wont regret trying this dish. This dish has variations in various Asian countries such as Hot Pot in China. You may try this at Cameron Organic Produce Steamboat Restaurant and Ok Tuck Restaurant.

Steamed corns and sweet potatoes: How awesome are these to just keep nibbling while roaming in streets of Cameron and that chilly weather. I was amazed to see the amount of sweet potatoes sold and consumed here.

Ye Olde Smokehouse: If you are craving for some smoked food, then this place is right for you as it serves some good meat.

Curry House: Malaysia is a home to many Indians (mainly Tamilians) hence Indian Masala Chai was need of the hour to let my taste buds feels closer to home. This is also a good place to try some kebabs and other nibblers.

Uncle Chow’s Kopitam: Cool hangout place to snack and sip coffee among the locals visiting this place.

Fruits: I love trying local fruits while I am visiting the country. It gives me good insight of the vegetation and natures’ delight in form of fruits. Must try fruits at Cameron highlands are strawberries, langsat, red and white guavas (jambu batu), rose apple (jambu merah), and love fruit which I shopped at the Kea farm market

SLEEP

There are tons of budget hotels and BnBs in Tanha Rata, Cameron Highlands. Just take a walk in the area and try your luck at multiple inexpensive stays. As most of these places either shut or change names so its difficult to keep track of them by their names. For stay options on a little expensive side (which isn’t really very expensive either) try Copthorne Hotel, Century Pines Resort, and Lakehouse Hotel. I really liked some Airbnb options such as this, this, and this.

We stayed in Farm View apartment which is hosted by Dennis Hong and I must say it was a delight staying at this Airbnb. The house is really amazing with lovely farm view. The house had all possible things available for tourist to live in comfortably. Dennis has a really interesting way of handing over the keys to its customer and I stop at that for you to experience it yourself, if you happen to stay here.

Tip: While selecting the stay options you either choose hotels in Tanha rata area which is like the main area to hang out and spend evenings or hotels in Brinchang area which is closer to tea estates and peaks and really quiet area. As the distance between the two is almost about 5kms, both areas give a little different feel.

Best season: Since Cameron Highlands is mountainous, its really cool for most of the season. To enjoy cool breezy weather January to April is a good time and to enjoy sunny weather May to July is a good time. Spetember onwards there are heavy rainfall making the temperature dip even below 10C during night – having said that flora and fauna is at its best during this time.

Here’s a little virtual tour of our trip along with the tourist map:

Hat, simple sandal and map is all I need

Elevated roads and green all around

Beautiful cacti

Akhil being silly at the cactus farm

A table for two

Lavender farm

View of Boh Tea Plantation – till your eyes can see

Vibrant butterfly

View from Gunung Brinchang peak at 6666ft – those are clouds

Waiting for clouds to touch my face

Mossy forest

Enjoying footpath golf outside a cafe

Street food at Kea farm market

Strawberry farm just took it all literally

Check out other posts on our Malaysia tour.

Quick trip to Delhi

Breath taking view of Humayun’s Tomb

While there are many things on my must do list in Delhi, I highly recommend attending a wedding in Delhi. Its a-mazing. The energy, colors, ceremonies, madness and parties are highly recommended for anybody who likes to be high on life. I recently had one such opportunity, and I had gala time. But this post is totally about what you were expecting – things to do while in Delhi.

Being in Delhi is a different feeling altogether. Its a mix of culture, tradition, old roads, old bazaars, heritage monuments blending with big lanes, high end stores, and huge ‘kothis’. I recently did a trip to Delhi and had a beautiful day to spend there. And I did what any art lover would do, open the map (ahem phone map) and just stretched my hand to hire rickshaw to take me places.

Being at historical places, is like being in candy land for me. Beautiful edifice that has been constructed for eternity. But to complete the crazy historical journey in one and half day I had to pick and choose places to visit. Here’s my list:

1. Humayun’s Tomb: This is a edifice that was built for burial of the Indian Mughal Emporer Humayun after his death in 1572 AD is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The complex encompasses the main tomb of the Emperor Humayun, which houses the graves of his wife, son, and also his great-great-grandson as well as numerous other subsequent Mughals. The complex also has beautiful gardens that are perfect place to bask in light sun. I would love to cherish some mangoes and goose while marveling at this beauty. Note-if you are a history lover, hire a guide as the stories about the place are worth listening to.

2. Red Fort: The magnificent fort was once a residence for an Indian Mughal ruler which also served as capital for the Mughal empire in India. Fort, built in 1648, is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Red Fort Delhi is a mesmerizing piece of architecture, lying on the banks of Yamuna River, whose water was used for the moat that surround the wall. Every independence day, the Prime minister of the country hoist the national flag at the Red Fort and the national parade is performed.

3. Jama Masjid: The name literally translates to ‘the world reflecting mosque’ and it indeed it reflects a world in itself. Any day a tour to Jama Masjid will make you witness thousands of people from different parts of world. Its a huge mosque with capacity to accomodate nearly 25,000 people in its courtyard itself. The brilliant use of red sandstones and white marbles in the entire masjid’ s architecture and generous spread of floral motifs, wines and inlay work makes it very attractive. It also reminds of the regal time of Mughal dynasty while they ruled in India. This mosque is also very similar to Jama Masjid mosque in Agra.

4. India Gate: The India Gate was part of the work of the Imperial War Graves Commission (IWGC), which came into existence in December 1917 for building war graves and memorials to soldiers killed in the First World War. Under the India Gate ‘Amar Jyot Jawan’, which literally means immortal flame of soldiers, is erected with four urns on side.

5. Rashtrapati Bhavan (President’s House): This is an iconic structure located on ‘Rajpath’, which is one of the most filmed road in the capital city. The Rajpath is a wide long road with India Gate standing tall at one end and Rashtrapati Bhavan on the other. So carry your high resolution camera to capture the other monument from one at a distance of 4 kms. Rashtrapati Bhavan is India’s President’s House spread across 320 acres with 340 rooms in it. Mighty right! The awesome thing visitors are allowed to the see some parts of the House and the Mughal garden. However, one needs to apply for it in advance. This is something I found out much late in my tour. But make sure you read their guidelines carefully and don’t miss it.

6. Lotus temple: This is Bahai’s house of worship located in Delhi, being one of the eight such houses around the world (9th in Turkmenistan has been destroyed). The temple is a true piece of art as the structure has been built in shape of a lotus with 27 free-standing marble-clad “petals” arranged in clusters of three to form nine sides. About 2,500 people can sit and pray inside this lotus at the same time. It has beautiful landscaping around the temple and nice place to relax and soak up the day.

7. Akshardham (Swaminarayan temple): I always make a point to visit Swaminarayan Temples wherever they are for they, I believe, are the only temples to be constructed in most recent century but has art and architecture detailing that was done centuries ago in India. And Akshardham is no exception to that. Brilliant structure and unique detailing signified from Indian mythology. The material used in the structure is so logical. For example, brown stone is layed out as flooring outside the temple with motifs made of white stones. However, apart from the artistic approach of colors, the white stones are good to walk on during the crazy summers as they absorb less heat. Apart from the structure, the story narrated about Shri Swaminarayan is really something to ponder upon.

There are many places in this city worth visiting and I am sure I will be blessed with many opportunities to visit this place again and again.

Lets take a visual tour together of my trip:

Enjoying blissfulness

Me looking petite at one of the four gates of Humayun’s Tomb spread out in four directions 

Nai-ka Tomb which literally means barber’s tomb. Notice little blue cap on right is part of restoration work going on at the moment. Waiting to see this place restored in all its glory. I will come soon.

Octagonal shaped Isa Khan’s Tomb surrounded by beautiful octagonal shaped garden

Peeking in the glorious past

Indian flag hoisted on Red Fort

Majestic walls of Red Fort with moat around it

Sun set view from Jama Masjid

While we spent time at Jama Masjid experience the glory of past

Standing tall – India Gate

India Gate canopy lit up at night

Grandeur President’s home

India Gate’s view when standing outside President’s home with a distance of 4km in between

India’s Prime Miniter’s office #namo

Beautiful structures and skylines

Akshardham in its complete glory

Marvelous work of architecture at Lotus Temple

One of the lotus petal facades

Green gardens spread around Lotus temple

The food out here is so orgasmic that it deserves a dedicated post and if you are in Delhi there are few must visit places for shopoholics. So watch this space for more.