Cameron Highlands | Chilly Mornings in Malaysia

Packing a jacket is not something usually associated with Southeast Asia, but Malaysia’s Cameron Highlands are an exception to the rule. We found this to be a much-welcome break from the coastal humidity, much as the British did during colonial times. Honestly we could have just stayed at our awesome hotel (Strawberry Park) for a week and done nothing else- watching storms roll by from our porch never got old. Sunsets here were reminiscent of the jaw-dropping ones we caught in Brunei, fiery skies with lightning pulsing through the clouds. Beyond the delicious al fresco dinners and our first real experience of English-style “high tea”, just wandering the grounds was entertainment enough. The hotel even had an exclusive trail up into the forest where Andy got to peel cinnamon bark from the tree and saw his first pitcher plant (he has an unhealthy obsession with carnivorous plants).

The area’s premier local attraction was the Mossy Forest, a well-done boardwalk through trees shrouded in mist along the Pahang/Perak border. Andy loved touching all of the different types of moss blanketing every trunk and watching clouds rip through the valley below. And being this close to arguably Southeast Asia’s most famous tea plantation, we popped into Boh for a cham teh terik (coffee and milk tea) to warm up a bit. Tara liked it enough to buy 2 bags for the trip back to Bali, despite having zero room in our luggage post-Christmas in Penang. We even managed to do some more strawberry picking at Raju’s Farm on the way back, the only produce we can reliably get Andy to eat!

Most folks pass through Ipoh along the way up to Cameron, a destination in its own right- and a very convenient stopover from Penang. We hired a driver for the one-way trip for about $50, and tipped a bit more to explore along the way. Foodies flock to Ipoh’s Restoran Tauge Ayam Lou Wong for it’s famous bean sprout chicken rice, which was really good, but shockingly their tofu in sweet soy was even better! The real highlight of Ipoh for us was exploring Sam Poh Tong, an ornate Buddhist temple only accessible via a long tunnel through jaw-dropping karst formations.

Getting back to Bali for Andy’s spring semester meant that nearby Kuala Lumpur was our logical exit point from the Cameron region, a city we often describe as having the most diverse and exciting food scene on earth. Noodle dishes from all over Asia are served on every street corner, but I hit my usual crispy duck noodle joint upon arrival (in the Lot 10 basement) and it was as mouth-watering as ever. Even finding an authentic Syrian kebab at Halab Gate took little effort – we went twice in 24 hours! Probably good we don’t live here, we’d get chubby pretty quick. Back at the Journal Hotel‘s rooftop pool, we knocked back a few piña coladas (that Tara ordered while singing the Garth Brooks song!) and admired the big city tower lights turning on at sunset. Not a bad way to wrap up our holiday trip 🙂

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  • MarianneFebruary 21, 2024 - 4:55 am

    These photographs are really beautiful!  It has been fun to follow you on your adventures.ReplyCancel

  • Joanne HallFebruary 21, 2024 - 11:08 pm

    You all are living the dream!! The photographers will tempt anyone to jump on a plane for a visit!! I am living vicariously through all of you and having a ball!!! Jo 😘❤️ReplyCancel

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