Well, that’s at least what it felt like to me.
I wish there were miniature blue characters running around, but it’s more to do with the shapes and scenery of the place.
The rolling hills are covered with tea plantations. The greenhouses are filled with globular strawberry delights. The moss grows over the forest floor hugging the tree roots. There is just a lack of angles and that makes me think of a smurf village.
Also I saw a smurf sculpture as we were driving into town and it stuck.
Where to stay in Cameron Highlands
If I could set up my home anywhere, I would like the setting of De’Native guesthouse. Colourful flowers line the paths in front of the bamboo huts looking out over the highlands.
Every night the bonfire was crackling coupled with chilled Carlsbergs and fun company. It’s simple, cheap and a good traveller’s respite.
Things to do and see in Cameron Highlands
We booked onto a half day tour with Jason through De’Native. What a hoot! The guy is a well-travelled Malay who loves the Cameron Highlands. His stories are not always linear, going from the importance of bringing kids under the age of 5 to a house before you buy it and hydroponic techniques adopted from the Israelis, but somehow it works. We made six stops – Tea Plantation and Factory, Gurung Brinchang viewpoint, Mossy Forest, Strawberry Farm, Butterfly Farm all for 40RM. I think it was great value for the transport and information from Jason. It leaves your other days in Cameron Highlands to chill out or tackle one of the 14 trails easily achieved on your own.
Binchang night markets
We love a good night market we do, and had high hopes for the markets in the neighbouring town Binchang. Walking there via some suspicious shortcuts through a pitch black golf course, we eventually happen upon the open air markets.
A great place to pick up more fresh produce and strawberry infused just-about-anything, but a real no go on the food front.
The best score was a banana leaf wrapped Nasi Lemak for 4RM which we had for breakfast the next day.
With loads of Chinese restaurants around, we went on the search for Bak Kut Teh. We know it’s a KL dish but this was our last chance.
Robinson Waterfall and Trekking 9A and 9B trails
I would preface this by saying “do not start your trek at 4pm”.
Whilst most people are walking back into town for some downtime before dinner, we think it’s a top time to go walkies.
After numerous treks, you think we would have learnt but no. Off we go casually telling each other that we will just see how far we get before it gets too dark and turn around.
We walk, chill by the waterfall, climb over a fallen tree trunk, walk some more and then find a great sign telling us you can escape via the farm or continue on a path we couldn’t see.
We opt for escape.
Bemused farmers watch us clamber out of the bushes. We set off on our return journey on what we later found out to be Trail 9B.
Unsure with every step we take particularly with this group of cats judging us.
We at least see the dam and hydro plant on return to town.
Where to eat in Cameron Highlands
Restoran Ferm Nyonya for excellent Beef Rendang and a tasty Penang style fried Kuay Teow. I hear the steam boat is good too.
How not to travel in Malaysia
Add two hours to every bus journey.
You see when bus companies say that a journey is 3 hours what they really mean is that it’s more like 5 – 6 hours and that all depends on your driver. You may have a driver like the one we had from Cameron Highlands to KL who argued with two passengers to get off the bus because they were eating and I swear they rode in the luggage compartment because they were back on board 20 minutes later.
He loved his bus he did. He adhered to his own rules, stopping at a random spot for about 30 minutes so he could have his breakfast. I didn’t dare take a photo given his extensive rule list of bus behaviour.
What was going to be a tight run to KL airport already was turning into a new resolve that we would just forfeit our flight and spend another night in KL. Turns out nothing really is on time and our Air Asia flight was delayed an hour, so the moral of the story is don’t let Suzy organise transportation.
Note to self – re-read why I’m crap at navigating.
Budget for 2 people
|Minivan transfer from Perhentian Islands (Kuala Besut port)||140RM|
|Accommodation at D’Native (3 nights)||230RM|
|Food (average price per meal)||8-15RM|
|Beers (depending on local or import)||11RM|
Enjoying a cuppa listening to James Warren.