Tuesday, 15 July 2014

8th June A journey into the Cameron Highlands. Malaysia

8th June  Malaysia
Cameron Highlands 

Some high lights of the Cameron Highlands
Tea plantations,
visiting oldest mossy forest,
 trekking in rain forest, #butterflyand other creepy crawlies farm.,

The Penang Bridge from George town to main land Malaysia 
The total length of the bridge is 13.5 km (8.4 mi), making it the second longest bridge in Malaysia and the fifth-longest in Southeast Asia.
Playground Fun
The Cameron Highlands got its name from Sir William Cameron, a British surveyor who was commissioned by the then colonial government to map out the Pahang-Perak border area in the 1885.
Is unlike any other constituency in Malaysia; it is not only home to hundreds of floral species that are rare to the tropics; it is also an area with a substantially different ecosystem.

Developed in the 1930s, the tableland is one of the oldest tourist spots in Malaysia. Apart from its tea estates, the plateau is also noted for its cool weather, orchards, nurseries, farmlands, waterfalls, rivers, lakes, wildlife, mossy forest, golf course, hotels, places of worship, bungalows, Land Rovers, museum and its aborigines (Orang Asli).

We stayed in a small town called Tanah Rata which translates to 'Flat Land' in local language - a reference to its broad and relatively level terrain meandering between the valley.
we took alocal room which was very nice  and cost about 75 ringgit... £15
To get to this area takes a lot of winding roads up through the mountainous tea plantations, palm tree plantaions and native rain forest terrain. We travelled from Penang island and it took around 4 hours by mini bus.

It consists of one long street with side roads of it. Along the side of the road there are tons of food shops/stalls with southern Indian, Chinese, western and local Malaysian foods choice from.

Yummy Food

 Theres a small daily clothes market

The intrepid travellers 

Info on the 3 mile Trek, we did through the Rain Forest past Robinson Falls

More attractive of the two waterfalls near Tanah Rata, Robinson Falls is easily reached along a downhill trail. Trail #9 to the falls starts around one mile southeast of Tanah Rata from the road to Mardi - look for a footbridge over the water and yellow sign marking the trailhead. Trail #9 turns into a service road for the power station. For a nicer hike, take trail #9A to the left which continues on to the main road and eventually the Boh Tea Estate. Which we hitched to.

Boh Tea Estate

The Boh Tea Estate just southeast of Tanah Rata can be reached by walking trail #9A past Robinson Falls to the Habu Village main road. Turn left and continue for around two miles to reach the tea estate. Alternatively, turn right on the main road to see the Ringlet Lake, a dam, and Habu village. Hail one of the northbound buses to get home instead of hiking up the steep road! 
Note: The Boh Tea Estate is closed on Mondays. But you can have tea and cake in their  shop

We walked with Alex and Jenny who we met in Tanah Rata, it was a great day. And it was lovely to meet them. 

The path was through dense rain forest, fallen trees blocked the way and in some places, the path was very narrow and dropped away, but great to walk even with kids  
|Alisha and seb are fantasic trekkers now


Once down from the rain forest, we walked along the road and eventually hitched a lift to the Boe tea plantation for a nice cup of tea and cake.

Being told the history of the highlands and its tea production

The Cameron Highlands

Collecting the remains of the tea leaves with a scupper cup after the guy with a big cutter/leaf sucker has been. Few tea  plantaions use people to hand pick leaves anymore.  

The leaf cutter now used.  Its as tall as a person and heavy. The guy works for 8 hours each time  for little pay.  phew!

We also decided to do a tour because we wanted to see the oldest Mossy Forest there, I must say  it was against our better judgment, we dont really like tours. And we were proved right, I would recommend to anyone visiting this area to avoid the tour and take a taxi to forest and then you can spend hour exporing the forst instead of 40 short minutes. The butter fly farm which was interesting was on the way there.  The tea plantation on the tour is ridiculous crowded we didnt even have time to join the masive queue for a cup of tea. 

A cloud forest, also called a fog forest, is a generally tropical or subtropical, evergreen, montane, moist forest characterized by a persistent, frequent or seasonal low-level cloud cover, usually at the canopy level. Cloud forests often exhibit an abundance of mosses covering the ground and vegetation, in which case they are also referred to as mossy forests. Mossy forests usually develop on the saddles of mountains, where moisture introduced by settling clouds is more effectively retained.
The Mossy forest walkway which keep everyone away from the ground and in return protects8 the inviroment from damage.

 Th Mossy forest

The moss of the Mossy forest

The mossy forest is a natural environment that grows only at the highest elevations of Cameron Highlands and other mountain ranges across Malaysia. At such heights, low-level clouds in the sky driven by winds, blanket the forests with constant mist and moisture - creating an ideal biotope for moss, ferns, lichen and orchids. This moist tropical evergreen forest is also a rich repository for a varied set of montane creatures, encompassing insects, snakes, frogs, birds and mammals unique to this chilly atmosphere. Visitors can explore the mossy forest through a boardwalk 2km before the peak of Gunung Brinchang, beginning from a clearing along the main road.

After the Mossy forest we visited a Cameron tea planation, We we so glad we got to visit one on our forest trek the day before because it was so busy here you didnt really get to enjoy the beautiful urroundings or  taste the local tea and cake.  Shame ....

Cameron tea plantation, the tea queue .... so not worth it.
There were also traffic jams out of the valley ( it was the holidays for Malaysians so the roads were packed. It reminded me of Cornwell or Wales in high season ) but I was able to take a walk along the road and watch the tea pickers at work.... great.
Check out the blocked traffic behind

I got to see a centipede wandering around in the plantation gardens. 

Once we left the tea plantation we visited a butterfly farm and had a quick peek at a strawberry farm? The Butterfy farm have loads of butterflys, flowers and creepy crawlies . It was a surprise to see so many differnet kinds of small animals. Great for the Kids.
But I think some of the animals could have been looked after better!!
The leaf frog
 and other animals 


                                                                            Me (Tracey) holding a snake

massive leaf stick insects

The highland have a lot of farms which use plastic to cover their shed roofs. Its gives the land a distintive look when up high. Vietnams town of Da lat was very similar in this respect.

 Thats all for the wonderful Cameron Highlands, we are off to Taman Nagara National Forest next

see you there xx  


Alice said...

Wonderful! and I love that picture of you on the wall with the backdrop - you look so happy! See you soon xxx

alex said...

Great memories of a gt family in a wonderful spot.
Thanks for the time we spent together and see you soon I hope somewhere some time!!