It'd been a long, long time since I last visited Cameron Highlands. Even after the new highway was built, I hadn't been up there even though the highway is just minutes away from my family home in Ipoh!
I guess my last visit was during my first-year CLS committee gathering about 5 years ago. Yes, that memory is still vivid in everyone's mind because that was the last time I wore a spaghetti strap top to Cameron's and started sneezing and got a fever that night!
Thanks to Teck, Kerch and Sze Min (and dunno who else for organising!), I revisited Cameron Highlands last weekend with a group of new and old faces, mostly consisting of people who had helped out in Sim's election in one way or another.
Day 1 - Saturday
After a hearty dimsum breakfast at Foh San, we made our way up to Cameron's using the Simpang Pulai road. After about 1 and a half hours, we reached Brinchang. We were the first car to reach Brinchang because the others had went on to check-in at the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) lodge deep inside the heart of the BOH tea plantation. The few of us walked about, buying stuff (Hotlink card, hairclips, postcards, etc) and enjoying the cool breeze of the highlands. When the other two cars arrived, CC led us wandering about to the Legendary Foodcourt (传说中的) at Brinchang.
The Legendary Foodcourt (actually its real name is Excellent Food Centre) is located behind the row of shops next to the bus station. There is a variety of food here (chicken chop rice, mixed grill, fried rice, curry laksa etc) which is cheap and tastes okay. Try the mixed grill! It's quite filling... and the chicken chop rice comes with 2 side veges.
Next stop: Cactus Valley 仙人掌花园 (not Cactus Point)
Despite the varying signboards, admission is FOC. Ironically, I didn't buy any cactuses there because 1. I dunno how to choose and 2. Khoon Hau says that putting cactuses on your workdesk is bad for intra-office relationships. Try putting sweets instead!
We headed over to the flowers. Once we saw them, it seemed like everyone was transformed into avid photographers... very professional.
I hope my wedding bouquet looks like that!
Our national pride
Peachy Hawaiian flirty skirt
Sexy... reminds me of 70's Chinese singers
I wish I could grow these from my window
Chrysanthemums... like a painting
I want! I want all of them in my bedroom!
The Valley of the Cactuses
And is a trip to Camerons complete without strawberries?
And when we reached the top, we stopped by for some yummylicious waffles with strawberries topped with vanilla icecream and cream and somemore strawberry jam! It only cost RM5! So cheap, compared to Paddington's House of Pancakes... >.<
After that, we wanted to go buy stuff for our BBQ later that night but it was raining. So we made our way to a new little cafe called Strawberry Moment opposite the Cactus Valley.
The whole place looked very IKEA-ish and of course, you bet it's pricey to eat in such a nice setting. You can get the same stuff served atop Cactus Valley at half the price, but well, if you like to while your time away here, there's magazines...
Yumyum, nice weather, sweet food, dozedoze, zzz... *on lullaby*
After he had a nice rest, we set off to MNS, which is located VERY VERY FAR UP in the Cameron Boh Tea Plantations! It was a very "san ka la" place... and the journey up is definately not for the weak-hearted! How did they find this place? Well apparently CC and Sze Mun went star-gazing with some astronomy society a few weeks ago...
Stairway up to heaven
Once we arrived, we could barely contain our urge to... TAKE... PHOTOS!!!
Our quarters (reminds me of my Ah Ma's house...)
Feel like humming a Jay Chou tune... 晴天/七里香
Dining hall interior... it has a fireplace!!!
For all your shopping needs... if you really need to shop at all
At night, we had a BBQ. It's so nice to have hot BBQ indoors when it's pouring cats and dogs outside! The MNS dining hall was so well-equipped with stoves, pans, pots, eating utensils, tap water, plates, cups and knifes! Thanks to the WONDERFUL & PRETTY chefs Sze Mun, Wai Jhin, Sia Ling and Zhiwei's mommy, we had so much to eat (they really 思想周到 and prepared everything we could eat) -- salad, strawberry fondue, chocolate banana, sambal fish, sambal prawn, honey lime juice, all kinds of dipping sauces for meatballs, etc etc etc! Also special thanks to Kerch's mommy for the yummylicious BBQ chicken wing marinade... and last but not least - not forgetting the entire QC team... wahhaha ^_^
Wei Jhin's BRIGHT IDEA - Lip-smacking Chocolate Banana!
The GREAT duo Teck & Wai Kong for sheltering our dinner from the rain
After our hot baths (kerosene gas water heater, man!!), we huddled again in the dining hall to play mahjong and a NICE SPECIAL game imported all the way from the U.S. - Category Five! The pack of cards belonged to Chen Waan (Yes, we are all BLOGGERS). At first when I was an onlooker, I couldn't understand what was going on (so tired already mind cannot move still wanna play maths game meh...) But once I got into the game, I was hooked!! And both cats that night (special name 淼燊 & Garfield Hau) were the big losers... hahaha...
Day 2 - Sunday
They said to wake up at 7a.m., but I couldn't get up until 8a.m. The very avid photographer Teck had already caught his sunrise photos... hoping he will upload them very soon. When I got up and looked out of the lodge... wow... I felt like bursting out in song... "The hills are alive..."
Looks like a painting... the top of the mountains was covered in fog
Headed over to the dining hall for breakfast - hot 3-in-1 drinks, spaghetti, sandwiches, mushroom soup....
"The hills are alive..."
Where are the sheep?
BOH tea workers
One of our itinerary that trip was to go hiking. Although I'd brought along my hiking clothes, but by the time we finished breakfast around 10, the hot sun was up (the weather totally felt like Pantai Jerejak instead of Cameron's) I deemed it unsuitable for hiking. So half of us went for tea at the white BOH teahouse not far away and half of us still went hiking (again, I am waiting for those photos).
We had finished our hot tea and butter scones with strawberry jam when we received a phone call from 'the others' saying that... they had locked their car key inside the car!!! OMG... really 够力. Somemore, don't forget, we stayed in a very "san ka la" place where there was no mechanic shop around... and furthermore, it was a Sunday! So Nicholas faster asked one of the teashop workers for help (at that time we didn't even know whether he clearly understood us) and transported him over to M.N.S.
The rest of us (left one car now at BOH) continued to chat our time away while waiting for them. Can you believe we actually sat there among the flies (eeu! How disgusting!) for more than 2 hours? Hahaha... Until after 2 hours, the problem was still unsolved. So we went back to M.N.S. to see whether we could help.Car owner
Hero #1 trying to jack open car lock
Fuhh... it is really not easy to become a car thief. Luckily, our tea-workers heroes managed to rescue us... after a longg process of 2 hours! Yesterday, one of my friends who didn't go asked me about this incident. He asked me whether the car owner dropped the key into the BOH Tea Plantation!!! Luckily not!!! If not, we would all be prepared to become like those Bangladeshi/ Indian tea-workers... scouring the trillions and trillions of tea-leaf bushes in the VAST tea farm!
At 3pm, Teck's car left M.N.S. first, because my bus was at 6pm from Ipoh back to Penang. And I barely managed to catch the bus by reaching at 5.49pm!!! What an amazingly MEMORABLE trip to Cameron Highlands... I am sure this trip will be remembered by each and everyone of us 6 years... 60 years... from now.