The drive from Kuala Lumpur to Cameron Highlands was not bad at all. The four hour drive felt quite short in the Super VIP bus: wide seats and a lot of room for your legs (most buses are built for the somewhat shorter-than-European Asian). The scenery slowly changed as we left busy KL and approached the hilly Cameron Highlands on curvy and steep roads.
Super VIP bus
We arrived in Tanah Ratah, a one-street town catering for the tourists and Malays that seek a much needed escape from the hot and humid lowlands. After our quest for a hostel, we had a tasty Indian lunch of roti (a kind of pancake bread) and chicken, complimented by sweet tea and coffee. The climate here is great and tomorrow we’re off for a trek in the hillside.
We were off for an early start to go trekking, but the nice cool air appeared to provide the perfect conditions for sleeping in. After a hearty breakfast of Nasi Lemak for me (coconut rice, fried sardines, peanuts and an egg) and a sweet roti for Giulie (again complimented by sweet tea), we set off to find one of the many hillside treks.
Trek number 10-6 led us to the summit of an 1800 m peak, providing us with a beautiful view of the tea plantations surrounding Tanah Ratah and the other small towns in Cameron Highlands. Descending, we walked through local vegetable farms (growing a lot of Chinese cabbage) before entering the tea plantation area. Walking through the tea bushes, seeing endless rows in front of us, was almost surreal. We ended up in a shop selling local tea (with scones, jam and clotted cream of all things. The British left their footprints quite a few places).
Again, we had a good dinner and we’re still astounded by how cheap meals are here compared to Singapore. This time we went for a slightly more `upmarket’ food stall which served us egg-covered noodles and a chicken dish with a great tasting sauce. We even splurged out on a third dish of cooked vegetables (something they don’t really seem to eat here), setting us back a total of three pounds.
Tomorrow we’re off to Penang’s Georgetown, which apparently has some of the best food in Malaysia.