Malaysia has been impressing the socks off me! I made my way through to the Cameron Highlands after a great time in Georgetown and wasn’t too sure what to expect. What I got was a quaint town in the mountains that may very well be a slice of the British countryside, complete with an abundance of outdoor activities to keep me busy for days!
The Cameron Highlands is made up of a number of small towns, the main tourist hub being that of Tanah Rata. This sentence makes it sound bigger than it is. In reality, it’s a strip of road, lined with a hodge podge of shops and guesthouses catering to tourists. But it’s so nice!
The Cameron Highlands used to be popular with the British back in the day, thanks to the World Wars. Its climate is extremely pleasant and uncharacteristically cool for Asia. As such, the Brits retreated here to set up shop. You can still make out the heavy English influence with the typical British-style country houses, little tea and cake shops everywhere and tea plantations dotting the countryside that are owned by British families.
This region is full of activities too. Typically, I’m hesitant to join day trips which include a number of stops at this shop and that factory as I hate people trying to constantly sell things to me. In the interests of time, however, I opted to do one of these tours and was pleasantly surprised that no one was trying to sell me anything!
The climate works well for strawberry and tea farming so inevitably, you’ll be visiting a few of these farms. This is a lot more interesting than it sounds as it means you’ll have a chance to try out a range of different foods. And when there’s tea, there’s cake. Need I say more 🙂
Putting the above aside, the thing that really puts the Cameron Highlands on the map is its excellent trekking opportunities. There are 14 trails to choose from, all within walking distance of the town. You’re totally spoilt for choice. After researching it for a while, I settled on trail (path) 10, a 3 to 4 hour hike through a rain forest of sorts. It’s really beautiful and if you’re in the region, you have to try out one of these hikes!
The other thing which sticks out for me is the food. I’ve got a ridiculous sweet tooth, and the temptation created with the presence of all these tea and cake shops was too much. I cracked and gorged myself silly on scones the one day. So much so, the owner of the tea house knows me by name. Hell, I probably helped pay all her staff this month!
Malaysia benefits from strong south Indian influences and as a result, you’ll find a lot of Indian restaurants which specialise in south Indian food. It’s all so good and different to your typical Korma’s and Masala’s. It’s a good thing there are hikes to do in these parts – helps burn off the 3,000,000 calories I’ve packed on!
I head to Kuala Lumpur tomorrow and am honestly a little sad to say cheers to this place. There’s something homely about it. You can’t miss the Cameron Highlands if you come to Malaysia!