Tea Plantations in the Cameron Highlands

Trip Start Dec 26, 2005
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25
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Trip End Jan 25, 2009


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Flag of Malaysia  ,
Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Cameron Highlands is a fantastic respite from the hectic life of the other cities I've been to. After being highly recommended for overland travellers, I am looking forward to experiencing this area of Malaysia.

After a 1 hour delay at KL's heavily polluted Puduraya Bus Station, my bus departed for Cameron Highlands (Tanah Rata) at 2pm. I lapped up the luxury of my 4 star hotel as I don't plan on doing this again for a while. The breakfast at the Grand Continental was huge... a buffet breakfast so in order to avoid having to buy lunch, I had cereal, OJ, a fully cooked meal of eggs etc, bread and heaps of coffee.

I found a metered taxi and only paid 7RM for my half hour trip to the bus station. I love driving around cities... so much to see in the day to day life of ordinary locals. My taxi got stuck in one traffic jam, but he managed to circumnavigate. Whilst talking about taxis, my taxi driver from the airport yesterday missed a man by centimetres on the freeway of all places. Thankfully I'm not writing about my taxi driver killing someone! Malaysian drivers are horrendous.

I arrived into Tanah Rata at about 5.30pm and the drive, except for the bus driver's skills, was great. For a couple of hours, the bus turned around a lot of mountain corners whilst passing very small huts on the side of the road. What a simple life these mountain people lead.

Tonight, I roughed it at Twin Pines hostel. Whilst this hostel sounds pristine, it is anything but! In planning this trip, I was keen to explore as many accommodation types as possible. For two nights, I will be sleeping in a very small cupboard in the hostel's attic for $3.50 a night. It sure is an experience. The showers are hot though! The small room fits a double mattress on the floor, and just enough room for my bags. To get to the attic, I need to circumnavigate myself up a twirling walk way... I tripped on it last night but am ok. It is not exactly the friendliest place I've stayed, but it is dirt cheap. I am finding that travellers from the UK, USA, Middle East, Netherlands, Aus etc. are the friendliest and are keen socialists. The Germans on the other hand are quite standoffish - I'm finding this time after time.

I had Indian for dinner. I mistakingly ordered a huge buffet dinner for 4 people for $6. I didn't really have an appetite for food tonight so this was the worst thing I could of ordered. I thought it was a bit expensive at RM18. I ate about an eighth of it and the waitresses were anything but impressed when I said I was full after a small sampling of the chicken tandoori, bread etc. I'll know better next time.
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