Thursday, 19 February 2009

A family holiday in Cameron Highlands

As I do every Chinese New Year, I pack my bags and head home to Malaysia to spend the holidays with family and friends.

This year, Liz, Orchid and I thought we'd do something different. Instead of having a big family gathering at home, we would have a family vacation in Cameron Highlands - one of Malaysia's popular highland getaways where the weather is cool and the air is fresh! A welcomed break from Kuala Lumpur's hot and humid climate.

Clearly not the most innovative plan because just about every other family in Malaysia decided to vacation in Cameron Highlands during the New Year festivities as well. But you'd never tell from these photos that we had to battle, push and squeeze through hordes of holiday makers.

Tailgating - Rooster follows Orchid. We started our journey from
Kuala Lumpur at 7:30am arriving in Cameron Highlands
a little over 4 hours later.
We definitely took our time on the road.

Old English Charm : the Trio and family checked into
Bala's Holiday Chalet in Tanah Rata town.

This was a school during British Malaysia.
Mr. Bala, who lives on the premises with his family,
converted the colonial style building into an inn for weary travelers.

Picturesque : Can you spot an Orchid amongst the bushes?
The grounds at Bala's Chalet is gorgeous.
However, the service was... x_x.

Always in bloom: Many flowers that would not usually survive Malaysia's
tropical heat find sanctuary in Cameron Highlands' cool climate.

Blossoms: Liz admires the flowers at one of the many
plant nurseries in Cameron Highlands.

Roses galore: Luscious roses of all kinds and colours at the markets.

Teatime: One of the things to do here is to have tea and scones,
a tradition left behind from our country's Colonial days.

Tcafe in Tanah Rata serves really good scones.
All that's missing is the real cream.
But you can't beat RM2.80 a scone when
everything up here is usually overpriced.

Tight Squeeze: The narrow road to the Sungai Palas Boh Tea Plantation
is a treacherous one - accommodating only one way traffic
with tight curves and a ravine on one side.
This drive it best made without nervous parents in the car. ;p

Fields of green: The challenging drive is soon rewarded
when you reach the tea center.

Rolling Hills: Tea never tasted so good while taking in a view like this.

Carbo high: Fluffy butter cakes and pies with our tea.

Spoilt for choice: Liz can't make up her mind on what kind of tea to get
at the Sungai Palas Boh Tea Center.

Back at the markets: We sampled some of the freshly picked produce from
the farms in the area. Pictured above are oyster mushroom fritters,
steamed sweet potato, and buttered sweet corn.
So simple, so delicious.

Look for the stems: Local oranges are extremely sweet. Be sure to
buy the ones with its stems still attached. The ones without stems
are imports from China, but vendors neglect to tell you this. ;)

Memento: Liz bought this strawberry doll as a memento of our trip.
Orchid's help was needed to support its huge head for the pic. :p

Thanks for viewing our '09 CNY getaway photo journal with us!


peepoo said...

thanks for sharing your pics...looks like a great trip. you guys take the best pics!

Anonymous said...

Wow, your pictures are always so clear and beautiful--are you a professional photographer?

Anonymous said...

I just love to read your vacation reviews! Makes me wish I could go as well. Very impressed with your photographic skills!

Anonymous said...

I live in NYC and am not originally from Malaysia. My family and I decided to escape the winter in NYC and go on a trip to Genting Highland as part of our trip to Singapore and Bali, Indonesia last January. It was good but now, after seeing your photos, I wish I had gone to Cameron Highlands instead. You're a great photographer. Did you take it with a DSLR camera? Even so, it takes skills for the photos to come out that good. Thanks for sharing it with us!


marcel said...

looks like a sweet trip! <3 all the pics, esp of the tea plantation, thanks so much for sharing! have to get myself out to malaysia sometime, it gets boring here in california ;)

Sooper said...

With all the camera shots from can only see that the k-popped sisters have nice booties.

Sooper said...

With all the camera shots from can only see that the k-popped sisters have nice booties.

sasjo said...

Beautiful pics, ladies! Cameron Highlands looks great through your lenses!

A Cameron Highlander records his appreciation. ;-)

Orchid said...

@sasjo We aim to make you proud of your hometown. ;-)

Thanks for the tips you gave us before the trip.

아이스Aiseu said...

your pictures are how the professionals do it...lolz

wawa said...

ahhhh... Cameron Highlands!!! the last time i went there... erm, 18 years back :p

seems like you guys were having fun there??? isn't it traffic jam there coz my collegue said once they reached CH, they stuck in a traffic for 2 hours before they can reach their hotel...

Orchid said...

@wawa Traffic was heavy due to the CNY season. But we didn't get stuck for 2 hours anywhere. It wasn't that bad for us.

nanienooraini said...

i wld love to get a nikon or canon pro camera like u hv, but m not creative and dun even know how to use photoshop lol... how did u learn to take such awesome pix?? did u attend photography classes or just came with experience? by d way, i went to cameron 3 years ago and had a blast! i got so many fresh roses, fresh vegies, fresh strawberries and oh, potted plants coz they were so cheap!

nanienooraini said...

oh... and for a person who sweats like a horse 24/7 in this freaking hot & humid kl, cameron is definitely a great place!

hyperX said...

I've been to Cameron Highland once. My comment - the road was crazy... Cameron highland is a great place but the journey is boring and scary...

Rooster said...

I'm glad you all enjoyed this post. :) Thanks for the kind comments.

@ Aye: Yes, we use DSLRs. Photography is a little hobby of mine and Orchid's. Cameron Highlands has a different atmosphere compared to Genting which, I feel, has an aura of depression. Too many souls losing money at the casino I guess. lol.

Cio said...

lols i should be able to recognize your backs by now xD

its really beautiful... although im not sure i want to be on the road for 4 hours :S

Sheoh Yan said...


You have such a wonderful life during CNY. My 2 girls have the same strawberry dolls, which I bought for them at Cameron last year. Photos are shown in my blog too.
All the photos are so nice. Enjoy reading this blog and viewing all the photos here.

iris said...

Loving the roses!! Aren't they simply the prettiest things on earth:P Anyway, nicely captured photos!

Orchid said...

@Sheoh Yan, yeah i actually saw the strawberry doll in your blog. I noticed that you got the smaller one. My sis got the HUGE (great big head) one!

Olivia said...

Wow... I know how much you ladies love Korea, but you really make me want to visit Malaysia--and soon!! Great pictures!!!!

Liz said...

Yes Cameron Highlands was rockin'! But too bad there were so many people. The company was great, so it was still a good vakay.

Friends, a warning - the service at Bala chalet sucks. The garden and compound are beautiful, but the staff there lack professionalism.

True story: A guest wanted hot water for his 3-in-1 beverage and the receptionist told him they don't serve hot water. This after he walked all the way to the lobby with his cup in hand.

Apparently, Mr Bala was there and even used the F-word at another the guest. Tsk tsk tsk...

Other than that, CH is a beautiful place to visit.

My huge strawberry doll cost me RM25. Now I wish I got the smaller one as its taking up space on my bed! :-P

Orchid said...

For those who want to visit has a lot to offer. Plus, it's really cheap compared to visiting Korea! :-)

Daphne. said...

Wow. I love the pictures you took. :D
I've only been to Cameron Highlands once in my whole entire life and I ended up puking in the car. Lol.

Anonymous said...

hey,i'm just confused here. what do you mean,you'll be heading home to malaysia in CNY? don't you live in Malaysia?

fraulein said...

I am making my whole family take a trip there this year !
Always wanted to.
And it's so near SG

Serey said...

hello ladies! i've always been visiting your site for anything korean plus now malaysian stuff. also, i love your strawberry doll.can you please let me know how i can get one from there? or maybe, liz, you'd like to sell yours if its taking too much space in your room.

love your site!!!

Liz said...

Hello Serey, I only see the dolls at Cameron Highlands. They aren't even sold down here in the city. I think it's an unofficial mascot of CH as it was sold everywhere in all sorts of sizes!

I'm sure there are cute dolls in the States? :-P

shinta said...

I'd so love to visit that tea seems so tranquil with the beautiful scenery..Nice place..

Serey said...

Thanks for getting back to me Liz. I appreciate your response. Hopefully, I'd be able to visit Malaysia in the future. I also loved your sharing your Malaysian culture which I believe should be shared to the world to foster better understanding of people all over the world. Cheers!!! Serey

Rooster said...

@ Anonymous above fraulein: I live in Beijing, but Liz and Orchid are in Malaysia. :)

Anonymous said...

wow. amazing pictures.
what camera model do you use?

borg said...

im so proud of cameron highlands, being a pahangite myself. ^.^ the pics are gorgeous.. ive always wanted to go to korea but after reading ur post, i appreciate malaysia's beauty even more..


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