Good afternoon (or any other part of the day) fellow Steemians. Weekend again! Today I'd like to share a blog about the Cameron Highlands with you. You can find them in Malaysia. I did not have my DSLR camera back then, so the quality of the photos is a bit lower than I normally post, be aware ;D.
About 200 kilometers north of Kuala Lumpur you can find the Cameron Highlands. This so called hill station (a town that is located at a higher elevation than the valley that is nearby), covers an area that is roughly 712 square kilometers big. Nowadays you can find many plantations for tea, coffee, and fruit (mainly strawberries) in this area. This thanks to the elevation (most of the area is around 1.000 meters above sea level), the mild climate (the mean annual temperature is around 18 degrees Celsius) and the precipitation (more than 2.700 mm yearly).
Workers at the tea plantation
The Cameron Highlands are surveyed by and named after Sir William Cameron in 1885 and consists of three sub districts (Ringlet, Tanah Rata and Ulu Telom). Most of the stuff you will see in the area is constructed in the 1930s.
I visited the Cameron Highlands in July, which is pretty okay. It hadn’t rain for a few days so the air was a bit hazy. October and November are the wettest months. January and February the driest. I arrived in the city of Tanah Rata by shuttle bus, which I took from Taman Negara (this rainforest is considered as the world's oldest, definitely worth a visit). I arrived late in the afternoon and had no accommodation yet. After walking around a bit I found a nice guesthouse which offered a dorm bed for $ 6 a night, sold. Because I didn’t had a lot of time to spend in the area, I booked a daytrip the very same evening for the day after. A visit to the mossy forest, a look-out point and a tea plantation. After the booking I walked around in the city and ate. Tanah Rata is not very big but has a lot of places to eat something and sleep.
The next morning I walked to the office where I booked my trip and already a couple of Defenders were waiting for us, little inheritance from the British I guess. Although not the most environmental friendly type of vehicle, it did his job really well transporting our group up the mountain roads. First stop of the day: the mossy forest.
Defenders ready to transport us
The mossy forest is a natural environment that only occurs at the highest elevations of the Cameron Highlands/Malaysia. At this specific height, low level clouds keep hanging in the air and form a blanket over the forest, resulting in constant mist and moisture. Result is a lot of moss, ferns and orchids in the forest. We walked a bit in the forest and eventually reached a nice look-out point. The walk was slippery and there was a lot of climbing/crouching involved under and over trunks. Our guide knew a lot about the environment and showed us many special plants, flowers and trees.
Impressions of the forest
After we came out of the forest again, we walked uphill to an old radio tower. On top of the radio tower we had a nice view of the surroundings. Although as I mentioned before, it was a bit hazy due to no rain for the last couple of days. So taking a normal clear picture was almost impossible.
Back in the Defenders we drove to one of the older tea plantations, the Sungei Palas 'Boh' Tea Factory. This is one of the three plantations owned by BOH, the largest tea brand in Malaysia. This one also has a café with a gallery, a tea factory and a souvenir shop. We walked around on the plantation first. It’s really beautiful, all the greens. There were some people working on the plantation. I was told that the workers were mostly immigrant workers from other countries like Bangladesh or Myanmar. It was a bit sad standing there, looking whilst they were working hard. But I guess every country has its own type of immigrant workers.
Hard working people on the plantation
After the plantation we were invited for a tour in the factory. The factory consists of a part where you can see old machines and materials that are used back in the days. But another part of the factory is still used nowadays for the production of the tea. The guide told us a lot about the process of making tea and all the different types of tea. Really interesting since I did not had any extensive knowledge about the production process. The machines they use looked really old and bulky. I can imagine it would look very different in a Pickwick factory. But it seemed to work for this plantation. It's mostly drying and crushing so I guess the most important thing is enough space.
We closed the tour enjoying a nice cup of BOH tea and some cake in the café. This café is pretty modern with a glass overhanging part from where you can overlook the plantation.
Café look out point
View of the plantation
Travel tip: The Cameron Highlands are also pretty known for the disappearance of Jim Thompson. An entrepreneur who was very active in the silk industry in Thailand and helped to revive it. He disappeared in the Cameron Highlands on 26th of March 1967. You can visit his house in Bangkok which is a museum nowadays. You will find a large art collection in it.
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If you’re interested in any of my previous work, feel free to check it out:
- Visiting the ancient temples of Ayutthaya in Thailand
- Long exposure photography. What settings and gear I use. Multiple photos inside!
- Vietnam backpackers route for 4 weeks (part 2 of 2)
- Vietnam backpackers route for 4 weeks (part 1 of 2)
!steemitworldmap 4.470464 lat 101.375542 long Cameron Highlands d3scr