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Saturday, July 4, 2015

A Break from the Heat

Cameron Highlands
22 June 2015

Guesthouse: KRS Pines 2 nights


  • Jungle Hike
  • Tea Plantations
  • Ramadan Night Market 

After sweating through the lowlands of Thailand and Malaysia for weeks now, we were pleasantly surprised to find a retreat from the sticky weather in the Cameron Highlands. The Highlands, located at 1500 meters is surrounded by lush green tea plantations in every direction, and hiking trails through the jungle that are well maintained compared to many other jungle areas in Southeast Asia.

We arrived via a 4 hour mini bus ride from Penang, and were driven from guest house to guest house before deciding on KRS Pines, an underwhelming place to stay but the great location, and lovely owner makes up for it. We were given a quick overview of all the wonderful things the area has to offer before heading out to explore. The first day we arrive in any new city is usually spent first at the local market trying copious amounts of food and then finding a small cafe or bar to do some research to plan out our stay. It is now the beginning of Ramadan, a muslim holy month marked by daily fasting from dawn to sunset. Because of this there is a market every evening (in almost every city) selling the most delicious Indian and Malay foods for the ones ready to break their fast.

The Cameron Highlands are made up up three towns that are all within a long walk from each other. Sights are located predominantly in the northern town called Brinchang, but its recommended that travelers sleep in Tanah Rata, the area where most accommodation is. The non reliable bus system in the cameron highlands offers rides between the towns however, the alternative option that was recommended by our guesthouse owner is to hitchhike, something that is common among travelers here. Being a little leery of this, Brandon and I headed to the bus station, waited for a bus that never showed up and finally settled on walking the 4 km to the tea plantation.

The next few days were spent exploring the jungles of the highlands and visiting different tea plantations. While we didn't spend too much time here, it was a nice break from the humidity and we had plenty of time to see everything we wanted.

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