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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Day 5: Pangkor Island - Cameron Highlands (BOH tea plantation, Mossy Forest, Summit of Gunung Brinchang)

After hearing so much about the danger of the road to Cameron Highlands, I couldn't help feeling a bit worried. After all, it was our first time driving up to the highlands and I didn't know how good his driving skills was hehe...

We started early from Pangkor, took the ferry and drove back to the direction of Ipoh. Many friends suggested that we use the new road at Simpang Pulai as it is wider and and less winding. 

Scenic drive to Cameron Highlands

Lots of bending and turning

We had a good time driving up to the highlands as the route was quite scenic.

Equatorial Cameron Highlands
This hotel is probably the highest resort in Cameron Highlands. Since we were going to stay up there, I was thinking why not staying at the peak so that we could get the best view of the highlands.

Lobby at Equatorial

Our room

The only issue I had with the room was the WiFi. The signal was so weak that basically I had to stand close to the door to get a connection.

View from our balcony

Flowers at Equatorial

Our first destination was BOH Tea Centre at Sungei Palas. But actually the best place to take pictures of the tea plantation was not at the visitor centre itself, but halfway up there.

I love this view, so green and refreshing.

BOH Tea Centre at Sungei Palas

BOH cafe with a view

No more plucking tea leaves by hand, the workers just need to roll the machine as they walk along the tea bushes.

Mossy Forest
From the tea plantation we continued to drive up to the Mossy Forest. Compared to the road up to the highlands, the terrain here was much much more challenging. We only had one narrow lane for both traffic directions and many blind corners. Hubby had to horn at every turn to inform the incoming car to slow down. That was pretty nerve wrecking.

According to TripAdvisor, this forest is a number one attraction in Cameron Highlands. But personally I don't understand what the fuss is about. There wasn't anything much to see except the moss growing everywhere. It wasn't pretty either, I saw a better one at a temple in Kyoto, Japan.

2000 meters above the sea level


The stairs in Mossy Forest
Couldn't get any view up here, foggy all the way

Summit of Gunung Brinchang
After the Mossy Forest, we continued driving up till the end of the road. This is the highest road in the whole Malaysia Peninsular according to wikipedia. Many people said the road was pretty treacherous and indeed it was. Quite excited that we made it to the top!

When we first arrived we didn't notice the observation tower, but only saw the enclosed area of radio towers belonged to Telekom Malaysia. Luckily we met a couple who pointed us to the observation tower, if not the trip would had been a waste.

No trespassing
The observation tower

We climbed up the narrow and rusty observation tower to get the surrounding view of Gunung Brinchang. The tower is only four storey high, but the stairs are so narrow and rusty that made me a bit scared. Hubby forced me to go up all the way to the very top.

It was windy and cold up here, but also so serene. We felt like we were on top of the world :)

After our little adventure, we went down to Brinchang town centre for dinner. Halfway down the road, we saw more tea plantations along the way. Don't think I can grow tired of this view. It is so refreshing. 

Brinchang is one vibrant little town. There are many souvenir shops around selling strawberries related stuff in every way imaginable. Steamboat restaurants are aplenty too so we decided to have one for dinner.  

Brinchang town centre

OK Tuck Restaurant

Hubby usually doesn't like steamboat but he agreed to it. Thanks to the cold weather!

Our steamboat dinner

We ordered chicken and tom yum soup for our steamboat. The tom yum soup was too spicy for us, so  in the end we only had the chicken soup. It was a pretty fulfilling dinner. We only ordered for 3 adults, but the portion was enough for 4-5 persons.

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