Tea and mountains in the Cameron Highlands: 16-18 Jan '14
Thu 16 Jan 14 - Sat 18 Jan 14 17 °C
The Cameron Highlands are essentially where Brits came to cool off. Although a bit humid (it rains), it is only ever about 21C. Coming through the villages and towns in a frankly scary minibus (I hit my head), I was struck (not just by the roof) how much poorer it looked than Penang and Langkawi - suddenly there was ramshackle houses built of corrugated iron and rubbish by the side of the road. Contrastingly there are huge big colonial style buildings and lots of industry - especially strawberry farms and tea plantations.
We visited the Sulas Palais Boh tea plantation, and after a brief wander round, indulged in some tea and cake overlooking the green hills. I had Earl Grey with tangerine - which basically tasted like Lady Grey - and butter lemon cake. Very tasty, but I definitely felt all colonial again! We then walked back through the beautiful plantation to the main road - suddenly dirty, noisy and busy.
The Highlands also sprout bee farms and butterfly gardens - we headed to the latter. A big mistake. Although the butterflies were stunning, the garden also featured various bugs, snakes and spiders and some incredibly unhappy looking animals and birds - the guinea pigs looked utterly wretched, huddling together and shaking. It really ashamed me to have paid to go in to the butterfly garden. Followed by a bad meal, it really put a downer on the day, especially when we then couldn't find the bus back. Luckily a taxi driver scooted by and gave us a cheap price, else we would have had a very long walk.