New Year Travel Destination trip to Cameron Highlands

It's been awhile since I last visited Cameron Highlands. Probably more than a year ago since I last made a trip to this travel destination. It took several tries from my dad to get a booking in Hotel Heritage using his Heritage Vacation Club. We had to book like 3 months in advance if we needed to book a room during long weekends. In this case, we managed to get a booking on New Year's Day and stayed for two nights. Being a retiree for both my dad and mom, they usually have no problem making any booking during the week, of course those were off peak period and they usually get the whole Cameron Highlands to themselves. No crowds.

Lena and my parents enjoying their scrumptious breakfast at Cameronian Inn.

This time round I wanted to show them around Cameron Highlands, sort of like a tour guide for my parents. After all I am the web master for this web site and should know lots of place of interest, yes? Most of the time they would just stay in the hotel and move around Tanah Rata and Bringchang. Not even visiting the Boh tea plantation and mostly ending up in the Shalimar Tea shop overlooking the Bharat tea plantation.

We took a leisurely drive to Cameron Highlands using my wife's Toyota Wish for the trip to Cameron Highlands. With its powerful 2.0 liter engine we made good time using the Simpang Pulai way up. There was also an idea of dropping by Ipoh for some makan but due to time constraint we diverted to Bidor's Pun Chun coffeshop for their Duck Thigh Noodle and Wan Ton Noodle instead.

This time the trip to Cameron Highlands was really wet. It rained when we drove up Simpang Pulai way. It rained while we were having out steamboat meal that night in Tanah Rata. We had some respite and only suffered light drizzle while we visited the Boh Sg Palas Tea Plantation. Then on our last day it just poured and poured and shelving my plan for a visit to Agro Technology park. With the downpours it also made the weather much colder and the nights were really cold! My wife joked and asked me to switch off the air-con in the hotel room. Haha! No such luck here, we just wore more to keep ourselves warm.

We took our stay in the highlands leisurely and got up late mornings. It was a refreshing change from the early to rise and the mad dash to clock into the office for work. This time round I wanted to savor scones not from my usual T-Café haunt. On our first day, we tried the Bala's Chalet supposedly famous tea and scones. We ordered a set of three to be shared amongst four of us. Lena wanted to order two sets, but the waitress would have none of it saying that it would not be enough to go around and asked us to order three sets instead. Hmm, my wife felt that was pretty arrogant on their part, but decided to go with their decision. We decided to have tea and scones in their beautiful garden and also took some nice family photos there. All too soon the sky changed its mood and there was a downpour and we have to retire to the porch for better insulation against the rain. Still we had a good munch at their scones. And the verdict? Yes, it was nice, but… Let me explain what makes a good scone. A good scone must have a nice crust that is not too hard and not too soft; the meaty part must be soft and of course has some body to it. And for Bala's? It was more cake than scone. So their claim as the best scones in town is not up to our expectation though it still tasted good. In the cold weather and crashing rain, we had a good time enjoying our hot tea and scones.

The Sg Palas Boh Tea Plantation tea center was crowded. Everybody loves the view from the tea center balcony.

The next day we made our way to Boh's Sg Palas tea plantation. The winding narrow road to the tea plantation was not my dad's liking but I was used to it. Though this time round my wife took the wheel as I wanted to capture some photos and videos. It wasn't too difficult for her. Just needed to horn around blind corners and give way when there were oncoming cars. When we arrived at the tea center with its vertigo inducing balcony, it was a new experience for my parents and my wife. There was a crowd there and trust my wife to wait patiently to get a choice seat by the balcony. The view was great and it was relaxing as we sat around having our teh tarik and some cakes. They really enjoyed the new upgraded tea center. My wife wondered why we didn't visit this place earlier during the Church Camp. Well for one thing, the Church planned their camp schedule right smack into the Malaysian school holidays that coincided with the Singapore School holidays and that made for an extremely bad traffic jam in Brinchang and Kea Farm. So we avoided going to Sg Palas and headed down to Habu for the alternate Boh tea plantation.

Next I wanted to try out the tea and scones in Cameronian Inn located in Tanah Rata. The place was a simple place. It has budget lodging accommodation very suitable for backpackers and those who need low cost room to stay over. However our visit was to savor their tea scones and other savory desserts. The lady manager was really accommodating and they fired up their oven to cook fresh scones for us. When the dessert arrived, we really enjoyed it so much that Lena wanted to pack some back for our Pastor and his wife to try it out. The price was reasonable and we even came back the next day for breakfast. My parents really loved it and would reconsider coming back here again in the future visit to Cameron Highlands.

All too soon our trip was over and on the last day, it just rain and rain unceasingly. It was more like a monsoon rain and there was nothing much we could do. After our brunch and packing off the scones we headed back using the Simpang Pulai way figuring it would be a safer course due to wet weather condition.

My parents really enjoyed their stay and managed to visit places that they normally wouldn't have gone if they came alone. Glad I could take them out along with me and share my passion of building this web site with them.

My church will be planning a church camp this coming June and this trip was also a good scouting trip to find out where to have some interesting place for fellowship. So until then, I have more info to update this site. Just need to find the time to post more info for people to plan their trip.

Cheers!
Jan.

Posted on 28-Jan-2009

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