Avoid the crowd and plan for a good travel destination trip to Cameron Highlands

Planning your travel destination trip to Cameron Highlands? Take note that following the crowd to your favourite highland destination would only leave you with a poor experience. Cameron Highlands is not a very large place though in comparison with the other highlands like Genting Highlands, Fraser's Hill, Bukit Tinggi and Bukit Larut (Maxwell Hill) in the peninsular Malaysia, Cameron Highlands beats them all as it covers a vast area of the highland.

Traffic jam on the way to Kea Farm from Brinchang, Cameron Highlands.

This makes Cameron Highlands one of the destinations to go especially when the hot weather of the tropics is bearing down on you. Genting Highlands is near to KL folks but is somewhat artificial with its theme park and shopping atria. More like a highland concrete jungle. Instead of the hot humidity like that of Kuala Lumpur or Singapore it is now relocated to a higher ground. Cameron Highlands on the other hand is replete with natural environment of forest and hills; miles and miles of lush greenery, farms and tea plantation as far as the eye can see; a very good place to relax indeed.

Far from the maddening crowd? Not if the crowd comes with you. Like minded folks who wants a getaway but did not want to use up too many of their annual leave or they just did not have sufficient annual leave to spare will look out for public holidays adjoining the weekend to make their holiday trip. I know, I'm one of them, and I don't have too many annual leave available considering my company is rather kedekut (miser) in their granting of annual leave. Most multi-national company does provide additional annual leave days more than what is required under Malaysian labour law of minimum 8 days per year. Trust my company to be a workaholic company, just work, work, and work; doesn't that make Jack and Jane a dull boy and girl?

And so we look out for the long weekends where a public holiday will fall on a Friday or a Monday, or if it falls on Thursday or Tuesday we will take the work day falling between the weekend and public holiday to make it into an extended long weekend. For families with school going children, the only time available for going on a cuti-cuti (holiday) excursion is during the school break so as to avoid skipping classes and lagging behind in their studies.

Good to know:
Malaysia School Break Holidays 2007
School Day Starts: 3-Jan-07
1st Mid Term Break: 9-Mar ~ 17-Mar-07
2nd Mid Term Break: 25-May ~ 9-Jun-07
3rd Mid Term Break: 17-Aug ~ 25-Aug-07
End of the Year Break: 16-Nov-07 ~ 1-Jan-08
Malaysian National Public Holidays
July 2007 onwards

31-Aug (Fri) = Merdeka Day
13-14-Sep (Sat, Sun) = Hari Raya Puasa
- makes Monday automatically a holiday.
8-Nov (Thu) = Deepavali
20-Dec (Thu) = Hari Qurban
25-Dec (Tue) = Christmas
Singapore School Break Holidays 2007
Semester 1 Term 1: 10-Mar ~ 18-Mar-07
Semester 1 Term 2: 26-May ~ 24-Jun-07
Semester 2 Term 3: 1-Sep ~ 9-Sep-07
Semester 2 Term 4: 17-Nov ~ 31-Dec-07

View the year 2007 calendar

And where like minded people meet up together, that's where you will get a short population explosion choking on the infrastructure that wasn't design to take so many people.

In Cameron Highlands, it is unbelievable that you will encounter traffic jam that last for hours just to cover a short distance. If you are coming up from Simpang Pulai way, your traffic jam woes will start once you end up in Kampung Raja/Kuala Terla. The road narrows down from the wide road of the new route. With the many farms, nurseries, markets and shops set up along the main trunk road, people tend to slow down to look or even wait for a parking space available exacerbating the already slow traffic to a crawl or worse to a standstill.

What was a simple half an hour drive from Kampung Raja/Kuala Terla to Tanah Rata now takes about 3 hours journey. And if there is a night market in Brinchang, and you decided you want to visit it from Tanah Rata, you may get stuck in an hour long jam, which on other days would only take you about 10 minutes top to get there by car.

Getting stuck in traffic jam is one thing, but without water, now that's rubbing salt into your wound. Water is very essential our daily hygiene and hydration needs. Without water, it would be a nightmare. For a first timer to Cameron Highlands, such water woes give it a very bad impression. The highlands is a place to relax, not a place to have issues and trouble. The water authority was suppose to have fix this issue, but with their inability to come with a solution has certainly marred this splendid highland retreat.

So if you do really want to plan your perfect trip to Cameron Highlands, have this few points in mind.

  1. Avoid planning the trip during school breaks, especially on a weekends together with school breaks. I know you need to work, but don't spoil your holiday like this. If school breaks is the best time to have a family outing, do try it for a weekday.
  2. Long weekends also should be avoided though they will not be as bad as those that do coincide with the school breaks.
  3. Weekdays are the best, only if you can take time off from your place of employment. However, you may missed out on the Brinchang Night Market which is only available during school holidays and weekends.
  4. Avoid going on Chinese New Year and Hari Raya festivities.

Simple pointers but sometimes easier said than done. Good luck to your schedule planning!

Jan.
12/7/2007

Posted on 12-July-2007

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