Kea Farm in Cameron Highlands I would say is well known for its vegetable markets. Kea Farm is also known as the Green Cow of Cameron Highlands. This is certainly an odd nickname to this place.
Kea Farm is located on the pinnacle of the main road between Tringkap and Brinchang. There is a conveniently located hotel here called the Equatorial Cameron Highlands.
Roadside vegetable markets are typical in Cameron Highlands and Kea Farm is no exception. From the looks of it, Kea Farm is the biggest roadside vegetable market that I know of in Cameron Highlands.
On a weekday, there are not many patrons and it is easy to find a parking space. However on a peak period, especially a super peak period, you have to brave the traffic if you are coming from Brinchang, to reach Kea Farm. The traffic congestion is due to people looking for parking space. Cars are parked by the roadside and there might be policeman around to guide the traffic. Once you find yourself a parking space, let’s go shopping!
At the T-junction in Kea Farm there is a building structure with stalls inside it and a restaurant called Strawberry View Cafe and Restaurant. The restaurant has an interesting view of the Kea Farm valley and if you like, you can have your meal at the balcony overlooking it.
Layout of Kea Farm Area
The layout of the Kea Farm is relatively simple. From the T-Junction at Kea Farm it stalls stretches all the way in and stops at a road bend where the road continues to a Rose Centre located at the end of the road. At the bend just before reaching Kea Farm from Brinchang, there is a C shape building with some stalls in it. Rather quiet and not many traders doing any business there. There is a little short cut from there, a concrete stairs that lead you to the last vegetable market stalls. You may have to brave the stinky refuse to get there though.
On the main road, the vegetable markets stops for awhile when you pass by Equatorial Cameron Highlands and continues again as the road goes downhill to Tringkap. More roadside vegetable markets can be found along the main road including several interesting sights and attractions like Butterfly Farms and Ee Feng Gu Bee Farm.
Vegetable markets and other stalls
Kea Farm is not just about vegetable markets, there are various other stalls too selling roses, carnation, freeze dried flowers, etc. There are stalls selling potted plants and if you like you can buy back a strawberry potted plant but I don’t know how well it will survive the hotter climate in the lowlands. There are many types of plants you can go for to increase the number of fauna in your home garden. Even my relatives said that my home garden seems to be flourishing. In truth, I think it is because my wife replaced those plants that didn’t survive with new ones from Cameron Highlands!
There are also stalls selling souvenirs too ranging from simple key chains to T-shirts with Cameron Highlands motifs, something to bring back and tell the world that you were here in Cameron Highlands!
I’m not too sure of the reason, but just about any tourist places that I’ve been, the shop stalls that are nearer to the entrance tend to be more expensive. And as you make your way in to the shops stalls further aback, they get cheaper! And the vegetable markets in Kea Farm are no exception. The roadside vegetable markets nearer to the T-Junction are priced higher; you can check those prices but refrain from making any purchases till you explore the vegetable markets located further in.
Of course there will be exception. Sometimes a Cameron Highlands land rover will park around the roadside and they will start hawking their produced. Could be the farmers themselves having a go by bypassing the middlemen. Usually I see delicious looking bi-coloured sweet corns. There are several grades; they call them grade A, B, C based on the size of the sweet corns and will be priced accordingly.
Other interesting places
Kea Farm may be one big vegetable market garden, but selling vegetables and other farm produce is not the only activity here. Along the main road going downhill from Equatorial Cameron Highlands you can find two butterfly farms and Ee Feng Gu Bee Farm.
Some stops include farms that double up as a shop selling their farm produce as well as selling potted plants. You may find some vegetables not sold in the typical vegetable market. For example the Tien Chi vegetable which is good for promoting healing can be found only in some stalls.
There are also several specialist farms that deal mainly in strawberries. There are two located in Kea Farm, EQ Strawberry Farm located next to Equatorial Cameron Highlands and Raaju’s Hill Strawberry Farm located opposite the hotel.
Picking strawberries seems like an interesting thing to do and EQ Strawberry Farm is promoting their farm as that.
While Raaju’s Hill Strawberry Farm Cafe has a little cafe where you can munch some strawberries while enjoy a great view from their little cafe although the view is somewhat block by some trees. You can get some strawberry jams here too. Naturally made, but has a high dose of sugar. Well the strawberries in Cameron Highlands are not sweet at all, and the only way to make them sweet is to add in sugar.
Restaurant and food
For titbits and something to munch, you can find some stalls selling sweet corns in a cup or whole sweet corns steamed and ready to eat. You may also find some steamed sweet potatoes too and other interesting tit bits from the various stalls. Nothing like a hot food in a cold climate. There are not too many around but you can find enough to satisfy yourself.
If you are feeling hungry and haven’t gorge yourself full from those little tit bits, and need to refill your energy after all the shopping and borong (as some of my readers said it) of vegetables and farm produce, you might want to take a break at the Kea Farm Strawberry View Cafe and Restaurant. You can go for the usual steamboat or go for individual noodle dishes. They also have western style food too. Keeps your meal interesting and have some variety. Can’t have steamboat all the time, no?