Cameron Highlands and Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia 2016

Unfortunately I was sick pretty much my whole time in Malaysia, and if you’ve read my other posts or know me personally then your’ll know I had to end my trip and come home. But I did manage to do some tourist stuff whilst there, so this is the first of 3 posts on what I saw whilst there!

So I met Yindee and 2 of her Thai friends in KL airport (after the airport temporarily lost my bag so II had to spend 45 minutes getting it back) and we spent a night in a hotel in KL (Kuala Lumpur) before heading by bus to the Cameron Highlands.

The Cameron Highlands are a set of hill stations and it is famed for its tea plantations. The highlands are named after Sir William Cameron who discovered them in 1885 and the British colonial influence is plain to see. We stayed in a hotel in Tanah Rata which is the biggest hill station in the area.

First day we walked down to Bharat Tea Estate. We met a Bulgarian guy on the way and we walked down along the very windy road to get to it.

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Bharat Tea Estate

We had a cup of tea in the cafe there and walked around in the tea for a while!

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Don’t pick those tea leaves!

That evening unfortunately my stomach issues got real bad again (as i’d had in Mandalay just before) so I had to go to hospital and get some medication. That meant I was pretty worn out the next day so I couldn’t do any of the hiking trails that are around the area, which I was disappointed to miss out on.  Instead the 4 of us hired a taxi to take us to some of the highlights of the area.

We went to the top of Gunung Brinchang which is the highest point in the highlands. Here you can climb an observation tower to get a view over the surrounding area. 

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Highest point in Cameron Highlands

After this we went for a walk in the nearby ‘Mossy Forest’ which is aptly named. Apparently many of the moss-covered tree’s here are hundred’s of years old.

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Path through the Mossy Forest

After this we went to the Boh Tea Center, where we had tea and cake and admired the stunning view from the cafe’s balcony, which overhangs the plantation. There’s information you can see about the plant and how the tea is made but we didn’t really do that. Yindee did by some tea though from the shop there!

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View from the Boh Tea Center

On the way back the girls wanted to look at Cactus plants so we stopped at a Cactus farm.

That evening we just took it easy in Tanah Rata and the next day headed back to KL. The other 2 Thai girl’s had to come home but Yindee had another day.

KL is a curious city, it clearly has a modern vision and there’s plenty of wealth about with its numerous shopping malls, skyscrapers and so forth, but it also has a poor underbelly, with many homeless people and obvious poverty down the side streets. Malaysia itself is a Muslim country but other religions are clearly evident, Hinduism and Buddhism in particular. o there is quite a mix of culture around as well as diversity of population particularly many people of Indian and Chinese descent which is evident in KL with its China town and little India.

After checking in at a hostel we went by train to the Batu Caves on the outskirts on KL, which is the site of a Hindu temple.

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Entrance to the Batu Caves

There are loads of really aggressive monkeys on the steps up to the cave and in its entrance One grabbed hold of Yindee’s dress which was scary. I’ve seen a lot of monkey’s in SE Asia and these weren’t definitely the most fearless, trying to steal what they could from people. And i’ve been to Lopburi haha!

After having a look around in the cave which has some Hindu artwork and seeing some ritual being performed (I don’t know what it was) we went to see more artwork in the area next door.

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Hindu Artwork

The it started pouring down with rain and we headed back into the city and caught a movie in the evening (Captain America:Civil War). It was interesting in the cinema to note that some of the locals, teenagers and young adults in particular, were conversing in English with each other as opposed to Malay or Chinese or an Indian dialect. As Malaysia has such a mix of people English is widely spoken which is helpful to tourists/backpackers.

The next day Yindee had to leave in the evening but we had time to explore some of the city, though she’d been before so it was mostly for my benefit!

The iconic KL image is the Petronas Twin Towers so naturally we had to check them out. They are very impressive and certainly stand out in the city skyline, I’d seen them lit up at night out of the window from the train the day before on the way back from the caves so it was cool to go up close and get some pictures.

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Petronas Twin Towers

After this we went to China Town for a walk around. Yindee bought some snack thing from the lady pictured below, I have no idea what it was called but she liked it!

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China Town

After this we walked around Little India for awhile and checked out the Merdeka Square area where Malaysian Independence for the UK was signed. I started feeling really worn out though so couldn’t enjoy it as much and we headed back to the hostel before Yindee went to the airport.

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I would have liked to explored both the Cameron Highlands and KL a bit further but alas it wasn’t to be. As I was feeling crappy I decided to leave KL to head to Penang which i’ll cover in my next post.

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