I often couldn’t believe my eyes in the Cameron Highlands. It looked European, but was distinctly Asian. Tea fields stretched as far as you could see , there were steep slopes with remnant jungle and the weather could change from sunshine to torrential rain in minutes.
Enjoying the sunshine and preparing for rain!
We stayed just outside town in a home stay with our Chinese Malay hosts. Welcoming and friendly they gave us the run of their home with breakfast in the morning and lots of useful local knowledge. From the breakfast table, you can see a big mountain that is the end point of trail number ten. I naively thought that this trail would be something like we encounter at Wilsons Promontory. Wide, easy to navigate and safe. I was wrong. We were often left scrambling up the mountain, almost on hands and knees. Russ and I would have happily turned around, but Ruby was determined that we would make it and I’m glad we did. The view was beautiful, but the sense of achievement was better. Tackling a trail like that is something we simply would not have tried had we been at home with the kids. In my mind, trail number ten pretty much sums up why we are away and why we are doing this trip.
One night, our hosts also made as an amazing home cooked dinner. It was simply delicious and fortunately for Russ and I, the kids were having one of their more fussy moments, which meant we got to eat all the more food.
For us, the Highlands felt like our first ‘real’ travel experience. Where you could speak to real people and get real insights into how they feel about their town, country and politics. We were also able to see some spectacular scenery and cool off, before heading to Penang.
Our top tips for Tanah Rata
1. Stay at Do Chic Inn. The hosts (who also live in the house with you) are super friendly, have heaps of local knowledge and are very helpful
2. Eat at Singh Chapati Urban Restaurant. By far the best place we ate in town. The food is delicious and they cook everything fresh. Go for an early or late dinner as the kitchen is quite small and could take a while if there were a few other tables in there (that never was a problem for us… we eat early!)
3. BOH Tea Plantation was a highlight for me. We visited this on a tour with a local taxi driver. There are plenty of travel agent tours, but if you’re travelling with kids I think a taxi is the way to go. The prices are fairly similar (for four people), but with a taxi you can choose where to stop and how long to spend at each place. We finished earlier than expected and Lincoln came home for a nap – can’t do that on a tour!
4. Take a few days to do everything. If you’re travelling without kids, you can definitely do most things in two days. But the weather can change really quickly. We came home most afternoons (when it started raining) to rest, read and home school. It was a good way to see everything without going too fast.
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