Thursday, December 27, 2012

Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

I found heaven in the highlands! I can't even remember how I decided to go to the Cameron Highlands but boy was I giddy when I got there. I stepped off the bus and the weather was gray, drizzly and a perfect 60 degrees. I was one happy girl.

A British man named Sir William Cameron discovered the highlands in the late 1800s and when he realized that not only could you escape the heat but that you could throw pretty much any seed into the ground and it would grow, he decided the British should set up shop. Some unfortunate things happened, like he didn't mark the location on the map and then died, so they had to wait until another explorer named Sir Hugh Low re-discovered the place before they could get the ball rolling.

One of the biggest attractions is the tea plantations. The hills look like they are covered in thick, green carpets of tea leaves. I took serious notes about how to grow and harvest tea and am thinking about starting a tea company when I get home, if anyone is interested. Plant, grow, pick, squish, oxidize, dry and boom, you have tea!


I met up with my friend Sameli one day and we went on a hike that started at a campsite. As we came back through at the end of the day we asked to take a picture of a couple boys that were chatting. All of a sudden the entire campsite came running over and wanted to take pictures of us. As we left every single one of them shook our hand and said "Goodbye!" "So nice to meet you!" "Have a good day!" I have officially had my 15 minutes of fame.

The last exciting activity I partook in before leaving the highlands was a solo hike in the forest. Let it be known that a lot of people do this hike in the wee hours of the morning in order to see the sunset. The words "Know Thyself" popped into my head and so I slept in and did this hike during the wee hours of midday with plenty of natural light to guide the way. I also used this hand-drawn, hand-me-down map which I give 100% credit to for getting me back down the mountain without taking a 5km detour. There were lots of side trails, I swear.

That being said, I'm still not sure I popped out where I was supposed to but if I did get slightly lost, it was worth it because I came out right above this charming village:

I definitely loved the Cameron Highlands. If you like colder temperatures, forest hiking, tea or strawberries, get yourself over to the highlands when you are in Malaysia.


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