Mentom - Singapore 2012

© Mentom – May 2012

Cameron Highlands and Langkawi

Friday 7 October 2011, by Mentom

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  • English

That’s the first part of my two-country trip this summer - starting in Kuala Lumpur and ending in Bangkok. On the program : trekking, diving, swimming, climbing and .. simply taking time. The perfect holiday!

The Gunung (Mount) Brinchang in the Cameron Highlands can be reached by a comfortable guided tour by bus, accompanied with a tea plantation visit and other goodies. Though according to the Lonely Planet there was a trail in the forest : "very muddy, slippery, steep. Not recommended". We have done it: it was very muddy, slippery and steep. Very recommended.

One of the views you get while ascending through a dark and silent forest (we started the trek in the late afternoon hours). Fog and trees covered over and over with moss.

On the descent from Gunung Brinchang by the paved road, you will see the tea plantations. Green patchy patterns as far as the eye can reach. This stuff is mostly collected manually, is dried and fermented (i went to the factory to check on this, a fairly simple process), and ends up in your tea cup at home.

The Cameron Highlands are fairly cool, even in summer. Evening temperatures hover at about 20 degrees, reminding me early summer morning hours back in Europe. Nothing better then a hot-pot (also called steamboat in Singapore, guess why) to relax from our 10km mountain trip. The principle is fairly simple: you have two soups of your choice, mainly chosen spicy and not-so-spicy-please. Then a set of raw meat, vegetables, mushrooms, tofu, eggs that will slowly boil in front of your nose.

If you visit the Buddhist temple in Brinchang (with monks, gold fishes and a badminton court), you will possibly be greeted by street sellers promising you miraculous potions and health cures. Check out this special Cameron Highlands oil to improve your English skills.

Long bus travel to Langkawi island. It is a fairly big island (about the size of Singapore), and has a lot to offer : from the usual beach stuff such as snorkeling, swimming, diving, cayaking, banana etc. etc.. to trekking in the forests plus the town attractions for the shoppers. The cable car is quite impressive and worth a trip : it brings you to the top of the mountain overlooking Langkawi and with views reaching over to Thailand.

The cable car station and the "boardwalk bridge" are very impressive, look like an Alien space station dropped in the greenery. If you are lucky, you can even spot some Dusky Leaf monkeys climbing over the rocks and trees. We were lucky! At the foot of the cable car station is a small "village", mainly aimed at shoppers and quite pleasant. We went to feed the rabbits and (just watched) the tiger feeding. A short trek to one of the waterfalls through the jungle is also recommended, you may encounter another species of monkeys, the all-present macaques, trying to snatch some food from you.

After some relaxing here on the island, the trip continues to Thailand!


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