Cameron Highlands

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November 21st 2009
Published: November 21st 2009
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Rainforest Trek in the Cameron HighlandsRainforest Trek in the Cameron HighlandsRainforest Trek in the Cameron Highlands

The monsoon rains arrived just after this was taken...
Its cold in the mountains! At just over 1500m above sea level the weather was totally different to the rest of South East Asia. We arrived in the highlands in the afternoon and immediately noticed the difference. On our first night we had a steamboat - a traditional Malaysia dish for the area. It was basically a big pot of boiling soup in the middle of the table and you put pretty much every type of meat into it to cook. We had chicken, beef, prawns and crab (these were the ones i could recognise) and then a load of others witch by the sounds of what the others were saying included fish balls, squid, muscles and even jelly fish! It was however very nice and we took the "unlimited buffet" offer as a challenge. On our full free day we went on a trip that included the famous tea plantations and a trek through the rain forest. The tea plantation was very interesting - founded back in 1929 (i think) it is run by a Scottish family (who...i can only imagine by the size of their hillside home...earn a load of money from tea!) and they have 200 workers, picking the laves 6 days a week, for 8 or 9 hours at a time. The wages are interesting though as they are paid per kg of tea leaves picked and they can only really expected to earn about 6 pounds a day. But for out here, especially in this area for these workers usually not from Malaysia, is in fact quite a lot. We then moved on to the rain forest/jungle where we saw a demonstration for traditional blow pipe hunting (i even had a go) and then we set off on the 4 hour trek. It was fairly similar to the trek up in Chiang Mai in Thailand but this time there was a lot more mud, a lot more frogs and a lot more walking! We ducked and dived over bamboo trees, massive mud baths and really steep hillsides and we eventually reached the site of the Rafflesia (the world's largest flower - that can grow up to a meter in length). By this time the heavens had opened with what the guide called abnormally heavy monsoon rains. The 2 hour trek back became very interesting as we were mostly wading through deep mud paths and at one point i was pretty confident in saying that we were walking through a rapidly developing river! It was great fun though and if i did it again i wouldn't take shoes or a bag and i would just go with a pair of board shorts and then i wouldn't have to worry about the mud at all! The warm shower and the massive round of KFC after was well earned. We woke up early this morning to get the public bus down to Kuala Lumpur. It is so interesting to see how the climate changes as you drop out of the hills. Back down at sea level it is hot and sweaty again! We are in KL for a couple of days now so will update after.


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