Visiting Cameron Highlands is all about tea and hiking. We took a bus from George Town to Cameron Highlands (Unititi Express, $18.73 for the both of us). It was a 5 hour drive, taking us (at least during the last hour or so) through the mountains with views on valleys green and deep. There are throw up bags provided if your stomach can’t handle it.
We stayed at David's Hotel Apartment for five nights, and went hiking on two days. The owner, David Lee, is a very friendly man, eager to share tips and information about Cameron Highlands. He told us about the jungle trails, tea plantations, and certain tours that are being organised.
Hiking Jungle Trail Number 4, 5 and 6
There are about 15 jungle trails in Cameron Highlands, so after some research, Brecht decided to start with an easy one: number 4. As we were walking, we came across a path leading up and Brecht thought this would be more interesting than continuing trail 4, so we began climbing jungle trail 6. Turns out this particular jungle trail falls within category “moderate to tough”, I agree without a doubt: tough. At the junction between jungle trail 6 and 5, there was a little cabin where we picnicked (some cookies and crackers with Nutella) and had an elaborate lunch break enjoying some reading on our Kindles. We returned to civilisation taking the easy jungle trail 5, spotting some monkeys high up in the trees along the way.
Hiking Jungle Trail Number 1
A couple of days later Brecht deemed us ready for a though jungle trail: number 1. We took a cab to Brinchang (RM10) and started walking, the first short part being paved road. When the jungle trail started, it started for real: we immediately had to cross a small water stream. No worries, there were rocks and we were at the other side in a couple of steps, keeping our feet dry. Then the climb started, about two hours to the top, over a muddy trail (it had been raining almost every day) and under fallen trees.
We took it slow, enjoying the nature and avoiding the mud where possible. At the top we made a detour to the Gunung Brinchang viewpoint. On our left their was a fence and on our right the trees and bushes were closing in, not really worth it. The watchtower a bit further along the road (here it gets paved again) grants a nicer view. That’s also where we paused for a lunchbreak, as there is a little cabin as well. We were on the verge of continuing our hike when the rain started pouring, so we stayed a little longer to read some more, while listening to the rain drumming on the roof of the cabin.
When it stopped raining we continued down the paved road. It led us along the Mossy Forest, which was unfortunately closed for cleaning, as David (the owner of our room) warned. When it’s open, you should really pass through it, it’s supposed to be real nice, like a fairytale. Just make sure not to throw any garbage in the forest, so they won’t have to close it again. We carried on until we reached the tea plantations.
Finally we saw some views like we’d seen on Pinterest! That was what I was expecting from Cameron Highlands! We made some beautiful photos and continued descending to the BOH Tea Centre. Of course it started raining again and after about one hour and a half we finally reached our destination.
Warming up at BOH Tea Centre
Entrance is free at the BOH (Best Of Highlands) Tea Centre. You can buy tea and souvenirs, read about their history and visit the tea factory. Luck just wasn’t on our side that day: we arrived too late to see the factory in action. They told us the factory processes the tea leaves between 8h30 and 12h30. We drank away our bad luck with a BOH lemon lime ice tea and a vanilla tea, and enjoyed a strawberry cheesecake, all the while it rained cats and dogs outside. It wasn’t going to stop anytime soon and we couldn’t stay there forever so we started walking, hoping to catch a ride. The very first car that passed us stopped so we hitchhiked all the way in the back of a pick up truck. We realised too late that the rain had formed a little pool in the back and the way down was a lot longer than expected. Soaking wet we took a cab back from Brinchang to our room. Never been happier with a warm shower!
To me, jungle trail 6 actually seemed a tougher climb than jungle trail 1, but I have to admit jungle trail 1 definitely didn’t steal the name “jungle trail”. This one has more obstacles, like climbing over or under trees that block the path. There were also patches you really had to climb, using both feet and hands. We wouldn’t recommend going with little children, as their legs are going to be too short for some climbs on the trail. Note that when we were there, it had rained a lot, so the trail was muddy and slippery. Although we had a lot of rain, we went to bed satisfied about our hike and especially its accompanying views.
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