Sunday, May 26, 2013

Easter in Malaysia- Cameron Highlands...a highlight!

After the hustle and bustle of Kuala Lumpur, we head to the lush hills of the Cameron Highlands. As a person getting more and more into tea as she gets older I was very excited to visit this area of Malaysia. In addition to the tea plantations, we were also given a glimpse into the local peoples' daily lives and activities. Some tribal people still live up in the Cameron Highlands and use the land to survive.

Our first stop was a basket making shop

The workers make about 1 Ringgit (about $.30 USD) for each basket

Next stop along the beautiful drive were some hot springs. Here you can see a colony of black & turquoise butterflies.

We even saw a guy hard boil an egg in the hot spring water. I wasn't too sure how sanitary that was, but whatever works.

Some of the craft shops along the drive. These are used to cover food so flies don't get to it.

Along the road we stop at a local village. Our driver was kind enough to buy some candy for the local kids.

They were a little shy at first, but then ran and told their friends and everyone came running. They sold items from the land like honey, fruit, etc to make a small income.

Now this is where it got National Geographic. Here is a local tribesman and he was demonstrating how he still hunts today. He had small poison dipped arrows that he would use to hunt animals.

He has been doing this for years and it seemed so effortless. He hit the target dead center every time

Look at that form

You don't see this everyday. He was super sweet and really enjoyed showing us his skills and we enjoyed watching them.

It should be noted that Justin did hit the target. The arrow in the target's left hand was his shot. Way to go Justin!

Now onto the tea plantation

We visited the most famous and oldest of the Cameron Highland teas, BOH (Best of Highland)

We got the full tour of the factory, amazing views of the plantations and...

...a cup of tea. Good stuff! I even bought some for myself and my mom.

From there we went to a Scottish tea plantation owner's unfinished castle called Kellies Castle. It was actually quite a shame that no conservation had been done as it looked like a really nice place.

William Kellie Smith was the castle owner and because he was so loved and because he brought so much work into the area the local people honor him by putting a figurine of him on their temple.

Continuing on we visited a Buddhist temple in the side of a mountain built like a cave. I will let the pictures do the talking

The cave had some amazing well preserved (or restored) wall paintings. 

Now this one is for Justin, our driver pointed these out and I have to admit they were pretty cool. They are called shy plants. I hope you can see it from the picture, but the leaves are open and as soon as you touch them they close and will stay closed for a few minutes. So opened...

...closed. Cool, right?

The weather in the Cameron Highlands must have been 10 degrees cooler and a lot less humid. I honestly could have stayed a few days as there were some beautiful hiking trails. We stayed at a lovely hotel, Cameron Highland Resort, and would recommend it to anyone. I love recharging out of the main cities and seeing the natural beauty in a country. It was kind of sad seeing the development they are trying to add to the area and I do hope it doesn't take away from the beauty and wonder of the Cameron Highlands.


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