From Kuala Lumpur the next stop was Cameron highlands. Cameron highlands is located two hours north of KL, among high hills and you drive through twisty narrow roads to get there. Before we started the journey uphill the bus driver stopped the bus and handed out plastic bags in case of an emergency, so to speak. He also gave directions on what to if the bag was used (hilarious speech). Then he got back in his seat and started the journey up. It all went fine thankfully! But you can feel the pressure difference in the ears and the stomach turning a bit (not too bad though). The sceneries on the way was extraordinary with lots of green moutains, I can’t quite understand the people watching entertainment on their phones while we had first class quality views from the window.
Once we got to Cameron highlands it was quite obvious that this place was made for tourists (at least the part where I was called Tanah rata). All the locals I met lived there but only due to work and my observation from the the architecture it looks newly built and not very malaysian (whatever that means). It resembles something towards british. The prices both for housing and food was above the ordinary that I’ve experienced so far.
One of the main tourist attractions were the tea plantations, both enjoying the the beauty of them and the taste. There are also different kinds of farms all through the highlands where you can pick your own. The most common type of farm was strawberries. I worked picking strawberries for three months in Australia and the thought of another strawberry makes me slightly sick so I chose to use my time hiking instead.
In Cameron highlands the weather is a bit of a contrast compared to KL. Since it’s located higher up it is a bit chilly. Chilly meaning you need to wear a thicker shirt that’s all and always have an umbrella with you during this time a year. From what I’ve heard there are some really nice hikes one can do out in the jungle. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to due to heavy rain prior to arriving.There are nice hikes one can do while up there, I attempted to of them but when got to the starting point they were closed off most probably due to rain previous that week. So my advice would be to check the weather before arriving, if it has been raining I don’t really see the point in going to be honest.
I continued my journey to Ipoh about two hours west of Cameron highlands. Ipoh the biggest city in the state of Perak. It’s beautiful surrounded by mountains all over.
While CH was too touristy for my taste Ipoh was the opposite of that, very local. From Cameron highlands the bus was packed with international backpackers and when arriving in Ipoh I was the only on getting off the bus. If you do decide to go to Ipoh and need to go into town make sure to take the local bus, it will save you a lot of money! It took me about an hour to figure out how to do this without taking a cab (which both the information desk and a security employee claimed). I spoke to a man working at the terminal namned Meni explained it all to me (big thanks!). On the second floor are the local buses. Bus T30a will get you to the local busterminal and there you can ask the counter which bus to switch to, it all went very smoothly!
After getting of the bus the search for my hostel started according to google maps it should take about 15 minutes. On the way it was hard to deny that there were alot of Chinese people. Only Chinese to be more precise, and not a tourist in sight. All resturants, stores and bars where in Chinease. It became apperent to me that this is probably the closest I’ll get to China until the day I actually go there. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so stirred at in my life (haha) and out of place. I had a hard time finding the hostel but thankfully a man must have seen the confusion on my face and asked where I was headed and helped me end up in the right place.
I found out that there are some nice hikes around Ipoh but you need a car to get there. Since I don’t have that and only was suppose to be there for two days I had a simple stroll around the city. Highlights from Ipoh:
My stay in Ipoh was nice but a bit different than usual. As most of us probably know, traveling isn’t just about the outside, experiencing new cultures and customs but also what’s going on on the inside. This was one place where it became extra apparent to me. It was very interesting experience in a good way!