Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

We ended up staying in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for 3 weeks.  Celebrating Val’s 30th Birthday, Christmas, and New Years.  We had a fantastic time, but needed to reintroduce some adventure into our lives – enter the Cameron Highlands.

The 3.5 hour bus ride went by in a blink and when we stepped of the bus we did a double take.  To start the temperature was cool, almost cold.  Looking past the goosebumps on our skin it seemed we’d landed in a little Bavarian village.  “Did we take the right bus?” Val asked.  Smelling the fresh strawberries and baked goods in the air we both looked at each other “who cares!”

After finding a room and dropping our stuff it was time to fill our bellies.  We found a quaint little cafe that served me a “chicken pie” which was just like a chicken pot pie but with a lot of lemongrass added, amazing.  Val tried a cream scone and a vanilla milkshake and looked as if the world could have ended without her noticing or caring.  Other culinary delights included a “Steamboat” which is basically do-it-yourself Tom Yam soup with 10 different kinds of meat (jellyfish anyone?), more delights from the tandoor, beef bacon, and all sorts of items cooked “clay pot” style.

The forest here is said to be older and richer than the Amazon and Central Africa.  For Val this isn’t necessarily a good selling point as there are about a hundred different kinds of insects as big as she is, but luckily there are a matching number of carnivorous plants.  After one botched self guided fiasco we signed up for the guided and got up close and personal with nature’s creativity.

The biggest draw in the Cameron Highlands are the tea plantations, which freshen the air and explode in green brilliance on the hillsides.  We toured a plantation that dates back to the turn of the century and still utilizes much of the original machinery.  The views were spectacular and the tea was divine…

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Scott Dusek is a writer and photography originally from Seattle, Washingon.

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