Dienstag, 1. Januar 2008

Cameron Highlands

After the highland resorts Genting Highland and Fraser’s Hill this weekend I went with my family and some relatives to the third and probably most popular hill station in Malaysia: Cameron Highlands.

It is Saturday morning as we reach the resting area on the North-South-Expressway to wait for Busu and her family. I like them very much, because they are very talkative and we have a lot of fun. Shortly after crossing the Selangor-Perak-border we spot a Durian-middleman with his car boot brimful of the thorny fruits. We get them much cheaper than in KL. The road curls continuously upwards. I catch sight of an orang asli settlement. The temperatures drop steadily.

Finally we reach Cameron Highlands, which is actually located in the state of Pahang. The mountain range is especially famous for tea plantations, strawberry farms and other agricultural products that cannot be grown elsewhere in Malaysia. We enjoy tea and good brownies and a stunning view over the valley that is entirely covered with the islets-like looking tea shrubs. The sun is shining. The temperatures up here are very comfortable at about 20.

In our apartment we cook our lunch. But I prefer to indulge Durian as it will be difficult to get them in Germany. In the afternoon we explore the other small towns, Branching and Tanah Rata. We also visit some beautiful valleys, driving on their narrow roads built into the steep slopes. The scenery is stunning. Unfortunately the tea plantation we want to visit is closed. We take some photos before returning to the city where a night market has just opened. Most of the souvenirs are cheesy or represent strawberries in any form. By the way are German strawberries much tastier, than those I try here. The sweet potatoes and corncobs are more delicious. Later in the evening we go back home to have diner. Our apartment is saturated with the durian’s fragrance.

On the next morning we’re having Nasi Lemak and some more Durians for breakfast before we visit a strawberry farm. My family likes the strawberry ice cream and the jam there.

Right after the strawberry farm we leave for Penang and take the new East-West-Highway, which has just opened. The view over the mountainous Cameron Highlands that I’m enjoying on this route is staggering, but the environmental impact of this jungle highway on the nature is not less staggering. I feel ashamed using this road. Whole hills were cut, dams built and they didn’t even built it properly. Everywhere landslides run down the steep slopes devastating even vaster areas. The destructive impact on this once remote jungle is irreversible.

Upon arrival in our hotel in Penang I go swimming with the kids. Aliza and Sarodin also join us. We’re having big fun, but sometimes it is difficult to give equal attention to all three, otherwise Sophia starts crying.

Afterwards we start running down the Penang specialty menu, driving from Balik Pulau (Mee Udang=Noodles with Shrimps in Tomato sauce) to Gelugor (Nasi Kandar=Rice with mixed curries) and on to Pulau Tikus (Rojak=Fruitpieces with sweet sauce). The Nasi Kandar in Penang is very delicious. If you ever come here, try the street hawker in Penang Road/Leith Road!

On Monday morning we go swimming again, eat Nasi Kandar and head back to Shah Alam. It was a very amusing trip together with all of Busu’s family and us.

Keine Kommentare: