Finally, we were able to go on a trip, albeit a local one. We had a long weekend and decided to go to Cameron Highlands, 300km away from our hometown.
Cameron Highlands is famous for its tea and vegetable/fruit plantations, although unscrupulous developers and farmers are fast ruining the pristine ecological system there, and yet locals still flock there during the hot summer months.
Tip: Try to stay around Brinchang and Tanah Rata areas
There are plenty of hotels, B&Bs and inns to choose from so there is no lacking of place to stay. All you need to research is, where you want to stay at. Cameron Highlands in the name of the whole place, much like the Bernese Oberland in Switzerland.
Our first stop after a 4-hour drive was at Barracks Cafe. A Western-Asian fusion cafe that was located on an old abandoned army barracks. Hence the name. They even retained two of the old barracks and turned them into a kitchen and an indoor seating area. Since the weather was good, we decided to sit outside with the breeze.
Cameron Highlands receive the same amount of sunlight as the rest of Malaysia, so it’s sunny but you get that cooling feel of being in somewhere colder due to the breezes.
Inline with their name, the decor is army-themed. There was a pinch of nostalgia seeing those toy soldiers and combat models peppered around the cafe.
We were there around noon and they have just started to open, so we had a few minutes to ourselves admiring the decor of the place. There were a couple of ‘must try’ dishes. Namely the Curry Chicken Rice (RM15.90) and it comes in a set with mushroom soup and Lime Tea (RM8.90).
The wife always preferred fish over meat, so she went for the Fish Teriyaki (RM17.90). A word of advice though: seafood is slightly expensive in a landlocked area.
And we topped it off with a cranberry orange scone (RM6.90) and mango lassi drink (RM8.90).
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that Barracks Cafe is located in Tanah Rata.
MARDI Agro-Technology Park
OK, just a brief description. MARDI is a government supported agency that deals in the research of agriculture, so you must be wondering why am I visiting a research centre? Well, the answer is simple, unless you’re looking to purchase (there are plenty of business/tourist-orientated nurseries dotting the whole of Cameron Highlands) otherwise, there is no need to be pestered by a salesperson throughout your time at the nurseries. Just head over to this park, pay the RM5 entrance fee and you get to enjoy the flowers and other agricultural wonders at your own leisurely pace. They also sell some but mostly, this is a park to show off what is actually going on under the roof of the Research Centre.
I would suggest that MARDI should visit Keukenhof in Holland to learn how it is to portray the beauty of flowers and make the place more useful. There weren’t that many visitors here which was a shame.
(to be continued)