Following our hot and sunny outing at the MARDI Research Centre, we decided to retire for some scones and tea at the Smokehouse. The Smokehouse is a British-era remnant, built in the same way that most British houses were built back in those days, you can’t find anything similar nowadays. It might not be the best place or the most affordable but the ambience and setting is next to nothing. Do note, that you could also stay here if you want to. They have hotel services too.
Sam Poh Temple
We visited Cameron Highlands a day before the auspicious Wesak Day, so the facilities at the Sam Poh Temple was already in place, which would enable devout Buddhists to bathe the Buddha statue. This might not be the case if you were to visit at different times of the year.
Do not attempt to visit the temple during any auspicious Buddhist festivities. The place will be packed. Unless you intend to walk.
Sam Poh Temple is situated slightly away from the town of Brinchang on a narrow two-way street (made to allow only 1 car to pass) in an unassuming area. Except for the road signs, there is nothing to indicate where exactly in the temple. A good place for a hike if you don’t have transport but even if you do, it will take some manoeuvring to get to the temple.
Being the only temple of good standing in the vicinity, the place will be packed with people during auspicious Buddhist festivities.
Cactus View Restaurant
Usually, the thing to do during the late afternoons/evenings in Cameron Highlands would be to go jungle trekking or hiking due to the weather. But we were with kids and neither of us were avid hikers so we decided to give that a skip and head back to the hotel for some shuteye.
We woke up just in time for dinner. Dinner in Cameron Highlands is all about one thing only — steamboat. If you have never heard of steamboat, it’s a type of fondue where the base is a soup, concocted out of vegetables and stock. The reason why you need to have it is because of the unique weather in Cameron Highlands, it is cold during the night, and you won’t find any locals without donning a sweater or a cardigan, and what better way to warm the body other than a warm bowl of soup!
Usually the orders is divided equally depending on the number of people attending. So if you have 5 adults, order a set for 5, otherwise one of you will find yourself the odd one out as there will only be 4 prawns, 4 beef balls, and so on, you get the idea. Although you could still order for 4, but add on a few side dishes. But this is for those who are already familiar with the shop, and you know which side dishes to order. (Not all are worth it)
The way to enjoy the food is to put almost everything into the soup, but mostly you start off with the hard to cook dishes first, like the meats. Then later on you can add the vegetables and prawns because they boil faster.
There are a lot of steamboat restaurants around and one man’s meat could be another man’s poison so there’s no right or wrong. But we tried out the Cactus View Restaurant because of the part where they allow you to barbecue your dishes on top of having the soup based version. Hey, best of both worlds right?
(to be continued)