Bestest impromptu decision ever made. Well, not quite impromptu, but close enough. I had one of the weekends in August really free, and I just hate to waste a good weekend away and then this idea just popped. Why not visit Cameron?
Best of all, the whole month of August was the fasting month and I was counting on the reduced number of visitors by the busloads to the hills. I was right!
So I called TY and asked him if he's okay with Cameron the following weekend and he, being typical him, agreeable in an atas pagar kind of way ("Ok gua, or, Ok kot"). Then I was suddenly reminded some time ago when Mum wanted me to bring Dad to Cameron lol. The rest is history.
Got up early to catch the ETS (this electric train service thingy that transports you from KL to Ipoh and back). Train was on time, finding seats and everything else was hassle-free. Arrived Ipoh town two hours and fifteen minutes later.
Old school charm of the KTM railway station in Ipoh. Waited for another 10 minutes or so before the group from SP arrives ;)
Decided to head for dim sum first. It was only about 10:30am but the Ming Court dim sum is already full. Typical nia. Did the usual wait-at-the-table-while-occupying-patrons-eat-leisurely. Lucky us, we got seats within 10 minutes lah.
Om nom noms! Doubt I will ever get tired of dim sums. Oh looking at this pic reminds me of a similar post I blogged a couple of years ago. Itinerary also almost same same! Just different sets of people lol. Don't be surprised if you see repetitive shots :p (p/s Scroll down to the last few pictures of really funny shots of TY).
Started our way up the highlands after breakfast and traffic was good! It drizzled after a while and got foggy :D
I love Cameron during Ramadhan! Previously, we had this horrible experience of jostling road space with a gazillion buses and the large crowd up the highlands. It wasn't pleasant at all, plus the weather was kinda warm that I was dressed in a sleeveless shirt and short shorts. This trip around, I am very pleased to announce that the weather was refreshingly cool and headcount at a minimum! yeay.
First stop - Had to have Raaju's strawberry milkshake! Sigh. Both Mum and Dad loved them too. Mum was itching to buy the strawberry jam then and there but I told her we confirm gonna make another stop on our way back for more strawberry milkshake and she can get her jams then hehe.
Right after, we made our way to our hotel - Planter's Hotel. I found out about the hotel from websites and travel reviews lol. Review states that the place is pretty new, close to town and rates are at RM300 a night for a family room. Besides, though it's a puasa month and all, majority of hotels were already fully booked.
Check in time only opens at 2pm, so we killed time (it was about 1:30pm) by visiting this government-owned agriculture place.
Mum scrutinizing the plants lol.
First spot nia Mum already made purchases! She got two types of potted plants. As if our house isn't jungle-ish enough :S
Checked in to our hotel, and found out that though the building is more than 50 years old, it has undergone extensive renovation and everything is almost brand new! Toilets, fixtures, you name it. No air-conditioning though (which I doubt you'll need in Cameron) and I requested for a room that does not face the main road (as plenty of the reviews complained of the noise from the roads).
Dad plonking on the bed right after we checked in... lol.
Mum.... being a typical Mum, she got a whole bagful of food! She even brought along a thermos of hot water, complete with coffee powder, fruits (oranges and green apples), rojak sauce, daun kaduk with ikan bilis fried rice, carrot cake ... etc... (!!) Walaoweh... initially I was flabbergasted that she brought so much food along because I wanted to try out the foodstuff around Cameron, but after lunching on the fried rice, I was won over....
Best fried rice ever. Then had fruits with rojak afterwards lol. And carrot cake too.
We chillax a while in the room, all of us lazy to go out hehe. Just when we decide to leave, it started drizzling lol... but it was ok because where we're going next has shaded walkway.
Big Red Strawberry Farm:
Usual shots of strawbrees, butterhead lettuce (would you believe that we saw posters promoting butterhead lettuce juice??) etc. lol.
Then jalan jalan at the cactus farm/flower farm/great photo op farm.
I am really glad I had the chance to bring my favourite people to this pleasant place. Mum told me that the last time she went up Cameron, it was more than 20 years ago! Back then I was only 5 years old or so... lol. And we only made a day trip up there.
The plant that chomps on fingers. Albeit in a slow motion though :p
After a while Mum kind of got tired and told us to just walk on. Then both Mum and Dad started practising qigong lol. And they kept going on and on about how good the chi there was.
Proof of the parents absorbing energy from the harmless plants lol.
We walked till the place is almost closing (circa 6pm) and adjourned to the pasar malam off the main roads in Brinchang. I'd almost forgotten how good the deep fried mushrooms tasted in the cool crisp air. Bliss. Bought a few extremely large trays of fresh strawberries and other miscellaneous vegetables hehehe. The strawberries were really cun! Not the typical sour-ish ones you get, but really far, sweet, juicy ones! They are really fragrant too, Had the whole car smelling like strawberries as soon as we brought them in hehe.
By 7pm, we thought we should head over for dinner. We made our way to the Highland Restaurant but the owner damn lansi! Said they're fully booked and told us to come back by 8pm. When I asked if they can reserve a place for us at 8pm, they said no, they can't do that. If it's still full by then, we would still have to wait. zzz. Fine lah, Parents also wanted to try their charcoal steamboat and anyways we weren't hungry yet so we went back to the hotel to shower/rest/pangsai/etc.
By 8pm, only a couple of tables were occupied hehe.
Syokness! Steamboat is the only meal appropriate in cold weather hehe. Loads of ingredients and fresh vegetables to sweeten our soup broth. The thinly sliced bacon was heaven! Sigh.... I need to go back there the next fasting month.
Oh.... cook bacon and dip in spicy Kampung Koh chili sauce. Hehehhe. Eh, eh? :D
Mum and Dad later retired to the room after going to the shops next to our hotel. TY and I ended up in the only Starbucks franchise in Cameron Highlands.
Hot chocolate with a book :D
Got up early the next morning, packed our stuff and checked out of the hotel by 9am. We made our way to the Sungai Palas Boh tea plantation. Good thing we got there early too. Ten to fifteen minutes after we arrived, throngs of people started to fill up the cafe on top of the hill.
Breakfast of scones, nasi lemak, strawberry tarts, cakes and tea. Can't go wrong with those. Larv-ly!
But prices are steep. Our breakfast for the four of us costs a whopping RM70. Siao. I may be kiam, but RM70 for breakfast is really too much,
Ah, but so long as they are happy :)
Eh, actually come to think of it, I didn't pay for the breakfast hehe.
By the time we decided to leave, the cafe was already filled to the brim. Oh, also kena the wait-at-the-table-while-occupying-patrons-eat-leisurely on us. Zzz... Too commercialized lah. The scones/tarts weren't that great anyway. Just that the view is good lah.
Started our descend by 11:30am or so (thank God Mum wasn't too keen on visiting the tea making factory lol) after another stop at Raaju's for a last serving of milkshake hehe.
Okla, fast-tracking. Called Hao for nga choi kai recommendations and the GPS directed us to the Lou Wong shoplot. The shop was situated right next to another nga choi kai place (can't remember what it's called). Our good friend, CTY can cockily jalan so syok go into the wrong shop some more. When I nudged him, eh, right shop onot? He some more so arrogant said, "Lou Wong, correct lah!".
After shoving my index finger at the shop name and bruising his ego, we exited the wrong shop and got into Lou Wong instead lol. Mum said that she overheard the boss from the wrong shop scolding the staff for not being attentive that they lost us LOL.
Meat, meat and more meat! Chicken pieces were very tender, but very oily too. TY said they use lots of sesame oil. But bean sprouts were very fresh and crunchy. Yummers.
TY ordered a whole plate of chicken gizzard for himself! Got proof some more. Chiang family members, if you see this, please report to your Mum. lol.