Tanah Rata, Malaysia
4° 28' N 101° 22' E
Jan 09, 2006 10:28
Distance 149km

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Text written in: English

From the hills

Yes, away from the big crazy city and what a beautiful nature here!
But let's start with the beginning of the day, I mean after internet very early this morning.

We took the bus at Puduraya bus station and we had then the opportunity to test an asian bus station... Oh my god! Pure madness! When I'm back in Europe I'm going to stop complaining about traffic and busy places. There are nearly 100 bus operators in this country so big competition between them.As soon as you are jumping off your taxi, you don't even have time to realise where you are that men jump on you and tried to sell you their bus tickets. No, no, no, it's not going to work with us.

We knew already which operator we wanted, the problem was to find their desk because inside of the station it's like a big giant market with people shouting everywhere trying to attract tourists. But I have to say people are veru friendly here and very helpful, there's always someone coming to help you, ok most of the time, they also want you to buy something but when you say no, they stop bothering you straight away. Also, people smile very easily here, it is so nice! Something in Europe we should really learn to do : smiling a other people in the streets or on the tube, but ofcourse, it will never happen!

The bus we took was really "interesting". Amis francais, vous souvenez vous de la pub "Avec les cars Jean-Yves tu sais quand tu pars, tu sais pas quand tu arrives"? Bon c'etait un peu ca mais c'etait rigolo et au moins il y avait la clim'. My non-french friends you didn't understand but basically the bus was like coming from the 70's. It gave us lots of jokes to say during those 4 hours on board.

The journey was allright, the last two hours were the most painfull for me, I get sick easily on a bus and for two hours the bus was getting up on a hill on a tiny road with bends all the time. That was really scary that part, especially with our driver going really fast and over-taking trucks just before a bend.

We saw lots of skinny dogs looking very sad and sleeping or just standing on the side of the road. I wanted to adopt all of them!

The landscape is very beautiful here! It's mainly pretty jungly hills, misty, cold and humid. It really reminds me of this movie Gorillas in the Mist.

Cameron Highlands were discovered in 1885 by a british, William Cameron. It was developed as a hill station in the 20's, 40's with large tea estates. Although it is very touristic here, we are lucky that it's quiet at the moment. But we can easily imagine what it must be in july/september when europeans are on holidays. To make the English tourist feel at home, you can find all the english "fine cuisine" :-) baked beans, fish and chips, digestive biscuits, cadburry chocolate... I'm not kidding! There is even a english look alike hotel with its tudor architecture and it has a red telephone box! Crazy!

We are staying in Tanah Rata, it is the main tourist center here, it's quite small and not very interesting but here it's the nature that is the most attractive thing, just what we needed!

We are having a rest today, in front of internet... We've booked a day tour for tomorrow : jungle trekking, visit of a tea plantation, discovering plants, butterflies, wild orchids and the thing that I'm looking forward to is that we are going to see the biggest flower in the world! The Rafflesia! That should be an exciting day!