Acres and acres of jungle and tea plantations. It’s every hikers dream.
Getting to the Cameron Highlands:
You can get an air conditioned bus from most busy cities. I took a bus from Kuala Lumpur for 35 ringgit.
Where to stay:
Most people stay in Tanah Ratah as this is where the majority of the restaurants and guesthouses are. It’s also an easy starting point for many of the hiking paths.
Things to see and do:
Most people tend to book tours that will drive you around the area and guide you for around 50 ringgits but it’s just as easy to take the local bus from the bus station for 5 ringgit and do it yourself as most things are pretty close by.
Gunning Brinchang (a hill with a view)
Trekking through the Mossy Forest
BOH Tea Plantations and Factory
13 hiking paths
N.B: Do not walk on path 9 of the hiking trail as there have been many robberies by locals with knives.
The Cameron Highlands are beautiful and green but in all honesty… very touristy. If you’re looking to get lost in the jungle then this really isn’t the place to do it.
I genuinely enjoyed my time in the Cameron Highlands whilst trekking, and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the tea making process at the BOH tea plantation and factory. However, my experience in this town turned severely sour when a man in a van stopped his vehicle alongside me as I was hiking back down to the main road from the plantations. I was walking along the cliffside due to oncoming traffic. The man was alone and clearly of Indian decent and I recognised him as Indian Malay by the red dot on his forehead. The man offered me a lift down the mountain; I refused as I knew that I only had 2 km left before reaching the bottom and because Malaysian men already made me feel uncomfortable in KL. I politely thanked him and tried to walk on, unfortunately he didn't accept this and decided to edge his car forward so that I couldn’t continue walking and had to stay standing on the cliff edge.
The man then chose this opportunity to whip out his phone and start taking photos of me. He asked if I would pose for him, I declined. He then asked if I would climb onto the top of his van and pose there. I again declined and said that I needed to keep walking. I started to walk forward and he edged his car closer. He then asked if I would wait as his friend was coming and his friend would want to meet me. At this point alarm bells were ringing and I needed a quick escape. I looked at my options and neither were great, it was either the cliff edge or trying to run around the vehicle, hoping that he wouldn’t reverse. There was nobody around and panic was setting in.
I told the man that I needed to go and that he needed to let me pass. He then asked me to lift up my arms and pose for a photo. I again refused and told him that he needed to let me pass. I was getting desperate now. A part of me didn’t want to show fear and give him the satisfaction but another part wanted him to know how distressed I was feeling. I decided to tell him that he was scaring me and that I really wanted to go and that he needed to let me pass. He looked at me in disgust and said “Scaring? I’m not scaring. Fine go, go away” before reversing his van slightly to let me pass. As soon as the car moved, I ran and continued running until I reached the main road.
Fear is an interesting emotion, 2 km's isn’t far but sprinting 2km's down a mountain using pure adrenaline is quite an experience... but it’s not an experience I remember. The brain truly works in mysterious ways as I have somehow managed to block that 2 km's from my memory. To this day, I honestly don’t remember what I saw, if the sprint hurt or how I managed to continue full pelt. All I know is that I started to run and the next moment I was back on the busy main road.
It has taken a while to stop scowling at everyone in Malaysia and it has taken a while for me to stop being angry over this experience as I didn’t want it to change my outlook of this world. But it’s hard, knowing that I was targeted due to being a single female.
N.B: EducatingKavita is a pretty tough cookie and does not want you the reader to worry. She is absolutely fine and is mostly likely writing this whilst flexing her guns (aka her limp noodle arms)- she's a machine!