Fiona and Ash's Gap Year Extravaganza travel blog

orchid called dancing ladies, look closely

a house at the orang asli village

family at the orang asli village


Ashley deer hunter, rabbit murderer, flipflop destroyer

take that you pesky flipflop

tribeswoman fiona

cameron highlands


Fiona (in case we have changed so much you didn't recognise us)

Fiona's new friend

Brave Ashley with a moth

The vast Boh tea plantation


butterfly tree!

i nicked this hat for the photo, lots of people really do...

our cultural tour of the bee farm

We're at the end of our 4 day stay in the Cameron Highlands, and nearly at the end of our all-too-short stay in Malaysia. We've done a few things since our stint in the jungle.

The place we're staying at, 'Father's Guest House' has a more extensive history than most hostels. It was built by Catholic missionaries before WW2, and then used as army barracks in WW2. A majority of it was knocked down to build the 'half-pipe' soldiers' rooms which are now bedrooms and dorms, so we're actually staying in old barracks! There are also a multitude of bugs and creepy crawlies keeping us company here. For example, earlier this morning, Ash stepped barefoot on a small-by-comparison-to-most-Malaysian-beetles beetle. It was quite a hardcore beetle though because it survived completely unharmed! Yesterday there was a sort of Cockroach/Beetle crossbreed massive thing in the showers. It was lying on its back motionless with it's legs in the air, as if dead. A man went in the shower and kicked it into the drainage gutter. A minute later, it was crawling up the wall. About 3 inches long. Nice. There are Cicadas all over the place too. For those who don't know, Cicadas are just like massive, massive, massive houseflies. Imagine a fly that is 2 inches long. That big.

On day 1, we shunned the many tours which were offered by our guesthouse in favour of getting buses around and doing it ourself. It was worth it too. We paid 20 ringgets to do what would have cost us 30 with an organised tour, and we didn't need any guide or anything. We went to a 'Butterfly farm', although there were more than just butterflies there. There were snakes, rhinocerous beetles, giant millipedes (Fiona HELD one on her arm! We'd put a picture up, but the silly computers here won't let us...), tarantulas, stick insects, grasshoppers, mantises which looked JUST like leaves, scorpions, leaf frogs, bunny rabbits, turkeys, geese, mice (Although they might have served some other purpose than to attract tourists, don't know...) and all sorts. Good fun. Ash chickened out of holding anything, but did muster the courage to hold a giant butterfly which was hanging from a leaf which was hanging from a hook.

We also went to a bee farm which was basically a garden with loads of bee hives. Those who know Ash well will know of his fear of wasps and bees. It re-surfaced when a bee flew dangerously close to his head and he freaked out and ended up flinging his elasticated bracelet into a gutter... Kind of detracts from the bravery of holding that butterfly... We did some shopping at the market there where we ate battered bananas which were nice.

We gave into the tour offerings when we realised there was nothing else to do on our own. We decided to go to the 'Orang Asli' village which is a tribal village in the hills. It was a really good tour and we walked around their village with houses built out of bamboo and on wooden stilts, hens and chickens running around everywhere and a lot of adorable kids playing with wheels-on-sticks toys. We also got to try out firing a blow pipe which was really cool. We both managed to hit the target which was a rubber sandal nailed to a wall. Good stuff. The chief of the village then took us into his house and we were shown the various handicrafts which the people make. One such craft was a genius toy puzzle game. Its basically some bent bamboo sticks tied together with a circle of string in the middle. The task is to get the string off the bamboo frame, but it's nearly impossible. But not entirely impossible as Fiona proved by being the only person in our tour group to be able to crack the puzzle without being shown how. Clever girl!

After that we went to a vast tea plantation which the highlands are famous for. It's called the 'Boh' tea plantation, and you can buy Boh tea everywhere here. The views are really good if you get to a nice vantage point. The miles of tea bushes covering every inch of ground makes the rolling hillside look like a big velvet sheet.

Also we had an 'English Day' by having fish and chips for lunch and then tea and scones with cream and jam for afternoon tea. Jolly good.

Also, lastly, Fiona has become partially (fractionally) interested in football!!!!! She's watched a WHOLE 4 games! Including, sadly, the Portugal game. I could go on all day about it, as I'm sure you know, but I won't.

Anyway, got to go and catch a bus back to Kuala Lumpur. See you all soon!

Love Ash and Fiona xxxxxxxxxxx

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