|We arrived at the Cameron Highlands by bus on the 11th from KL. The climate as you can guess by the name meant it was a little cooler then we have had recently, it's about five degrees cooler and in the evenings drops a bit more - this was a welcome change.
After checking in and before it got dark we decided to explore a little, there is a waterfall not so far away so we thought we would take a peek. We met the rest of the group for dinner and went to a nearby restaurant which specialises in 'Steamboat'. This was a bit like a fondue. They bring out a big bowl, half of which had chicken soup in it and the other Tom Yum (spicy tomato). This sits on a gas burner and boils away. They then bring out plates of chicken, beef, squid, jellyfish, fish, fish-balls, noodles and veggies all raw. You then stick it all into the boiling soup to cook before eating. We definitely do not recommend trying jellyfish which was a cross between fish tofu and gristle!!
The next day was very busy. We started by going to the highest point of peninsular Malaysia reachable by vehicle (2080m). Up there it was even colder than in town! Good views though...... of clouds! Next was a jungle trek through rainforest at 1800m. This was a lot of fun. Being a rainforest it was very wet and therefore very slippery, causing Sham to fall on her bum, much to all our amusement! After this, covered in mud, we headed to one of the local tea plantations. We were taken on a guided tour through the plantation which was very interesting. We were really surprised how difficult it was to navigate the narrow paths between the plants and felt very sorry for the thousands of workers who spend eight hours a day picking leaves for about 8 quid. The walk took us to the factory where we sampled some local fruit tea. Whilst quite enjoyable it still hasn't converted me to a tea drinker! Next stop was a butterfly and insect farm. Loads of creepy crawlies and we even got to hold some - stick insect, leaf insect, leafy frog, iguanas and scorpions (we declined the scorpions but some of the slightly more unbalanced members of the group held them by the tail!!).
The afternoon took us on a hike to a waterfall in the hills. After scrabbling to the top we went for a dip in one of the plunge pools....... to say it was cold would be a massive understatement! When people normally get into chilly water they tend to say 'its fine once you're in', this water only became fine when you were too numb to feel it any more!! This said, it was brilliant fun and one of the highlights of the trip so far.
After warming up, our driver took us to a local village where some of the people still use blow pipes for hunting. We all had a go, using a flip-flop as a target and found it surprisingly easy to do (although we were standing only about 10 feet away and the blow pipe was about 8 foot long!!).
Just when we started having fun we had to leave on the 13th for our next destination - Penang.