The Delights of Traveling: Cameron Highlands, Malaysia
The Delights of Traveling: Cameron Highlands
If you were to tell me that there was a way to feel cold in Malaysia, I would laughed in your face. I always made a joke that if it got cold there, the world would end. Well, I've been, I've been cold, and the world hasn't ended yet.
After a very dramatic and crazy few days in Kuala Lumpur, I decided to make my way to Cameron Highlands for some peace and quiet and that is definitely what I got. People had told me that the weather was cooler and the landscape was beautiful and honestly they definitely did not lie. Coming up the winding roads to the Highlands, I did have a bit of travel sickness and I think the bus driver expected that people would because behind every seat was a plastic bag to vomit in. However, I overcame that and as we got higher and higher in escalation, I kept feeling the window to see if it was getting colder, and boy was it.
I got off the bus and because I don't have a phone, I had to ask around where my hostel was and the lady at the bus station said that it was a 5 mins walk from the town and I am sure that it was, but with my backpack and duffel bag it definitely felt longer. I honestly thought I was lost because I got to the edge of town and still no hostel, I thought of turning back but I kept on walking and eventually found it. I got to say, not the best location, but a really nice hostel. I highly recommend it if you want some peace and quiet and want to just wake up early and go for a hike, but if you want to meet people, it's a bit quiet. Sleepbox is the name and the staff are really friendly and helpful and I stayed there longer than I thought I would. However, the next day I went for a walk around the town and found a coffee shop and decided to get some work done there and got to talking to a girl from Switzerland and she told me that she was staying at a hostel right across the road that someone on my bus up had mentioned when we were heading up. So, I was already pretty convinced to move to that hostel and then we went to the bar and met more people that were staying there, so that was when I ultimately decided to move.
The next morning, I was having coffee on the balcony of the hostel and I met an American guy and we got to talking and we decided that we would move to the hostel together because we both knew people there, so we packed pretty quickly and made our way over to the hostel. Honestly, one of the best decisions I have made in a very long time. I highly recommend Map Travelodge/Traveller Bunker in every way. It is literally a one stop shop for everything, there is a cafe on the first floor, kitchen on the second, and a common area and theater on the third. The beds are super comfortable and you have your own privacy curtain, which can definitely be quite nice. You can choose between a bed with a window or a normal bed, but they are both great choices.
Not only was it a great hostel, but honestly I met some of the best people I have met in a long time. A lot of people say that along the way, you will meet people that become family more than your actual family and honestly, that is very accurate. Because the people that I met at the hostel definitely became my family.
Now, on to what to actually do in Cameron Highlands. If you enjoy trekking and hiking, this is definitely the place for you. We signed up for the half day tour through the hostel and it was actually really good. We had a pretty big group, which made it more fun. The guide picked us up at 8 AM and we started the tour at the Mossy Forest, which is actually only open to guided tours so if you really want to go, I would say that you definitely need to book a tour. The hike itself is about 35 mins long and muddy, so don't wear white shoes! The tour guide really knew his stuff, I will tell you that right now and we walked over to the viewpoint and then made our way back down. After the Mossy Forest, we made it to the tea plantation, which was really awesome to see and we got to go to the BOH Tea Plantation and see how the tea was made and drink some tea with a great view. It wasn't part of the package, but he also brought us to the Strawberry fields, but I had injured myself while we were at the tea plantation, so I wasn't able to go in. We got back around 1:30 and rested for the rest of the day.
There are also plenty of trails to hike and with the weather being so great, you literally don't sweat at all, which is definitely a nice feeling especially when you are sweating like a pig in all the other parts of Malaysia.
All in all, Cameron Highlands is definitely on my list of one of my favorite places in Malaysia and I highly recommend it to everyone.