Highlander

The Cameron Highlands were discovered by a British government surveyor of the same name on a mapping exhibition in 1885. For the first time in a while, I was actually pleased to be at a higher altitude to escape the sweltering heat of the Muddy Estuary below.

Because of its extremely fertile soil and low temperatures, Cameron’s main economic activity is farming. Farms of many kinds are scattered across the highlands. Strawberry farms, pepper farms, butterfly farms, bee farms, cactus farms, flower farms, baby farms, boy band farms…farm farms, Cameron has a farm for almost everything…

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The Cactus reunited with family

While moseying around the farms, I learned a few things about some of the things being harvested here. Such as, strawberries actually just start out as a flower which contains a bud that eventually grows into a huge tumour that is a strawberry, all peppers start off green and then change to red or yellow, and Um Bongo (they drink it in the jungle) isn’t a fruit at all, you learn something new everyday…
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The life of a strawberry

The butterfly farm held hundreds of different species of these fluttering rascals while the reptile centre attached, featured some bog standard frogs, turtles and snakes. But one thing that stood out for me was the bald rat. Looking like something from a science lab, the disgusting rodent is actually native to Middlesbrough, and survives on a diet consisting solely of chicken parmos…

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Cameron’s other main income comes from the production of Tea. The Boh tea estates were founded by another Englishman, J.A. Russell in 1929. Boh tea uses the slogan ‘Boh as Ummph’. They’re not wrong there, I was nearly knocked off my chair by the taste, after months of drinking instant coffee, it was nice to rediscover my inner Englishman with a classic cup of Rosemary Lee.

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The highest peak in the highlands, was accessible by a walk through the Mossy Forest. I thought that the Ampang district of Kuala Lumpur reminded me of Manchester, well this forest defiantly resembled Moss Side. I was disappointed not to spot any obscure wildlife during the easy trek, but happy to hear a few song birds tweeting the melody to ‘Crazy Train’ by Ozzy Osbourne…

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Ipoh served as a quick stop over on our way out of Cameron. The surrounding area has a few interesting cave temples hidden away in the limestone landscape, one of which is the largest on Malaysia that the locals believe possesses spiritual powers. A well known guidebook describes Ipoh as ‘a gritty, frenetic city of faded tropical mansions’. If someone can please explain what this is meant to mean that would be great, as I could see no mansions and found it anything but gritty and frenetic. I think a lot of the time, this particular ‘bible’ as some travellers call it, instead of telling things as they are for the common man, sometimes prefer to speak in riddles, riddles harvested directly from the word farm…

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Categories: Malaysia | Tags: | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Highlander

  1. As a matter of interest to possibly only me, the Cameron highlands was used by the British military as rehab for servicemen who’s wounds had turned gungy in the humidity of Singapore.

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