Thursday, February 11, 2010

Cameron Highlands v.02 - The Road To and From The Highlands



It was Sunday in KL. I bought a copy of Sunday Star (1.50 ringgit/$0.40/PhP20.30) because it might save me from boredom during the bus ride. It was easy to find the counter selling tickets for Cameron Highlands. Counter 87, the blue one. I paid the fare – 22.50 ringgit ($6.55/PhP304.50) and mentally took note of my seat (#27)! Not long after, I found my bus along Jalan Pudu, just across Puduraya Terminal.

Cameron Highlands is just 214 kilometers north of the capital, and if I were to believe wikitravel and Lonely Planet, I’d reach Tanah Rata (CH’s main town) in 2 1/2 hours! Pfft!

LOVING STOPOVERS

Our driver was a 350-pound guy who could hardly skip down the bus. He relished our frequent restaurant stopovers. He would be the first one to leave the bus, order his food, then the last one back! He was nice though. Seeing that i was he only Asian tourist, he waved to me and pointed me to the VIP seat right in front, instead of seat 27 in the middle of the bus. I was glad to oblige.

4 1/2 HOURS

Along the way, I bought some crackers and chips. My seat was right by the door, so I was enjoying the view. The bus was almost full. Though I had no one to chat with, it was a relaxing ride that eventually took 4 hours and 30 minutes! Not 2 1/2 hours! As we drew near Tanah Rata (where backpackers usually conglomerate), I noticed several road blocks being cleared! There were rubbles which have fallen off the mountains. Gosh! Landslides! It had been raining for the last week or so. In fact, I just survived a cyclone in Chennai (India) a couple of days before arriving in Malaysia.

To be honest, I never realized that the roads were tortuous. So, much like Baguio, Cameron suffers from occasional landslides during the monsoon season. There was no advisory from any news papers, not even from the Sunday Star I just bought!

It had been drizzling again as we arrived in the town of Tanah Rata, one of the 8 towns in Cameron Highlands. The center of town enjoys the laidback demeanor of Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang. No hustle and bustle, with few people walking around the streets!

TRIP CANCELLATION

The minute I got off my bus, I went to the ticket counter to buy my return – as I always do! Guess what? All bus schedules had been cancelled due to the landslides occurring along the sinuous zigzagging roads! I will be stuck here until they have completely cleared the roads.
Oh well!


My bus from Jalan Pudu in KL.




Beautiful roads - from my "VIP" seat! ;->




Tanah Rata's Bus Terminal. All the ticket counters were closed!


A restaurant stopover!


An overpass on the way to the highlands.




Treacherous curves


Zigzagging road and falling rocks and landmass make an adventurous trip to and from Cameron Highlands!


My comfortable bus ride. I was surrounded by a horde of young Korean tourists. I was seated beside a Korean guy.


Tea plantations almost as far as the eyes can see.


Undulating fields of tea plantation. This photo only courtesy of www.vacationinmalaysia.com.


Surreal spot. This photo only courtesy of www.farawayholidays.co.uk.


Fast Facts:

Elevation of Cameron highlands – 1,500 meters (5,000 feet) above the sea level
Distance from KL to Cameron Highlands – 214 kilometers
Duration of Bus Ride to CH – 4 hours 30 minutes. (Return ride took 5 hours!)
AC Bus Ticket to CH - $22.50 riinggit
Postcard in Tanah Rata - 0.80 ringgit ($0.22/PhP10.80)
Cameron Highlands belong to the Pahang State and enjoys a range of temperature from 12 to 28 degrees Celsius.


A call away. One of our several restaurant bus stops from Cameron Highlands. My 400-pound bus driver loved sampling all the restaurant!


We must have had 3 restaurant stops, plus a petrol stopover on our way to KL.



Check out:
Cameron Highlands part 1: Photos of Tanah Rata and the tea fields. - http://eye-in-the-blue-sky.blogspot.com/2010/02/cameron-highlands-v01-in-place-called.html


This is the Eye in the Sky!




3 comments:

這一定 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
eye in the sky said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ketikketok said...

Cuti-cuti for a unique Spa Therapies Vacation. Visit Mini Agro-Forestry Aromathrepy Village Cameron Highlands.