We all enjoy pretty landscapes, don’t we? It’s worth going to a chilly place, suffer in a bus going through a curvy road in the mountains and get wet to see a spectacular view. Especially if this view includes a tea plantation in Cameron Highlands.
Is it Malaysia or Vietnam?
The bus mentioned above brings us from Geroge Town to Cameron Highlands and I experience a deja vu:
- It’s raining
- It’s less than 20 degrees Celsius
- It looks like a very touristy place in the mountains
Is this Sapa? Not really. It’s Tanah Rata, but feels similar.
People go to Cameron Highlands to see tea plantations and one night in Tanah Rata is perfectly fine to do so. Or two nights, if you plan to go trekking. The town itself isn’t the most impressive. And it’s hard to find good food there, especially when all 3 places recommended by travel bloggers are closed. But it doesn’t matter the moment you see landscapes like in a tea commercial. Tea plantations are there for almost a century.
The easiest way to admire tea shrubs is to join a tour. We started with a Mossy Forest, or rather a short walk through platforms. Our guide gives us a short biology lesson, teaching us about local plants and there’s one major conclusion: Malaysian nature will kill you or heal you, there’s nothing in between.
Scotland, Netherlands or Malaysia?
Enough about the forest, time for a tea. Why do I keep talking about it? This is why:
This is BOH Tea Plantation. BOH is the biggest tea producer in Malaysia. And it’s a really nice tea if you ask me. BOH was established in 1929 by a Scottish family and still belongs to them. Employees are provided with accommodation, school for kids and temples for several religions.
Guided tours tend to squeeze in some attractions you don’t really care about. This is how we ended up in butterflies garden and on a strawberry farm. I’d rather trade these two for more tea shrubs, but fortunately, I knew what I was doing when I bought this tour and I’m not here to complain. Nevertheless, the strawberry farm is organized in a really clever way, which doesn’t require a lot of bending down and watering plants. Btw, the seedlings are from the Netherlands, as they fruit longer.
Tea shrubs are actually treas. If a tea shrub was left alone, it would grow quite high. To make tea picking easier, trees are cut and turned into shrubs.
- starting from March 1st 2019, there’s entrance fee of 30 MYR to the Mossy Forrest.
- a half day tour is about 40-50 MYR. Our driver asked everyone when our buses leave and all of us made it to the bus station on time.