Thursday, December 2, 2010

Cameron highland part 2.

One thing about backpacking is that you will never know what happen next when you are travelling. Things might just pop up and you need to solve it. If you missed day one, click here.

One of one friend fell sick in the middle of the night. Food poisoning. She was very sick till the extend that she wants to go to the hospital. The problem is there's no public transport at 2am at Cameron Highland. People sleep as early as 9pm. @.@ We had no choice but to wake the inn owner up. She was really kind and she drove us to the hospital immediately. We felt very sorry for her. We were happy with the hospitality offered by Cameronian Inn. The doctor asked someone from the hospital to send us back at 530am. Yeah..530am. We woke up again at 730am to cancel our tour package which we already paid for it earlier. The van suppose to pick us up at 815am. We told them our situation and manage to get back RM20 instead of RM25 as they had already paid the comission to their agent. Well, RM20 is better than nothing right?

We continue our journey later at 10am.
We went to Taman Pertabalan Tanah Rata which is just beside the Tanah Rata bus stop. It look more like a playground to me. We spent some time there while waiting for the bus to Kea Farm. The bus will depart every hour from Tanah Rata bus station. It will go all the way to Simpang Pulai if I'm not mistaken.

 Gigantic fruits opposite the Tanah Pertabalan Tanah Rata. Ain't they look like the kids from Ten Brothers?
The weather was pretty bad. It was drizzling. =( The bus dropped us off at Tea Plantation. The bus driver was very friendly. You can tell them where you want to stop. We became friends with the bus driver later because we took his bus so many times in the same day. Well, it is good to mix around with the locals. That's the point of backpacking right?

At the beginning of our walk to the tea plantation. Note that the plantation is close on Monday. That means we can't visit the factory on monday. Still, we went there on Monday.
 The beautiful scenery along the way.
 The Robertson Rose Garden which we dropped by when we were on the way back to Kea Farm. Nothing much there. Not many rose though. Looks like people's garden to us.
 As we mentioned earlier, the tea plantation was closed on monday. But, we get to see the tea plantation after walking for 1km. We gave up walking to the main place. No point going all the way there just to drink boh tea right? Hence, we stayed at the plantation and took some pictures before we left for Kea Farm.
The rain drop gets bigger and we were lucky that a guy volunteered to send us to Kea Farm. That was our second free ride at Cameron Highland. All we need to do is wave our hand.  
The bee farm and butterfly farm is just before Kea Farm. We didn't went there as we had been there before.
They have a few strawberry farm around that area and we didn't went there too because of the weather.

Food hunting @ Kea Farm.
Must try-steam sweet potato and strawberry ice-cream.
 Sweet potato @ RM2.00
We saw this! Malaysia Forest Viagra? ROFL
More food hunting.

 Sweet Potato Ball @ RM2.
 Fried Shitake Mushroom @ RM3.

Kea Farm is like a open market. You can get cheap vegetable, fruits,flower and etc from there. We bought what we want and left for Tanah Rata. We had to skip the rest of the place as it was raining. Our initial plan was walk all the way down to Brinchang and take a bus from there.

We went back to the inn to keep the stuff we bought and took the next bus to Smoke House. The Smoke House is located between Tanah Rata and Brinchang. The initial plan was visit Smoke House and a few place around that area but the rain spoil our plan again.  =(

I shall let the pictures do the talking for the rest of the post.

We took the bus next day to Ipoh to meet up with other friends and headed back to KL after that.

The end.

Thanks for reading and stay tune for more updates ! =D

Monday, November 29, 2010

Jalan-jalan at Cameron Highland

Backpacking Cameron Highland was something new. Of all the blogs that I had read via Innit, bloggers usually drove to Cameron Highland. Unlike us, we took bus just like the foreigners. It was a good experience. Backpacking is possible at Cameron Highland if you are willing to walk, walk and walk. :)

The Cameron Highland bus station.

We checked out the taxi system upon arrival and also the tour. We took the tour at first but we cancelled it last minute due to some emergency. Will talk about it next :)

Tour offered by the local travel agency!
We took the 1030am bus from Bukit Jalil with 15 foreigners and reach Cameron Highland at 330pm. The bus was in very bad condition. Water dripping and spoilt floor. T.T We stayed at Cameronian Inn during our stay there. Despite the reviews we got from internet, the place turned out better than expected I would say. We paid RM100 for a triple room with attached bathroom but they allowed four of us to stay there.

We took the local bus up to Brinchang at 430pm. You can find the bus from 830am-730am at Tanah Rata bus station, but the last bus from Kampung Raja is at 630pm.

Our first stop was 'Strawberry Moment' at Brinchang, near the weekend night market.

The interior. Not many customer there since it was weekday. We liked the environment a lot and the food of course.

We ordered a few item since it was our lunch and tea time.

Strawberry Strudel @ RM7.90. We agreed that it doesn't taste as good as recommended by others.
Strawberry Milkshake @ RM 10.90. They put too much whipped cream and we don't really like it either.
Strawberry crepe @ RM 12.90. If you are happen to be at Strawberry Moment, you must must must try this! This is the best thing we had at Cameron Highland ! Love it =)
Pasta in Tomato Sauce! We will recommend this dish as well. The pasta is nicely done with delicious tomato puree.
They have the long strawberry strudel too @ RM 29.90.
You can visit the souvenir shop next to the cafe. They sell local made food such as strawberry tea, all sorts of jams, chocolates and etc.

Interesting gift box which consist of Strawberry Chocolate @ RM 5.90.

We wanted to visit the Night Market but the place look horrible. The night market site was filled with rubbish all over. Hence, we decide to skip the night market instead. I personally think that it will be better to go there on saturday instead of sunday. Brinchang night market is only available on weekends. We had steamboat instead after our tea time. There's nothing much at Brinchang town so we thought that it will be better to dine in at the steamboat restaurant since we have nothing to do there. There's two rows of steamboat restaurant at Brinchang. Many choices are available for tourist. The price range is from RM10 to RM12 I think. That's what we got. There's steamboat restaurant at Tanah Rata too but it will be more expensive. The cheapest you can get at Tanah Rata is RM14/RM15.

Another thing is that you get to negotiate with the waitress. A lady came to us and offered RM10 to us but she told us quitely that we could have free flow of food except for prawns. Another man offered us RM12 with free flow of tea. We went to the lady of course. I think you can get better deal as you walk along the row of shops. We were too lazy. lol
If you are wondering what's so special about steamboat at Cameron Highland, their speciality is the charcoal steamboat where they put the charcoal inside the metal tube. That's how they keep the soup warm. We didn't go for it as we wanted to have two different flavours of soup instead of one.
The typical yinyang style. Do becareful as some of the shop charge different rate for Tomyam soup. =S

We headed back to the hostel after dinner. We missed the last bus but we manage to stop a tractor to send us back to Tanah Rata. We did enjoyed the ride back :)

Will continue with day 2 soon. Stay tune !


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Journey to the West : BENELUX part 2

Lets continue with Netherlands.

For those who didn't read my previous post, I mention that i stayed in Rotterdam for 1 day and in Amsterdam for 2 days.

Day 3, Foggy and rain

We departed from Brussels at 6am in the morning,it freaking cold and very foggy as well. As we were reaching Rotterdam, I looked outside the window. I was shock and wanted to shout “oh shit” sooo much! It was way too foggy out there, the visibility is less than 50 m! I never experience such poor visibility before even when haze happened in Malaysia. Luckily we are safely delivered to the destination.

Bus from Brussels to Rotterdam : Euroline, online booking cost 12 EUR.

As usual, first thing to do was looking for the information center. The info center is located very near to Rotterdam center. Surprisingly, the guy in the info center is super friendly and helpful. He even search online and printed out the bus schedule for us. With a map, we started our walking tour.

Highlights of day 3
Can you see the fog? This is consider to be of better condition. Some places are even worst!
1st photo : Nationale Dederlanden
2nd photo : City Hall
3rd photo : Blaak Station

Kijk-Kubus, also know as cube house. Get it's name because of the unique design resemble a cube. A must visit spot in Rotterdam.

I recognized this building because it was the place where Jackie Chan fight on the roof top and slide down the slope in "Who Am I". Now only i realized that part of the film took place in Rotterdam. Reminded me of one of my favourite Jackie Chan's movie.

Erasmus bridge, also know as The Swan. Got it's name because it resemble the shape of a swan. It is the icon of the city of Rotterdam. Another must visit spot in Rotterdam. However, it is still very foggy at the time we reached there. So we waited at the harbour and hope that the fog will dismiss soon.
Closer look at The Swan. But the weather remain the same even at 1pm, so we decided to move on.

Taken on the bridge when a cruise passed by. This is one of those water taxi's or shuttles available in Rotterdam.

We decided to go to Rotterdam's most famous attraction. Kinderdijk, home of 19 windmills dated from 1738 and 1740. It is one of the UNESCO world heritage site.The windmill is open from mid March to late October which is October 31st. Very unlucky that we arrived Rotterdam at 1st Nov, so if you plan to visit Kinderdijk, make sure you arrive during the correct period. Nevertheless, you are still able to walk around and take photo even the windmills are closed.

To get to Kinderdik, you can take bus from Zuidplein Metro station. The return ticket will cost you 6 EUR. Take note that Zuidplein is a little bit far from Rotterdam city center, so you can consider buying a Rotterdam 1 day transport ticket to save more money.

250 years old windmill.Look extremely beautiful under the reflection of the river. I am totally allure by the environment in Kinderdijk. Just imagine that you have a UNESCO listed windmill in you backyard, how wonderful is that! A must visit spot!

Front view of the windmill.

Another type of windmill, the minority here. Only saw one in this area.

We left Kinderdijk at 6pm but the sky already very dark. The day time of Europe in winter is very short.

As we reached Rotterdam center at 8pm, we had our dinner and took "Hispeed" train to Amsterdam. The train ticket cost about 13.40 EUR. We stay overnight in Amsterdam.

Day 4, cloudy and rain
Amsterdam is a city full of canal. There are as much canals as streets in Amsterdam. Thus, make it a very beautiful city. There are free tour provided and departs from tourist information center at 11am and 1pm. The tour takes about 2 hours.
Highlights of day 4

Canals all over Amsterdam. It's very common that many families own a boat.

A huge clogs outside of a souvenirs shop. Hollands is very famous with its' clogs(wooden shoe).

Typical building in Amsterdam. You can find it everywhere in town.

Holland is well-known for its' cheese. There are a lot of cheese specialist shop in town and some of them offer free testing as well. Make sure you drop by at least one of those shop to have a piece of cheezy cheese. A must try food in Amsterdam - cheese.

Night in Dam Square.

*We also visited the red light district, one of the most unique place in Amsterdam where prostitution area being treated like a tourist spot. Prostitutes were standing inside glass windows like show room/aquarium for people to choose. Warn by a friend that photo taking is forbidden there, so didn’t take any picture.
End of day 4.

Day 5, partly sunny-the best weather of the whole trip
Checked out from hostel at 9am, the hostel owner allows us to keep our backpack in the reception. Personally, I highly recommended “Brussels centre hostel”, the cheapest in town. It is very near to Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum but take 15 min walking distance to city center.
Highlights of day 5

Rijksmuseum, the national museum. Museum of art and history. Apparently is under construction, but you will still able to visit the inner parts.

 I amsterdam, the icon of Amsterdam. Thus, I took a photo here to show that I have been to Amsterdam. For your information, it is located just in front of Rijksmuseum.

Famous Van Gogh Museum. I didn’t visit Van Gogh Museum since the entrance fee is too expensive. However, 1 of my other friend from Russia said that it was nice. Should pay a visit if you have extra budget.

Others nice scenary in Amsterdam. Yeah, 1 important thing, you must not walk on bicycle lanes. Bicycle is one of the main transport in Amsterdam, so make sure you aware of the bicycle lanes.

Leave Amsterdam and fly back to Prague at 6.00pm. Airport transfer is 4 euro by train from Amsterdam centre to Schiphol Airport.

It was a nice and memorable trip. For summary of the total spending, please refer to previous post.

Where next? Stay tune!

Thanks for staying with me.