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.