"Travel Notes from the Cameron Highlands" Cameron Highlands by gdilieto

Cameron Highlands Travel Guide: 574 reviews and 1,722 photos

My Heart's in the Highlands

The Cameron Highlands are an enjoyable break from the hot and hectic cities as well as the beaches and islands of Southeast Asia. A cool hill retreat suit to relaxing, enjoying nature and spending few days at a slow pace of life. There is no much excitement here, no fancy shops, no trendy restaurants, no cool bars (and I believe people from around here want to maintain it that way) even though things are changing with more and more estates being developed to accommodate weekend trippers and tourists alike. Still, if you come here outside weekends and holidays, the feeling is basically of a rural, laid-back community with their own "highlands" identity.

We spent in the Cameron Highlands a long weekend and saw the landscape changing: a quite place in the Friday morning we arrived, it turned jammed and overcrowded as we entered the weekend. We enjoyed our time in the hotel, sitting by the fireplace with rain and mist outside creating a charming atmosphere, as much as we enjoyed the time spent visiting places. Tea plantations are the most impressive sites which probably you don't want to miss. This website provides good tourist information along with interesting insights and comments.

The Cameron Highlands owe their name to William Cameron, the British surveyor who first mapped out the area in 1885. This is the place where the entrepreneur Jim Thompson, the most famous American in Asia of his time, mysteriously disappeared in 1967. The mystery has never been solved.

5,000 Years and Counting

Second only to water, tea is the most popular beverage in the world, beating coffee, beer and coca cola. There is plenty of legends about discovery of tea and both Chinese, Indian and Japanese have their own. As a matter of fact the first to discover tea and its properties were the Chinese more than 5,000 years ago. From China, Buddhist monks brought tea into Japan where at the beginning it was used for meditation. Tea arrived in Europe via Dutch and Portuguese sailors at the beginning of the 17th century where initially could be afforded only by the wealthy. By the 18th century tea had made it to America and by the 20th century it was consumed all around the world at every social level. Today tea is produced in more than 40 countries in the different varieties white, green, black and oolong. Tea is cultivated in hot and humid climates and many high quality teas are grown at high elevations up to 1,500 meters. Tea produced in the Cameron Highlands is of black tea variety.

In Black and White

Tudor is an architectural style originating in the Tudor period in England in the XVI century; it is characterized by the use of pitched roofs, chimneys, lot of woodcraft and ornaments. This style saw a revival in the early XIX century architecture, at home as well as in the British tropical colonies where wealthy expatriates built bungalows according to the Tudor style giving origin to what in Malaysia and Singapore is also known as Black and White Style (after the color of the structure, which features exposed half-timbers). Many of those bungalows still serve today as private residences while others have been converted into public or commercial buildings. The Lakehouse, (boutique hotel) The Smokehouse (boutique hotel) and The Convent (school) are the most remarkable examples of Black and White Architecture in the Cameron Highlands. While popular with wealthy British expatriates, this style was never particularly popular with Chinese and Malays who tended to associate its primary colors with bad omens and death.

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  • In a nutshell:My heart's in the highlands, wherever I roam
  • Last visit to Cameron Highlands: Apr 2012
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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