Heading out of the big city
01.19.2012 - 01.28.2012 95 °F
Having an extended stay in Malaysia with the fam enabled us to take a road trip outside of Kuala Lumpur.
Malacca is just 2 hours south of KL along the coast. It’s is old settlement that was conquered multiple times due to its location on the spice route so it is full of history. Malacca is beautiful by night with lots of lights, especially along Jonker Street which was prettied up for the Lunar New Year. Our only complaint in Malacca was that we were served pints of Guinness in very small glasses. When we told the waitress that we had ordered pints, she replied “our pints are served in half-pint glasses.” Needless to say, we did not order another round. Aside from stumbling on a chocolate confectioners shop blasting the A/C, the best part (and must see if you ever get to Malacca) was walking through and up the hills of Bukit Cina, the largest Chinese cemetery outside of China.
We drove north of KL into the cool dry air of the Cameron Highlands and felt like we were living the life of luxury; enjoying a G&T outside in the Casa De La Rosa’s garden without the need for air conditioning. The highlands are rolling in jungle but it’s slowly being replaced with fruit and leafy green crops due to the cool arid climate.
There is only one road through the towns and its spilling over with markets and tea shops. Navigating through these windy overcrowded roads was a feat within itself. The hills are full of trails and although they are poorly marked and difficult to find, we managed to trek one morning from Gunung Perdah peak to Gunung Jasar peak and were rewarded with an awesome view of the valley.
One of the major crops being grown in the mountains is tea. We took a tour of the Boh Tea factory and had a go with some of the local tea picker’s gear.
We packed up and headed East to Taman Negara, which boasts being the oldest tropical rain forest on Earth. We stayed inside the national park near Kuala Tahan, which was pretty sweet b/c there isn’t a clear cut road into the forest… instead we had to cross the river via boat and hoof it to our lodging. Being inside the park, it was not uncommon to see monkeys, deer, peasants, wild boars, and a tapir right from the doorstep of our bungalow.
The park was filled with adventures; on our way to hiking up Bukit Teresek, we walked 40m high within the canopy on 530 meters of the longest canopy walk in the world. We also took a boat up the river to a swimming hole called Lata Berkoh where we swam the rapids with beautiful Kingfisher birds.
On our way back from the road trip we explored a 10k hash through a durian infested bamboo forest near Genting Highlands, and just when we thought we were worn out, we got up early the next day for a Skytrex tree top adventure which is similar to a ropes course in the United States with flying foxes, only less protective gear :-)