It’s basically our last full day in Malaysia. We arrived in Cameron Highlands late in the afternoon the day before so this day would be our only time for exploration and at the same time we’ll be on our way back to Kuala Lumpur in the afternoon. It’s a tight schedule honestly but I must remind myself that this is a familiarization tour and if I ever like the places, I should just go back and explore further.
If I could snug under the sheets that cool morning in Cameron Highlands I would. But the phone rang as a wake-up call and I realized I need to pack my bags again since we’re checking out by 9am. There was no direct view of sunrise on my window but it was half pleasant seeing the mountainscapes amidst the lands being quarried that meant more development happening in the land.
Breakfast at Equatorial was so-so. We missed the breakfast at Impiana KLCC badly. There was nothing really special about that hotel for us since we just slept through it one night. We packed in our bags in the van and moved on to explore the sights at Cameron Highlands.
If you’ve ever wondered how an English sounding name came about for an 8-town region a in an Asian country like Malaysia, blame it on William Cameron. This British government surveyor discovered the mountain slopes in 1885 during a mapping expedition. Finding the temperature and soil as a fertile ground for growing tea, which as a big thing at that time, they developed the place as a tea plantation. Until now, Cameron Highlands has the largest tea industry in Malaysia.
But the place has grown more as well with vegetable and fruit farms that supply not only Malaysia but the Singapore region as well. A visit to their market made me salivate on the numerous dried fruit products they are selling there. I love dried fruits and plums and they have unique ones here like Strawberries and Ampalaya (Bitter Gourd). Looking at it, I realized how our local Baguio could also capitalize on this and make dried strawberries as well. They were real good but I also love the Dried Ampalaya which I surprisingly liked. I wish I had brought more.
Marie brought us to the Rose Center, a popular tourist destination at the Kea Farms in Cameron Highlands. It’s a big 4 hectare land up to more than ten terraces leading to the highest point in Cameron Highlands. The place is a gardener’s haven and would be paradise for all the green thumbs out there. I’ve never seen a place filled with hundreds (or probably thousands) of varieties of plants and flowers.
Each terrace also has some interesting sculptures and designs. The architecture is largely a fusion of east and west. There’s a nice shoe house at the upper terrace and some zodiac representations on the lower terraces. Kids would probably enjoy playing here. Just put on a good set of shoes because there are a series of stairs there to climb until you reach the top.
My GPS reads we’re already 1640 meters above sea level. The view of the mountains and the cool breeze was soothing. It would have been great to stay there for a while but Marie was waiting for us below. There are a few more stops before we head back to Kuala Lumpur.
Rose Centre Sdn. Bhd.
P.O. Box 3, Post Office Brinchang,
39100 Cameron Highlands, Pahang, West Malaysia.
TEL / FAX : 605-4962989 E-mail: rosectr[at]po.jaring.my
Business Hour: From 8.00a.m. – 6.00p.m.
Entrance Fees: Adult – RM4.00 / Child – RM2.00
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.