I Got Healthy in the Mountains of the Cameron Highlands

The ride to the Cameron Highlands was rejuvenating. It didn’t take long till we were winding our way up tight mountain roads passing rich greenery. I read for a bit but passed a lot of time listening to music staring out the window. It was another crazy drive that reminded me of places I’ve enjoyed on my trip so far: Baños, Minca, Dalat were all approached on similar drives. It was a happy connection. I smiled. I already felt better up in the mountains.

When I got off the bus I was pleasantly surprised by the temperature; it was cool. The first thing I did at Father’s Guesthouse was put on jeans, a sweater and a hat. I was cozy and content. I’d missed a bit of a chill after all those weeks in sweltering heat. My evening was calm on purpose: blog, curry, reading. A final attempt to feel good again.

My one full day in the Cameron Highlands I did the highlight: the Mossy Forest tour with Cameron Secrets. We started in the tea plantation hills overlooking the whimsical rows of tea plants. There were some low misty clouds that created a fantastical atmosphere. The whole scene was very photogenic. After a brief lesson in tea production from our guide we went to a viewpoint, the highest peak in the region. The clouds had cleared and we were lucky to see nothing but blue skies over rolling green hills all around us. It was time to explore those hills, so after a short drive we were in the Mossy Forest.

The Mossy Forest is exactly what it sounds like. Trees and paths are blanketed in green moss. Interesting plants spring up from the soil and grow down from the branches. We trudged on a muddy path around, up, down, up again, in a swirling pattern only our guide knew, being told stories along the way about the forest, unique plants, conservation efforts, and parts of life in Malaysia in general.

The last stop felt most touristy: a tea factory that is supposedly still functioning but was closed today due to a low tea harvest, and the tea shop. We had an hour here to enjoy the tea and the view, aka buy things. I had a peach iced tea and it was nice but nothing Lipton couldn’t do. The view was pretty though.

After tea most of the group got dropped at a nearby town to walk back to Tanah Rata. I would have normally joined them but I was so close to healthy that I decided not to push it. Home for me. It was the right choice. I had an Indian pancake with veggies for lunch in town and spent most of my afternoon on the computer, blogging and editing a video from Fraser Island. It felt like a different life already and only 2 months had passed. I had dinner with the nice people from my tour and we played a game of Pictionary before bed.

I love these quiet interludes between louder adventures. They relax me, make me feel happy and at peace.

The Cameron Highlands was perfectly timed. It was a short stop on my short Malaysia trip but without it I don’t know when I would have felt better. I left the Cameron Highlands feeling healthy, happy, and ready for Bangkok. The only problem was I had to go to Penang first.

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