Two months ago I published a blog Lockdown!, about our experiences during what in Malaysia has been called the Movement Control Order (MCO). In June this was relaxed into the Recovery MCO, slowly restaurants and hotels reopened and (interstate) travel within Malaysia was allowed again.
We wanted to see if life had gone back to normal a bit , and decided to make a short trip to the Cameron Highlands. First trip since February (Taiping).
We started with breakfast, near our condo. Basically you have to write down your name and telephone number, but most people didn’t do that. Half-boiled eggs, toast and coffee, a good start of the day.
We stopped in Bidor for lunch at the Pun Chun restaurant. Also here registration and temperature check. They are famous for their Duck Noodles, Aric doesn’t fancy duck and had Wantan Mee.
Bidor is a good place to buy petai and next to the restaurant they were working on mural art related to this delicacy (if you like it, haha) .
We took the old winding road from Tapah to the Cameron Highlands and stopped for a while at the Lata Iskandar waterfall. A grandmother fall, as my friend Khong would call it. Perfect for a senior citizen like me!
The first impression you get from the Cameron Highlands is rather disappointing. Vegetable farms with their ugly grey plastic covering, hotels everywhere, like here in Ringlet.
But there are still beautiful tea plantations.
We stopped for tea at the Bharat tea shop where we had tea and scones, of course! More people than we expected (as it was a weekday).
We had booked accommodation in the Lutheran MIssion Bungalow. It was my fifth visit to this unspoilt gem, first time was in 2010, ten years ago 😉 . Not much has changed in these ten years, the bungalow is well maintained. They have twelve rooms, but we had the bungalow for ourselves.
We arrived around 4pm, had tea and took some rest.
A visit to the Cameron Highlands is not complete without a steamboat dinner. You find steamboat restaurants everywhere, a favourite of us is Jin Jin in Brinchang. It was crowded, when we arrived there was still a free table, but later people had to queue. Registration as usual, but in the restaurant there was no social distancing. Nice friendly atmosphere.
We ordered steamboat for two people, but could not finish everything.
The sound of birds woke us up next morning, for the rest it was absolutely quiet in and around the bungalow. A bit later we could hear the sound of the caretaker who was preparing our breakfast. Breakfast in British style, with cereals, fried eggs, sausage, toast and jam.
The weather was splendid, super blue sky. We walked around in the garden and took pictures of flowers.
Two views of the garden, the left picture is taken from the living room. There is one room upstairs, with a balcony, from where I took the second picture . Will try to book that room (no 12) next time.
Before we checked out, I walked some distance back on the access road, and then walked again to the bungalow. Always when I come here, I have the feeling of going backwards in time. I hope to share that feeling with these three photos.
The first time I visited the Lutheran Mission Bungalow with my friend Ashleigh in 2010, we were on a mission 😉 . Ashleigh wanted to write an article about the disappearance of Jim Thompson on 26 March 1967 from the Moonlight Bungalow in the Cameron Highlands. He was last seen by the cook of the Lutheran Mission Bungalow. Read more about our mission in my blog What happened to Jim Thompson? .
Here is a Google Earth map of the two bungalows with a photo of the Moonlight Bungalow, which is used as a hotel at the moment. Notice the winding access road to both bungalows
Before leaving the Cameron Highlands, we stopped at a few stalls to buy sweet potatoes and petai.
We used a different route to go back home. From Ringlet to Sg Koyan and from there to Raub, as we wanted to have durian and Raub is famous for its durians. The first time I took this road was in 2008, when it was still under construction. A very adventurous trip, here is a report : New Road to the Cameron Highlands . Now the road is a good alternative to the old Tapah road.
We had durians at this stall in Raub. You could not have them in the stall, only take away.
We bought two durians and asked the lady to open them for us. She used a nice contraption to do that.
Next to the stall, beside the road, there were a few makeshift tables , where we could enjoy the “king of fruits”.
It was a nice trip, we should have stayed another night in the bungalow. Our conclusion is that traveling within Malaysia is almost back to normal.