Cameron Highlands Adventure 1: TBS to Tanah Rata

I've always wondered what's so special about Cameron Highlands (CH). I have always thought that they only have tea plantation view, which looks a little less magnificent in the online photos than the Banawe Rice Terraces in the Philippines. That's what I thought.

So last week, hubby has been itching to do some traveling again. Yes, that's what we always did in Beijing before where we would always go somewhere every Sunday whenever possible. And he said, "Let's go and check out Cameron Highlands". So despite my slight hesitation, I found myself booking our bus tickets online and hubs was researching on some basic info about our destination. After our Saturday night gig at work, we packed lightly and tried to get some rest. So here's what happened...

January 24, 2016 Sunday @ Terminal Bas Sepadu (TBS)

After our Saturday night work, I managed to get more than 2 hours of sleep, but hubs didn't. We set our alarm at 6AM to give us enough time to have light breakfast and prepare. I have also taken Bombom, my soft toy dog, with me. I booked for an Uber ride and we reached the bus terminal called TBS (Terminal Bas Sepadu) in Cheras at 7:15AM. This was the 3rd time we've been to the station and I have always admired TBS for being clean and orderly, just like an airport. Or maybe because we have always taken early morning trips to Penang so there wasn't always too much people in the station yet. They also have convenience store and a big digital board about bus departure/arrival just like an airport has. And that's awesome!

The departure area in the lower ground is crowd-controlled as we weren't allowed by the guard to go down, not until 30minutes before our bus ride. Fair enough. Bus arrived 5 minutes before the scheduled departure time to pick up passengers and left on the dot at 8AM. I only had 2 hour sleep after our Saturday night gig, but hubs didn't get any sleep at all. Half an hour later, I found myself nudging against hub when his snore gets a little loud. But another half an hour later, I found myself joining hubs in snoring harmoniously inside the bus. The bus stopped once somewhere in Ipoh for a toilet break but I didn't budge from my comfortable sleeping position. I woke up while the bus was already working its way up to the zig zag road going to the Highlands. I was enjoying the sceneries and just took videos as much as I could.

I thought the trip would only be 3 hours. But we reached the town proper by Tanah Rata by 11:50AM so that makes the trip actually 4 hours. Luckily, the bus station is situated infront of the long stretch of commercial shops of restaurants, massage centers, tourist information centers, offices, and budget hotels. We just had a quick bihun goreng and since we didn't book a room ahead, we just scouted for an available accommodation in different budget hotels, but most of the small rooms available didn't have windows for ventilation. Until we reached Camellia Budget Hotel. They didn't have a reception desk as other hotels do, but instead - as Marl has read on TripAdvisor - we inquired from the cashier in the mini mart who then ushered us on the floor above and showed us the available room with a window. Surprisingly, it's already acceptable for RM100 with twin beds, a clean toilet, a TV, and an electric fan (it's cold enough in Cameron Highlands - no need for an aircon).

We wanted to see as much as we could but since we arrived quite late, most tours couldn't accommodate us anymore. And one uncommon thing about Cameron Highlands is you cannot just simply hail a taxi cab on the street but instead, they have designated taxi stands around the city. So after checking in and leaving some of our stuff in the room, we started walking back to the bus station to look for a taxi to go to strawberry and cactus farms, or whatever we can see in Brinchang. The driver charged us for a fixed price of RM25 - which I consider quite a rip-off.

Check out the photos that my hubby Marl took.

At last, this way long overdue trip has finally materialized! We took our 8AM bus from TBS to go to Cameron Highlands. We reached Tanah Rata, Cameron Highlands' town proper, at 11:45AM. That's almost 4 hours!
Posted by Mar Silverio on Monday, January 25, 2016

No comments: