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In Search of the Highlands

February 4, 2014

After months in the city I was ready to be surrounded by nature.  I wanted to wake up and hear birds instead of construction, and see more green than gray.  Don’t get me wrong, city life has its rewards, but there are times when nature is the best remedy.  Herman Melville sums it up, “Whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul… I account it high time to get to the sea as soon as I can.”

The Cameron Highlands

The sea wasn’t really an option this time around, instead we headed to the hills for a visit to the Cameron Highlands.

The Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

The Cameron Highlands is one of Malaysia’s top tourist attractions.  Known for the cooler temperatures, venues where you can pick strawberries and mushrooms, tea plantations, and scenic vistas, we found in the Cameron Highlands the perfect getaway spot.

The Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

There is also an air of mystery here as this is the place where Jim Thompson (who created a veritable silk empire in Thailand) disappeared.  While on vacation here Thompson went for a walk and never returned.  A massive manhunt ensued, to no avail.  To this day no one knows what happened to the textile giant, and many have found a way to cash in on the mystery, offering special tours and menu items dedicated to the man.

Cameron Highlands, 2013 231

For us, the hillsides offered crisp air and a fresh perspective.

The Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

Everywhere you turn there are souvenir shops brimming with strawberry themed knick-knacks.  If you’ve ever dreamed of owning a strawberry shaped pillow, this is the place for you.

The Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

What I loved about the Cameron Highlands was the sheer variety of plant life on display.  Little shops featuring exotic mushrooms, cacti, (did I mention strawberries?), and even lavender dot the road, inviting you to see or try something new.

What a captivating color palette to stumble upon.

What a captivating color palette to stumble upon.

Succulent succulents : )

Succulent succulents : )

The Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

Our timing wasn’t right in terms of picking strawberries, but we were able to purchase and enjoy them nonetheless.

Self plucking? Who knew!

Self plucking? Who knew!

Not quite ready for us.

Not quite ready for us.

The best souvenir is the kind you can eat.

The best souvenir is the kind you can eat.

We were able to feast our eyes on lush tea plantations, and taste yam flavored ice cream (it was delicious) and strawberry coffee (which oddly did not taste like strawberries… or coffee).

Tea time.

Tea time.

Even Ben & Jerry would give a thumbs up to this flavor.

Even Ben & Jerry would give a thumbs up to this flavor.

This one I might pass on.

This one I might pass on.

Two days in the Highlands was not nearly enough time to explore all they have to offer, but it was the perfect respite from the noise and stress of Kuala Lumpur.

The Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

The Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

The Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

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