We have spent the past few days walking through the jungle and seeing the stunning tea plantations. We had another lovely room with a view right onto a forest. We learned a valuable lesson about Malaysia: never, under any circumstances, follow walking directions that anyone gives you, because although they mean well, no one has ever walked anywhere! The people are truly lovely and we have actually really fallen in love with this area, it was so much more to our liking than our previous visit to Penang. In terms of the directions though, it is very much like NZ; the public transport is not good so everyone has a car. This means that while they might know how to drive somewhere, they probably have absolutely no idea how long it will take to walk, or the easiest way to walk there. We pretty much did find this out as soon as we arrived in Malaysia but still thought we would chance a well-meaning lady’s advice to walk to the lake, ‘about 15-20 minutes’ in the opposite direction of the tea plantation we were heading to. Over an hour later we arrived at the lake, and while the walk was quite pleasant, it meant that we now had over 10 km’s to walk to get back to Tanah Rata, and we soon found it it was 100% uphill!
The walk on the way there was really lovely through the forest, both up and downhill over a mountain. The start of the walk made us realise that no one actually did the forest walks around this area – we had completed another walk the previous day and had to fight our way through overgrown paths and eventually had to give up on the path because it was so thickly overgrown that we physically couldn’t get through. This one started at – of course – a hotel construction site which had totally obliterated the start of the trail, and after climbing over construction materials and a huge pile of clay, we found the trail. Many times we had to make our own path to the next section of path, which we could always luckily see, but often the path hadn’t been used for so long that it didn’t exist anymore. It was really fun though, the forest was so beautiful with loads of orchids growing and heaps of other cool plants and flowers too.
The tea plantations were a definite highlight, so expansive and beautiful with rolling hills for miles covered in tea. Drinking the tea was pretty good too!
Over the few days we were in the highlands we walked about 35 kilometers, all of which were thoroughly enjoyable. After that we went back to KL so that we could fly into Thailand (to get a 1 month visa instead of only 15 days if we had entered overland) and although last time we didn’t really like KL that much, we decided it was OK. It was the first time in about 6 months that we have been somewhere civilised enough to have a movie theatre, so we went back to the Petronas towers to the movies! The last time we saw a movie was last time we were in KL so we decided perhaps transitting through KL can be our movie catch up times. :-) Our photos are here.