Monday, December 21, 2009

Cameron Highlands (5th - 8th Dec 2009)

We embarked on our very first overseas trip as a family on 5th Dec - 8th Dec, when we took a Firefly flight to Ipoh, then a coach which brought us up to the cool plains that is known as Cameron Highlands in Malaysia.

Our prelimanary concerns were of course focused on whether the little beastie would be cooperative and could sit through the one and half hour of flight and then another similar duration of coach drive time. The first part proved to be relatively smooth-sailing. Kai was super excited at the airport as his cousin Jamie was there with my parents to send us off. The 2 kids wrecked havoc at the Hans outlet where we had lunch, and the beastie must've expended much of his energy, such that by the time we boarded the plane, he was already almost asleep and managed to subsequently sleep through almost the entire plane ride.

The coach part was not so easy though. We had a tough time trying to get Kai to sit down for even a minute, as he trudged amongst our seats and along the walkway as the bus was moving round and round the mountainous path. It was really pretty tiring!

Finally, we reached our hotel - Equatorial Hotel - at the hilltop (after a rather horrendous time trying to get the coach driver to drop us at the right place. EP had to call up the local agent, and there was the customary screaming into the phone kinda thing...hahah).
The hotel (supposedly a 5 star hotel) was decent enough. We were delighted to find a real fireplace at the lobby (in fact, there were 2 fireplaces), and the beastie was fascinated by the heat and light - a welcome sight with the cold air and dark skies outside. Temperatures were around 18-20 degrees celsius, which to me are just about nice and cool, except when the strong wind blows and the rain pelts down on you... that's when you'd really feel the cold....*shiver*

We booked a day trip to visit some farms - including a strawberry farm, a rose farm and a butterfly farm! It was raining most of the time, making it a challenge for us to carry both the beastie and an umbrella at the same time. Fortunately, most of the times the rain was more a like a constant drizzle and never really became a downpour at any time, so while we were a little wet, bothered and tired (mainly from carrying a 10kg beastie up and down the bus, up and down stairs,etc..), between EP and I, we somehow managed.

It was a great disappointment to us when we found out that due to the large number of visitors, strawberry picking was only allowed on the farms only on weekends. So, on the 3rd day, we suddenly found ourselves with very little to do! EP was particularly agitated that our hotel did not have a spa or massage parlour (hahaha). Looks like our next trip would have to be BKK again..woohoo..

The nearest town to our hotel, Brinchang, was really not much larger than say, Bukit Batok or Clementi town centre area. After taking a cab/hotel coach down there a couple of times, we could more or less memorize the shop locations already! It didnt help that many of the shows sold similar stuff - strawberry key chains, strawberry chocolates, strawberry fridge magnets, strawberry prints T-shirts, strawberry.... you name it, as long as it's strawberry related, they'd have it!
I rather enjoyed the zi-char stalls over there though - I though their food tasted better than what we have back here, but EP says I'm biased... maybe it was the colder weather there that made the hot food taste more delicious?!

I didnt really mind too much though, lazing around and doing very little in the hotel, as long as the little beastie was having fun. And it sure looked like he was! =)
Overall, I thought the trip was more for us to relax (read: do nothing), and spend quality time together as a family -especially with the little one. Really look forward to our next outing!!


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