Cameron Highlands Trip

It’s been awhile since I last visited Cameron Highlands. In fact, I think I’ve only been to Cameron Highlands once in 2007. And now, this is the second time, I stepped foot at Cameron Highlands. Many of my friends commented that, it’s no longer cooling in Cameron Highlands, found it to be dusty and dirty and too packed with holiday makers. Well, against all good intention advice, I planned my family trip up there anyway, since my third aunt – who is a “tai kam cher” and she has been going to Cameron Highlands numerous times for work and never pleasure, I thought it would be a good time to bring her there. Also my sister has promised to take Ern Ern for strawberry plucking. And it’s my sis’ birthday!

We chose to go on a Sunday as we were trying to avoid the crowd on Friday to Saturday. Well, it proved to be a good choice. But then, on Sunday, most of the holiday makers were making their way home, and there were some jams near the pasar malam curved road. After that, it was all smooth going.

02 Lata Kijang

Lata Kinjang, the waterfall before reaching Tanah Rata

03 Lata

The crystal clear waters!

We went in two cars as Ern Ern has a class at 3 pm. So they joined us later after that. Since we were early, we decided to check out some of the places of interest so that, we would be able to save time tomorrow. At the same time, we picked up a strawberry strudels from Strawberry Moment shop, nearing Simpang Pulai. The Strawberry Moment’s cafe in Brinchang is already closed so, the only place you could get the strawberry strudels is from the main manufacturing shop located on the way towards Simpang Pulai.

01 Cameron Bharat

 We stopped by this beautiful Cameron Bharat tea plantation and had tea before going to our apartment.


 Saw these lovely hydroponic vegetables at Avant Chocolate – Strawberry Moments

I’ve listed numerous restaurants for our meals there. The restaurants are not very packed but unfortunately, we couldn’t get parking spot. We ended cooking most of our meals in our rented apartment at Iris House. It was a good thing we brought along our own steamboat pot and ingredients!
We rented an apartment in Iris House – named Teaz Apartment, which is privately owned. It’s clean and the owner is clear with his instructions. So, I think if I ever go to Cameron Highlands again, I would rent the same apartment.
When we were there, it was quite cooling as it rain a little. It was nice to sleep at night because it was cooling without air conditioning. I stood out the balcony for awhile to breathe in all the good fresh air that we city folks are lacking!

I guess one do not need a map when in Cameron Highlands. Basically, it’s just one road from the winding road up from Tapah and going down to Simpang Pulai, another winding road. We didn’t go to cliche places like Time Tunnel because I think my late grandma’s house has more old antiques compared to the shop. Haha. We just went to Healthy Strawberry Farm to pluck some strawberries, eat strawberries popsickles – God! They are delicious!


Lovely cactus at Strawberry Healthy Farm near our apartment


 Boh Plantation, endless greenery!

We visited the Boh Plantation at Sg. Palas – which is quite a nice place to visit – unfortunately it rained while we were there.. and I made it just in time to the top before it started to pour!

A tip though, if you have elderly people above 60 visiting Boh Plantation, you will be allowed to drive up to the station directly and skip the 10 minutes walk up the stairs. We didn’t know, so my mom and my third aunt decided to sit this one out. The climb wasn’t too bad.. if a buffalo like me can climb uphill, I guess you could too!

Also, due to lack of tea produce – must be due to the torrential rain, the manufacturing plant is closed. We still could go in to see how tea leaves were being processed but we decided to skip it because of the rain. After that, we visited the “Bee Farm” opposite the road.. which is such a run down place.. and basically, there’s nothing there to look at. Since it was already late afternoon, we decided to go for early dinner.


 Utmost favorite.. flowers at Kea Farm, Brinchang


 Cheap strawberries… Rm18 for 2 boxes at Kea Farm Brinchang

On our way back to our apartment, we stopped by Kea Farm. I remember coming here the last time and we rather fascinated with the freshness of the vegetables. This time round, the corns on sale didn’t look as appealing as they were many years ago. In fact, we bought some corn from a trader and somewhat got cheated because the corn cobs he was selling were not fresh at all! I miss the really colorful flowers in pots. Probably went to the wrong side of Kea Farm.


 While waiting for dinner to start in an hour’s time… kill time taking photograph


 This is really good! Pumpkin with butter crisp.. at Golden Ship Restaurant, Ringlet

Oh well, we went to Ringlet to have our early dinner. Since the restaurant was not open yet, we waited till 6 pm for the restaurant to open. We could have gone on a ride to Ringlet to check out the roads that our company built – the Ringlet. But it was raining, so we just had some snacks and coffee at the food court nearby before dinner. After dinner, we went back to our apartment to rest.

15 Daisies

I love gerberas!

Next day, upon checking out, we went to the Avant Grand chocolate farm again – where I got the strawberry strudels. They have hydroponic plants there, which are as pretty as a big green rose. There is a small flower farm there so we took some photographs here. We also stopped by the Lavender Park. Entrance fee is RM5 for adults and RM3 for children below 12 years old. Senior citizens get in for free! After a short visit, we headed to Ipoh for late lunch before we parted ways back to Kuala Lumpur and to Taiping – to send off my aunts back to Port Weld and heading back to KL again there after..  that explained the backache I am having right now.. the long road rides. Sigh.


 We stopped by Ipoh for lunch, before parting ways to KL/Taiping


 Eating nga choi gai!


Taiping’s Cashier Market


 My favorite order in Taiping Cashier Market, the teow chew styled fishball char kueh teow!

Langkawi Island

We decided to go on an impromptu trip to Langkawi after we had yearly dim sum session at Mandarin Oriental in December. We went there 11 years ago! In fact, this was the first time I flew from Langkawi to KL! Thanks to AirAsia! We took the 8-hours back breaking bus rides to Kuala Muda, Kedah to catch a ferry to the island. This was where I slapped a man’s head really hard as I mistaken him for the girls. They were sitting in front of me in the ferry before I dozed off and decided to change their seats after the air conditioner above them was leaking. Yes! It was a hilarious moment and till today, the girls are laughing at me!

These bunch of girls were my main hang when I first started working. I was poor because I just started working and didn’t have much money to spend, so we usually would go on local weekend getaways. I am blessed to have known these girls. They are truly good friends I met from work.

I actually wrote a long post earlier in my gmail but couldn’t seem to locate it! So, this shall be a short post.

Just a few pointers on what to do in Langkawi.

1. We stayed in Resorts World Langkawi at Tanjung Malai. It doesn’t have its own beach but close enough to the waters to have nice view of the sea and a small jetty, for island hopping purposes.

DSC_8804aResorts World Langkawi

2. Resorts World Langkawi has a special package – Chillax package at RM296nett per person for 3D2N stay (Garden view), and comes with 3 options of freebies – RM100 dining voucher at Yellow Cafe/Sagar restaurant/The Cliff or island drop at Beras Basah Island with packed lunch (towel provided as well) or free flow drinks throughout your stay at the hotel (alcoholic and non alcoholic). We decided to choose the dining voucher at the Cliff, which the reception graciously assist us to make a booking for us for dinner and the island drop the next day! Value for money! This package is valid till end of this year.

DSC_8872aBeras Basah Island

3. Since we have been to most places in Langkawi during our first trip 11 years ago, we decided to skip Mahsuri’s tomb and Burnt Rice area (which to me are nothing much to see). This time round we wanted to go to the expansion bridge and cable car but unfortunately, I heard it has been closed for 22 months! A quick check on the internet though – it seemed somebody went there 2 weeks before us. Ah well.. forget it! Places of interests normally closed by 6 pm so be early if you want to visit places of interests.

4. Since it was off peak season this time, we managed to rent a Suzuki SX4 at Rm150 for 3 days. MyVi was priced at Rm140 for 3 days. You can get your cars at the arrival hall before going out of the airport.

DSC_8922aBlack Sand Beach/Pantai Pasir Hitam

DSC_8932aPantai Pasir Hitam

5. I really like the Black Sand Beach. I wish I had more time to lurk around snap photos here. It seems, when it rains, you will get to see the black sand. Otherwise, Langkawi was in a hot spell like KL the past one month and there wasn’t much black sand. We were lucky because it rained the two days when we were there.. so we managed to have a closer look at the black sand beach! The old jetty at the end of the shore has character and good for photo-op. This is where you buy fresh ikan bilis (anchovies) from the sea. Apparently, the fishermen would get a bulk of ikan bilis from the sea, placed them in a hot steamer in their fishing boats to cook them. When they arrived at the shore, the ikan bilis would be placed in oven to dry them up. You can either purchase ungutted ikan bilis without cleaning or if you have no time – you can purchase a pack of gutted ikan bilis  at higher price.

6. Langkawi Saga Shopping centre sells the cheapest chocolates!

7. We were introduced to myriads of beer brands from all over the world and spoil for choice! We ended buying Pelican vodka, Corona, Hoegaarden and Chang beer. Also, we bought some Taiwanese fruity beers which are rather good as well – lychee and grape flavor!

DSC_8864aGrilled seafood platter

8. Most restaurants we went didn’t serve really good food. Probably we have too high anticipation. The only place that did not disappoint us is the Cliff. The grilled seafood platter is really delicious! Also, our hotel serves really good spread of breakfast as well! And I simply love the packed lunch of turkey ham sandwich and grilled drummets for our island escapade! Not to mention the first lunch we had when we landed. We had some nasi goreng ayam paprik, mee goreng, mee bandung and nasi goreng kampong at Bella Restaurant along Cenang road.

9. Langkawi has changed so much since. It was a rather dead place with basically nothing much to eat but now, there’s plenty of shops along the busy Pantai Cenang road. It looked like Phuket really – with less crowd, cars and of course, dingy massage parlour!

DSC_8846aView from the Cliff restaurant

10. I wish I could spend more time on the beach! Other than Beras Basah Island, there’s actually a small stretch of beach right at the junction from Resorts World Langkawi before turning into Pantai Cenang road. We managed to take a look at it on the last day of our stay. Unfortunately, it was too hot to even get out from the car, so we simply stare at the beach in our air conditioned car! Haha!

11. There’s a new hang out place named Harbour Port, near Pantai Kok. The place is rather dead too… but there’s the famous bakery there – The Loaf where they also served food like pastas and sandwiches.

DSC_8993Idyllic life at Kuala Cenang

12. We chanced upon Tubotel hotel along Kuala Cenang during our aimless driving before going to the airport. I think it was a rather unique hotel, despite the rather secluded place! The water there is crystal clear! I don’t think I would stay here as I couldn’t stand the heat! I think it’s a place for young people to mingle.. and am too old for this!

To Seorak-san

27th April 2013, Saturday

The next morning, we woke up early to catch a bus to Seorak. Anyway, we saw the breakfast spread at the pantry and we were already missing Sylvia’s pantry. Sigh. I miss the bagels!

Beautiful cascading cherry blossoms overlooking Seorak-san

Once we got down at foothill of Seorak, we were greeted by beautiful cherry blossoms. Then, everyone starting to snap photos away! We were simply overexcited coming here! I for one, was super excited. We went to buy ticket to enter the Sogongwon Park, then walked towards the cable car’s booth to get our cable car tickets. We have to wait almost an hour for this. So it’s advisable to go to the ticketing counter, get your tickets then, camwhore all you want later.

The walkway around the waiting for cable car area

The place here is simply too scenic. I was glad that the girls encouraged me to slowly walk up to the peak, which we did! It was just a short hike – which I dislike. But, the hiking up was worth it. Haha. So here are some of the photos taken.

 photo DSC_2171_zps3a71b47e.jpgView from our cable car coming down

We almost didn’t want to leave this place! It’s very soothing and calming to see the river flowing, with view of endless mountains, a few shrines and pristine white pebbles.

We ended our stay in Sokcho earlier than expected. Since it’s going to be a 3 hour journey back to Seoul, we decided to go back earlier. After all the walking and hiking, I was very tired. Haha. So, I slept throughout the journey back to Seoul.

We checked in Boa Guesthouse in Hongdae because we couldn’t get a room at Lilian’s usual guesthouse – Ann’s guesthouse due to uncertainties. Actually, we planned to go to Joenju for a visit, then perhaps spend a night there but we didn’t get the free bus tickets going there. So, we booked last minute accommodation at Boa Guesthouse.

The very delicious Andung Chicken!

So, after checking in, we walked about Hongdae and found a place for food. The Andong chicken! It’s something like our Malaysian version of three cups chicken but, slightly spicier, with added Korean glass noodles. It was so delicious, we almost licked the wok clean! Towards the end of dinner, we supposed to ask for a bowl of rice to be added into the wok, still with gravy to clean up the wok. Somehow, we were full by then, so we didn’t ask for rice.

We were walking about and found it’s a good place to shop. Since Hongdae is a student area, we might get cheaper things here. Anyway, we were simply too exhausted to try anything so, we decided to call it a night after having a cup of coffee from Blanc.

A Visit to Udo Island

25th April 2013, Thursday

We decided to visit Udo Island on the last full day while we were in Jeju. We opted out from visiting the teddy bear museum, or the west side of Jeju – oh well, I’ve seen so many photos of my friends going to teddy bear museum, I guess it’s enough lah.

Amy said this place is also known as land of the yellow flowers. After the episode of camwhoring along the road to Seongsan Ichulbong yesterday, I guess we can never get enough of the beautiful, petite flowers! Our guesthouse host wrote a note on a piece of paper for us to bring along to the bus station, located some 15 minutes walk away. We got to the station, showed the ticketing officer the piece of paper and paid our bus fare. We waited for the bus and was gestured to get into the bus intending to go towards the harbour, for us to board a ferry to Udo Island.

It was a really bright but chilly morning. I could hardly open my eyes. The journey took more than an hour to get to the harbour. I don’t really remember how to get about it so I googled how to get there here for you – for ease of reference if you want to go. Here’s also another link.

The walk from the bus station to the harbour took us another 15 minutes. It was really freaking far (for me at least!)! Once we got there, we got our ferry tickets and took the 10-15 mins ferry to Udo Island. I was told Udo in Korean means a lying cow – lying down.. not telling lies kua? Haha.

As we got onto the ferry, almost everybody got excited with the seagulls. Since it was such a windy morning, the seagulls sort of “float” effortlessly in the wind, just like kites. They were waiting for us to feed them. So many visitors were feeding the seagulls till they actually sell prawn crackers on board of the ferry for visitors to buy and feed them to the seagulls.. imagine the amount of MSG these seagulls are taking! No wonder, they looked not so pretty now. Haha. There’s also a black little puppy on the ferry, and became an instant star. Everybody wanted to pat and feed him!

When we got down to the port, we were greeted by a mural of peanuts and lighthouse, made out of mosaic. I guess this is how we found out, this island is famous for its peanuts. So we will be eating some peanuts later! We didn’t rent an ATV because only one of us brought our driving license. As long as you show them your driving license, you will get to rent the ATV. So, we follow the majority of people and took a bus ride. We didn’t really understand what was going on because most explanations are done in their native language. We could hear laughter from local visitors and couldn’t help smiling ourselves to see that the bus drivers here take their job, rather jovially. I think we should just follow the crowd, as the buses come every 30 minutes to take us around the entire island.

Well, these are some of the snapshots taken on Udo Island. I love the coral beach the most! Seobin Baeksa! In fact, I brought back some of the sand which looked like rice grains back, as remembrance.

Seagulls welcoming us onto the ferry towards Udo-Island

Udo Bong – the cliff overseeing the sea

Tucking in the basic bibimbap

Dongangyeonggul Cave – where you get to ride a speedboat to visit, we didn’t

Must eat ice cream with peanuts!

My favorite beach, Seobin Baksa

Try spending more time near Seobin Baksa and have a cup of coffee, while watching the day goes by. It was worth it. There’s a Latte King facing the beach, so you can plonk your ass there and relax!

We didn’t buy peanuts to go back though. For other photos, please have a look here – Jeju and Udo photos.

All Around Jeju-do

24th April 2013, Wednesday

We were advised by the owner of our guesthouse to hire a driver to take us around, since it would save us more time and we would be able to go to more places. It wasn’t cheap to hire a bigger car for the 5 of us. It costs us around 170,000 won for 9 hours. That’s roughly RM500 for 9 hours. Anyway, we went ahead with it, since we only have two full days in Jeju-do, we might as well make the most of it. So these are the places that the driver will take you if you go to the “east” of Jeju. Jeju-do’s places of interests are divided into two – one is towards the east where the coastal roads are, which is more scenic or the west – where you go to places like museums, and also some sight seeing. I didn’t do much homework about Jeju, so I let the rest decide. We decided to go east – the coastal road area. It was indeed a good choice because the coastal area is simply so beautiful! Here are some pics for you guys. I think if you follow my instagram, you would have seen them!

Jeongbang Waterfall – it was said to be the only waterfall that falls direct to the sea

Fresh and juicy strawberries at 5-day interval market

Seopjikoji – Coastal view

On our way to Seongsan Ichulbong

Seongsan Ichulbong, where you get to see a volcano crater and also women divers, looking for oyster

Jeju Stone Park

Toppoki near Seogwipo, where we stayed

I can safely say, I think we covered most of the places. I think the place that I like most is probably Seopjikoji. It has a nice coastal line, kinda reminds me of Melbourne’s Great Ocean Road. The walk up the area is not so challenging, unlike Seongsan Ichulbong – well, we cheated. We didn’t go up the crater. See from pictures enough lah. LOL!

Also, remember to try the cuttle fishes there. They are very fresh, lightly smoked with salt. Most of the places we went were very well maintained and there’s hardly any rubbish around. The toilets are all so clean! Eventhough it’s spring and not supposed to be so cold, it’s best to bring along your jacket because the wind could be very chilly! I can’t imagine if it’s winter!

Try to plan your day by checking the weather forecast. Normally, it’s very accurate. Also, must try the strawberries there. They are sweet and juicy! I think you can ask them if you can pick the strawberries yourself because I think they put some not so fresh ones at the bottom of the box we bought. :(

The locals back at Seogwipo are rather friendly lot. When we asked an elderly ajusi where can we find toppoki, he was talking rather loudly and gestured us to follow him. I think the entire market people knew we were going to have toppoki for dinner. LOL!

All in all, it was a really eventful day. We came back sharp at 6 pm and went out to have a walk around Seogwipo area where we stayed and had some street food.

Hmmm… do you notice most of the places name start with a “S”. I wonder why.