My first 24 hours in Malaysia took me by surprise in the best way possible
Hanging out in the Boh Tea Plantation
Hopping off the plane I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I had been advised not to go to Malaysia alone as a female solo traveler and definitely don’t bring valuables (albeit, mostly by my mother and extended family).
Well, I brought both my laptop and camera, therefore I was a little nervous. I was scheduled to fly into Ipoh and take a long 2-hour taxi to the Cameron Highlands where I would be staying for the next few days.
Mohamad at an Awesome Buddhist Temple in Ipoh
Turns out, Uber works, so I ordered a car. That’s when I met my awesome driver and now friend, Mohamad.
Komodo Dragon Looking Lizard Crossing the Road
10 minutes into our journey Mohamad and I saw a komodo dragon looking lizard cross the road (apparently called a water monitor) and it was insane. We actually had to swerve his car to get around the lizard because it was so big!
Shortly after, I learned that Malaysia also has wild tigers and there was one case where a tiger attacked a villager. The tigers you see in zoos are mostly from Malaysia actually, hence the name, ‘Malay Tiger’…pretty crazy stuff.
Honey Collected by Villagers from a Giant Beehive in a Tree
Shortly after the lizard crossing incident, Mohamad and I passed a tiny honey stand alongside the road. We made a quick U-turn and went up to check out the honey.
Taking a Quick Honey Pitstop
There were 2 different kinds of honey being sold for 20 RM (~$5USD). The darker honey is retrieved from the tops of trees by villagers, while the lighter version is derived from underground hives.
Dark and Light Honey
It’s very labor intensive work to extract the honey and the locals must wear protection, too. I know all about this process because Mohamad and I also went to a bee museum.
The Bee Museum
The bee museum was super lit because you could see all of the different kinds of hives throughout Malaysia. The bees here are giant and the hives are also equally super-sized.
Part of a Giant Malaysian Beehive
Outside of the shop more honey and amazing dried strawberries are sold. The dried strawberries here are a must-have and possibly the most delicious dessert I’ve eaten in weeks other than bubble tea in Taiwan.
Speaking of tea, the Cameron Highlands is extremely famous for their stunning tea plantations. Mohamad took me to the Boh Tea Planation near the Mossy Forrest, and boy was it striking.
One of the Boh Tea Plantation Views
The tea bushes form a mesmerizing pattern alongside the mountains. It was one of the most captivating landscapes I’ve seen throughout all of Asia.
Hanging out in the Tea Fields
There are little pathways where you can actually walk between the bushes, however most people just go for a few pictures and then leave. It was an unreal experience.
After the tea plantation we headed to the Rose Garden. It was really nice and perfect for a leisurely stroll.
One of the Walkways in the Rose Garden
The Rose Garden has so many different walkways and sections to explore. There is even a little pond with koi fish in addition to the abundance of flowers.
Looking at the Koi Fish
In addition to the beautiful roses and flowers, including Malaysia’s state flower, the Hibiscus. Some of the roses were huge, too, about the size of my head. It was relaxing and the entry fee was only 5 RM (~1 USD).
However, our journey didn’t stop at the Rose Garden, but continued to the Agrotechnology Park. The architecture clearly had a British influence, most likely due to the fact that the Cameron Highlands was colonized in the early 20th century.
The Spacious Park
It was beautiful and I enjoyed it more than the rose garden. The walk was very spacious and there were plenty of flowers to add to the park’s aesthetic.
Swarm of Koi Fish Eating our Fish Food
In addition to the 5 RM entrance fee, for an extra 1 RM (.25 USD), we were supplied food to feed a swarm of Koi fish. It was really nice because the koi all crowd in one spot and you feel like a fish king, or the ‘salt bae’ meme, whichever you prefer.
The park is very quiet and a great place to unwind. There is also a little section with dried fruit and food as well for souvenirs.
Steamboat for Dinner
Sadly, after the Agrotechnology Park, Mohamad and I parted ways, at least for the day. Nevertheless, my adventures didn’t’ stop there.
My Steamboat Dinner
After such a busy day, I was ready to take it easy and grab some delicious food. Steamboat is a very popular local dish in Cameron Highlands where you cook your own food in a boiling pot of broth, similar to hot pot in China and Taiwan.
My steamboat meal was very satisfying, filled with fresh fish, meat, and plenty of vegetables. It’s a good food option to try at least once in the Cameron Highlands.
Cheap, High-Quality Massage
After eating my weight in steamboat, I was super psyched to see that there was a special for massages in the area. I thought cheap massages were pretty much exclusive to Thailand, but nope- I was wrong!
For 68RM (~$15 USD) I was able to get a full body massage for half an hour and a complimentary tea. Maybe it’s not the cheapest throughout all of Asia, but it’s a deal far better than I’ve ever seen in the U.S.
The massage was so amazing and relaxing. It was the absolute perfect way to end the day.
Malaysia is Amazing from the Very Beginning
Malaysia definitely impressed me. I was only there for 24 hours and it was one of the most enjoyable and relaxing times I’ve had in southeast Asia. So far, Malaysia is a paradise that keeps getting better and better.
One of Mohamad’s Pitstop Looking Points on the way to the Cameron Highlands
If you’re looking for a similar tour, awesome company, or just a ride to the Cameron Highlands, you can contact my driver and friend, Mohamad. Message him for his rates through WhatsApp at +60195073914. He’s the best.