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Category: Southeast Asia Page 2 of 3

The peaceful Cameron Highlands

So we arrived in the Cameron Highlands late morning (traveling from Chenderoh Lake) and checked-in to a small but cute guesthouse there! We then walked about 5 minutes to the town/high street to get a light lunch before our excursion. Our excursion consisted of us all bundling into a large 4 x 4 and having a local guide take us to the tourist stops in the Cameron Highlands.

 

They’re known for producing their own tea so we first went to a ‘Boh’ (one of the top tea producers in Asia) tea factory. They had the actual tea factory, a room about the history of ‘Boh’ tea, a gift shop and a café. A couple of us decided to sample the tea in the café, I went for the lychee rose tea and it was lovely!

Our guide then took us to a ‘Strawberry Farm’. In the gift shop, they sold all kinds of strawberry products. I decided to sample a fresh strawberry muffin in the café! We then hopped back in the 4 x 4 and headed to ‘Mossy Forest’, a nature reserve in Malaysia.

 

Georgetown and Chenderoh Lake, Malaysia

At 6am we took the ferry to get off the island of Koh Samai. After stopping for breakfast, we continued our journey to the border crossing (to head to Malaysia!). We then drove another 3 hours to get to our hotel in Georgetown. Georgetown was very arty. There’s a lot of art galleries/museums etc. to visit. As well as cute boutiques and cafés. In the evening, our tour guide took us to an awesome outdoor food market with live music. Interesting decor and the music was pretty good! The food stalls were all different types of cuisines, Malaysian, Vietnamese, Mexican, Japanese etc.
travelwithkay: Eating out can be quite expensive in Malaysia (in comparison to countries like Thailand) so food markets are a great way to experience the local cuisine/culture at a lower cost.

We spent most of the next day touring around Georgetown with our tour guide as well as a local Malaysian guide. We saw a few different markets, Kek Lok Si Temple, Georgetown waterfront, Botanic Gardens (a huge monkey park!). We were taken to a traditional Malaysian restaurant for lunch and then strolled back to the hotel – looking at the amazing street art along the way.

The next morning we left Georgetown to head to our ‘homestay’ on the Chenderoh Lake. It was a small island village and we stayed with a typical Malaysian family. They had a largish farmhouse on the lake. The house was surrounded by all sort of greenery and had small paths leading to the lodges we stayed in. The lodges were more civilised than I was expecting…2 bedroom lodges (2 people per room) with en suites and sharing a lounge area and veranda! After being shown to our rooms, our host took us on a small walk around the village which was very interesting. We then had a couple of hours of free time before supper so people either went kayaking or relaxed in the hammocks. To eat, the family taught us how those would traditionally dine. So we ate on the floor and the host taught us how to eat with our hands! What an experience!

 

 

 

Koh Samui island vibes…

So we started the day off with a continental buffet breakfast at the resort in Surat Thani and then started our journey to the port to catch the ferry to the island of Koh Samui. The island is known for having beautiful beaches with clear, warm waters, fresh seafood and a vibrant nightlife. The island is just off of Thailand’s east coast in the Gulf of Thailand. For dinner that evening, our tour guide took us to a night market that did all kinds of delicious food at a reasonable price. As well as offering extremely cheap cocktails there!

The following day we were supposed to have a day trip to Ang Thong Marine Park but our tour actually had to cancel it due to severe weather/storm warnings. Ang Thong National Park is made up of 42 islands so we would have done an island hopping tour as well as spending some time snorkelling so it was a real shame to miss out on that. Instead we went to see a temple nearby, spent some time at a stunning look-out point of the island, visited a water fall, and had lunch at a local restaurant – I went for a fried pork dish with vegetables and rice. We then headed back to the hotel for a bit of free time before dinner.

A few of us went to explore the local beach (about a 15 minute walk from our hotel) which was beautiful…clear waters and really fine, white sand. I then went to have a traditional Thai massage. That was a real experience. Rather painful at first!

We later met in the lobby to head out for dinner. We walked to a traditional Thai restaurant in town. There was then a big beach party going on that we went to. There were dancers, performers and all sorts going on! I can certainly see why the island has a reputation for having a vibrant nightlife!

 

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