During my family’s vacation here in KL, we all went to Cameron Highlands for a quick getaway from the city and to catch a cool breeze. My mom and her boyfriend drove up first and we followed during the weekend when Alvin had no work.
For those who aren’t familiar with Cameron Highlands, it’s Malaysia’s version of the Philippines’ Baguio. It’s a district of the state of Pahang which is high up in the mountains.
Since it’s in the mountains, Cameron Highlands is pretty cold and can be a great escape from the rotisserie that is Kuala Lumpur. Seriously. What is it with the heat these days? I feel like I’m one of those Kenny Rogers’ chickens every time I’m out in the city streets. And if you start telling me that it’s already summer, I’ve got a comeback for you: Heavy. Afternoon. Rains! Climate Change right there, everybody.
My husband and I took the longer, safer, and more scenic route to Cameron Highlands when we drove going there last January. It was a long drive since it’s quite far away – 4 hours on a regular day. But since it was our lucky day (NOT), our trip coincided with road repairs taking up one of the lanes on the narrow, zig-zag roads going up to Cameron Highlands.
The traffic jam was pretty bad and we stopped a couple of times to go start sightseeing while waiting for the cars in the other lane to use the narrow, normally 2-lane road first.
Instead of waiting in the car, we decided to park on one side of the road and when we had the chance and enter a couple of the gardens/attractions on the way up to Tanah Rata (the heart of Cameron Highlands) where our hotel was.
One of them was Cameron Lavender.
You pay a minimal fare of RM5 (Php60.93, EUR1.28, USD1.38) for adults and RM3 (Php36.56, EUR0.77, USD0.83) for kids to enter the greenhouse-turned-attraction.
My impression of the place is that it’s more of an attraction for kids or for people who love flowers.
I’m the type of girl who loves flowers but not really into planting them. Don’t get me wrong though. I think they’re beautiful in bouquets but even more beautiful untouched. However, I don’t think I’d get on with gardening or growing my own flowers since they will lose their novelty to me. And let’s face it – I’m not the least bit patient.
I’m the total opposite of my grandmother who, when we took her on a trip to Europe, would ask my mother to take her photo with every kind of flower she saw in the parks, the sidewalks, or the neighbour’s plant boxes. She’s obsessed with plants and with growing flowers (especially orchids) and would often wonder and plan how she can smuggle the European flowering plants into Manila and grow them there despite the climate. She’s crazy-adorable like that.
I’d say that this is more of a place for people like her who liked and appreciate plants and the process of gardening or kids because of the theme of the place. Otherwise, it gets boring after 5 minutes.
My husband and I found the plants beautiful but we stayed a maximum of 15 minutes in Cameron Lavender. We just walked around briskly, took a couple of photos, and that was enough for us.
If you’re into strawberries, you can also pick your own for a minimal fee at Cameron Lavender. It seemed like a pretty fun activity and a lot of kids and their parents were doing it. There were also couples who were picking flowers (also for a minimum fee). The blooms in Cameron Lavender are mostly daisies and roses and they’re actually pretty.
Oh and if you’re not into the hassle picking your own fruit, Cameron Lavender also has packed, ready to eat strawberries that you can purchase.
There’s a small cafe inside Cameron Lavender where you can have some coffee, tea, and cake but during our visit, not a lot of people were trying it out. There’s also a stall that sells Hokkaido Ice Cream in the colour – you guessed it – lavender. Honestly, I wasn’t that intrigued to try it. I like lavender in my bath salts and my air freshener not in my food. 😛 Oh, and I was still pretty full from lunch so I had to pass.
Strawberry Milk Tea? Don’t mind if I do! 😉 Tea is the main product produced in Cameron Highlands with several tea plantations present in the area.
Visitors can also buy souvenirs at Cameron Lavender’s gift shops. One of which sells everything lavender. From toys to scented candles, to soaps, and even candies.
There are also other stalls that sell shirts, decor, handicraft, and the whole shebang of usual touristy souvenirs – don’t worry though – not everything in the other stalls is lavender in colour.
Verdict: Cameron Lavender is okay for a quick stop during the long drive to Tanah Rata if you have children or if you’re a flower and plant enthusiast like my grandma. But unless there’s a huge traffic jam and you want to pass the time seeing pretty flowers instead of waiting in the car, it’s okay to skip it.
You can stretch your legs in the sidewalk and get back in the car quickly instead of parking there and waiting for the traffic jam to get a bit better. 🙂
More posts on the Cameron Highlands series later, you guys. I actually have this huge backlog for travel posts so I wish you’ll bear with me. <3 Time to write is really quite elusive. But I’m trying! 😉