Sunday, August 23, 2015

Malaysia: Cameron Highlands

Long weekends are meant to travel and relax, hence we found ourselves braving the 10-12 hours road trip spanning at least 563 km from Singapore to Cameron Highlands, Malaysia. Its name was derived from Sir William Cameron, a British surveyor who discovered the place in 1885.

Having almost the same land area of 712 sq km like Singapore, stationed at about 1500 meters above sea level, Cameron is a greenery kingdom that offers cold temperature from 15-25 degree Celsius, you might fail to recognize you are in a tropical country.  

Our three days, two nights stay is packed with local agricultural tourism, food pleasure, relaxation and purely enjoying God's amazing creation.

Thanks to Belle who found a great deal including return couch transport with Konsortium, 2 nights stay at Strawberry Park Resort, 2 day buffet breakfast and 1 complimentary full course dinner smoke set, all for only 197 SGD. Then we just availed tour packages from Titiwangsa travel and tours upon reaching Brinchang town.

They offer several travel packages for you to maximize your stay at the highlands - Leisure, Nature Discovery, Agro Delight and Sunrise Spectacular at a favorable price. We booked the last 3 tours but personally joining Nature Discovery and Agro Delight tours is sufficient to give you full experience of Cameron. But if you are feeling adventurous, you can opt for unguided tours and mountain trekking.

Here are the highlights of the our relaxing nature escapade in this garden of Eden

Accommodation at Strawberry Park Resort alone can make a huge difference if you wish to do stay-cation in this cozy hotel.

But I'm sure you wouldn't want to miss the outdoors in Cameron. My favourite spot was the tea farm. Cameron is the home to the largest tea-growing field in Malaysia. The tea plant(camelia sinensis) covers the lofty hills and mountains of Cameron, giving the tourists a picturesque backdrop for any photo. We visited BOH(Best Of Highlands) plantation which is the largest tea estate in Cameron.

Flower power with the blossoming colors of Chrysanthemum in white and yellow carefully cultivated in the flower garden.

We are also charmed in Cactus Point featuring wide array of thickened, fleshy and drought adaptive plant in different shapes, sizes and colors.  

More than 6500 feet above sea level navigating Mossy Forest boardwalk. Because we are not wearing proper hiking shoes, we opted to pass through the boardwalk, but if you are feat-spirited by all means do the nature trail walk to get a closer look in the forest.

Hydroponic Vegetable Farm. Due to the rising value of land in Cameron, farmers found a way to grow plants without the use of soil. Our guide demonstrated how different plant variety of the same pH level range are cultivated using coconut fiber where the roots of the plants are grown.

Finally a travel without food can be the most boring trip, hence we are treating our guts with cuisine expedition.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Girlie Phone Home!

Being an overseas Filipino worker(OFW) one of the precious things in life that you will be missing is the face to face conversation with your family. Dialogues may sound ordinary but if you are a thousand miles away from home, you'll start to appreciate the seemingly everyday routine and consider it as priceless moments. Simple joys that remind you, you are not alone, never was and never will. A reference point where you can always turn back to, that somewhere across the boundless blue seas, someone cares and thinks of you. Hearing their voices is like a sanctuary that gets you through another day or week or months in this country. Thanks to technology like Facebook, Viber and WhatsApp for making distance easier to bear by allowing people to connect freely anytime, anywhere.

Here's some of the funniest and heartiest phone conversation I had with my loved ones back home which are worth remembering.

conversation with seven yo nephew:
Ramiah: Tita, wala na po akong relo.
(Auntie, I don't have watch anymore)
Girlie:(Kinabahan, baka magpabili ng relo) Oh bakit?
(A bit worried that he might ask for a new watch) Oh Why?
Ramiah: Eh kasi po lahat ng oras ko binigay ko na sayo!
(Because I already gave all my time to you)
Girlie: Auhhhh (Such a sweet kid, want to hug you right now)

conversation with mom/Nanay:
Nanay: Anak, bumili pala kami ng lupa, Kinash na namin.
(Sweetheart, we bought a land and paid it in cash)
Girlie: Wow! San kayo kumuha ng pera?
(Wow! Where did you get the money?)
Nanay: Pinapalit na namin lahat ng SGD na binigay mo.
(We exchange all SGD bills that you gave us.)
Girlie: Okay, saang lupa?
(Okay, which land?)
Nanay: Sa St. Michael's Memorial place
(In St. Michael's Memorial place)
Girlie: Ohhh (Memorial lot pala LOL in my mind) Okay yan Nay, practical!
(Ohhh (memorial place LOL in mind) that's good mom, you're being practical!)

Looking forward to more candid and crazy dialogues with these guys who I love and miss big time. :D