After our week in George Town, we headed to the Cameron Highlands to cool off in the mountains.
It's not the easiest area to get around without a car, taxis are relatively expensive for Malaysia and the buses are infrequent. So rather than go on one of the tours, we decided to do an extended version of jungle trek one, which took us to the top of Gunung Brinchang, then past the Mossy Forest to the Boh Tea Plantation. It's fairly challenging if you're not used to mountain treks, but achievable (there's quite a bit of climbing involved, so not recommended for anyone with mobility issues). Maps for all the jungle treks are available at the shops and tourist information centres in Tanah Rata, but the route is clearly signposted and once you're on the path it's obvious which way to go.
The start of the trek is a short bus or taxi ride from Tanah Rata, and is signposted. Follow the road up to the jungle, then walk around the construction area and hop up a little ladder into the jungle.
In the jungle, things get a lot steeper and very muddy. I was covered after about 5 minutes, and I don't think the trek would be possible if it had been raining. There is more climbing than walking involved, and it looked daunting at first, but the roots formed natural steps in most places and so it was fairly easy to bound up the mountain (please avert your eyes from my hiking outfit).
The last third of the 'walk' is much harder, full-on climbing up vertical tree roots and hoisting ourselves up on branches to get to the top of the mountain. At this point I did wish that I had never suggested the trek (this thought was vocalised very often and very loudly during that last half hour), but we made it!
At the top there's a viewing platform and you can see the other mountains in the distance.
This is the end of the trek, but instead of going back (there was no way I was doing that!), you can take the (much easier) road down the mountain. This passes the Mossy Forest, which is one of the big attractions of the area, but is pretty much just a forest with a bit more moss than usual, so not really a highlight for us.
The road leads back to Brinchang and winds through farms and tea plantations. The views are stunning, we stopped so many times for photos and to just take it all in.
Just off the main road is the Boh Tea Plantation. There are houses and temples for the workers nestled into the hills, and a cafe overlooking the plantation where you can sample the tea.
To get back there are two options: score a lift (preferable) or continue on the long road back to Brinchang. We ended up walking most of the way before we spotted a taxi.
After a full day of walking, dust yourself off and get to The Smokehouse for some scones with cream and jam in an English country garden.
If you're planning a trip to Malaysia, take a look at my other posts for lots more tips.