Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Agro Delight Tour - Part 1 [Vegetable, Watercress & Cactus Farms] @ Cameron Highland [Malaysia] by Titiwangsa Tours

I was adamant that i would not be signing up for the boring countryside tour this time to Cameron Highlands, after knowing there were a lot more tours to choose from! 

Therefore, we decided to sign up for the Agro Delight Tour offered by Titiwangsa Tours. Remember, i was with my parents and the last tour we had in Cameron Highlands was a bit too strenuous for their creaky bones and weak hearts. For those who are not too sure what i am talking about, click here

Anyway, the mini van for agro tour reached Rosa Passadena at around 2.30pm and proceeded to Equatorial Hotel, reaching at 3.00pm, to pick up another group.

Vegetable Farm
First stop - the place where we can see using our own eyes how vegetables are grown. Actually, that's what this tour is all about; agriculture which would likely be interesting and educational for city dwellers

For a semi urban man like myself who has been through kampong life, this was not an eye-opener although it was a pleasure to immerse myself in greenery under super cool weather.

This man, Mr Jason Cheung, was a superbly jovial man who didn't stop making us laugh at his jokes yet at the same, impart the farming knowledge to laymen like us. 

Due to the terrain, many vegetables were planted on hillsides and i, despite my fear of heights, have to challenge by climbing as high as i could to take this picture.

Another side of the farm which had a small corn plantation! I would say more about the incredibly famous Cameron Highlands corns later.

The father doing the same for the spectacular view! We would have climbed up higher if not for the muddy ground ahead of us. Since i only had one pair of shoes with me, i decided not to risk having to endure relentless nagging from my parents.

Checking out the vegetables in their natural form. For one, i didn't know cauliflower comes with leaves! The ones i saw in markets were just the white portion! 

Young strawberries! 

Fresh vegetables and fruits for sale here! Unlike those sold in other places in the highlands, you are assured that most of these vegetables and fruits were freshly farmed just a few meters away.

Dad taking photographs in the flower garden attached to the shop. He has not been touching cameras for a long time and i hope he rekindles his interest in the hobby he fervently pursued when he was younger. 

Don't these flowers look like mini Chinese lanterns?!

Jason took out an ear of corn, removed the soft husks, cut it up into smaller pieces and offered everyone of us. We were skeptical as it was raw and god could only imagine how tardy it could taste! 

It was freaking delicious and so juicy!! The taste was similar to Chinese chestnuts, albeit sweeter and without that awful residue. The lady boss highlighted that many sold in the nearby markets were actually imported from Ipoh but continued to be branded as Cameron Highlands' corns. Obviously, they were not as nice! 

Even though the price was a bit steep and it was a long way back home, we bought six ears for RM 20! To be honest, i regretted not buying more!!! 

Leaving for the next item on the itinerary. For those who wanted to try the Cameron Highlands corns may keep in mind the 188 Vegetable Farm (the location was quite near to Kea Farms; you could even walk from Equatorial Hotel).

Watercress Farm
The mini van trudged for less than a hundred meters before stopping and asking us to step out. We were like "ha"? That was hardly a ride and we could have just walked!

Nevertheless, we were pampered with a breathtaking sight of layered terrace farming. 

Ever been to the rose centre as part of the countryside tours? I remember climbing all the way up to the main signboard brandishing the words "Rose Centre". Once again, you can also check out the post here.

The group proceeding down the slope for a clearer picture of the watercress farm. 

A simple altar was installed, likely to protect the area from landslides which are extremely common in Cameron Highlands, so much so that tourism is badly affected whenever there is news of yet another landslide. 

Watercress ponds; although they appeared deep, the depth of each pond was just a few inches. Notice those dark green patches? It means they were nearing to being harvested. 

Would you eat your vegetables if you see snails and worms? You should as the existence of those "pests" only serves to remind us that pesticide was not used. 

Dad absolutely loves the scenery and asked me to take quite a few pictures of him, for him! 

Cactus Farm
I am not looking forward to cactus point; not because i am afraid of those spiky plants. Instead, i have seen so many of them in my trips to Cameron Highlands that they no longer fascinated me. 

Pictures of what you can get from the cactus farm. You are free to purchase although i understand there could be restrictions from AVA on importation of plants and seedlings. 

Dad again; he is quite a cam whore!! Hahaha, no lah, i was the one who persuaded him to be my "model" as it serves as good memories in the family's photo albums.

More Cameron Highland corns!! It was cheaper at 7 ears for RM 20. The taste was as exquisite and i had to resist really badly not to buy any! :(

Does this remind you of those paper cranes we used to fold for origami!? 

As the others were marveling at cacti of various shapes, sizes, length, width, height, i chose to indulge in herbal eggs! They could seriously do with a stronger herbal brew!

Even the buttered corn was not terribly good; by the way, the Cameron Highlands corns should be eaten raw!! You can choose to cook them but the exquisiteness would not be as apparent.

Typical of Cameron Highland's weather, the sky started pouring and our dear Jason performed what a good tour guide would always do; by ensuring the customers remain dry. 

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How to Book?
You may check out Titiwangsa Tours website at http://www.titiwangsatours.com. Booking can be done online and payment would be made after the tour has ended. The reason why i chose Titiwangsa this time was because they agreed to have a Mandarin speaking guide. 

Price
RM 65 per adult. There is more to the tour and you would find them in part 2, which should be published by the end of this week! I have too much backlog to clear! 

For Part 2 of the tour, click HERE.
For the last part of the tour, click HERE.

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