Friday, January 31, 2014

Day Three (Up to the Highlands): Ipoh - Cameron Highlands - Kuala Lumpur Trip 2013

The third day started peacefully with a relaxing walk past the historically important Kinta River to our breakfast destination; which, in my dad's words, was thankfully not another dim sum restaurant! 

Eu Tong Sen - a street many in Singapore would identify as a main ingress to Chinatown was the name of a Penang-born magnate who had many businesses in Ipoh! On a side note, he was the same man who expanded Eu Yan Sang into a chain of traditional Chinese medicine stores in this region. You may read his wikipedia page here

Remember i was sharing the enormous amount of bird poos found outside the shophouses in Ipoh? Some shop owners solved the problem by planting steel wires on high platforms where the birds would likely roost for the night. 

Breakfast at Sin Yoon Loong, said to be the innovator for the popular white coffee! You may read my review here although i have to warn you i wasn't satisfied with the caffeinated beverage!

So much so that I had to source for another place to satisfy my caffeine addiction. I could have gone back to Nam Heong but i figured it would be great to check out the less famous shops. 

That brought me to Lim Kopi - in the Hokkien dialect, this means "drink coffee". In the future, if i ever wanted to setup a food business, i would name it as aptly, somewhere along the line of "Jiak Png", "Jiak Cai" or "Jiak Ba". 

The white coffee was so much better in Lim Kopi (please disregard the soggy Chinese crullers) with a thicker, smoother consistency and a much richer fragrance! 

Do keep in mind that the prices were much higher compared to the two other traditional coffee-shops we went to although the premium can be justified by the nicer decor. I would have loved to try their special fried rice (one was said to be very very eggy on the menu) but was too full!!!

Renovation work to spruce up the dilapidated shophouses; Ipoh was said to be the next one (the first two were Penang and Malacca) that might be awarded the UNESCO heritage status which means it would be an opportune time to purchase some of these properties! 

It was only 8.30 am and this shop was already selling roast delights?!?! Anyway, it was listed on the food trail map for popiah and satay. 

Another colonial building. Singapore has had such buildings. Unfortunately, development takes precedence over history given the limited land we had, and many of them were torn down in the past few decades. 

Memory Lane - a flea market would take over the road every Sunday! It's a pity i didn't plan for a weekend stay in Ipoh and hence, am unable to share more on what to expect. By the way, memory lane is very near to French Hotel.

10 am - the private car with a chauffeur arrived to bring us up to the highlands!

Drove past this cliff that was part of the larger limestone cluster that housed the numerous cave temples we visited on day two. I must have passed by this landmark no less than three times the day before! 

Guanyin Cave Temple! Navigation in Ipoh wasn't very difficult in my memory and i am seriously contemplating driving up to Ipoh (from Singapore) the next time. I want to visit the Lost World theme park!! 

Wah, an old school theme park! *like*

There are quite a number of ways to Cameron Highlands and the one from Singapore has many sharp turns and abrupt corners; often resulting in a terrible motion sickness coupled with a few bags of puke!

This new route from Ipoh was said to be safer with wider roads and it was the first time i didn't experience a single bout of motion sickness! Furthermore, not once did i feel that i am about to say goodbye to this world. 

Aboriginal huts along the road - we didn't stop but if you do, you could get supplies of wild honey (mom was so regretting not getting any) and even tongkat ali (a herb valued for its aphrodisiac value! 

I thought we would be reaching in no time at all when i saw farms with plastic canvases! Truth was, we were only halfway through. 

Kampong Raja, the town nearest to Ipoh was still three kilometers! Brinchang, the place where we would rest our feet, was over twenty kilometers away!

I got the feeling that Kampong Raja was a major wholesale centre with many plantations and farms sighted along the scenic way. 

Unlike the other route from Singapore, it appeared to have limited places of attraction for visitors to stop by. 

The imposing words "Lavender Garden" were hard to miss! From the outside, this flower plantation at Tringkap (another town before Brinchang) looked interesting even though we didn't stop over. :(

Kea Valley - the moment i reached this place, i know it would not be long before we reached Brinchang! For those who are unaware, Kea Valley houses the ever-popular-with-Singaporeans resort; Equatorial hotel.

After close to a hundred and ten minutes of travelling on the road, we finally arrived in the super cooling Brinchang! The one-way private transport in an air-conditioned sedan was arranged with Jammy from My Ipoh Holiday. You may email her at for the rate! 

Checking in to Rosa Passadena! Kindly check out this link for my review of this hotel. 

As we still have about two hours before the start of Agro Delight Tour, it's time to roam around the area and see if there has been any change since my last visit two years ago!

Honestly, nothing much has changed.

Even Kavy Hotel was still operating its business, albeit with a larger ground presence after taking over the space of what used to be Strawberry Moment Dessert Cafe. For my less than stellar review of Kavy Boutique Hotel, please click here

Wanted to bring my parents to Oldies and Goodies restaurant for lunch but it had already closed down! Hence, lunch was fulfilled in a coffee shop further down the road; the chicken rice i had was pretty good with the exception of the rather bland rice. 

Time checked; 1 pm. We still have ample time to trek up to the nearby Big Red Strawberry Farm!

Small hillside cabbage plantation spotted along the way! Hm..... there wasn't any clear demarcation and i wonder if the huge, leafy cabbages were free for anyone to pluck. 

Before reaching the said entrance of Big Red Strawberry Farm, there were quite a number of shops selling food and accessories like the cheery windmills in the above picture. 

I bought a strawberry Popsicle that wasn't as good as i remember it to be. Perhaps because i had the commercialized brand this time. The brand-less one was way better!

Freshly steamed sweet potatoes could be better if they were sweeter! 

Many visitors were crowding around this adorable little girl who was selling sticks of strawberries coated in chocolate (fondue style)! I had the suspicion it was the girl who was the main attraction. 

Big Red Strawberry Farm - many tours would actually make a stopover at this attraction so i would recommend that you make a separate visit after the tour where you can make your purchases less hurriedly. 

For example, you can freely pick the type of cacti (out of the thousands on display) you want for your office cubicle or a pot of flora for your house in a more relaxed manner. 

In addition, the tour guide would also be dispensing education information that are actually quite interesting but would likely be disregarded if your mind is perpetually pre-occupied on what to buy. Of course, my recommendation is only applicable if you stay in Brinchang! 

A retail shop in the Big Red Strawberry Farm has what was arguably the biggest range of strawberry related products and accessories in Cameron Highlands; marshmallows with strawberry fillings, shower gel with strawberry fragrances etc! 

Time to walk back to our hotel where we were supposed to be picked up for the highlight of this trip; the Agro Delight Tour that was arranged online with Titiwangsa Tours! 

You may check out the following links for Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of the Tour. 

After putting our barang barang in the hotel after the tour, we took to the street again! Walking would help to digest the food we had over the Halal steamboat dinner at Hotel Titiwangsa. 

Despite the full stomach, it was so hard to resist the temptation of drinking hot soup and munching warm chocolate coated strawberries in such cool weather! 

Nevertheless, i succeeded in not getting anything! Not even the delicious aroma of food sold in the night market can break my determination! For an update on the pasar malam, please click here

End of Day Three! 


For Day One, click HERE
For Day Two, click HERE

For an overview of my trip, 
Click HERE.

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