Friday, 3 June 2016

Vesak 2016 Roadtrip: Kuala Kangsar & Cameron Highland

Roadtrip to Kuala Kangsar

Wesak 2016 Roadtrip
21 - 23 May 2016 

Saturday (21 May)

0800 - 1000 : Penang to Kuala Kangsar
1010 - 1050 : Coffee break at The Shop
1100 - 1200 : Lunch at Laksa Pokok Limau
1230 - 1530 : Kuala Kangsar to Cameron Highland
1530 - 1600 : Check-in hotel. Rest
1830 - 2030 : Brinchang Night Market

Sunday (22 May)

0900 - 1000 : Sungai Palas Garden (BOH Tea Estate)
1030 - 1130 : Cameron Lavender Garden
1200 - 1340 : Agro Technology Park in MARDI
1400 - 1500 : Big Red Strawberry Farm (Cactus Valley)
1630 - 1700 : Raju's Hill Strawberry Farm
1700 - 1730 : Kea Farm Market

Monday (23 May)

1130 - 1145 : Check-out
1200 - 1230 : Last minute plant shopping at Kea Farm Market. Stop at Lavender Garden for ice cream
1430 - 1530 : Lunch at Restoran Tasik Raban, Ipoh. Head home~


Expenses
Fuel - refuel twice (but idc to count RM)
Accommodation - less than RM500 for 2 nights (deluxe room with 1 king bed)
Dine - between RM100 to RM150 per day for 2 - 3 pax
Attraction Fees & Shopping - between RM200 to RM300

You can save on accommodation if you go in group and don't overspend on food like I did. Buy souvenirs that you like and use. Those gorgeous roses in pots? They'll die if your idea of taking care of a plant is limited to 'water the plant'.

***

We left Penang in gloomy weather. The rain had barely stopped and fogs were blanketing the nearby hills. Our journey was quite smooth despite heavy downpour in several spots along the highway. It was still drizzling when we reached The Shop, Kuala Kangsar.

The Shop Coffee
Hot chocolate and coffee

The Shop Kuala Kangsar
Triple chocolate cheese cake

After almost an hour, there was no sign of the drizzle stopping. So we decided to just brave the rain for the delicious laksa with fried egg!

Laksa Pokok Limau
Laksa telur goreng in Laksa Pokok Limau

Craving for good coffee and delicious laksa satisfied, we continued our journey to Cameron Highland. Unfortunately, our friend's car met a little accident while sightseeing in Kuala Kangsar town. That and another why-didn't-you-lock-the-toilet-door-makcik??!!! incident marred our roadtrip a bit.

  But soon, all was forgotten as we exited the highway at Simpang Pulai and enjoyed the beautiful scenery along the way. 

Gunung Yong Belar

There was one spot where only one lane was opened and traffic from both sides had to stop and take turn to pass but there wasn't too many cars slowing the journey... until we approached Kampung Raja. 

  Traffic started to crawl and it took us over an hour to cover 20km. I kept myself amused by reading the signages (road and shops). Plan to reach before noon if you don't want to get stuck in traffic. Apparently Cameron Highland is famous for horrible congestion and 1-hour traffic jam is pretty lucky. Gf went few weeks earlier and it took 3 hours to move within Cameron Highland!

  After a pretty slow check-in (or maybe I was just tired and easily irritated), we rested and overslept. We decided to stick to our plan and braved our second traffic congestion of the day down to Brinchang night market for dinner.

  We woke up early the next day and started with attractions near our hotel before going down to Brinchang and Tanah Rata. Road started to congest at noon especially at the Kea Farm Market and the area near Brinchang night market/ morning market. Some roads were made into one-way streets and traffic was crawling but nothing longer than an hour. 

  Second day in Cameron Highland was fun and tiring. One dilemma I faced was when I wanted to buy herb plants. Those sold in MARDI was cheap BUT I didn't want to keep them overnight. There were also pretty cacti in pots sold for RM10 at the night market but I'll have to keep them for 2 nights! 

  The plan was to buy plants on Monday, just before we leave Cameron. Unfortunately, the Agro Tech Park in MARDI closed on Mondays. So I shopped in Kea Farm instead and opted out on the pretty cacti because they are more expensive in Kea Farm market.

Kea Farm Market
Got mint and aloe vera plants here

Kea Farm Market
Kea Farm market (morning)

Kea Farm Market
We bought hydrangea and lavender plants here!

I won't make an entry on Kea Farm because I don't have much to say about it. Everything I think you should know about it is in this entry.

  • Some shop open at 8 am, others at 10 am. They close around 9 pm to 10 pm.
  • It is the cause of traffic jam so if you're staying in Copthorne Hotel, Natasya Resort, Kea Valley Hotel, Rose Apartment and all, leave early for your tours!
  • However, if you're staying nearby you can walk and get food in Kea Farm market. There are several restaurants in the area. You can also find roasted corn, fried chicken, nuggets, wantan on sticks and variety of veggie and seafood in fried batter and crackers sold here.
  • You can buy plants and flower bouquets here. Fruits and veggie too!
  • Boxes of various type of teas, strawberry, chocolate dip, strawberry pillow and other merchandise are available here. Not sure about the price though. Basically it can be somewhat a one-stop shopping centre for Cameron Highland.

I went to Kea Farm market twice; one in the evening and another just before noon. The first time, I walked from the hotel. After waffle and scones at Raju's Hill Strawberry Farm opposite the road, we continued to walk to the market to find dinner. 

Dinner from Kea Farm market
Roasted corn (RM6/pc) | keropok lekor, nugget, wantan, fried chicken (RM2/item) | ayam gunting (RM8) 

Taste wise okay lah. The fried stuff are less greasy than those I bought from Brinchang night market.

  Second visit was for last minute plant shopping. Once we've checked out and ready to leave, we parked the car in the parking area (it wasn't full but some selfish people still parked by the roadside and caused slow traffic) and got ourselves plants and flowers~

Mint & aloe vera - RM18 

10 white lilies - RM30 (free 8 purple carnations) 

Lilies and carnation
Yet to bloom lilies and carnation


Basil, rosemary and thyme - RM30 (average RM10/plant)

Hydrangea plant and lavender plant - RM35 + RM8


It's two days since we came back when I'm typing this (weeks from publishing) and the hydrangea flowers are wilting. Lavender and the herb plants and aloe are doing good.

  Lilies are starting to bloom - check my Twitter and the bright purple carnations are wilting beautifully in the vase.

Macaron Ice Cream
A sweet dessert from stall outside Restoran Tasik Raban Ipoh to end a sweet roadtrip


  I like Cameron Highland but the next trip will have to be on a non-school holiday weekday.






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