29.02.2012 - 03.03.2012 35 °C
Since the last post we have done and seen a lot, and it's only been a few days!
We arrived in Tanah Rata in the Cameron Highlands on a cool and rainy evening. We walked a short distance to our hostel, only about 2 minutes from the main street, and settled our things into our room. We walked into town for dinner and sat down at a Chinese restaurant for a traditional Chinese style fondue. This meal is very popular with the locals and is known as The Steamboat. The broth is brought to the table hot and placed over a single burner to keep it hot and to help cook the raw ingredients. The broth is flavoured with vegetables and spices and from there you are able to create your own soup. Along with the broth you are served four plates overloaded with ingredients. The first plate includes vegetables such as bok choy, mushrooms, cabbage, carrots, green beans and snow peas. The next two plates are made up of the proteins such as tofu, chicken and beef. The last plate has two varieties of noodles and two raw eggs. We were both a little too excited for such a feast and decided that the best way to handle it was to throw everything in at once. After a slight overflow and having to re-light the burner we were on our way to an awesome meal! The dinner was fabulous and we were both full to the brim, by far one of the best fondues either of us ever had. The following day started early at 7:30am with a strange fried egg sandwich and instant coffee. We set out for our full day Cameron Highlands tour that began with a visit to one of the largest tea farms in Southeast Asia. We learned about tea harvesting, which leaves to pick, and how long to steep the perfect cup of tea (3 minutes). We then made our way up to the highest point in the Cameron Highlands accessible by car for a beautiful view over the tea fields and some amazing pictures. We made our way down to the factory for a brief tour of the tea processing and then sat down for a perfect cup of tea. Next we headed out for a jungle trek through the Cameron Highland's forests and learned about various plants and trees native to the area, and how they were once used by locals for medicinal and health purposes. Next we drove to a local butterfly conservatory, home to hundreds of local insects, reptiles and animals. We saw massive beetles, huge snakes, stick bugs, king grasshoppers, leaf frogs, turtles, butterflies, tarantulas, and scorpion, which Jess was brave enough to hold! The last half of the afternoon was quiet with a visit to the local museum known as "The Time Tunnel", a strawberry farm and a local fruit and flower market. The museum was by far the weirdest place either of us has been. This place was like a warped view back on the history of consumerism and was eerily similar to an episode of Hoarders: City Edition. Not much else to say about that, other than we are glad it was free. The strawberry farm was small and cute. We looked around and then bought some fresh strawberries before heading to the market. We headed back to the main city street that night for a quick bite to eat and then a good night sleep.
The next morning we grabbed a five hour bus to Butterworth and then got on the ferry to Georgetown where we are currently staying. We made our way to our hostel and relaxed for a bit before showering and heading for dinner. Today we spent our time wandering the streets of Georgetown taking in the sites and checking out the markets. We had an amazing Indian lunch at Gem Restaurant just inside Little India. The meal reminded us both of Bollywood Bistro in Guelph, with excellent flavours and friendly tons of variety. We each got a tomato based curry rice with a refreshing lemon iced tea to drink. After the meal we rolled ourselves across to the waterfront where we hired a trishaw (this is a two person cart on the front of a bicycle that is operated by a local for a tour of the city). The trishaw driver took us to several different areas of the city including the Clan Jetties, a collection of houses built on wooden docks on the water's edge. The houses are long and narrow allowing for extended families to live together for generations. It was a fascinating place and difficult to describe...we will upload pictures of the area soon. We walked back to our hostel and rested for a while out of the humidity and sun. We are about to head out for dinner and a few drinks and then rest for our 16 hour bus ride tomorrow. We are heading to Ko Phangan, an island off of the southeast coast of Thailand where we will be for the infamous Full Moon Party and five days of much needed beach time.
We will be uploading some more pictures soon so keep an eye out for those!
Missing and loving you all lots,
S & J xoxo