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Motormouth From Ipoh

Friday, August 15, 2008

Cameron Highlands - Sungei Palas Boh Tea Plantations

After stuffing ourselves with scones and pies over at T Cafe on Tanah Rata (read previous post HERE), we soldiered on to the next destination, for fear of missing the opportunity.

Notice the settlement area? A primary school is situated in the midst of the plantation, catering to the educational needs of children so isolated from civilization?

On the way from Kampung Raja to Brinchang, we passed by the BOH Sungei Palas Tea Centre signboard on the right, and a quick glimpse revealed the opening hours from 9am - 4.30pm, and daily operation except Mondays. Wow, after lunch the time was nearly 3pm, hence the rush to get our caffeine fix over at the aforementioned destination. (Though coffee is not a popular option up there, so stick to your teas)

A word of advice ; Do let the one with the better vehicle-manoeuvring skills to take helm, as the roads to the tea centre are spiralling, and narrow. Some stretches are so narrow, that only ONE car can passby at a time. Please be extra cautious, and speeding is a definite no-no.

Choose between the steep tar road, or the tea bush walk to reach the tea centre

Once you survive the torturous ordeal of crossing the beaten track, praying at every corner and swerve for no incoming vehicles, you'll reach a barren land, to park your cars. There is a small settlement for the residents up the hill, no prize for guessing where their income is from. From here, you can either opt for the adventurous path up to the tea centre, tackling the tea bush walk (not tough, as stairs available), OR you can choose the easy way up, by tracking on the tar road.

See? They cleared a path for the adventure-seekers. So you can practise abstinence. From picking on the tea leaves, that is.

Choosing the tea bush walk is more rewarding, as the endless green fields of tea plantations offer a scenic landscape for avid photographers. Or unleash that camwhore in you. =)

Look at how tall the tree is ... Skyscraper of a species!

Clean, sleek, and modern architecture of the interior. The boards reveal the secrets, history and identity of Cameron Highlands

Tea Factory

Of course, what's a visit to the tea centre, without an educational tour around the processing plant, detailing every process of tea making (no, none of the teh tarik techniques). The tour is FREE, but you've to wait for a guide (there are a few, no worries), and form a small crowd before you can embark on your 'tour'.

The tour is interesting, as you learn the 5 steps in tea processing, from sorting, drying, and so on. (OK, so I wasn't exactly paying attention. Sue me ... =P)

The fans are mere decorations, we think. The windy hilltop surroundings is sufficient to provide breeze and circulation

Of course, Malaysians being Malaysians, the immensely 'taxing' 2 km trip into the tea centre wouldn't be complete without a sip of the homegrown, processed and widely distributed BOH tea, would it? :)

Unleash the child in you, glancing at the glass display of snacks, and point to your favourite pieces, to complement your hot cup of tea

They serve a dazzling array of tea, from your usual mik tea, to fruit infusions, and various fusion flavoured ones such as lemon myrtle, lychee, caramel and so forth. Previous visit revealed the lychee tea was aromatic, fresh, and soothing.

Huh? Steaming hot tea in paper cups???!!!

This time around, probably as a move to cut cost (every cup of tea costs around RM2-RM3 only), they utilize paper cups to serve their brews. Huh? Last time they used mugs. That was more like it. Fortunately they still exercise their common sense and wrap a thick cardboard around the cups, else you risk torching your pretty fingers.

My Passionfruit Orange was a deep red, alike F&N Strawberry colour, but too sour for good. I managed to finish barely half of the cup. Should've restrained myself and picked something safe instead. The other varieties seemed OK, as I barely heard laments. Or I could be busy indulging in these .....

Strawberry tart (RM3.50), Carrot Banana Cake (RM5) and Moist Chocolate (RM5)

Yup, desserts, for the 3rd time in half a day. Geez ... Mostly pharmacists, and nobody worried about our sugar levels spiking. Holidays ma .... rite? =P

"Why So Serious?"

Somehow these Joker cards are different from your usual clown pictures. Probably someone watched The Dark Knight, and utterly disgusted by the Joker's villainy streak.

Calm, quiet, unchartered territory ... Promising a sense of serenity and relaxation

The tea plantations nearer to the tea centre somehow lacked "Oomph!" (no pun intended). The tea leaves around that area were all dryer, and a shade of darker green.

Therefore, on the way back, we diverted and turned right at a junction to a signboard indicating strawberry farm. Once again, the paths are winding, and narrow (in fact, if you're driving an MPV of SUV, tough luck). But the pay off was well-worth the tachycardia experienced throughout the journey ....

A survivor/stranger amidst the lush greenery ....

Suffice to say, tonnes of pics were snapped, poses were struck, and dignity thrown out of the windows. Aaaahhhh .... to be experiencing secondary school years' lunacy all over again. Sheer bliss ....

to be continued ...


~Christine~Leng said...

I remember walking all the way up, across the tea plantations 4 years ago....;P
really a great experience :)

SuwEi said...

I think they should have more variety of choices on their cakes or what.How many years i went there they still serve the same banana carrot and chocolate cake.

J2Kfm said...

christine : yeah, most foreigners walked all the way up. but 2km along the treacherous path is a hazardous task.

suwei : yeah, but most go for the tea and the environment.

Ciki said...

another cool post! love the flower against the tea plantation.. and very well captured the jokers who "couldn't see the joke' :P

J2Kfm said...

cumi & ciki : haha, yeah. then let's "Put a smile on their faces?"

jasmine said...

just got back from cameron too and had mugs for my tea at sg. palas. think they most probably ran out of mugs during your visit, hence the paper cups :)

J2Kfm said...

hi jasmine, yeah maybe. cz it was tough holding on to the paper cups, when the tea's steaming!

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