Today it was time to say goodbye to the heat of Ipoh and move on to coolness of Tanah Rata in the Cameron highlands. There are many buses that go to the Cameron highlands from the Amanjaya bus station in Ipoh, but first you have to get to Amanjaya which is miles from the old town. To do this you need to take a bus from the Medan Kidd local bus station that is close to the railway station and this takes about half an hour and costs 1.80 Rm.
The Amanjaya bus station is similar to that of Melaka Sentral, with different ticket counters for each company, I found a counter that had a service going to Tanah Rata and booked a ticket for 20 Rm for the 3 hour journey.
As you drive up into the hills of the Cameron highlands the hillsides look to have been turned into a sea of plastic greenhouses with lots of the jungle on the lower part of the hills having been cleared to grow pretty much everything you can think of, although strawberries seem to be the most popular crop judging by the amount of strawberry farms that the bus drives past. Soon you arrive at the main tourist towns in the highlands, the first being Brinchang and then Tanah Rata a few miles further on with the road between the two being full of hotels, restaurants, and plant centres.
The first thing you notice when you get off the bus is the heat, well the lack of it….the temperature in the highlands is similar to a nice summers day in the UK and the lack of oppressive humidity is a welcome relief.
From Tanah Rata and Brinchang there are many hiking trails that go up into the hills and jungle, ranging from the very easy on gravel tracks, to difficult climbs through jungle trails that are almost impossible to follow and most hostels and hotels have trail maps that you can photograph and follow. With just a couple of hours to go before it started getting dark there was just enough time to go for a short hike, the most interesting place that I could reach in an hour looked to be Robinson falls on trail 9. After about 30 minutes of walking along a road the trail heads down a paved path through the jungle and before long you will hear the sounds of the small waterfall.
The Robinson falls are pretty small but you can climb down onto the rocks and take some nice photos, and unlike some of the other nearby waterfalls they are not full of rubbish.
If you continue walking for about another 15 minutes you get another view of the whole falls and here the trail forks with one trail heading up a steep hill into the dense jungle, there was just enough time to go someway up this trail and it is much harder work having to climb up among the tree roots.
In the evening the centre of Tanah Rata comes alive with many cafes and restaurants and there even is a backpacker bar tucked just off the main street. No late night drinks tonight for me though, as tomorrow I will be up early to hunt for Raffelesia.