LIFE IS A JOURNEY, ARE YOU READY?

HOW TO GET TO AND WHAT TO PREPARE : BUS TO CAMERON HIGHLANDS

The famous view of the tea plantations on Cameron Highlands. Time to see if it is all worth the trouble going up there.
I was feeling the itch to travel. I just got back from Thailand from a a week and a half of what I call an 'observatory trip of sex tourism' in Pattaya. That is another story. I had time to spare and I had not been to Pattaya before. Hence. It was interesting but it was enough for a one time experience.

So, I wanted a short trip. One which did not require too much research. Malaysia has always been a rather friendly place for me. It is just across the border and we speak the same languages and have similar cultures. I picked Cameron Highlands since I have already been to KL, Penang and Malacca. I also needed a quick cool down from the heat in Thailand. So off I went after a day of contemplation. It was 10 hours on the overnight coach.

This is a typical bus that goes to Cameron Highlands. The buses usually leave at 10.30pm from Golden Mile Tower in Singapore. But there are buses that leave in the morning too. I advise to take the night bus as you do not lose a day traveling.
Here are some tips traveling on the coach to Cameron Highlands:
  • Pack enough water and snacks if you need any. It is a long journey. The driver will make several stops for toilet breaks. There will be shops to sell food too. In case you are the picky sort, best to bring your own.
  • Separate your luggage. You can store your big luggage in the bus compartment outside. Or smaller bags overhead in the bus. If you don't mind your bags at your feet, you can put it on the floor. But the seats recline and the foot rest comes up too. So just take what you need.
  • Wrap up. If the buses are not well known to be on time, they are famous for being super cold. And I mean colder than the highlands. The air conditioning will be blasting at you. You have to bring warm clothes. And if you like, some masking tape to cover those air vents.
  • Neck support. Although the chair reclines, it is still not like a bed. You will find yourself in an awkward position if you want to sleep in a comfortable position. A neck pillow is the answer to a good night's sleep on such a long journey.
  • Puke bags. The roads up and down the highlands is very trying. They are winding and they almost seem not to end. I was ok as I slept through it but my coming down the highlands made me queasy. You will need a couple of bags and napkins just in case.
  • Where to stop. Always check the map before you buy your bus ticket. The buses stop at different areas in the Highlands and you can potentially save a taxi fare. Download offline maps so you know where the buses are passing by. You could negotiate a quick drop off with the driver if you are lucky.
  • Weight your options. A lot of people grimace at the thought of a 10-hour journey on the bus. Yes, it is not fun. The bumpy drive also makes it difficult for one to read a book. I brought my podcasts so I was fine. The coach isn't the only way up but it is possibly the cheapest. You can also fly to Ipoh and take a transport from there. My journey there took 10 hours and my journey back took 14 hours due to traffic congestion. It was indeed a pain. If you cannot afford the time and pain, best to think twice.
My bus' last destination was Strawberry Park Resort. They made a stop at Brinchang town before heading up there. Basically stopping for the passengers to take a quick breakfast as they cannot check into the resort just yet. Also for the travel agents there to pitch their tours.

This is the stop if you want to get to Fabian and Lilian's Everything English Homestay.
Check my review of their homestay here

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