Though the day had started a bit cloudy, by the time we had travelled the reasonably short distance to the tea plantation the cloud had cleared somewhat giving rise to excellent tea planation views. Our guide was a young lad who had obviously learnt an awful amount information for the trip that he felt needed to be imparted to us and we were waiting to lap it up – well some of it at least.
As mentioned the views were spectacular the bushes all in line across the hillside and our first stop after our guide’s introduction to the area was to the Boh Tea Plantation cafe for a cup of the good stuff – the cafe was perched near the top of one of the picturesque hillsides so commanded an excellent view of the valley below and although we felt the guide had been doing a bit of over-selling on behalf of Boh Tea – the tea itself lived up to its billing and was the best cup of tea we had had thus far and better than a lot of English tea – praise indeed. At the factory next door our guide explained the entire process and why the area was so good for the making of the tea, however some of the equipment being used still looked like museum pieces.
After the Boh Tea Plantation we travelled up quite a tricky road until we reached the top of the highest point in the region – Gunung Brinchang – which also had an old watchtower perched on the top of it to make it even bigger. Quite a precarious perch as the steps were quite steep but good views indeed.
Our next port of call was the Mossy Forest which like the tea lived up to its billing by being very mossy. Long dreadlocks of moss hung down from gnarled trees that looked like they could at any moment rise from the ground like Treebeard in the Lord of the Rings – apologies to those who have no idea what that reference means. As well as mossy trees, this was the home of some smaller species of pitcher plants, the plants that entice and capture insects. In the Mossy Forest the forest floor was actually quite bouncy due to it being made up of layers and layers of vegetation. Our guide was quite passionate about the forest and explained that there were other such examples but that these were not shown to tourists for fear of them being destroyed or damaged. He also was very dismayed by the fact that the Malaysian government actually do nothing to help the situation in terms of either monetary or aid of resource – quite sad really that one of the biggest draws to the area for tourism did not rank very highly for the government.
From the Mossy Forest we stopped at off at a PYO Strawberry farm for a toilet stop but also to have a look at the many varieties of flowers which were also on sale there then one of the workers there showed us one million and one things to do with a strawberry to take fun strawberry related photographs. Of course he was seeking something of a tip but after all the photos and entertainment we almost felt he was worth it.
Last on our tour was a visit to an insect house – great to see the local insects after being in their backyard – lol. A lot of the insects were large and a fair few poisonous as well, we would bear this in mind before booking any more trips. The last exhibit being the butterfly house done to lull us back into a false sense of security .. lol.
On the way back to the hotel Liz “Marple’ decided to quiz the young fellow about the disappearance of Jim Thompson – a case she had decided to work on after Bangkok – but the only information to be gleaned from our guide was the fact that JT was definitely gay! Hardly clues to the man’s disappearance but who knows it may have helped here establish the victim’s profile – I dunno really!