Saturday, 26 March 2016

Easter Ride : Bike Camping in Cameron Highlands (Malaysia) Because Hotels Are Too Mainstream

This Easter's looking pretty adventurous ;p

First, it was going with a full red head creatively done at Icon Shunji Matsuo Hair Visual.
And next up, camping out in the mountains in Cameron Highlands, Malaysia!

Packing for our Easter Ride
Ever heard of anyone camping in Cameron Highlands? I'm pretty sure some people have done it before, just that I personally don't know anyone who did. Asked some friends and they all gave a "huh? no?" look. So I Googled, and found some info which I'll be sharing with you here!

Now, being as spontaneous as usual, we decided on Easter Day Eve that an Easter road trip was COMPULSORY (truth be told, we'd actually find any reason to ride!)

Plus, can you imagine if you chose to stay home, then over the weekend you scroll through Facebook/Instagram and see all those fun pictures of your friends going on road trips, YOU WILL REGRET for not going on one.

Living life with no regrets, we decided to escape from Singapore's scorching heat and head up to Cameron Highlands where the air there is cool all year round.

Being so last minute, all the hotels were fully booked. Oh well, what to do, it's Public Holiday on the weekend.

Suddenly, I had this idea to camp!

Packed our bags and off we went! To one of Malaysia's most extensive hill stations, which also happens to be the size of our little Singapore!

There are two ways up to Cameron Highlands; one via Simpang Pulai Route A181, which is the newer and more comfortable route.

The second way is via Tapah Route 59, which is more challenging with tighter corners and rougher roads.

We went by Tapah because as they say, the fun isn't around the corner, it's AT THE CORNERS!

That waterfall you will surely pass by if you go up/down by Tapah

The road up was pretty bumpy, with pot holes and many uneven patches amidst the tight bends.
Hmm I don't remember the road being that rough the last time I visited.. either that or I've forgotten because that was around 3 years ago.

Though Cameron Highlands was located just approximately 600KM away from Singapore, the ride up was quite exhausting mainly due to heat fatigue. Temperatures were soaring up to 40°C especially through Kuala Lumpur, it felt like riding in a furnace.

Gawwd it was hot.

We arrived in Cameron Highlands just in time to witness a gorgeous sunset, and what better way to enjoy such a beautiful scenery with a loved one, who shares the same passion too for traveling on two wheels.

Two Campsites in Cameron Highlands

It's time to locate our "hotel" in the mountains. Now according to Cameron-Highland-Destination, there are two campsites here:

1. Sungai Pauh Campsite

Located about 1KM behind Smokehouse hotel, in the Forestry Department. This was the one we went to but it wasn't very easy navigating it because it was dark by the time we got there, and there were no clear signs from the main road. Should be easier to find in the day.

Forest ranger may come and the fee is RM3, but we didn't see them so we didn't pay anything.

There are toilets, but no showering facilities or whatsoever. Standards are similar to our public toilets at East Coast Park. No power supply if you camp in the woods, but you can pay RM10 to run your electrical appliances if you camp at the campsite itself.

2. Gunung Brinchang

This is the highest peak in Cameron Highlands, with an altitude of 2,032m and it is accessible by road, so don't worry, you don't have to hike up. Weather conditions may be a little more challenging here since it's higher, so it's important to bring enough warm clothes and a portable stove so you don't turn into a block of ice by the end of your camping adventure.


No power supply, no water supply, basically nothing but a superb view.

It was dark, and we didn't have a torch light, but we found a nice spot and pitched our tent anyway in the woods. Too bad it was too dark to take any nice photos. Oh but here's a photo of the toilet, and me washing up.

Dinner's cooking and it smells real good!

This is one thing I look forward to when camping: COOKING MAGGIE MEE!!!

Brought a portable bunsen burner, those army-cooking pots, and my favourite Korean maggie mee! It's damn shiok to eat piping hot maggie mee out in the cold, here in the woods. We should have totally set up a campfire also but we were too lazy to find wood to burn.

SLURP! Unglam picture of me enjoying my delicious pot of Korean cuisine.

Credits to jpuralewskilightingdesign
With our tummies warm and satisfied, we rolled out our sleeping bags, and.. wait.

How to share! I'm just gonna snatch it over in the middle of the night.

Our view from the tent was amazing, gazing at the night sky full of stars, we had the sound of leaves gently rustling that soothed us to sleep.

Next Day

Goooood morningggg sunshine!

Camping may not be as comfortable as sleeping on your own Simmons bed at home, but it's so refreshing waking up to nature all around!

Here's 5 reasons why it's fun camping out here in Cameron Highlands!

1. There's no Check-In or Check-out time

You can snuggle in bed all day long, not having to worry about extending your check out time because there's none! You can stay for as many days as you want with no extra charge!

2. Greenery View Guaranteed 

Woke up to a forest view like that :) Enough of being tricked into hotels with nice view when you book a room online. Over here in the woods, you have 360 degree view of greenery!

View from our tent when we lie down
3. Fresh Air

The air here is so crisp and fresh, my lungs feel so clean! Haha plus because it's cooling here all year around at around 18°C, you won't sweat. It's like natural air-con everywhere.

4. That Kick In Camp-Cooked Food

You don't need a fully equipped kitchen or a Michelin Star chef to whip up delicious meals that'll make your stomach happy. Don't underestimate that warm fuzzy feeling when you're slurping up freshly-cooked maggie mee out in the mountains, in chilly weather, accompanied with a mug of hot chocolate. Never fails to makes me go, "Ah... this is good".

5. Quiet Getaway

Away from all that hustle and bustle from the city and touristy crowd, away from any Internet data and mobile reception that often robs people of enjoying each other's company when they're distracted by using their phone, camping here serves as a quiet getaway where it's just you and your family.

And best part, it's FREE :D

After lazing around in our tent, we got our asses up and went for some HI-TEA time!

Literally, because we're high up here in the mountains, and Cameron Highlands is full of tea plantation and tea cafes!

Because life can get a little boring sticking to tarmacs, we let ourselves (and our bikes) roam freely through the rolling hills of Cameron Highland's endless tea plantations, on some off-road. Besides, my Pirelli Angel G.T. tyres are good for both terrains anyway ;)

There are tea cafes, strawberry farms, bee farms and so on that you could hop around and visit. Many which are normally packed with tourists on the weekends or holiday season.

I'm having a fanTEAStic time just lying down on grass here under the vast blue skies :)

When I'm really enjoying the weather and scenery, I like to lie down and close my eyes.. maybe take a nap. I guess I'm pretty adaptable to environment when it comes to sleeping ;)

Rode through from Tana Rata to Brinchang, the two main towns in Cameron Highlands.

Tana Rata serves more local malay/indian cuisine, around where Starbucks is located at.

Whereas in Brinchang, you'll be spoilt for choice with many local chinese Charcoal steamboat restaurants around. There is also a night market where you can grab fresh/preserved fruits, tea packs and souvenirs.

With the image and experience of Cameron Highlands captured in my heart and mind, it's time to head back home.

Camping in Cameron Highlands is another joyful memory with my baby Ducati!

Where shall we go next? ;)

[Singapore.Malaysia.Cameron Highlands]
[Mileage Clocked: 1,305KM]
[Weather/Temperature: Extremely Hot/38°C /Cool/17°C]
[Terrain: Tarmac/Mountainous Roads]