Expect crowds during festive holidays

  • Letters
  • Sunday, 16 Feb 2003

CAMERON Highlands has, of late, appeared in the limelight but unfortunately for the wrong reasons.  

First, there was the uproar over the alleged illegal development of a farmland. Then tourists complained about their spoiled vacations there during the recent Chinese New Year holidays.  

Silhouette (The Star, Feb 6: “Nightmare vacation at Cameron Highlands”) seemed so upset, as did Jose Rizal (The Star, Feb 10: “Discos spoil CNY holiday trip to CH”). 

I sympathise with Jose Rizal on his sleepless nights and his worries for his car's safety. While I also sympathise with Silhouette who experienced the poor quality of food served at the restaurant and the noises caused by the firecrackers near his apartment, I beg to differ with his view that “whoever says Cameron Highlands makes for a great place to have a serene and pleasant vacation doesn't know what he is talking about.”  

Popular tourist resorts, especially during long holidays such as CNY, usually see larger crowds and heavier motor traffic than on normal days. Cameron Highlands is no exception. It is popular not only with Malaysians but also foreigners, especially Singaporeans, who visit in droves during such holidays. It is therefore no wonder that hotels are fully booked and restaurants crowded. 

A friend told me that during a previous CNY holiday to a tourist resort (also a highland location), he had to walk for about 30 minutes to reach his destination. He had parked his car about 3km away due to the long line of vehicles parked at the roadside leading to the venue.  

Another friend recalled a trip, also during CNY, to an island resort a few years ago where he and his family had to wait for a couple of hours before getting a table at a restaurant. Because of the waiting crowd, they could only order from a limited menu; the restaurateur decided for them what they should eat! 

My first trip to Cameron Highlands was way back in 1984 due to a job posting. The weather there was so cool and refreshing; it was such a nice place and it still is. Jose Rizal was quite right when he said: “The cool air, friendly atmosphere and slow pace made one want to return.” I left CH in late 1989 and have gone back there no less than five times. 

Go and visit the flower farms. From afar, they make the mountains look as if they are spread out in flowery splendour. Do not forget the tea plantations where the strong aroma of tea in the air greets you upon arrival. Enjoy your cup of hot fresh tea from the balconies as you gaze at the soothing vista of the row upon row of tea bushes carpeting the hills. The strawberry farms, vegetable farms and cactus gardens, to name a few, are other places of interest. The more adventurous can consider nature hiking, mountain climbing or cycling. 

I would not mind paying CH another visit some time soon because I know it is still a wonderful place. 

CK WOON Slim River, Perak  

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