Malacca: 1 day
I personally fell in LOVE with every corner of this city! Words simply cannot describe how dazzling and stunning this city is.
You must consider visiting Malacca when you’re in Malaysia. It is only 1h30 from Kuala Lumpur by bus and is easy to navigate. We went there early in the morning, spent the whole day exploring it, and returned back to KL in the evening. You can buy your bus ticket online to avoid the long queue in the station.
This little town was listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2008, along with Georgetown. It possesses a contradictory blend of Portuguese, Dutch, British and Chinese cultures which contributed to its historical richness.
To enjoy the city don’t use any transportation, instead, just walk through its streets to make the most of it. Who knows, you can discover unpopular hidden gems like we did when we found this very beautiful cosy cafe behind the river (It’s called “Relish the moment” if you’re interested.)
Here are the things to do and places to visit if you’re planning on going to Malacca:
- Visit the museums. You will have plenty of them by themes. If knowing more about the Malay culture and history interests you, then this is the time or never.
- Walk around the main center of Malacca, or the Red Square. Go to A’Famosa Fort, Christ Church, The Stadthuys, St. Paul’s Church and Melaka Sultanate Palace.
- Try the street food in Chinatown and Little India. You can find stalls and stands in every corner of the old town. I must say that the street food of Malacca was the best one I have experienced in the country. It’s varied, delicious and cheap!
- Take a walk on the river side and admire the colors and the street art on the walls. Very relaxing!
- The city is very known by its cafe culture. If your stomach doesn’t tolerate the street food or the traditional Malay cuisine, this is where you can find some very clean and well served western food. As I said, let your feet take you to places no travel blogger talked about before.
- See the stunning Melaka Straits Mosque. It’s a bit far from the city center (you can take a taxi or a Grab), but is totally worth the visit. This floating mosque is built above the sea, and if you go during sunset or sunrise, I can ensure you that you’ll come back with a ton of radiant pictures to share on Instagram.
Cameron Highlands: 3 days
- Where to stay? Father’s Guesthouse in Tanah Rata. The accommodations are very clean, safe and comfortable. The guesthouse is only 7 minutes away from the bus station and walkable to every other place in town.
My second favorite destination in Malaysia after Malacca. The town is well known for its orchards, tea plantations, gardens and hiking trails. You will develop a new relationship with the green color as you’ll see it everywhere, and not just that, you will also discover a new shade every two minutes. I’m telling you, it’s the 50 shades of green land!
This place is all about connecting to the nature; so just an advice, forget about your luxury and spoiled life for a couple of days and enjoy the natural beauty of this land. The place is cooler than the other Malaysian cities, so if you’re looking for a short break to cool up before heading to other places, come to Cameron Highlands.
Our plan was staying 2 days in Cameron Highlands and from there going to Taman Negara for one day. When we talked to the staff of the guesthouse we were staying in, they told us that it was not possible and that the road could take us more than 6 hours. We finally decided to stay 3 whole days in Cameron Highlands and rest a bit. But if you have plenty of time, you can also go to Ipoh, a very beautiful and calm city that is only 2 hours from CH.
When visiting Cameron Highlands, make sure to do this:
Visit BOH Plantation
The area is full of dispatched tea plantations, but the most famous one is BOH Plantation. In addition to the breath-taking views of the tea gardens, the company also offers guided tours to the factory where you can witness the manufacturing process of black tea, and it’s all for free. There is also a tea shop where you can buy tons of flavored teas (if you’re a tea lover like me) at a very reasonable price.
To get to the plantation you need to have a car or take a taxi. As for us, we booked a tour with our guesthouse’s tours agency. We went to Mossy Forest, BOH Plantation and the Strawberry farm. We paid 70 MYR (17 dollars) each.
Go to Mossy Forest
You cannot enter the rainforest if you’re not accompanied by a guide. The forest is very wide and it’s forbidden by low to step on the mosses (a 50$ fine), this is why you need to follow exactly the steps of your guide while walking through.
When reaching Mount Brinchang, the highest mountain in the Cameron Highlands (2032 m above the sea), the cool clean air will pump in your lungs and your body will feel lighter than ever before. You will walk a lot so think of wearing appropriate clothes.
Hike, hike… hike
This is like paradise for hiking enthusiasts. There are so many trails divided by different scales of difficulty. In the first day we tried Trail 4 which was the easiest of them all (basically just a flat land that links the strawberry farm to Tanah Rata). In the second day, with a cocktail of adrenaline and courage, we went for a more appealing trail. We started with Trail 10 through a dense jungle until we reached a small village between the mountains. From there we took Trail 6 to reach the Cameron Valley Tea Shop where we took a break to drink tea before heading back to the guesthouse. The track was fairly challenging and we walked 27 km in total.
For those of you who might ask. The trails are totally safe, even in the middle of the jungle. We got lost at some point but a young lady in the village helped us out. However you need to gather a maximum of information before choosing any track and download the app maps.me.
Eat fresh picked strawberries
The Big Red Strawberry Farm is famous by growing organic fresh strawberries that you can hand pick and enjoy eating in very relaxing surroundings. They also have a cafe and a shop. You can go there to relax and dip into the sweetness of fresh strawberries, or just buy some of their strawberry-made products for yourself or your family and friends.
There are of course other places that you can visit depending on your schedule and your interests:
- The Butterfly Farm
- Thompson Falls
- Cactus farms
- Honey Bee Farms
- Sam Poh Temple