Malaysia – Cameron Highlands

– JULY 17-19, 2015

We have hopped on a bus from Penang to ride a three hour journey to the Cameron Highlands of Malaysia.  There are a few quite interesting things to see here, so we hooked up with a tour group to hit the major parts on their “Rafflesia Full Day Tour“.

First we took a hike through some of the trails around this area before we started the guided tour.

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Cameron Highlands hiking paths

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Cameron Highlands hiking paths bridge

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Cameron Highlands hiking paths

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Cameron Highlands hiking paths small river

Then we were picked up by the tour bus and driven 90 minutes to the starting point of the Rafflesia hiking path.  This path was well groomed for the most part, but there a few spots in the pics to come that show the path can get a bit treacherous.  At the start of the path the guides made ceremonial headpieces out of ferns on the side of the path.

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Rafflesia (the world’s largest flower) hiking path

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Selfie on the Rafflesia (the world’s largest flower) hiking path

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Rafflesia (the world’s largest flower) hiking path

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Selfie on the Rafflesia (the world’s largest flower) hiking path

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Rafflesia (the world’s largest flower) hiking path

Some path spots were reinforced by bamboo to help from falling down a steep cliff.

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Rafflesia (the world’s largest flower) hiking path

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Rafflesia (the world’s largest flower) hiking path

Low water crossings meant you had to hop over rocks.

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Rafflesia (the world’s largest flower) hiking path

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Rafflesia (the world’s largest flower) hiking path

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Rafflesia (the world’s largest flower) hiking path

The steepest of slopes had some bamboo handrails which weren’t able to support any weight.

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Rafflesia (the world’s largest flower) hiking path

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Rafflesia (the world’s largest flower) hiking path

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Rafflesia (the world’s largest flower) hiking path

Bamboo bridges over faster water were sometimes sturdy but other times a bit unsteady and seemingly unreliable.

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Rafflesia (the world’s largest flower) hiking path

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Rafflesia (the world’s largest flower) hiking path

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Rafflesia (the world’s largest flower) hiking path

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Rafflesia (the world’s largest flower) hiking path

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Rafflesia (the world’s largest flower) hiking path

This plant below contains a poison that is used for blowdarts to hunt animals.  If you touched it with your skin then it would only cause a brief skin irritation.  If you allowed it onto your bloodstream or licked it, then you would be down for the count in a state of paralysis for hours.

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Rafflesia (the world’s largest flower) hiking path

After the long hike we ended up at the location of one Rafflesia flower, the largest flower on the earth.

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Rafflesia (the world’s largest flower)

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Rafflesia (the world’s largest flower)

The Rafflesia has no stems, leaves or true roots.  It is a holoparasite of vines, which means it spreads its absorptive organ inside the tissue of the vine.  The only part that is visible is the five-petaled flower seen in these pics.  The flowers look and smell like rotting flesh, hence its local name which translates to “corpse flower” or “meat flower“.  The foul odor attracts insects, which in turn transport pollen from male to female flowers.

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Rafflesia (the world’s largest flower)

It takes about nine months from the bud emergence to the full blown flowering in the pic below.  The flower has the world’s largest single bloom.  The flower will begin blooming at night and then start to decompose only two or three days later.  The Malaysian guides have to work everyday to find the next bud ready to bloom so they can continue to bring tour groups through to see the flower in full bloom.

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Rafflesia (the world’s largest flower)

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Rafflesia (the world’s largest flower)

As seen in Rambo, you can find filtered water in a bamboo shoot!  The guides cut the shoot and there you go, it was filled with clean and tasty water.  Very refreshing!

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Drinking water contained within a bamboo shoot

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Drinking water contained within a bamboo shoot

There was a local small village seen just off the trail.  The locals have removed their original huts and replaced them with concrete buildings.  In the past they took this tour group to visit the village, but their traditional ways have been replaced with more modern ways.  The tour group took them off the list of stops…it would have been cool to see them in their traditional ways, but I cannot fault them for swapping bamboo for concrete.

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A small village located by the Rafflesia (the world’s largest flower) hiking path

At the base of the Rafflesia walk the guides displayed an authentic bamboo blowdart gun.  They demonstrated how it worked, then we took turns shooting darts at the target.  It was our “Survivor Reward Challenge” moment.

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Authentic bamboo blowgun

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Authentic bamboo blowgun

Then after a quick lunch, we moved on to the B.O.H. Tea Plantation.  B.O.H. is a world renowned manufacturer of tea.  Their grounds were very beautiful.

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The B.O.H. Tea Plantation landscape

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The B.O.H. Tea Plantation landscape

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The B.O.H. Tea Plantation landscape

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The B.O.H. Tea Plantation landscape

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The B.O.H. Tea Plantation landscape

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The B.O.H. Tea Plantation landscape

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The B.O.H. Tea Plantation landscape

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The B.O.H. Tea Plantation landscape

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The B.O.H. Tea Plantation landscape

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The B.O.H. Tea Plantation landscape

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The B.O.H. Tea Plantation landscape

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The B.O.H. Tea Plantation landscape

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The B.O.H. Tea Plantation landscape

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The B.O.H. Tea Plantation landscape

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The B.O.H. Tea Plantation landscape

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The B.O.H. Tea Plantation landscape

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The B.O.H. Tea Plantation landscape

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The B.O.H. Tea Plantation landscape

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The B.O.H. Tea Plantation landscape

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The B.O.H. Tea Plantation landscape

The equipment used over the years was on display for our viewing.

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The B.O.H. Tea Plantation

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The B.O.H. Tea Plantation

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The B.O.H. Tea Plantation

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The B.O.H. Tea Plantation

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The B.O.H. Tea Plantation

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The B.O.H. Tea Plantation

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The B.O.H. Tea Plantation

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The B.O.H. Tea Plantation

They had a tea sales area and the walls of the hallway were neatly designed with cut pieces of wood.

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The B.O.H. Tea Plantation

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The B.O.H. Tea Plantation

The weather was sunny and rain throughout the day, so we could experience the rainforest.

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The B.O.H. Tea Plantation

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The B.O.H. Tea Plantation

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The B.O.H. Tea Plantation…the car parked and the sign that says not to park there. That’s Malaysia folks!

Then we went to the Butterfly Farm.  It contained a heck of a lot more than butterflies, but they were present in multiple species.

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The Butterfly Farm – the butterfly cage

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The Butterfly Farm – the butterfly cage

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The Butterfly Farm – the butterfly cage

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The Butterfly Farm – the butterfly cage

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The Butterfly Farm – the butterfly cage

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The Butterfly Farm – the butterfly cage

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The Butterfly Farm – the butterfly cage

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The Butterfly Farm – the butterfly cage

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The Butterfly Farm – the butterfly cage

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The Butterfly Farm – the butterfly cage

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The Butterfly Farm – the butterfly cage

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The Butterfly Farm – the butterfly cage

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The Butterfly Farm – a beetle enclosure

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The Butterfly Farm – a frog enclosure

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The Butterfly Farm – this little guy wasn’t camera shy!

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The Butterfly Farm – a couple of lizards

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The Butterfly Farm – a turtle enclosure

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The Butterfly Farm – a snake enclosure

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The Butterfly Farm – a snake enclosure

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The Butterfly Farm – a snake enclosure

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The Butterfly Farm – a snake enclosure

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The Butterfly Farm – a snake enclosure

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The Butterfly Farm – a snake enclosure with a white mouse who actually attacked the snake and was winning while we watched!

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The Butterfly Farm – a snake enclosure with a white mouse who actually attacked the snake and was winning while we watched!

The final stop was the Strawberry Farm.  It wasn’t much more than its name.  Saskatchewan has its fair share of strawberry farms, so this was neat but nothing new for us.

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The Strawberry Farm entrance

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The Strawberry Farm

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The Strawberry Farm

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The Strawberry Farm

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The Strawberry Farm

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The Strawberry Farm

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The Strawberry Farm

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The Strawberry Farm goods for sale

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The Strawberry Farm goods for sale

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The Strawberry Farm goods for sale

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The Strawberry Farm goods for sale

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The Strawberry Farm goods for sale

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The Strawberry Farm goods for sale

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The Strawberry Farm goods for sale

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The Strawberry Farm goods for sale

The Cameron Highlands were a good experience and we plan to return here in about 5-6 months time as we return to Malaysia for a festival in Kuala Lumpur.  Next we travel via bus to Kuala Lumpur so we can catch a flight to a new and exciting destination.

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For more photos of our adventure go to our flickr account here.

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