Malaysia’s beautiful green bowl
Diverse: it’s a great word to describe Malaysia. A melting-pot of cultures, a land of contrasts and a kaleidoscope of colours. From its urban skyscrapers to welcoming villages, it’s a country that never ceases to amaze and delight, as Intrepid’s Chotie Moloney discovers…
“A sea of green. As far as my eyes could take in. Cool, fresh, life sustaining; green.
As I gazed at the surrounding hills, the expanse of land appeared like an intricately woven pattern, linking the acres of textured green landscape before me. Hard to believe I was still in Malaysia. Was it really only 24 hours ago that I was melting in the humidity of Kuala Lumpur, reaching for my next lime juice with sugar and ice?
The verdant terraced slopes and mist covered mountain tops in the Cameron Highlands are ideal for growing tea, cabbages, lettuce, green peppers and many other fruit and vegetables for the country. Malaysia’s ‘Green Bowl’ is also a popular retreat for city folk and tourists alike, who escape to the highlands for the peace that the cool, fresh air affords them.
Remnants of colonial rule are still evident, from the Tudor design of chalets and English country inns to the curio shops. At a local tea-house in Tanah Rata’s main street I enjoyed several cups of thirst-quenching English Breakfast tea and sticky sweet treats. The ‘stickies’ consisting of scones with jam and cream, apple pie, apple cake and tea cake with cinnamon. There were a few of us, so we ordered many desserts and tucked in! Delicious.
After visiting a tea plantation, rose nursery, insect museum and local fruit market, we dropped in at one of the strawberry farms and I soon discovered the house specialty; strawberries covered in icing sugar and whipped cream. The utensil of choice, a long wooden stick with a sharp edge, perfect for spearing each succulent berry!”
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* photo by Antoine Tardy – Intrepid Photography Competition