Travel Journal

George Town and Bus to Cameron Highlands

(Tuesday 26 May 2009) by Dopps Family
Bus trip to Cameron Highlands, Tanah Rata, Malaysia (May 26th)
Yesterday was our last full day on Penang Island so we decided to take the local bus back into George Town and explore the many historical sites in the town center. The touristiest way to see the sites is via one of the many trishaws (or rickshaws) whose drivers basically swarm around you at the slightest hint of a possible fare. Since they only carry two “safely” we hired a couple as Carola negotiated the rate of RM25 each for 1 hour and explained the route and sites we wished to visit. The first place they took us to was the local history museum (not on our list) but since it takes an hour to properly tour we figured that was a poor way to spend our 25 ringgit but smart of the trishaw drivers. So we proceeded onward into oncoming traffic and weaving through the busy streets. These guys must have complete right of way since they seem to just go wherever they want regardless of the traffic or how uncomfortable their passengers may appear. After visiting a mosque, Chinese temple and other sites, our hour was quickly up and we continued by foot back into Little India where we had a traditional Indian lunch where everyone eats with only your fingers and hands. A bit messy, but for once there was no need to tell the kids to “stop eating with your fingers”. With the girls getting tired we headed back to our hotel in a completely packed city bus to once again cool off in the pool.
Tuesday, May 26th, we packed up and caught a taxi to the long distance bus station south of George Town and took a 6 hour bus ride to Tanah Rata in the Cameron Highlands. It was a good travel day since a major storm which was caused by a cyclone in India hit us early in the morning and just dumped rain. Luckily the worst was over by the time we left the hotel and arrived at the bust station, 15 minutes before the bus left. After buying our tickets, 31 ringgit per person, and some snacks, we boarded our bus which had seen better days and headed to our next destination. Tanah Rata is a popular tourist destination in the Cameron Highlands roughly 1700 meters in elevation so the temperature is moderate and almost cold compared to the hot and muggy lowlands earlier. Aside from having the bus stop on the way so Anisa could pee, and water pouring inside along the windows, the ride wasn’t too bad but I prefer train travel instead. When we arrived at the bus station in Tanah Rata we had about 10 guys thrusting leaflets into our hands for places to stay and offering free transfers to their advertised locations. One of the leaflets was for Hill View Inn, which we had already read about in the Lonely Planet, so here we are.
What we’ve seen so far is very inviting and the town center is small and easily walked with numerous Indian, Chinese and Malay restaurants, cafes, and shops with delicious looking food. We may stay a 3rd night here if we can figure out better travel plans back to Singapore…

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