Eva (Stenbäck) Nordblom<email@example.com>
My brother Anders and I went to Chefoo school in Cameron Highlands 1971-73. Of all the 13 schools (even counting high schools and universities), Chefoo was my absolute favorite. The beauty of the surroundings, the friendly atmosphere and the fact that we were living in an adventure has given us memories for our lifetime. One day, we had a backward day. We were woken up by our dorm auntie, saying: Good night! Then we had our evening prayers and a hot bath. Desert was served before the hot meal and in the end of the day, we had breakfast and at last morning prayers in the assembly room. We were put to bed with a "Good morning!" This made many of the pupils walk backwards or put their clothes on with the buttons on the back. I have always compared other schools with Chefoo and no other school has come close. But now our eldest son goes to a small free school in Uppsala (Sweden) which reminds me of old times in Cameron Highlands. And it makes me warm. When we were smaller, the whole family often went to Cameron Highlands for holidays. We mostly stayed at Lutheran Bungalow. It was exiting to light fires and to sleep with blankets to keep warm. In Penang, we never used a cardigan nor had hot water baths. I love the Cameron Highlands, but it has changed quite a lot since then.
Joanne O Meadhra<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Hi, my new husband and I have just returned home to Ireland from our honeymoon in Malaysia. We joined a very well organised tour that gave us a very comprehensive look at Malaysia and all her cultural features. We stayed a night in the CH at the Equatorial which I must admit felt like a very very sad building. It was like time had passed it by and it reminded me somewhat of the old fashioned holiday camps in Britain and Ireland such as Butlins. On the plus side we ate some very nice local Indian food for next to nothing. The highlands were amazing though and I was pleasantly suprised by the climate. I cant wait to make a return visit some day.
In 1955 I was stationed with 'A' Troop,35 Field Battery at Boh Tea Estate in the Highlands, much different then to now no doubt but still an amazingly beautiful area, especially to someone of nineteen years of age originating from the North Nottinghamshire coalfields.I remember the tortureously narrow trackway from the main road upto the factory and our eventual tentlines on the managers tennis court, While above the factory on a small plateau we blasted tons of shells at the CT's.I remember being Monsooned out of a previous camp and spending a night in one of the bungalow garages, possibly 'Hilltop', also recall the kindness and generousity of the estate workers and townsfolk of Tanah Rata. Good days, never to be forgotten, and still recalled with the help of my photo collection. Tom Eadie (Hi Tom, if you have some old pics of the Camerons, can you please send them to me so I can put them up on this section of IpohTalk.com? I have a few pics of Hilltop bungalow and will post them to the Ipoh Talk Forum soon. Best wishes, kayes).
I'm from Ipoh and have been to this lovely hill resort several times since I was a little girl.I've always been in love with Camerons and I told myself that I would like to retire here one day. So when the new road was opened, I just couldn't believe that Camerons is now at my door step, so to speak. Just last year alone, I've been up there over 15 times, mostly on day trips. My friends and I would head for our usual favourite shops for food at Kg Rajah,then for roti canai, teh tarik or steam boat (cheaper than Ipoh).We have probably visited all the nurseries and shops opened along the roads, seen the pasar malam at Brinchang. My retired friend would take his own self-made kites to fly in the open school field at Tanah Rata while we would lie down on mats in the adjoining park and enjoy the cool fresh air at the same time trying to keep track of the little dot (the kite)in the sky. Then we would head for our favourite tea shop for scones, tea and chocolate cakes. Another personal experience of mine in this ancient hill resort which left me sweetlasting memories was when I was staying up at Cluny Lodge.I had a crush on one of the young good looking cooks who were ever so attentive to us...I do not know whether it was his good looks or his cooking skills but I was ever so young myself, probably 14 or 15.And I remember leaving with a forlorn heart with the haunting song "River Road" playing over and over in my mind. The combination of the then lonely and quiet hills,mist and sadness overcame me...wasn't I a romantic then and am still is! So the hills will always be my favourite spot in M'sia and even till now "the hills in Camerons are alive with the sound of music". I would love to walk the hills again and again on my own if not for safety reasons.
I lived in Tanah Rata, CH for a year in 1995 with my family when I was 7. I went to school at Chefoo School. I used to live in Apartment C1, Sri Jasar Flats, Larong Jasar 3, 39000 Tanah Rata. Does anyone know if those apartments are still there? I know there's been a lot of building work in Tanah Rata over the last decade. I'm visiting CH for the first time in 11 years this July - would be great to find out some more of what has happened to the town that shaped my childhood. Please email if you have any information. Thanks
The Cameron Highlands have always been full of mysteries. Jungle tales abound with stories of man eating tigers and body snatching spirits. A friend who stayed at one of the bungalows swore to me he saw ghosts. I was (and still am) a frequent visitor to this highland retreat since the 60s but I never had the opportunity to see any tiger nor ghost. The only fear I had was when we got briefly lost while jungle trekking with my children in the 70s. During those 30 minutes or so when we were lost at dusk near Brinchang , the jungle never felt more eerie and threatening.
The greatest mystery of all times in the Camerons must be the complete disappearance of Jim Thompson, often called the Thai Silk King. He vanished without a trace while staying at one of the highest and most beautiful bungalows at Tanah Rata, called Moonlight, see pic above. On 26 March 1967 in the afternoon, Jim Thompson went for a walk along one of the jungle trails leading from the bungalow and was never seen again. Many said he was carried off by a hungry tiger while some said it was the evil spirits of the jungle. Others said it was the work of the Russian KGB as Jim Thompson was a former CIA agent before he settled in Bangkok. Due to his high profile, searches were conducted for months but not one search party could find a single trace of this missing person.
During that time Moonlight was owned by one Dr Ling and subsequently, the owner was one of my friends, an Ipoh lawyer. The bungalow is still there and very well kept. It is now owned by someone in KL who rents it out. If you ever stay there, try to walk down the jungle trail leading downhill from the left side of the house and maybe you will discover why Jim Thompson never came back.
Landrover Note: Have you ever wondered why there are so many Landrovers up at the Cameron Highlands? Well, one obvious reason would be the suitability of the hardy Landrover to the kind of rough and hilly terrain in the Camerons. Another reason is that Landrover owners in the Camerons pay only 10% of the road tax which is otherwise payable in other parts of the country. However, the "Cameron Landrovers" cannot be driven beyond the Cameron Highlands district. The farmers are the main users of these Landrovers, using them to transport vegetables, flowers, fertilisers and workers between the towns of Tanah Rata, Brinchang, Kampung Raja, Kuala Terla and Tringkap. I have owned two Range Rovers and both felt very much "at home" whenever I drove them to the Camerons from Penang. The late Stanley Foster (of Smokehouse and Lakehouse fame) designed his house in Ringlet in such a way (with a steep gradient) that only Landrovers (and Range Rovers) could drive up.
Used to make a yearly trip to CH during the 80's.Things was easy going then not like now.The traffic jam during holidays can be pretty bad.Now with the road from Simpang Pulai things are getting much worst but good for the traders!
I always enjoy the pleasant drive to CH. My stay in CH has not been very pleasant though. Having worked in Malaysia since 1990 (I am from Hongkong), I have only been to CH 4 times. Perhaps I am not familiar with the places that I can stay and enjoy a good meal. So far I have stayed in Merlin, Rosa Passadena and Equatorial but it was not that nice. The hotel people are not very friendly nor helpful. I enjoyed my stay though in Hillsbrow Bungalow complete with nice menu which is run by Sime Darby. I personally like a chalet/bungalow stay with warm home cooked meals. Are there any recommendations? I am thinking of going up again this coming school holiday. <hello Yeung, "Moongate" has since been sold and they no longer rent it out as the owners live there now. I am not sure whether "Dunhelen" is still available for rent. If you ask Mrs Robertson of Rose Garden, she might be able to tell you as she was the one in charge of bookings for Moongate & Dunhelen in the 70s and 80s. "Wayfoong" belongs to HSBC Bank and it is difficult to book unless you have strong connections with the bank. You can try to book the Hilltop Bungalow (019-3714846) or the Bukit Lowick Bungalow (03-27101133).
My first trip up CH was when I was a boy age 6(1967). My family stayed at a local hotel at Brinchang. Those days, early morning at CH was very cold and misty. I remember cooking oil even "froze" due to its very cool climate. I still enjoy going up CH now, better still with the new road. I like to drink tea at the Bharat Teashop and enjoy the view there. Hotels I have stayed : Cool Point Hotel and Century Pines(previously Garden Inn). I also enjoy morning walks from Tanah Rata to the Smokehouse. I usually go there during off-peak season, not too crowded and lower cost.
Any bungalow or chalet that allow dogs ? if yes, I can plan a trip for a bunch of 20 - 30 pax of people up with their doggies. Would prefer bungalow ... any recommendation would be much appreicated.
Camerons has always been one of my favourite holiday destinations. Often enjoyed the drive up, either on the old road or the new one from Simpang Pulai. Have stayed in many places there. Used to rent a bungalow in Brinchang called "Moongate" which at that time belonged to a Duncan Robertson who was most of the time away in Thailand or Cambodia. If Moongate was not available, then it was the "Dunhelen" also in Brinchang. Also had the opportunity to stay at the HSBC Bank bungalow called "Wayfoong" which is one of the best properties high up in Tanah Ratah. Playing tennis at Wayfoong is like playing in the sky. Hotels I have stayed at are the Smokehouse, Lake House, Strawberry Park, Merlin, Heritage and the Equatorial. Camerons was at its best in the 60s and 70s when development was at its minimum. Today we see an overdeveloped and overcrowded highland resort especially during peak seasons ..... still worth a visit though :-)