Sunday, September 14, 2014

Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

Hello to you fine People,

     Once again, I am taking you all with me on my travels.  Andre and I packed up and went to Cameron Highlands in Malaysia (Sept 13 and 14th).  Just a trip to get away for a bit, plus, his fascination for Land Rovers "Landies" as Andre calls them drove us up about 1100 meters.  The British used to have them assembled in that region and upon their departure left quite a number of the vehicles behind, thus explains the great number of very old Landies (not to mention state regulation in regards to taxes makes them very affordable and desirable).  Malaysia is also known for its local fruit, the DURIAN.  Famous for its awful smell, but supposedly very sweet taste and creamy texture...I shall share my experience with you fine people... Let's start our journey, shall we (remember to click on the pictures for larger view:

 The local water supply:

Buying Local Fruit: local sweet bananas.  Note the round fruit hanging there are mountain mangosteen... He gave me one to taste, unfortunately I don't have pictures of that, but they are really really tasty (if you don't bite down, grind up the seed and swallow that, which, apparently tastes bitter according to Andre..LOL)


The famous "Landies"

The Highlands are known for their tea plantations: 

 (Bus trouble and Andre can hardly hold himself back... it's not a VW so I guess he is satisfied just taking pictures of the puzzled guys, ha)

The pictures do not show what an awesome view this all actually was.  Incredible and well worth seeing.  

The Local Food:

YUP.. even a Starbucks for those spoiled western trekkers... well, and me :-)


      I spoke with this nice lady, a local, who told me that one must have a taste of this delicious fruit.  Never mind the smell, she said, it makes this fruit extra special.  Her husband bought a Durian and invited Andre and me to have a taste.  In a split second he quartered the fruit and exposed the innards... I cannot tell you how bad it smells, even when outside with fresh air.  The lady said that the smell of one Durian in a home will only linger for 3 days and then will lose its odor... I am not so sure if the fruit loses its smell or if it actually takes that long for our receptors to get used to it..  I asked her what else the locals do with the fruit and to my surprise they cook with it.  They add chilli peppers and chicken, for instance.  The lady spoke with such  passion of this smelly local fruit that I could not resist tasting it (not to mention that her husband strongly insisted)... I tasted it fearfully, I admit... so here i go...


 You peel the fleshy part out of the quartered Durian shell... touching it feels like a raw chicken breast without the slimy membrane.. as you hold it and apply some slight pressure, it gets somewhat sticky.  It has a large seed inside, so you don't bite down, but gently pull the fleshy, creamy part away from the seed with your teeth.  The texture is creamy but somewhat like a very thick custard... it is really sweet (not overwhelmingly though!!!).  You cannot chew it, but rather spread it with your tongue to make its way down to your throat... this leaves a film/residue on your tongue and gums which stays for a while before it's broken down, but then comes the bad aftertaste... to me, that's when the fruit tasted like it smelled... that aftertaste...  Perhaps one needs to quickly use a liquid to drink that cleanses your mouth without destroying the sweet taste one experiences with the first bite.

On the way back down: Leaving you with more of my local impressions:

 Here I'd like to add my own thoughts once more (you know me): The pictures depict the poverty the people in the mountains endure.  However, I'd like to think that they do have all they need/perhaps even want.  Perhaps not the comfort all westerners like to think we need to have as all western comfort comes with a price-tag... a price-tag that brings upon more poverty.. disagree if you must.. but before we say what kind of sad living these people must have, go and have a conversation with them.  The people here were always full of smiles, so very polite and quite a joy; non-complaining.  They did not seem to be depressed that they don't have a 3000 square-foot home with a huge yard and a huge pool to impress the neighbors. To me, they seemed to be happy people without the capitalistic thinking.  Neither do I believe they need to be developed in a western kind of fashion.  I do not want to deny them progress... but let them have their own progress without the typical cliche judgement... they are not to be pitied, I think... just go and talk to them and you will see. What they do deserve is respect, but not pity from a spoiled western vacationer. (stepping off my soap box now)

 some traffic:

I just thought that was funny :-)

Thus ended our weekend in Malaysia... stay tuned.... until then... hugs, kisses and all that fun stuff from me to you fine people.


  1. Once again, thanks for sharing. I'm sure this is as close as I'll ever get to visiting ����

    1. Glad I could take you along like this then ��

  2. Awesome adventure, than you for taking us along...xoxo

  3. Missing you, but enjoying your travels and comments. I agree with you, we don't need to push our way of life onto others, but let them progress at their own pace.

    1. Hello there, anonymous . I miss you too?�� Cheers to a shared opinion, my friend!


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