When No Wifi and No Housekeeping Becomes a Plus – Dreamscape Apartments @ Cameron Highlands 

We booked this apartment homestay from the Agoda website after reading some favorable reviews about it online.
The apartments are located in Barrington Square at the brand new Golden Hills neighbourhood which is only 3km out of Brinchang in the direction of Tanah Rata. This is also the new location of the famous Brinchang Night Market. However, we did not get a chance to experience this as the market is only in operation during the weekends, and we were there only from Monday to Thursday.

The apartment itself is really good. Clean, spacious, with two bedrooms with a queen bed in each, a living cum dining room and a basic kitchenette with microwave oven, kettle, multipurpose cooker and refrigerator. There are also spare mattresses and pillows should there be a need.

We also liked that there was a secure basement carpark with access only via a tap card. There was also a well stocked grocer just downstairs where prices were extremely reasonable.

The downside was that there was no wifi provided and mobile data connection in the area was also very poor. So we basically had to survive without Internet access for our time there, which might actually be a good thing as it forced us to do things as a family and not to be glued to our devices all the time.

The other downside is that there is no daily housekeeping service here, which meant that everybody had to step up to make the beds and do the dishes, which might actually be a good thing! It gave us the opportunity to get our kids involved in making their own beds and sweeping the floor! I have to give our daughter credit, she was actually extremely enthusiastic about doing the daily chores!

(Rating 8/10, a real steal at SGD160 for 3 nights, no wifi, no housekeeping)


Here are the links to the other parts in this Blog Series:

Reviews of Hotels and Restaurants:

My wife and I enjoy having guests over at our place for fellowship and a nice home-cooked meal. So if you would like to drop by to try some of my wife’s wonderful cooking and to talk more about travel and life, do drop me a mail at lenniechua@gmail.com to arrange a dinner date! Everyone welcome!


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2017 Drive from Singapore to Thailand – Day 15 – Lata Iskandar Falls

Today, we packed our bags and checked out of our apartment homestay, and headed towards our next destination – Melaka.

On the way out of Cameron Highlands, we like to take the Tapah route which is older and more winding. I wouldn’t recommend this route to newbies as it is more challenging and the road is much narrower with fewer opportunities to overtake slow vehicles. However, if you are up for the challenge, this is actually the more scenic route!

Just a few tips when going down the mountain. If you have a manual or semi-manual transmission, stick your car in low gear (I recommend gear 3) and use the gear box to help brake your vehicle down the mountain. In this way, you will avoid wearing out your foot brake. There is nothing more scary than having worn out brakes as you hurtle down the mountain towards certain doom. Do also watch out for dogs as many of them like to hang out on the road and they don’t move even if you honk at them.
We also chose to go down on a Friday morning, setting off at around 9:45am after breakfast. This is the day we know most people will be coming up the mountain to enjoy the weekend festivities of the Brinchang night market. This means that most of the jam will be on the opposite side lf the road, and traffic will be smoother on our side. The downside is that we miss the entire Night Market experience. Ah well, we win some we lose some. 😛

On the way down, the experience will be like you are driving through the heart of a forest as there will be lush greenery on both sides as well as overhanging branches arching over the road. Do lookout for the huts along the road where the Orang Asli live:

Look out also for the Lata Iskandar Falls where you really should stop your car at the side of the road and get out to take some photos. This is a really scenic spot, much nicer than the Parit Falls where I did my morming walk a few days back!

After Lata Iskandar, we proceeded on our 360km journey to Melaka, which thankfully went by uneventfully. We arrived at Novotel Melaka at around 4pm.


Click HERE to read my concluding thoughts about our 2017 epic drive from Singapore to Thailand.

Here are the links to the other parts in this Blog Series:

Reviews of Hotels and Restaurants:

My wife and I enjoy having guests over at our place for fellowship and a nice home-cooked meal. So if you would like to drop by to try some of my wife’s wonderful cooking and to talk more about travel and life, do drop me a mail at lenniechua@gmail.com to arrange a dinner date! Everyone welcome!


 

2017 Drive from Singapore to Thailand – Day 14 – Tea Paradise!

Cameron Highlands is the home of renowned tea companies such as Boh and Cameron Bharat. Everyone who comes here HAS to visit at least one of the plantations. If not, you are missing a big chunk of the Cameron Highland experience.

Some of the plantations, like Cameron Bharat’s, are easily accessible along the main road of Route 59, but to get to the Boh Sungei Palas plantation, you will have to navigate a tricky narrow winding side road off the main road at the Kea Farm settlement.

This side road is full of potholes and barely able to fit two cars side by side. At some parts, if you drift too wide while trying to clear the oncoming vehicles, you might be facing a sheer drop into the tea valley below. This is a scary proposition, especially for the first timer, but I assure you it is well worth it. The views along this side road are majestic. You just need to buckle up, go slow, and honk when you are approaching a blind corner to alert the oncoming vehicles of your presence. Look out for certain spots where the road widens and wait here while the oncoming vehicles clear your car, before proceeding ahead. There is no point risking damage to your vehicles by squeezing at the narrow parts of the road.

One you reach the Boh Plantation Visitor Centre, do get some tea and scones and admire the magnificent views from the viewing platform of the tea valleys and the mountain peaks. You can also view the exhibits on display and take a free factory tour, which is actually rather enjoyable and informative.


Click HERE to read the next installment of my 2017 SG-TH blog series where I share about our visit to the Lata Iskandar Falls on the way down from Cameron Highlands.

Here are the links to the other parts in this Blog Series:

Reviews of Hotels and Restaurants:

My wife and I enjoy having guests over at our place for fellowship and a nice home-cooked meal. So if you would like to drop by to try some of my wife’s wonderful cooking and to talk more about travel and life, do drop me a mail at lenniechua@gmail.com to arrange a dinner date! Everyone welcome!


 

2017 Drive from Singapore to Thailand – Day 14 – The Big Red Strawberry Farm

You can’t go to Cameron Highlands without paying a visit to a strawberry farm and a tea plantation. Well you shouldn’t anyway… the strawberries and tea are everywhere.

Our favorite strawberry farm is the big one at Brinchang Town – The Big Red Strawberry Farm. You can find it up a very steep slope off one of the side lanes. Plenty of signs around, you can’t miss it.

The great thing about this place is that you don’t really have to buy anything for your family to enjoy yourselves here. Your kids will have fun posing as giant strawberries and there are plenty of things to see without even paying to pick the strawberries.

There are even kid’s rides at a cheap RM1 which will entertain your little ones while you enjoy a nice strawberry dessert or drink from the cafe.

The scary thing about this place is the steep slope up and down which you have to navigate carefully with your vehicle. Go slow and save your suspension!


Click HERE to read about how we navigated the tricky side roads into the beautiful Boh Sungei Palas Tea plantation.

Here are the links to the other parts in this Blog Series:

Reviews of Hotels and Restaurants:

My wife and I enjoy having guests over at our place for fellowship and a nice home-cooked meal. So if you would like to drop by to try some of my wife’s wonderful cooking and to talk more about travel and life, do drop me a mail at lenniechua@gmail.com to arrange a dinner date! Everyone welcome!


 

2017 Drive from Singapore to Thailand – Day 13 – Morning Walk to Parit Falls

Parit Falls is a quaint little waterfall easily accessible from the Taman Sedia neighbourhood in between the two big Cameron towns of Brinchang and Tanah Rata.

From our apartment at Golden Hills, I took a leisurely morning walk heading towards the waterfall.

Mornings at Cameron are rather chilly, reminding me of a cool spring day in England, and it is excellent weather to be out and about enjoying the greenery amd scenery all around.

Along the way, I passed by the golf course and managed to take some nice pictures of the sunrise:

There were also some nice buildings along the way like this All Souls Anglican Church:

And this white colonial building that is now a holiday homestay:

The walk totalled 6km there and back. I didn’t venture very deep into trails within the park, as the ground was uneven and slippery, without railings. I didn’t want to risk a fall and injury. This trip has already been eventful enough! 😛 

The falls itself is nothing out of the ordinary, but it was still nice to hear the sounds of flowing water and the life of the forest. It is a real pity though the amount of trash that can be seen in the water around the falls. Humans really need to learn to respect nature and not destroy it with our rubbish. It really spoils the whole environment and the sense of pristine tranquility.


Click HERE to read the next installment of my 2017 SG-TH blog series where I share about our visit to the Big Red Strawberry Farm.

Here are the links to the other parts in this Blog Series:

Reviews of Hotels and Restaurants:

My wife and I enjoy having guests over at our place for fellowship and a nice home-cooked meal. So if you would like to drop by to try some of my wife’s wonderful cooking and to talk more about travel and life, do drop me a mail at lenniechua@gmail.com to arrange a dinner date! Everyone welcome!


2017 Drive from Singapore to Thailand – Day 12 – Flat Tyre up Cameron Highlands

Today, we set off from Jitra on a 340km leg to Cameron Highlands, taking the less winding Simpang Pulai route. We always enjoy the scenic drive up the mountains because of the breathtaking sights of the mountain peaks and the valleys below. The air is also so much fresher and cooler, and we take advantage of this by putting down the car windows to enjoy the natural ventilation.
Everything went smoothly except halfway up the mountain, my car’s warning lights started to flash, telling us that our rear right tyre pressure was low. Oh dear. Not good. This could mean my tyre was leaking air, and I might be facing having to deal with a flat tyre literally in the middle of nowhere. The nearest petrol station was still 40km away and I had not much of a choice. The car still seemed to be driving fine without the bumps of having a fully flat tire. I decided to risk aiming for the petrol stations at Brinchang, while driving as smoothly as possible to avoid aggravating the damage. I had only changed my full set of tyres about 3 months back so I was hoping the damage wasn’t going to be all that serious. 

To make things worse, the skies opened and it started to rain. Drama indeed. 

Thankfully, we reached the petrol station safely and I pumped up all four tyres to the recommended pressure before setting off to collect our apartment keys. There was a cut off time to collect the keys, so that also added to my anxiety. I stopped the car at the side of the apartment complex, collected our keys and then noticed a distinct hissing sound coming from the rear right tyre, clearly audible even through the rain. The tyre was most definitely leaking air and if I don’t get it rectified, it is another battle looming with my inconvenient spare tyre.

We got a recommendation of a tyre shop back in Brinchang, and I was very grateful for the service rendered. They quickly identified the leak, patched it up without even trying to sell us a new set of tyres. Best of all, the cost was only RM10. Thank God. All’s well that ends well. Now, I’m left wondering how long my patched up tyre will last…



Click HERE to read the next installment of my 2017 SG-TH blog series where I share about my morning walk to Parit Falls.

Here are the links to the other parts in this Blog Series:

Reviews of Hotels and Restaurants:

My wife and I enjoy having guests over at our place for fellowship and a nice home-cooked meal. So if you would like to drop by to try some of my wife’s wonderful cooking and to talk more about travel and life, do drop me a mail at lenniechua@gmail.com to arrange a dinner date! Everyone welcome!