The guide to café-hopping in Cameron Highlands

One thing that one can never miss while scrolling through their Instagram is a whole string of photos of food, cozy environment and beautiful cafés that people are visiting. As far as I can remember, cafes weren’t really popular, until maybe two or three years ago and has become such a huge culture here in Malaysia.

With so many cafés sprouting like mushrooms after a heavy downpour, café hopping has become a normal weekend activity that Malaysians really love. In Cameron Highlands, there are some cafés worthy to be hopped up in the mountains. Check these out:

Lord’s Café

lordscafe

lordscafefood

This quaint little café located along Jalan Besar in Tanah Rata is the perfect place for your afternoon tea with the most delicious and sumptuous scones around. Fresh out of the oven, you can either pick their signature Strawberry scones or the normal, butter one. If you are a cake person, they do not disappoint in their variety of cakes, pastries and pancakes. Serving also local English and other varieties of teas, Lord’s Café is the best place for your evening siesta.

Address: No 4, 1st Floor, Jalan Besar, Tanah Rata.

 

The Barracks Café

barrackscafe

barrackfood

barrackgarden

Located in Tanah Rata at the edge of the town, Barracks Café is actually a real military barrack that was built during the World War II by the British. Their menu has an extensive mouthwatering dishes which includes pasta, salad, rice dishes as well as a wide selection of cakes and pastries. You can also enjoy your afternoon tea in their beautiful garden, just like how it was done years ago.

Address: No 1, Jalan Gereja, Tanah Rata.

 

Fruit Delights Café

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If you are into fruits, then this café is dedicated specially for you. Just like what its name indicates, Fruit Delights Café offers fresh fruit juice of every kind, and varieties of teas. They have put together an impressive selection of fruit desserts like strawberry ice- cream, raspberry cheese cake, durian cake, mango milkshake, and many more. They also offer local food like pineapple rice, pineapple curry rice, steamboat and fresh fruits. This place is a total delight!

Address: 27 Jalan Besar, Tanah Rata.

 

Teh Tarik Place

tehtarik

This café is located at Cameron Square in Brinchang. They serve Malaysia’s renowned street food like Teh Tarik, crispy hand-tossed Roti Canai, Nasi Kerabu, Nasi Lemak and Mee Goreng Mamak. If you can’t live without Teh Tarik for a day, this place is a must visit.

Address: Ground Floor, Cameron Square, Brinchang.

 

Tea’Ria Cafe @ Boh Tea Center

bohtea

A definite must on the list of cafe-hopping in Cameron Highlands is a visit to Sungei Palas Boh Tea Cafe, also known as Tea’Ria. Tea’Ria offers their own varieties of teas that exude refinement by infusing exotic spice and fruit flavours with tea’s own aroma. You can enjoy your blissful cup of tea while enjoying the fresh air overlooking the tea plantation.

Address: Sg Palas Boh Tea Center, Brinchang.

Now that I have covered some of the best place for café-hopping in Cameron Highlands, here are also some great hotels where you can unwind and relax after your blissful-strawberry filled evening.

Copthorne Cameron Highlands – Staying here, you are waking up to cool mountain air and lush greenery. A 4-star hotel, Copthorne Cameron Highlands offer a choice of 341 full-service guest rooms and apartments, all furnished with modern amenities.

Cameron Highland ResortCameron Highlands Resort is built as a long extension from an existing 1930s cottage with architecture dating from the 1070s. The thing that draws people to this hotel lies in the interiors that dates back to its grand colonial heritage with tall French doors, timber-beamed ceilings and plantation shutters.

For the best deals in town when it comes to hotels, get it straight through Traveloka.

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Great dining experience at Simba Hill Gourmet Hall, Bukit Gambang Safari Park

Really, I am not into blogging about food but I have to blog about this one. Love the food and the place!

gourmet hall

We were so hungry and this was the first restaurant we saw and just went inside to look at the menu. Once inside, I was mesmerised by the interior design. I think it’s beautiful.

gh1Diners can throw a view outside to see white lions.

gh2Beautiful lion print and original paintings to decorate the wall.

gh3More paintings and tables at one corner.

After admiring the hall, we ordered the food. We had Mushroom Soup with Garlic Bread, Prawn Aglio Olio and Black Pepper Steak.

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gh8

gh7The food was superb! I commend the chef for the taste and the presentation. If you plan to visit Bukit Gambang Safari Park, you must drop by this Simba Hill Gourmet Hall and dine here. I am not paid for this but I truly want to share the experience.

Simba Hill Gourmet Hall opens from  2.00pm – 10.00pm and serves western-style, local delights and vegetarian food. The Hall can serve up to 200 person where it is the best place for functions or birthday parties.

You might hear roaring lions while dining. Be ready, this is what this safari-theme restaurant is offering. Roarrr!!

 

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Sungai Lembing Mines, Kuantan, Pahang

After visiting Sungai Lembing Museum, I followed my husband and his boss together with the production crew accompanied by an officer from the museum to visit Sungai Lembing Mines. Yassin and I were thrilled because this was our first experience entering a mine! There are actually 3 mines opening there but we were guided through the original mine, the part that has been restored and now open for visitors.

Mines-openings

We entered the mine by a tram. It brought us to about halfway inside the original mine and later we have to walk. We were also accompanied by few workers working on the restoration of the mines to ensure our safety. They also tell us a bit of history about the mines and the restoration that have been done to the mine.

tram

The original mine displays various collections of mining paraphernalia. There are mannequins, drilling machines, trams, interactive exhibits, info boards and other extravaganzas.

Chronology
Chronology of Companies handling the mines.  In 1888, Sultan Ahmad Al-Mu’adzamShah of Pahang granted an 80-year tin mining concession, covering 2000 square miles, to the English-controlled Pahang Corporation.

Pioneers
Information board about the pioneers of the mines of how The Pahang Corporation built wharves, warehouses and hospital after their migrant Chinese workers fell victim to beri-beri and intestinal disease.

Sculptures
Mannequins to represent workers working in the mine. Photographs were given as reference to the commissioned mannequins sculptors in India. They were shipped here and placed in the Million Dollar Chamber.

Million Dollar Chamber
A large scale heist of epic proportions was believed to have happened in this chamber in 1987, shortly after the closure of the mine. It is believed that a band of around 20 unpaid miners took matters in their own hands and illegally mined tin ores under the cover of night. Prospecting RM2,000 to RM3,000 worth of tin ore nightly, over a prolonged period of time, the miners made a total haul at around RM1,000,000. The mined ore was believed to have been crushed manually in their homes before being sol on the black market.

Chamber
The Million Dollar Chamber.

Hit-and-Measure
Yassin got to play with one of the interactive exhibits in the mine: Hit and Measure. He need to use the hammer to hit each ‘rock’ hard and quickly and see what’s his score on the meter. A higher score shows a larger impact. Miners used 10-pound hammer all day to break rocks into smaller sizes. To make work easier, they would always aim for the most impact!

Carbide-lamp
Kerosene lamp on display.

mannequins
More mannequins at work.

Basically, the exhibits inside the original mines educate visitors about the process of how mining was carried out in the yesteryears as well as discover how tin mining had contributed in the historical path of this country. My son and I had a blast learning about things we never knew before. My husband was busy with his boss discussing about work, so we let them be. We read the information and played along with the interactive exhibits. It was really an educational trip for us. We hope to come back again to see the mine in its full working condition as this visit was actually few weeks prior to its opening on January 1, 2013.

Sungai Lembing Mines, once the deepest and longest tin mines in the world, are preserved in their most natural and original settings. It was operated since 1886 for a period of a century on a big scale thus making Sungai Lembing renowned throughout the world.

Here’s more pictures of Yassin in the mine:

talking
Yassin ‘talking’ to the tired ‘workers’.

liltinminer
Yassin, the little tin miner.

handpumpcar
Yassin got his hand on the hand-pump car after getting out from the mine.

The living museum of Sungai Lembing is an award winning tourist attraction (Winner of LivCom award UAE!) that offers a rare experience of exploration and adventure for you and your kids. If you are interested to visit this place, here are some useful information that you need to know:

  • Tickets: Adult RM60 (MyKad RM30), Kids RM30 (MyKid RM15). Buy online at Sungai Lembing Mines website to get a discounted price.
  • Operating schedule:  Open Everyday! Monday to Thursday: 10 am – 8 pm; Friday to Sunday: 10 am – 10 pm
  • Please read and understand the mine’s rules and regulations.
  • Visit Sungai Lembing Mines website to get more information.
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Sungai Lembing Museum, Kuantan, Pahang

My husband got some work to do at Sungai Lembing Museum last December and as he knows that I am very much interested in covering my birth state, Pahang, he said I can tag along. So off we went to Kuantan with our son sleeping at the backseat. It was 7am, he was not ready to wake up just yet. It was school holiday so I was not so strict about it.

We reached Kuantan around 11am with a stop along the highway to get our breakfast.

Sungai Lembing Museum

Sungai Lembing Museum is one great looking museum. Being a fan of architecture, I thought this building is very interesting as it has the British verticular colonial architecture features. The uniqueness of this museum lies in the fact that it used to be a residency of mine officer working with The Pahang Corporation Limited (1887-1906) and Pahang Consolidated Company Corporation Limited also known as PCCL (1906-1986).

bungalow

The Sungai Lembing Museum was built to re-live the glorious days of Sungai Lembing as Pahang’s richest manufacturer of tin. Once, this city was even dubbed the Malay States’ very own El-Dorado as it was here that a special settlement for British officers was located. The town was built in the 1880s when the Pahang Consolidated Company Limited was given a 77-year lease to mine the area. In the 1940s, about 1,400 people worked in the mine. The tin mine were closed in 1986 due to high operational costs and low yields.

We went inside the museum and as the ground floor is still under renovation, we went up to the first floor gallery to see the collection. The gallery is divided into 7 segments; Tin Mining History, Geology and Geomorphology, Mining Arcade, Mining Memoir, Mining Economy and Tin Mining Method and Tools/Clothing. The arrangement of this museum is according to historical chronology so that visitor will understand the history better.

Let’s go through some of the exhibits I captured from the gallery:

baker
A poster that shows (from top) a factory building at Sungai Lembing, V.B.C. Baker, the General Manager of PCCL and his sister Nona Baker and a row of senior officers and their wives, 1941. 

History
Information about tin mining history.

Mining-Info
My son reading about mines before I call him to pose for the camera. 

tray
Trays made of wood used to pan ore.

exhibits
From top; iron chisel, oxygen tank and tin ore barrel.

typewriter
Manual typewriter at the PCCL administration office, circa 1940s – 1950s.

tunnl-lamp
Tunnel lamp.

These and many more at the first floor gallery. I am hoping that you take your children here to learn more about Sungai Lembing history. And I also hope that by the time you visit, the ground floor is ready to greet its visitors.

Here are some useful information you need to know before planning your visit here:

Visiting Hours: 9.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.
Admission: Free
Address: The Headquarters of The Department of Museums Malaysia (East Coast Region), Sungai Lembing, 26200 Pahang
Contact: Tel : +609 541 2377 / 2378, Fax : +609 541 2377

Take the chance to visit nearby attractions like Pelangi Waterfall and Gua Charas after the visit to the museum. Or….if you are up to it, visit the actual Sungai Lembing Mines and experience the living museum. I’ll cover the latter soon. Didn’t get to visit waterfall and cave though. Some other time perhaps. Cuti-cuti Malaysia lagi nanti.

yassin on mini mox
Yassin on mini mox. This mini mox was the main vehicle to carry four people at a time from the office building to the mine area.

 

 

 

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