Travel

Perfect Picnic Spot in Putrajaya

So far this is the best picnic spot I’ve encountered in Klang Valley. It has a proper picnic table and bench under a shade. The playground is right in front so you can watch over your kids while eating.

It’s also near to the parking lot and public toilet. So bonus points for convenience. You can also invite more friends to join the picnic as there’s 3 more picnic table around.

The location is at Taman Putra Perdana, Putrajaya. Just park across the Pulse Grande Hotel. The playground is by the main road. You can’t miss it.

Super Long Term Review: Crumpler Bags

I’ve been using Crumpler bags since 2011 when I bought one to bring my iPad 2. As you can see from the picture above, there’s already 3 versions of the Crumpler logo. I also have another one which is a backpack that can carry DSLR + laptop.

All held up pretty well – the zippers, velcros and buckles works. The lining still intact, no tear from carrying stuffs around. Slings and straps also remain intact.

It survived 8 years so far and I expect it can easily hit 10 years. That’s real quality.

Cameron Highlands is Officially Overrated

A week after our trip to Cameron Highlands we went shopping at AEON Nilai. Then my wife said she’s pissed off and pointed at the tea aisle. Lo and behold it is cheaper than the cheapest stall in Kea Farm. Many were selling it for RM11 per box and slash it to RM10 each if you buy 3 and above.

I bought the BOH Seri Songket for RM13 at Kea Farm, it’s just RM9.50 at AEON. Rather unbelievable as it is a more premium product compared to Cameron Valley.

Also found export-grade Cameron Highlands strawberries selling for RM9 for 250g. Which is comparable to the purportedly secret strawberry shop in Tringkap.  

Since the must buy souvenirs are cheaper in the city, it is confirmed that Cameron Highlands had truly become a tourist trap. Don’t get me wrong, I still wanted to go there again and chill on weekdays but I definitely will not shop much.

If I need to chill on a mountain resort on weekends I’ll probably went to Fraser’s Hill next time.

Cameron Highlands + Weekend = Disaster

The last time I went up to Cameron Highlands was in 2013. Six years later with 3 kids in tow the hill resort had totally transformed. Too my shock there’s already two shopping mall and another one coming up.

I spent a significant amount of my trip getting stuck in traffic jam. It was even worse than KL due to the steep incline and lack of alternative road.

Not only on the main road, the small road to Boh Plantation is also totally clogged. It even drags on to the queue to buy food.

Cameron Highland had became the victim of their own success. The opening of new roads uphill brings double the number of tourist but the town had not much space to expand. Whatever expansion they managed to do for the past six years had already turned the hill station into a grotesque concrete jungle.

I still wanted to return to Cameron Highlands, there’s some charm remain. However, I’ll be sure to avoid the weekends and school holidays.

Secret Strawberry Shop in Cameron Highlands

Obviously it’s no more a secret once I published this blog post but this shop is still rather hidden.

The biggest frustration with buying strawberries from Cameron Highlands is it tends to get sour once you reach the low lands. Some attributes it to the higher temperature. But I think the truth is the strawberries are not very good to begin with.

My brother-in-law worked in Cameron Highlands since last year so he get to know where the locals buy their strawberries. It’s rather away from the usual tourist areas but these strawberries are claimed to be of Japanese export quality. It’s naturally sweet and flavorful – no sugar dipping shenanigans here.

Look for the shop with green shutters
The shop looks more like a warehouse rather than the usual souvenir shop

The shop is located in the Tringkap neighborhood on the way down from Tanah Rata to Simpang Pulai. The landmark is Nur Iman Restaurant which in turn is next to Pondok Polis Tringkap.

This sells for RM12 per pack. A lower grade pack sells for RM8 but still super nice.

My brother-in-law had bought these several times and the taste remains excellent year round. So we can really vouch for the quality of this strawberries.

May this info made your Cameron Highlands trip even sweeter.

A New Way to Eat Pineapple

When in the pineapple town of Pontian it’s only apt to go bananas on eating pineapple. The key is a super juicy pineapple that went full ripe on field. It melts in the mouth eating it with buttered white bread.

Despite it’s simplicity, this is something that can’t be enjoyed in the city. Pineapples sold in distant cities were harvested before it’s fully ripe. As such, the pineapples ripens artificially and didn’t reach the full juiciness. Left to ripen on the field, even the core of the pineapple is succulent. There’s no need to smash the pineapple into jam here.

Thanks to Mr. Cheah the owner of Pontian Garden Hotel for serving us Morris & Josapine pineapple while we were there.

p/s: Mr. Cheah said that Josapine stands for ‘Johor Sarawak Pineapple’.