Posts Tagged ‘Ipoh’


When I left Ipoh this morning I didn’t expect to be camping in a closed camping ground eating my snack provisions for dinner, but so it has come to bear. It seems I was not the only one thinking about escaping the heat for the weekend in the Cameron Highlands.

The way up to the Cameron Highlands

The way up to the Cameron Highlands

On the plains the sweat pours down from me. The climb was to be 1500m over 40km, including 28km without shops. On steep long climbs I calculate 5km/h, so this meant I would need enough water for 5 hours! I stocked up on water and kept my fingers crossed. I hoped the metres I climb early would compensate for the increasing temperature as the sun moves overhead.

The way up to the Cameron Highlands

The way up to the Cameron Highlands

A squadron of cyclists on their racing bikes were keeping pace with me, mostly a few hundred metres ahead or behind. Then, into the 28km shop-free stretch, I passed a pair of the cyclists waiting under a tree, protected from the heat.
‘Can we have some water?’
They only had one little bidon each. I left the last shop with 6 litres. They pulled out food to give me. We all knew that water was the valuable commodity here, and I was unsure if my stocks would be enough. I shared some of my water and banana cake, and got a Snickers in return. Little did I know that the Snickers would be invaluable later in the day when food was the scarce commodity.

My cycling friends

My cycling friends

The day was coming to an end, as was the climbing. I was heading for the most famous towns on the Cameron Highlands with squillions of hotels and restaurants just past the highest altitude point. I passed over the summit with its big tourist complex, and ran into a massive traffic jam.

Tourist complex

Tourist complex

Traffic jam

Traffic jam

I could scoot past the cars on the wrong side of the road, but, as I passed kilometre after kilometre of cars, I started to realise that accommodation was going to be an issue. And indeed it was. Every single one of the squillion hotels was full, and it was getting dark. Plan B was camping, but there was nowhere to camp in between the squillion hotels. Past a golf course (could I camp there?), I heard of a camping ground. Perfect. My little tent will always fit. Unfortunately the camping ground was closed, but, after some sweet talking with the security guard, I was allowed to set up my tent. I dared not leave looking for food, lest he change his mind, so, tonight’s dinner was my snack bag – and the Snickers gift.


A day of big roads, Indian food and wall murals. The clouds were out and a tailwind at the end of the day made for easy sailing. A filling of food and wall murals sees me now fit for the 1500m climb tomorrow up into the less hot heights of the Cameron Highlands.

Wall mural, Ipoh

Wall mural, Ipoh

Wall mural, Ipoh

Wall mural, Ipoh

Wall mural, Ipoh

Wall mural, Ipoh

Malaysia is amazingly multicultural. Indian, Chinese, Malay all mixed together. Food, a diversity of scripts (southern Indian and Chinese as well as the latin script) make it feel like a welcoming place.