Saturday, 25 December 2010

our coach trip to the Cameron Highlands

I have blogged often about our various trips to the Cameron Highlands and staying at The Smokehouse Hotel ....... well we are up here again, this time for Christmas!

But this blog is to show the photos of the actual bus trip coming up into The Highlands. I have had a few emails from visitors to my blog asking if I felt the buses were 'safe' especially after this weeks horrific bus accident where 27 Thai people were killed on the way back from the Cameron Highlands.

I believe the bus we travel on (Konsortium Bus) is as safe as it can possibly be .... the drivers seem to travel safely and also seem to know the roads well. They pass other vehicles where and when safe and show courtesy on the roads to other drivers ..... but at the end of the day I believe when your time is up, it is up. Be it when you are crossing the road, traveling in any vehicle, train or perhaps just at home ..... sure it is and can be a dangerous road, but if we were too 'scared' to travel, we would never see anything .... we all need to take some risks in life!

This blog posting is the coach trip we did on Dec 23 2010. We arrived at Golden Mile to pick up the boarding pass as we had already booked the coach on line sometime back. It is wise to arrive at least one hour prior to the time of departure, you will be given a bottle of water and your bus number .... make sure you take note of this number. It is written on the side of the bus near the doorway. It is a very busy time to travel anywhere by coach at Christmas or Chinese New year and it can be confusing to see all the coaches lining up.
If you cannot locate your bus, go back into the office and recheck that they have not replaced your bus with another!

The coach is very cold, be warned .... you will need a small blanket as well as warm clothes for the 9 hour trip to the Cameron Highlands.  Once you are able to board the bus, get settled quickly with music or whatever else you need as the bus lights go off as soon as you depart.  I might suggest taking one of those very small flashlights that can be attached to a key ring.  Within an hour you will arrive at the Singapore side for immigration and customs, you need to have your passport handy by this time.

Next  stop, just 10 minutes later is at the Malaysian Customs and Immigration ..... you will need to take ALL your luggage with you. Leave nothing in the coach.

After passing through customs you need to locate your coach again .... this is where it comes in handy to remember the number of your coach as it will be displayed on a board alongside what bay it is situated in - as seen below:
From here on, you will probably be sleeping until the first of about three rest stop's.

The last stop is usually about 5.30 - 6.00am where there is a change of drivers to travel the winding road up to the Highlands. It will start to get light by about 6.30am and the following photos were taken on that last leg of the journey:
There are many trucks, buses, motorcycles and other vehicles that will pass and when there are very tight bends, most drivers will stop to allow the coaches to pass.
but by about 7.00 - 7.30am you will reach Tanah Rata and knowing that you have safely reached your journeys end!
and by this stage I hope you have considered staying at The Smokehouse Hotel ..... though not to every ones liking, John and I have always enjoyed our visits there, as have our friends.

It is a very popular boutique hotel with an amazing atmosphere and we highly recommend it to everyone.

Their website is HERE .... it may take a while to load, but is worth waiting for!

my blog posting from earlier in the year on our visit to the Smokehouse Hotel

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1 comment:

Oswald Chong said...

You're so right.... if we're so afraid, we'll miss so many things in life. I'd die learning and traveling, than dying at home doing nothing. Enjoy your trip and merry christmas....