Continuing from my previous post, I will now attempt to document our trip up to Strawberry Park Resort from Simpang Pulai Exit 137 of the North-South Expressway (NSE). Please do note that there are 2 trunk roads up Cameron Highlands with the route via Simpang Pulai being the newer and safer one. The older one (via Ringlet) is said to be more dangerous with sharper bends, higher risk of landslides, and lack of overtaking lanes.
Driving along the NSE is a relatively easy task. Just remember to have a good rest the night before the long drive. Apart from facing the long straights along the NSE, it takes about an hour and a half to get from the foot of Cameron Highlands at Simpang Pulai Exit 137 to any of the small towns in Cameron highlands. Follow the road signs from here (see image above), and you should get to the foot of Cameron Highlands in no time.
The next leg of the journey is quite simple too even though the road is windy. The meandering roads are wide with plenty of space for overtaking. Speed limit varies from 60-90 km/h I think; can’t really remember (In comparison, the NSE allows you to drive at 110km/h). It doesn’t feel all that bad, and most importantly, no one got car sick.
This luxury slowly evaporated the higher up we went.
The roads narrowed considerably when we neared the small Cameron Highlands town namely, Kampong Raja, Tanah Rata and Brinchang. Digressing a little, there is a 24-hour hospital in Tanah Rata, and Strawberry Park Resorts and many other recommended hotels and eating places are in Brinchang. More about Kampong Raja later. Back to the roads, overtaking lanes are mostly non-existent. To overtake slower vehicles, you will have to overtake (quite dangerously if) by cutting across into the opposite lane. There are many blindspots as the bends are considerably tighter (but still not as tight as the old roads via Ringlet), so please overtake safely and make sure you check for oncoming traffic and only overtake when road markings tell you that it’s ‘safe’ to do so.
We decided to have lunch in one of the towns, Kampong Raja, before making our way further up to Brinchang and then Strawberry Park Resorts.
And if you were to drive up there, please stop by…
Ngow Kee Restaurant serves quite awesome Chinese zi char food. Their mince-meat toufu (fried beancurd) dish is one kind of awesome. And more importantly, affordable. Just be prepared to eat among houseflies, tonnes of them. We spent more time fanning the flies away than actually enjoying our food. I didn’t know that houseflies can make the journey up so high. I think we were more than 1,000 metres up then. The quiet town looked rundown, but the weather made up for that. It was super cool and breezy.
After a satisfying lunch (no pictures because we gobbled the food down super quickly to avoid sharing our food with the houseflies), we took about 45-90 more minutes due to a terrible traffic jam before reaching our destination – Strawberry Part Resorts – 1593 metres above sea level.
Next up: What we did 1593 metres above sea level 🙂