Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Talking of Hill Stations II - The BOH Tea Plantations

I don’t want to get sidetracked on the hill resorts of Asia, though it’s an interest – but as I mentioned Tanah Rata and the Cameron Highlands the other day I thought I’d just slip in the BOH tea plantations which are a major draw to the area and well worth a wonder around.

If the Cameron Highlands are known across Malaysia and the world for anything its BOH tea –the supplier of 5.5 million cuppas a day of which 70% are consumed right here in Malaysia. The extensive plantations were established by John Archibald Russell and AB Milne in1929 and three of their four estates are in the Highlands 5,000 metres above sea level – the largest producer of tea in South East Asia. Walking alongside and across the plantation is peaceful – tea is not, for most of its growth cycle, particularly labour intensive. The occasional worker can be spotted pruning and cutting back the tea bushes.

In between the plantation are small farm holdings, market gardens producing everything from strawberries to flowers – the strawberries end up as jam for the cream teas and scones in the cafes of Tanah Rata and Brinchang; the flowers in the markets in bunches. Drive or hike to the top of the plantations and you’ll reach the BOH plantation’s visitor centre at the Sg Palas Boh Plantation. The views of the surrounding “green carpets” of tea plantations are magnificent and breathtaking but a cup of the actual tea will calm you down and there’s a regular factory tour for the more tea-obsessed.

Sg Palas Tea Centre – includes a souvenir shop and tea shop with free guided factory tours every thirty minutes. Open everyday except Monday, from 9:00am to 4:30pm. Admission is free.
Sungei Palas Tea Centre
Jalan Gunung Brinchang, Brinchang, Cameron Highlands.
Phone: +605-4962096


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