Tuesday, August 21, 2007

defying the law (of physics, that is)

got home yesterday from a combined cell-group retreat at cameron highlands. 9 families were involved & we each drove separately, meeting at the bidor exit at the appointed time, for lunch. this stall came highly recommended by SY, one of the co-leaders of this trip, & he was not wrong, going by the saturday crowd.

we had to wait for 30mins before getting a table, but we helped ourselves to fresh deep-fried wu kok (yam balls) while waiting....

i ordered the signature dish, which is herbal duck noodles.

can you not see the ginger & kei chi among the ingredients for the soup? the thigh of the duck that came with it was fleshy & tender.

then it was on to the highway again, to exit at simpang pulai for the uphill climb to tanah rata. we know have arrived when we saw this sign.....

foreigners will surely wonder what "self pick strawberry" means.

yummy as this may appear...

......but unfortunately i'm not a fan.

after checking into our rustic english-looking bungalow...

....with a view like this.....

....it was time to prepare for the barbeque dinner. with 9 families to feed, this was no stroll in the park, but by 7.30pm. the grill was running at full steam (or full smoke?)

doesn't this just get your stomach juices flowing???

of course, very much like anywhere else, if you have good food....

...you can expect a crowd.....

after singing some songs & sharing, it was time to call it a nite.

breakfast was at a hainanese stall....

.... where the owner was reputed to have been a cook at the royal household.

the lamb chop was recommended by SY's wife, & she's got it right.

then it was time for worship. i've always been fascinated by the implications of peter's walk on the sea of galilee (remember bruce almighty?) . was he steadfast? or, was his faith in God found wanting when it mattered most? i know God did not call him The Rock without a reason. there's a bit of Peter in all of us - enthusiastic, dutiful & obedient, yet when we lose focus on the Lord, we flounder. but nevertheless, as imperfect as we are, He is always there for each of us. story of my life.

lunch followed, at a nyonya restaurant.

i thought, after a western breakfast, i'd pass up lunch. however, the spirit was willing but the flesh was weak.

was it my imagination, or did the veggies look greener & the taste fresher??

a trip to cameron would not be complete without a visit to ....

...the boh tea estate. but i have to mention that the drive there takes a treacherous route on the side of the hills, & at certain spots, it's a tight squeeze for vehicles to pass (pictures to follow later). i fear one of these days, someone's going to fall off the hill. seriously. the drive back kept us all at the edge, literally! it would be the 1st & last time for me.

some trivia...
...the hill was named after british surveyor William Cameron....
....but it was another Briton, businessman JA Russell who developed the tea plantation...
...Boh Tea (origin of name remains unknown) owns 4 tea gardens; 3 in cameron & 1 in selangor.

dinner was at a steamboat restaurant, & appropriately enough, it rained for the 1st time we were there.

again there were lots of fresh veggies...

then it's back to the bungalow for some games. i decided some weeks ago that i'd do a quiz comprising of a mix of biblical, general knowledge & entertainment questions. i also learned one or two things myself, like kids nowadays are well-versed in bible facts, & that it was NEVER recorded in the scriptures the number of wise men at Jesus's birth.

next morning, before departure, we were at the kea market...

...shopping for fresh veggies, fruits & other farm produce. traffic was heavy & crowds thronged the street, confirming that it's the most popular market in the area.

although we all drove home separately, 2 other families had the same idea - to stop at bidor again for the signature dish.

fellowship is such a pleasing & fulfilling experience.

"Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching." heb 10 : 25


Anonymous said...

Food looks good! The last time I was there, the steamboat veggie was so fresh, it came complete with a live snail!
And the view is gorgeous.

doc said...


the last time i was in cameron was in 1995 & it's still a fabulous place for a retreat, & i can see myself retring there!!

the drive up can be strenous for some but the cool crisp air & fresh veggies would be just rewards. i certainly would like to go again.

Jonzz said...

Looks like you had a good time.

What's this retreat place you stayed at in Camerons?

Las montaƱas said...

Nice! I love cool places! Been there last year Oct driving south from Penang.


doc said...


yes, we had a terrific time.

it's a bungalow let out to church organisations only, which someone else booked on our behalf.

in short, i don't know but i'll definitely email the details to you when i have them.

doc said...


your post gave the impression that you were in a hurry to leave. food would be expected to be expensive as they cater to tourists. i suppose the locals mostly eat at home.

don't you wish bkt timah had such climate? ha ha, dream on, bro!

doc said...


can't find your email in your blog, so i'll reply here.

the bungalow we stayed at tanah rata is called Thai Rata owned by Pac Rim International for their missionaries. 4 rooms for max 14 pax.

the other group stayed at Puncak Arabella - 11 rooms, all en-suite & open to public. all activities & programs were held here.

Anonymous said...

Feel like I am almost there too!

Food, fellowship, fun, fulfillment - seems you have all!

doc said...


wow, i can't believe you can feel like that just from the post & photos!!

go with your group of friends - 4 F's guaranteed.

Anonymous said...



Cameron Highlands; it definitely is a place to retreat and relax from the hustle bustle of the city.

By the way, how are you Rich?

doc said...

hey kyels,

long time, huh? i've just been moving on with life. hope you are keeping well.

yes, CH is one of THE places to be to get away from it all, isn't it?

TZ said...

I like the weather over in Cameron... cool and nice :->

errr... BBQ is not a cup of tea for me... Usually i could not eat much after doing the BBQ... don't feel like eating anymore... Unless someone cook for me. :-p

I think i really need a nice holiday... people surrounding me goes off for vacation... Me still working like a dog :->

doc said...


seems like cameron is everyone's favourite holiday place.

eating meat in moderation should be ok, i guess. you know, in almost every BBQ i've been, there's always 1 or 2 who enjoys doing it for others.

so, why are you working like a dog while others have vacation?