To do or not to do?
Surfing Cameron Highlands online:
Utter the words ‘Cameron Highlands’ and people will ask you to visit the strawberry fields, TripAdvisor will list it in its top few activities and Google will bombard you with bucket loads of these red berries. Whether you should head to the strawberry farms or not, I’d say… read on and figure out for yourselves…
Yes, it’s that month of the year – it’s my birthday, and we decided to head to a farm fresh retreat, quite literally. Leaving our phones in the hotel was the best decision – a digital detox in the true sense. ‘Yeah right, how did you manage to click these pictures?’ “Well, I clicked them on my second visit, just before heading to the bus station – I needed a bunch of strawberries on my journey back home.”
The hype around strawberry picking:
To be honest, these farms are actually small strawberry nurseries that could prove to be disappointing to those who have pranced in some of the world’s most beautiful scarlet red fields in their flowy white gowns. However, if you have never plucked strawberries, then this is the
red right place for you. Gather some hands-on experience of scanning and choosing ripe berries. Sniff and sigh and click along. We did just that.
Most of these farms have the same concept – rows of strawberry beds, with a basket and pair of scissors provided. They charge approximately 30 MYR for 2 adults and ½ kg of strawberries. Almost all of them have a café offering a special strawberry item, fresh produce and trinkets to take home, did I mention restrooms as well?
It was a cool wintery noon of February 2016 and off we went to Raju’s Hills for pruning and plucking those red beads with our hands. Having ditched the pair of scissors that was provided to us in our baskets, our pluck and dunk and pluck and dunk session began. After gathering half a kilo of strawberries, with broad grins and heavy baskets, off we went to explore the other corners of the highlands.
Where to go?
There are a number of strawberry farms you could visit. Based on my experience, here’s a consolidated list of some of them:
- Raju’s Hills: Very close to my hotel at Brinchang city. A small hill with a clean space for strawberry plucking. Good milkshakes and strawberry ice cream. Calm and quiet.
- Kok Lim Strawberry Farm: Situated in a complex. Good if you want to buy souvenirs and hang around after plucking.
- Big Red Strawberry Farm: Huge space, big café for trying all things strawberry. Touristy.
- S’Corner Central Market, Kea Farm: Looks better from the outside. Could be a little disappointing if you expect too much out of it. The advantage is that you get to buy fresh produce like mushrooms and other vegetables at the market.
- EQ Strawberry Farm: Average. Can buy fresh strawberry jam and organic produce from here.
- Pluck strawberries by hand. Be careful not to damage the plant.
- Buy cream to dunk the berries (cheap thrills ;)).
- Buy a bunch of fresh strawberries.
- Try fresh strawberry ice cream.
- Check if they sell organic strawberries, fresh, hand-made jams etc.
Overall, it was a good experience for me as I had never gone strawberry picking. I enjoyed the fresh air, colourful vibes and the quiet surrounding and most of all the act of plucking those red beads and filling my basket. The strawberries tasted really good and the experience was indeed ‘close to nature’.
A detailed post on things to do in Cameron Highlands to follow soon… Stay tuned!
Till then enjoy my travel posts on Instagram.
Read – Smile – Travel