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Hello, Ciao,안녕하세요, Hallo, Hola, Selamat tengahari! My name is Rachael and I am a travel enthusiast. Ever since I can remember, my parents have taken my brother, sister and I on good ol' American road trips. It's safe to say that was where my interest in new places, people and experiences was ignited. As my parents always encouraged my siblings and I to explore and ask questions, I developed a sincere curiosity for new adventures. In addition to seeing much of the United States with my favorite travel companions (my family), I had the opportunity to spend a semester in Rome, Italy, as well as a semester in Seoul, South Korea during my college career. Now, I am honored to be taking part in a Fulbright ETA Scholarship to Malaysia for a year! My family's favorite motto is "Life is all about the journey, not the destination." I invite you to join along in my journey of cultural exchange and mutual understanding in Malaysia! After all, the more, the merrier.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Chesley's Malaysian Adventure: Cameron Highlands

My family and I exploring a large tea plantation in Cameron Highlands, Malaysia!
Cameron Highlands is a mountainous region of Malaysia that is home to tea plantations, strawberry farms, plateaus and cool temperatures. Individuals looking to escape the tropical heat of the lowlands of Malaysia head to Cameron Highlands to bask in the refreshing cooler temperatures. For my family, this came as a welcomed surprise after several days in the heat at Taman Negara and Kuala Lumpur. In Cameron Highlands, we stayed at Bala Chalet, which was once a boarding school for European expatriate children. We stayed in a beautiful cottage-style inn that served tea and delicious British scones. My family enjoyed sitting in the garden at Bala Chalet with light jackets on while chatting and enjoying warm scones with perfect, hot tea. The colonial feel of Bala Chalet mixed with cooler temperatures and the endless mountaineous scenery made our experience there very unique.

In Cameron Highlands, we visited Boh Tea Plantation, which is a famous brand of tea in Malaysia, as well as abroad. We walked through the plantation and touched the leaves and took in the smells. A walk inside the factory demonstrated to us how the leaves from the plantation become the tea that people love to drink. In addition to the tea of Cameron Highlands, the strawberries were also huge and delicious. The juiciness of the strawberries danced on our tongues, and I swear, I’ll never taste a strawberry like that again. 
Bala Chalet, Cameron Highlands, Malaysia.

Delicious English tea and scones. We enjoyed them for two afternoons at Bala Chalet.
My brother, sister and I hanging out upstairs in our chalet!

Checking out the strawberries of Cameron Highlands.
Tractor used for transporting tea leaves in and out of the mountains.
Loading bags of tea leaves into trucks for transportation is a lengthy process.
Tea plantation in the highland region.

The scenery of Cameron Highlands.

A bee plantation of Cameron Highlands that is used for honey production.
My brother and I at the top of little mountain looking at the villages below.
A tea leaf of Boh Tea Plantation.
One of the many little villages of Cameron Highlands.
The people of these villages work on the plantations, and their economy depends solely on tea production.

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