Sunday, 5 July 2020

Sunrise Overlooking Boh Tea's Plantation @ Cameron Highlands

"Want to wake up early to catch a non-existent sunrise across the tea plantation?" I (half-jokingly) asked my travel companion, since I've read that sunrise may be hard to catch in Cameron Highlands, due to the fog and frequent rainfall obstructing the view. I've read many blogs and online forums stating the best way to catch the sunrise is by hiking to the top of Mt Brinchang, which is the highest peak around Cameron Highlands, where you'll be above the fog. Some suggested going to the tea plantation but there's a high risk of not catching any glimpse of the sunrise (due to the fog!)

We decided to try our luck anyway and drove out to Boh Tea's plantation with zero expectations and...well...I was utterly taken aback (in a good way). I guess having zero expectations elevated the wow-factor too.

So sunrise view in Cameron Highland at the tea plantation is possible. Since I didn't manage to find much info about this place, here's a rough guide/write-up I hope will be helpful for you to plan your visit :)

The lookout point where the above photo was taken is marked as "Roberston Rose Garden" on google maps - it is en route to Sungai Palas Boh Tea's Plantation. 

If you've been to Boh Tea's Plantation, you'd have known about the notoriously narrow and windy road leading into the tea plantation, and the lack of space to stop or park your car along the road leading into the tea plantation. 

We left our hotel before the crack of dawn (around 6.20am) when it was still dark out there. There are no street lamps as far as I know along the road leading into the tea plantation, and I am not confident with my driving skills navigating through the narrow road. Hence, I decided that I will not drive into the tea plantation, and parked my car right at the junction where you see the Boh Tea's signage, at the very start of Jalan Gunung Brinchang. 

There are actually proper parking spaces there. There are some newly developed shop lots that are not updated on maps yet (as of July 2020). Alternatively, you may park opposite the road, around Cameron Square. 
Anyway, it actually got pretty bright when we reached the parking lot (around 6:40am) even though it wasn't sunrise time yet (sunrise time was 7:08am on the day of visit), so the lack of street lamp...might not be too much of a concern.

From where we parked, it was a 10-minutes (950m) walk to Roberston Rose Garden. I wished I had brought along my scarf when we started the walk, as it was rather chilly. But we warmed up soon after we started walking so it's all good. We started walking around 6:40am, so that leaves us about 28 minutes before the sunrise time (7:08am). Plenty of time to spare, no?
The walk wasn't strenuous as there was no steep uphill inclination. We kept stopping along the way to admire the sky - the colour kept changing and it was just utterly beautiful, albeit being obstructed by trees/villas.
I didn't realise that we were spending so much time stopping and taking photos, and it was almost sunrise time! We were really taking our time because we were under the impression that the sunrise might not happen but judging from the skies...we deduced that we might be able to see the sunrise! 
boleh jadi iklan x?
At this point, I started running - because I didn't want to miss out on the sunrise over the tea plantation, and the changing skylight/pattern of clouds forming. I'd always thought the skies before sunrise is edition (pardon my lack of imagination in describing this) - you'd never get the same sunrise view. The skies are different every day, and I want to take in every moment of it. 

*Plays Aerosmith - I Don't Want to Miss a Thing*

So aku lari.

Anddddddd I made it.

Note: You may see the sunrise along the route but the view may be obstructed. Don't need to lari macam orang giler macam saya. I just wanted an unobstructed view and my sunrise photo over the tea plantation.
Wished I could catch a glimpse of the fluffy clouds tainted in red as shown above across the tea plantation but I was a little too late for that. But I'm still grateful to be able to catch this breath-taking view :)
"patutlah kamu lari!" (that's why you ran!)
a group of tourist commented when they saw this view :p
It started getting crowded with visitors around 7.15am armed with their cameras and phones, "oooohhh" "ahhh-ing" over the beautiful view.

Again, I felt that my photographs did no justice to the beautiful sunrise :) You really have to see it for yourself!

Word of advice:
- Come early. Perhaps at least half an hour before sunrise to get that "limited edition" view :p 
- There are some spaces for a limited number of cars to park by the roadside of Roberston Rose Garden. But it is very very limited (probably could fit up to 3~5 cars tops, and it seems like a private property so I wouldn't really recommend it. Apologies for the vague description - as it was just a patch of land at the side of the road which I can't really quantify it properly)
- I really recommend that you walk instead of drive, mainly because of the lack of parking space, and also there are some really nice views along the way which may be hard to enjoy if you're on a car :) 
- You may also join a tour organised by locals for the sunrise. I've seen shops promoting sunrise packages for RM10-30 per pax, which includes transport arrangements into the tea plantation so you don't have to worry about it! 

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