Do Chic In: A Memorable B&B in Cameron Highlands

Once in a while, I feel like I want to go travelling alone. The first time I did it was a trip to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah in April 2016. Mesilau Highlands in Kundasang was awesome, and I loved the view of Mount Kinabalu (but not enough to want to climb it. LOL). Poring Hot Springs and Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park were also wonderful.

So, what’s next? It has been over a year. I decided to take a bus ride to Cameron Highlands, Pahang. I go to Cameron Highlands every year with my parents and brother, but this would be the first time I would be going alone.

Where do I stay? Since I am going to be walking around, it has to be a location accessible on foot, and not too far from town and the bus station. I went to check out places to stay in Tripadvisor and Booking.com.

Since I had a great time with my first homestay/B&B experience in Taiwan in 2015, I thought it would be nice to stay in a B&B again. Finally, I found Do Chic In at Tanah Rata, next to Heritage Hotel. It is ranked the #1 B&B in Tanah Rata by Tripadvisor. In fact, it was awarded Traveller’s Choice for five years in a row (2013 – 2017) by Tripadvisor too. It has a superb rating of 9.0 in Booking.com. Best of all, it had a discounted rate for single travellers.

IMG_8721aW
My purple room

My room had 2 single beds. It was a corner room, so it had windows on two sides. Both had views of greenery. The theme was purple, one of my favourite colours. The mattresses and pillows were firm and clean.

IMG_9312aW
Living room

The apartment was like a semi-D apartment. It consisted of two units side by side, with the dividing wall removed. Everything was neat and tidy. The whole apartment was very clean, and a lot of thought had been put into the arrangements and decorations. Nothing was out of place. There was not a speck of dust to be found.

IMG_9317aW
Living room

The hosts, Jaycee and Jezzica, prepare breakfast every morning between 7am and 10am for the guests. Every day, we will get something different, and it will be a delightful surprise.

IMG_9319aW
Dining area

On Saturday morning, we were served French toast with fresh slices of mango and dragonfruit.

IMG_8719aW
French toast surprise for breakfast

On Sunday morning, we enjoyed cheesy omelette on toast, and banana and peanut butter toast, with mango and dragonfruit. The breakfast every morning was made with much care, love and attention to detail. I felt it was this care, love and dedication that made Jaycee and Jezzica’s B&B such a wonderful success year after year.

IMG_9308aW
Omelette on toast (left) and banana and peanut butter toast (right)

Located on a hill on the fringe of Tanah Rata town, it is far enough to be away from the noise and the traffic congestion of the main road, but near enough to the shops and restaurants.

IMG_8711aW
Misty view from the living room balcony in the morning

It is an excellent place to stay – quiet, clean and comfortable. The tranquil atmosphere and nice scenery will be a relaxing treat for city folks needing an escape from work stress. 😉

IMG_9313aW
Morning view from the front of the unit (kitchen balcony), located on the second floor of the walk-up apartment

The hosts are really nice people. They helped me to buy my return bus ticket to KL, and also helped me to book a half-day tour to visit the mossy forest and Sungai Palas tea plantation. The tour was conducted by Eco Cameron, which had trained and certified guides.

They also recommended places to eat, and I particularly liked Singh Chapati Urban Restaurant, at Brij Court.

IMG_8705aW
Night view

Do Chic In has many international travellers frequenting it, and while I was there, there was a couple from Spain, another from the Czech Republic, and another from Switzerland. It felt like a mini United Nations, or rather European Union. It was nice to have such a varied group, and I would usually see them at breakfast time. 🙂

IMG_9318aW
Common area

All in all, I had a memorable time, and I would recommend Do Chic In to anybody wanting to stay in a nice B&B in a quiet place with friendly and helpful hosts.

IMG_8706aW
The awards wall 🙂

And yes, I would gladly come back to stay again here. 😀

Kuala Sepetang, Perak

In December 2016, I went to Kuala Sepetang with my dad, mum and brother. I did not select the fishing village photos till a few weeks ago for uploading. For this series, I chose to have the village and boat photos in black and white.

My dad loves to draw watercolour paintings of fishing villages, which is why we visit various fishing villages throughout Malaysia quite often, and you can see some of his paintings at his blog, Colours of Heritage.

Kuala Sepetang  is a coastal town located in Perak, Malaysia. It was formerly known as Port Weld, named after a former governor, Frederick Weld. It is located approximately 72 km to the north-west of Ipoh city, the capital of Perak state.

IMG_2402aBWW

Part of the Larut, Matang and Selama Districts, Kuala Sepetang is a thriving fishing village, and the place where you can board a boat to Pulau Sangga, and visit the fish cage culture sites, which float on the river. There is a thriving Chinese fishing community at the river mouth which specializes in fish farming in cages.

IMG_2418aBWW

Historically, Kuala Sepetang was well-known because it was part of the first railway line of Malaya. The railway line was 12.8km long and was mainly used to carry tin from mines from Taiping to Kuala Sepetang, so that they could be transported overseas through the port.

IMG_2384aBWW

The old Taiping railway station was built at the location where the King Edward VII Primary School is presently located, while the Kuala Sepetang railway station was constructed in Port Weld. The railway was launched in 1885 and served for 70 years before being terminated and dismantled by Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM). To read more about the history and legends of the railway, click here.

IMG_2440aBWW

The Port Weld railway station was located at the centre of town. Now, only the ticketing booth and the Port Weld railway signboard remain to remind us of the golden age of tin mining in the little town.

IMG_2445aBWW

Today, Kuala Sepetang is a thriving tourist attraction. In fact, it is one of must-visit places in Perak. There are lots of things to do and see, and they can be summarised as follows:

  • Visit Khay Hor Charcoal Factory
  • Visit the Matang Mangrove Forest Reserve, the largest mangrove forest reserve in Malaysia
  • Visit the 131-year-old train station sign
  • Eat prawn noodles
  • Eat curry noodles
  • Eat seafood
  • Take a boat ride
  • Visit Pulau Sangga
  • Visit a fish farm
  • Go eagle watching
  • Go dolphin watching
  • See the fireflies
IMG_2416aW
Assam laksa sold in the yard of one of the small houses in the fishing village across the bridge
IMG_2362aW
Hawker deep-frying nian gao sandwiched with slices of yam and sweet potato, and various other snacks in the town
IMG_2352aW
Traditional tau sah pea biscuits on sale in the town

Although Kuala Sepetang is no longer the important port town where tin was transported from Taiping via the first railway, and then shipped overseas, it thrives today because of its various cottage industries, fish farming and tourism. I hope the place will maintain its old fishing village charm for many decades to come. 🙂

IMG_2402aW
❤ Kuala Sepetang ❤ – view from the bridge