15 June 2016

Retreating to Cameron Highlands

Six years ago, when Angel visited Malaysia with the purpose of meeting my family, proposing to me, and getting to know a little bit of the world I came from (tall order for a two-week trip, huh?), we decided we ought to show him Cameron Highlands. Problem was, his trip was already packed with sightseeing and social events, so there was no time. While visiting a cave on the mainland, however, we spontaneously drove the extra two hours to Cameron Highlands, stopped for a snack of tea and scones, and turned right around and drove the 4+ hours back to our home.

So, technically, this weekend wasn't Angel's first visit to the cool, green, beautiful highlands...but it was his first visit of more than an hour, which makes it a pretty momentous occasion.

The true reason for going was for a spiritual retreat in the highlands for a small group of teens and young adults at a secluded, inexpensive bungalow that my family has stayed at several times on past visits.

If anyone ever said that spiritual retreats can't be loads of fun, they were totally and completely proven wrong by this one.

As per tradition, we stopped first for tea, scones, and strawberries. Cameron Highlands are well-known for their tea plantations and greenhouses, where lots of fruits and veggies are grown--especially strawberries! We bought a few boxes of strawberries to take with us to the bungalow where we were staying, because we'd toted along a couple of homemade shortcakes from home and had delicious dessert plans.

Cameron Highlands are much cooler than the city where we live. For comparison, on a typical day here, Dad's car thermometer will read in the high 30s in degrees Celsius. Once we arrived at the bungalow, it was reading around 18 degrees Celsius. We were chilly! We'd all packed jackets and cardigans, but a few of us had trouble sleeping since we're used to sleeping in muggy heat, not cuddled under piles of blankets and  trying to stay warm!

Sunrises were beautiful over the hills. On Saturday, we had several educational sessions planned and organized activities, but right after breakfast, we had about an hour of free time. The more athletically-inclined spent that time playing basketball together, while other of us opted for peaceful morning coloring or the reading of books.

One of the coolest games that we put together for the weekend involved a field of lies ("landmines") that had to be defused with the appropriate application of Scripture verses that directly combated those lies with truth.

It was a beautiful weekend, filled with good food, beautiful scenery, important lessons learned, and funny memories with good friends. You may notice that the only people who appear in the photos are my own family members--they weren't all who were there, but for blog purposes, it just seems right to only choose those photos. :)

Oh yeah, the swingset turned into a place where everyone tried to perform their best gymnastics tricks. Just what everyone needs on a spiritual retreat, right? I'm glad Angel finally got to spend some time in the beautiful highlands of Malaysia...looks like the atmosphere suited him very well.


  1. Talk about some awesome scenery! My daughter is going on er first religious retreat (we call it girl's camp: it's like a combination of outdoorsy stuff, fun stuff, and spiritual stuff for the 12-17 year old girls) and I'm so excited for her. I didn't get to do anything like that growing up!

  2. That retreat sounds (and looks) awesome! Retreats can be such fun-I think the "field of lies" game sounds pretty cool.
    Oh my, the scenery looks SO GORGEOUS. Incredible scenery + tea and scones? Yes please!

  3. Beautiful scenery! Looks like a fun weekend!

    Nellwyn |

  4. this looks great, not something that I will probably ever do, but it certainly looks like you had a great time, beautiful place!

  5. This looks like an absolute dream to visit--and I bet it was very peaceful and calming to be able to look at all that beautiful scenery (for more than an hour, hahah!). Plus, tea and scones... heck yes!

  6. This weekend sounds fantastic! Aren't spiritual retreats just the best? It's been too long since I experienced one.

  7. This post warms my heart so much! My husband and I went to Malaysia as part of our honeymoon last year. We wanted to visit Cameron Highlands because of the tea fields, but we didn't have time as we were traveling to Singapore and Indonesia as well. I do have a tea bag from there, though. The gold one :) Thanks for sharing!

  8. Sounds like a fantastic time! Spiritual retreats can definitely be fun! <3

  9. I have been to Malaysia a couple of times but never to the Cameron highlands - although I would love to. Looks like you had a really fun time on the retreat...and a wonderful setting. #mondayescapes

  10. Ha! This was not the post on the Cameron Highlands I was expecting. Like the little signs....

  11. This is my kind of place! How can I say no to tea, scones and strawberries?

  12. Hi Rachel, I'm Kat from KL. The last time I went to Cameron Highlands was more than 10 years ago! Your photos of the tea valleys are beautiful. Looks like I got to make a trip to Cameron pretty soon :-) #MondayEscapes