The Cameron Highlands in Malaysia is full of Jungle Treks, rolling hills and Tea Plantations.
Its a chance to escape the heat of the summer and see a different aspect of this amazing country.
MOST of the treks are completely safe, you normally see at least a few other travellers doing the same trek and hitchhiking around the town is easy, put your thumb out and you will be picked up in minutes.
So me and my then girlfriend Melissa decided to walk trek 9! There are around 20 treks in the Highlands and we picked this one at random.
As we started the route we had to go through a hole in a fence! Maybe we should of taken that as an early indication of what was to come.
We continued on what appeared to be a trail, the route itself was very enclosed, it was a narrow trail through the jungle and wasn’t particularly beautiful or scenic which was very different to the other trails we had already done.
The trail got more and more confined, the trees, bushes and plants were overgrown. When Melissa expressed her concerns I just stubbornly reassured her that it was an adventure and how walking through what looked like a scene out of The Hills Have Eyes was a good thing.
I led us through the rabbit hole but in wonderland we were not as we came to a small clearing and saw a local Malaysian man standing staring at us. I said Hello and as we approached to him I heard a growl.
I looked into the darkness of the woods and saw 3 dogs standing in a line amongst the bushes. Their eyes were fixed on us.
As we paused in shock the man pointed for us to continue on the trail. At the time we thought it was just because his dogs were getting riled up!
The route quickly become near impossible to walk, vines and fallen trees occupied the trail. Melissa insisted we turn back, she didn’t feel comfortable at all and I agreed! This was getting ridiculous.
We approached the local man once again, his dogs returned to their intimating position amongst the trees, eyes locked. This time the man was a lot more irate, and suddenly his English improved. ‘You have to go on, you cant go back’ he shouted.
I said we aren’t going on, we are going back! He spoke in Maylay, suddenly his dogs started barking. He attempted to block our route but before he could we pushed past and quickly started the route back at a fast pace.
We spoke about how strange the whole experience was as we sped away from the situation. When we got back we googled ‘Trek 9 Cameron Highlands’ and we were shocked at what we saw. If we walked another 4-5 minutes along the trail we would of had the prospect of being robbed at knife point.
The local man we saw was the spotter. And according to reports he had a compatriot slightly further along the trail. This man would of been waiting for us with a machete in hand.
The two men work together to rob tourists! Apparently their main prey are cash rich Chinese tourists!
It was a narrow miss for the both of us!! But on the way home we bumped into some locals who invited us to their 60th Birthday Party that evening for a BBQ, faith in humanity was restored.
Don’t let this put you off the Cameron Highlands, it was definitely a highlight of the trip.
In particular trek 1 is amazing, and pretty high up!