The night before our failed jungle trek we did a quick calc on how much time we had to get to China - only 50 days. We still needed to get our Thai visa's in Penang and so realised we needed to step on it a bit.

After bolting out of Taman Negara heading for the Cameron Highlands, we got pulled over by the Malaysian Police - who were a bit baffled. They asked Joe for his licence - which he gave them stuck to his Qantas Frequent Flyer card. The Policeman dutifully examined both, together with the following stickers on our windscreen: Expired NSW Rego, Expired Singapore Circulation Permit; NSW Annual National Parks Pass. No wonder the poor chap was confused. I did what I do best - sat in the car and said nothing whilst Joe explained. He asked why we didnt have a Malaysian Circulation Permit, and Joe did his best to explain that such a thing didn't exist. He then took photos of all the permits on our car using his camera phone and asked Joe to have a seat. Minutes later his superior came our, chatted with Joe about the trip and sent us on our merry way - giving us directions to Cameron Highlands to boot.

Although we promised ourselves we'd never drive at night, there we were - using only a map which showed that the road we were on and the road we were heading to didn't in fact join. Signs in Malaysia are fairly inconsistent. You'll see one that says 'Cameron highlands this way' then nothing for the next 250km. With a bit of blind faith, and the help of several staff from Petronas petrol stations, we made it to the Cameron Highlands by 9pm.

Next day, as we were getting ready to go see some sights in the Cameron Highlands, an Aussie motorbike pulled up - and we met Yvonne and Mario, a German couple from Cairns who are travelling around SE Asia. They were keen to get to Thailand soon too, so we agreed to do the border crossing together early next week - safety in numbers and all that. Keen to get moving to Penang, we went for a quick trail walk to a waterfall which was utterly disapointing and covered in rubbish.


Cameron Highlands itself is a 'major' tourist destination, the main drawcard being that its lovely and cool compared to the rest of Malaysia, and has amazing landscaped Tea plantations set into the winding hills. On the way up at night, we wound through hillsides lit-up with thousands of light bulbs for the flower farms - they keep lights on all night to help the flowers bloom, from a distance we thought we'd stumbled upon some national secret we werent meant to know about...


On the way through the highlands, we stopped at 'Boh' tea planations and sampled some tea - not a patch on a Yorkshire brew though. Then wound back down the roads (amongst the wacky races of Malaysian Lorry drivers who play fun games like overtaking on blind corners) to sweaty temperatures, up the north south highway, and over the 13km bridge to Penang.