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CAMERON HIGHLANDS > TOWN OF HABU
 

Cameron Highlands Resorts
Merlin Inn
Ye Olde Smokehouse
Heritage Hotel
Cameron Highlands Attractions
Old Route: Tapah-Ringlet
New Route: Ipoh-Kg. Raja
Sg Palas Tea Plantation
Boh Tea Centre
Brinchang Tea Valley
Mt Brinchang
Strawberry Farm
Kea's Farm
Cameron Golf Course
Bharat Tea Plantation
Brinchang Town
Tanah Rata Town
Ringlet Town
Sultan Abu Bakar Lake

 
 
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LOCATION:
Cameron Highlands (or Tanah Tinggi Cameron in Malay) is located in the state of Pahang. Currently, there are two main roads that connect major towns in west coast of Peninsula Malaysia (such as Kuala Lumpur, Ipoh and Penang) to this popular highland resort town. The older access point is the Tapah - Ringlet route while the newer access has since been built from Simpang Pulai - Kg Raja.

This small town village of Habu is located a few kilometres north of Ringlet.

DESCRIPTION:
In general, there is nothing much this place has to offer, save it for a "dysfunctional" lake that forms around the Sultan Abu Bakar hydroelectric dam. The lake used to be popular for short stopovers, but not anymore. What was once a clear water lake in this highland town gradually filled with ugly siltation from the hilly run-off as the area embraced for more and more development. If my first visit back in 2003 was greeted with disheartening muddy brown lake, my recent visit in 2006 revealed even more astounding discovery. The lake was now filled with floating water plants like lotus and kiambang (paper flower). The proliferation of these plants were too extensive that one could not see the lake underneath them. Whether or not there is still water below is up for anybody's guess. My theories are that either the siltation became so bad that the lake becomes too shallow or the fertilisers run-off from nearby commercial farms had made the lake extremely accommodative for these plants.

Parts of the lake is currently being sealed off from the public view as the rehabilitation project gets underway. I even saw some sort of barge or dredging vessel at the project site, and it will probably take some time before the lake is restored to its original state. While one may not be overly concerned for being unable to enjoy the lake view, the current state of Sultan Abu Bakar lake is a right-at-our-face testimony on how the highland development in the area has taken its toll.

Also the current condition of the lake definitely spells a bad news for the famous B&B outfit called The Lakehouse. Perched on top of a small hill facing the lake, this boutique resort has long pride itself with exclusive hotel stays with fabulous view of the lake. I am wondering whether this turn of event has affected the occupancy of this 18-room Tudor-style resort which room prices start close to RM400 per night. More over, it is often said that the lower lying areas like Ringlet and Habu are no longer as cool as they used to be, again, no thanks to indiscriminate farming industry. Hence, tourists might find it more reasonable to stay at higher altitude towns like Tanah Rata and Brinchang to get the feel of the temperate climate.

Other than that, Habu hosts a small row of fruit, vegetable and flower stalls, but one is better off heading straight north to other strawberry, fruit and vegetable farms.

MY VERDICT:
Probably not worth for a stopover as the lake is no longer there. The Lakehouse looks like a nice place to stay though.

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